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Jul 29, 2018

Dear Nepalis, Not to come off as hostile, but what happened to the passion and drive that you showed in posting “Nepal will rise again” pictures just a year back in reference to the April-May earthquakes that brought Nepal crashing down onto its knees. What happened to the sympathy you showered your social media news feeds with? The number of clothes you donated out of empathy? The statuses, the tweets, the news bulletins shared? Have they turned into lame complaints about the government’s inability to take action? For the past two weeks now, my newsfeed has seen large traffic of its posts by international news agencies shed light on the pitiful state of our country’s reconstruction programs. But I think we’d all expected the result of a government-based program that was so heavily funded. So that’s not where the disappointment stems from. Not the local disappointment at least. The ‘problem’ right now seems to be the lack of local – and by that, I mean Nepali, not just based on your geographical proximity – support in the ongoing reconstruction programs being conducted by private NGO’s like Creasion itself. While a few volunteers may pop up from time to time, people arrive on-site only if their friends are coming or if they are promised community service hours. That is the compassionate approach that Nepalis have with regards to helping their own brothers and sisters. That is the attitude that has left us lacking in stark comparison with many drastically developing countries. But the easiest way out is to casually push our responsibilities aside and blame the government. Which as reliable as it is in making use of its enormous amount of funds, is not the only body you should be pointing your fingers at (although four fingers would always be pointing in the right direction) when the blame for a recovery period not up to expectations is brought into the light by media. So I’m not going to bring up what needs to be done now. That should be a common understanding. It should reflect the passion shown in the posts on your timeline from April through June. And if you don’t know where to start, google it, ask your friends, but act on your words. Try to help fulfil your pledge to rise again and we will. If you want to make a difference in the lives of these earthquake-affected villagers, come join us, or any other NGO supporting the cause in making sure Nepal stands tall for once.

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By Ayashma Tuladhar and Paribu Drew Thapa
Sep 08, 2017

Burunchuli is a small and beautiful village located in Lalitpur, just bit farther then Sunakoti. We had the privilege to visit this village quite recently on the 2nd of September, Friday. We visited the school first in order to figure out our program for the upcoming literacy day on the 8th of September. All the children were more than happy and enthusiastic to participate in all activities they were asked about. They were all very frank and did not hesitate to raise questions and ideas. Soon after finishing the work at school, we headed off towards the houses which were being rebuilt for the villagers after their houses were affected by the earthquake. This program is being conducted by the RFC (Rebuild for Change) program – a joint initiative of Creasion and Rotary Club of Jawalakhel Manjushree. The houses all looked well-built and sturdy; the design was properly thought out as well. The environment was so much cleaner and calmer than we had expected it to be. We saw how the bricks were made for the construction of the houses and we had a go at making a few as well. The process was so easy and quick, and the results were remarkable. All the bricks were made by the women of the village. Being a woman we personally felt soo good to see women out there were self-dependent. Just as strong as the houses were, so were the people of Burunchuli. They were enthusiastic and gave all their hard work for the making of their new houses. Even the elderly were filled with zest and energy. For example, as we were taking pictures of the surroundings and people we asked an old lady, round about the age of 70, to look into the camera for a picture and without any hesitation, she posed like any young girl would have posed for the camera. Our first trip to Burunchuli was amazing, and we surely wouldn’t mind going there again.

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By Ayashma Tuladhar
Sep 10, 2016

To celebrate the International First Aid Day, we, the VFC Team, accompanied by Mr. Krishna Sharma , in charge of the nearby health post went to Burunchuli to spread awareness on the importance of giving proper first aid which was conducted for the upper grades and a hand washing program targeted for the lower grades of Shree Bhimsen Madhyamik School, Burunchuli, lalitpur . Around 100 eager to learn and enthusiastic students showed up for the programs. We started moving early in the morning at around 8 from the office. It was a very rainy day and we were all drowsy and wanted to snuggle inside our beds with a cup of coffee but once we had a quick breakfast break we were all energized. We reached Burunchuli at around 11 and started the program at around 11:30. We started with the hand wash program for kids by teaching them step by step ways to not only wash their hands for the sake of washing hands but to kill germs.The second part of our program started at around 1:30. We conducted the first aid program for children above grade 5. The children were taught temporary ways to take care of injuries when the hospital maybe too far away. At the end of the program the principal of the school Mr. Aatma Ram Ghimire spoke a little bit about what he felt about the program and some words from his point of view. CREASION also gave them a box of materials that could be used for sanitation which included objects such a disinfectants, toilet cleaning brushes etc.Both programs were led by Mr. Krishna and VFC program Officer. It was an enriching sessions and we received positive feedback from the kids which was our main aim.

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Feb 11, 2016

The plan looked perfect on the email, the night before: the creasion team was to assemble at HQ by 6:30 a.m., but of course, things played out quite differently the next day. Although we did manage to gather everyone together in time to reach the village according to our best case scenario following our worst case situation, everything felt rushed and disorganized. We let the situation sink in and worked through that patch as the harmony returned and the team began to tick to its beat. An hour gone, we’d set up the tables, set up the food, cleaned up our stations, and cleaned up our shoes. Now came the hardest part: engaging with the members from Rotaray Club of Manjushree. But me and the rest of the team that’d come from the office today could relax and sit back for a while, for here, Aanand Dai would shield us from questions and inquiries- he knew best. Another hour gone, our wait was finally over. The President of Rotary International was finally there. But there was tension in everyone’s face. Our chief guests had arrived, but from a completely different entrance than the one we expected. After a fair bit of running and shifting, and some time spent regaining our composure, the program was finally underway. As Aanand Dai and Bhushita Didi mingled with our guests, I rushed to the make-shift kitchen with a few volunteers from Rotract to make last-minute checks on our preparations. We were prepared. We began setting up the table around the meeting hall (also makeshift) as the Rotarians flowed in to get a bite of what our program. We watched from aside as the minutes ticked by and the program reached the end of what had been a mentally draining 4 hours. The fact that the sun was right above our heads in a day that promised of being gloomy didn’t work well with the thick layers of clothes we had tied ourselves to. Sweat dripping off our foreheads, we gave a sigh of relief as we took part in the final photograph taken before Aanand Dai and co. left with the guests from Rotary for a presentation. We wrapped things up back in the village, helping clean things up as our stomachs cried “no more.” But we were rewarded for sush-ing our bellies as we were served one of the best plates of Daal-Bhaat-Achaar I’d tasted in a very long-long time. As we stood in the sun to ease up our muscles after a tense 15 minute period of gorging down on the food, we met two of the most cheerful little people in Burunchuli- Sani and Dolma. With them, Lopsang Dai, Sushmita Didi and I played Inti-Mintu London ma and sang the most popular song in Burunchuli- “Simple Simple Kanchi ko” we got a glimpse of how friendly the people there were and got exactly why Burunchuli was always called the perfect pilot project. We didn’t want to, but we had to leave in a while though. The kids asked to be taken back to the office with us but of course we couldn’t risk being jailed for it. So we said our goodbyes and our “until next time”s to Burunchuli and its lovely people and head off home.

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Feb 07, 2016

This is a short extract from our Finance and Admin Officer Lopsang Dorje Lama’s Weekly Progress Report. This week nothing much was done as planned. Sonam had returned from Dhading during the second half of Sunday and went on settling the 2nd and 3rd advance taken for the dhading school project. Next advance was approved on Wednesday and preparation was done to leave for the field visit. At 9 am on Thursday, we head out for Dhading. Shankar’s driving made me feel nauseous for the most part of the afternoon. Part Payment was made to the Cement and TMT supplier; Next payment will be final. Then we had lunch at Malekhu, Prem dropped us at Adamghat and he left. One of the few reasons I decided to go for field visit was that I was enthusiastic to get a glimpse of program officer’s work there. After an hour and half’s hike from Adamtar Sonam and I reached Aamdaada. He probably would have done it quicker without me. Work in progress looked great. All the plastering is supposed to finish on Sunday at Aamdaad and all old labours and masons agreed to volunteer the Sunday’s work. As for Mulabari the work is planned to finish on Monday/Tuesday. I had planned to go to Mulabari the same day, but was exhausted and the nausea hadn’t left from earlier. I hadn’t worn out completely so I decided to leave early next morning. The villager who served food to our program officers daily at Aamdaada apparently went to Adamtar early in the morning so we had to wait for breakfast. The day began late and thus Sonam and I reached Mulabari late. Mulabari’s work looked little slower but it is understandable given the difference in area of the two schools. After returning from mulabari we sat down with Pushpa khatiwada (Tractor/carriage service provider) to discuss about all the transactional anomalies. We had direct approach, had heated exchange of arguments but he didn’t confess anything and was stiff on his ground proclaiming repeatedly to be honest. We couldn’t get any cuts on his pre-agreed rate. I drafted an agreement with him about his involvement in the project. It had to be done because he wasn’t registered service provider and amount of transaction with him was huge. I had planned to return afterwards but it was already late afternoon and I was also tired after walking 45 minutes back and forth Mulabari and Aamdaada so decided to stay the night. Next Day we had scheduled meeting with Block vendor. Issue of 721 block was settled as follows. Total number of Blocks procured for entire project was 4079, out of which 721 was sub-standard. 121 had immediately been returned that same day. Although I pushed on not paying any money for rest of the 600 blocks, weakness on our part was that some of it was already used, so payment had to be made anyway. However, since the blocks were sub-standard and carriage cost involved was our loss, we held it against the block supplier. So cutting to the chase we decided on paying for 290 blocks out of 600. Block vendor have been fully paid. Afterwards I returned Kathmandu. There are so many things to discuss on the “lesson learnt from the project” after Sonam and Kaushal returns however my quick observation on my 2 days’ stay are as follows. – Program officer’s life is rather difficult. Dealing with supplier, mason & labor, sleeping in a not-so comfortable tent for months, having limited option with food, tiring landscape etc. – Our estimations regarding everything was based on “best case scenario”, they didn’t involve considering the other possible factors that could have brought about undesirable outcomes which could directly/indirectly hamper the project’s completion on time. – Life insurance and robbery & theft insurance are immediately needed for those who travel frequently during the project.

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