Our first visit back in five years

Bino and I felt incredibly fortunate to spend the last Nepali New Year in Kathmandu with our whānau. It marked our first trip back in five years, and we cherished every moment.

During our stay, we celebrated the completion of the Thamdanda project, a journey that began in 2018 and was officially closed in true Nepali style. We also had the opportunity to visit communities in our newly established Rayale WEP, and the year ahead only promised to bring more positive experiences.

We embarked on a brief trek, relishing our return to the mountains after an extended absence. Exploring Chitwan jungle for the first time was truly awe-inspiring; we were even fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a tiger!

Our visit to the Chepang community had a profound impact, as we had the privilege of witnessing the home we had constructed for a deserving family.  For these children, this home marked their first experience of dwelling in anything other than beneath a tarpaulin. Our encounter served as a poignant reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by this impoverished community, and we remain dedicated to supporting them on their journey ahead.

Thamdanda women’s winter crop and latest training

We visit these remarkable women every few months, offering training sessions and distributing seeds and equipment. We stand by them throughout their journey from seed to market, and it’s always a privilege to witness both them and their crops thrive and flourish.

We recently concluded a training session on Animal Husbandry and Shed Management. The session covered crucial information on goat, buffalo, and cow breeds, disease management, breeding techniques, feeding practices, and shed management. As usual, the women actively participated and showed great enthusiasm.

Rayale WEP visits

Our partnership with Janamaitri Cooperative is flourishing, with an increasing number of women engaged in the programme. We offer them comprehensive support and training and provide seeds, spray pumps, and fertilisers. Recently, we collaborated with the Laligurash Women’s Group to install water pipeline systems, to ensure consistent access to water in their village. Due to its higher altitude, compared with others we work in, the village requires additional support to meet its continuous water needs.

Christmas Day training

Mainly celebrated by Christian communities, Christmas isn’t a widely observed tradition in Nepal. During our work in Rayale, we conducted Empowerment and Leadership Development training for 40 women, two women from each of the 20 groups we work with in the community. The sessions involved various activities and topics, and all the women actively participated, gaining valuable knowledge and confidence for their future business endeavours.

International Women’s Day

In Aotearoa NZ, we celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) with our Rotary whānau and friends. Paula Whetu-Jones, a distinguished Director and Actor, among other roles, served as the guest speaker, and we had the opportunity to showcase some of HLF’s work to the audience. Since supporting women is a cornerstone of our work at HLF, connecting with individuals who share our dedication is a rewarding experience. I always appreciate the collaborations we have with our Rotary whānau. The funds raised during the event will further contribute to expanding our programmes, a prospect for which I am deeply grateful.

Chitwan community

Our ongoing collaboration with the Chitwan whānau involves monthly support for five families. We continue exploring initiatives to ensure they can access clean water, secure housing, education, and food for sustainable and dignified living. 

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