New Supplies for Okhreni and Timbu Schools!

Last December, Helambu Project implemented two Small Grants Program projects. With the generous donation of previous volunteer, Marni Henry, we helped to furnish government schools in Okhreni and Timbu.

Okhreni school building

Marni was HP’ s fir

st volunteer to teach English in Okhreni and was moved to help this ill-equipped school. Upon returning to Australia, Marni raised funds to make this building into a proper classroom. Last month, we returned to Okhreni with metal desks, white boards, board markers/erasers, and books (one for each student).

Bringing all this to Ohkreni was no small task. The buses that go there are generally unreliable and the roads quite rocky. On our way there, we were stuck in a village for a night because the bus could not pass a muddy patch in the road. The next day – unable to find any porters – we waited all afternoon for a truck to come pick us up.

(And in trying to come back to Kathmandu, we were stuck in Okhreni due to a strike!)

New metal frames for desks and benches

Once we reached the school, the students were ecstatic to see the materials we brought.

The students immediately started playing with the desks and drawing pictures on the white boards. At the end of the day, we played some games with the students, and distributed the new books. At first the students were not sure what to with the books; it is not too often that books are given to them at school.

Though soon enough, they began to crowd

together and excitedly sift through their new possessions.

With the funds left over from the Okhreni implementation, we helped to furnish the school in Timbu.

Earlier this year, the Timbu school asked for HP help in purchasing white boards and desks.

Thanks to Marni’s fundraising efforts, we managed to provide 8 metal desk frames, 11 whiteboards, and board markers/erasers.

We look forward to doing similar projects with other Helambu schools!

Testing the new whiteboards!

Markers need to get checked, too!

Okhreni students devouring the new stories

So many new stories and pictures, yay!

HP’s Beau Miller and Danielle Preiss on University of Exeter’s “Think IR” blog

Development projects extending public services and infrastructure in Nepal are good, but doomed if not stemming emigration

and fostering economic prosperity.

To read the whole article, please click here.

Beijing to Bangkok – A cycle tour benefiting the Helambu Project

Jack's Red Arrow

Jack McGee, of San Francisco, California is riding from Beijing, China to Bangkok, Thailand and raising funds for Helambu Project!

Check out his website to read up on his adventures.

He will be volunteering with us in Nepal after recovering from his epic ride.

An EMT, Jack will be building on our recent health care projects, including First Aid training and other related projects.

Show him some support by making a tax-deductible donation to Helambu Project USA today.

Halloween Aerobics!

Haloween Aerobics!

Keep fit instructor Kate Todd led a ‘Halloween special’ fundraising evening for the Helambu

Project on the 25th October.

Kate runs classes in Galston for the local community and allowed her class to turn up in fancy dress in exchange

for a donation to Helambu.

Everyone had a good time, raising £104 on the night.

Thank you!

Exercising for Helambu!

Steve’s Nepal Expedition 2011

Timbu School and the village centre

After arriving in Kathmandu on the 2nd August, I took the bus to Timbu and arrived mid-afternoon on the 3rd of August. Timbu consists of a very small village centre, a small health post and a school which taught classes 0-10 (primary and secondary). Our host family, the Lama family, lived further up-river about a 10 minute walk away. During the next 24 days I worked at the school and within the community.

My main aims were to train the staff in basic/advanced first aid

but I also taught science/health as per the school’s curriculum, taught basic first aid to the students, ran some after school English classes and helped the local health post where necessary. I donated first aid supplies to the school which I brought from the UK (after some difficulty clearing customs). I purchased this equipment from money generated by fundraising and thanks to proceeds from St John Ambulance, Bedworth Round Table and the Arbury Rotary Club.

The Ghangyul Anni Gumba (under-construction)

On the 27th August I left Timbu to reach the Ghangyul Anni Gumba where I spent the next 9 days. The Gumba itself it still being constructed, hopefully to be completed in 1-2 years time.

The nunnery consisted of 16 nuns whose ages ranged from 12/13 to 30+ with most of the nuns being young girls under 16.

Here I also trained the Nuns and the Lama in first aid. I initially also taught English as well as first aid but I found this quite challenging and decided to focus on teaching first aid which, being a practical skill, was far easier to teach. The Lama also took me on a walk to his private meditation room and where we discussed Tibetan herbal medicines, their use, preparation and where they are found (the Langtang region is noted for their abundance).


By the 5th September I was ready to set off to my next destination, Tarkeghyang. Although a relatively large village it was profoundly empty with barely 60 people still living there (it was explained to me that this was a result of the Maoist uprising with many people immigrating to the US). Here I managed to persuade some of the younger generation of villagers to attend first aid training but with the very small local school closed for exams there was little other teaching to be done. Therefore I took this time to assess some of the villager’s health complaints and visit the local medicine man at the Darma Help Self Centre.

Nakote School

From Tarkeghyang I ventured down the valley to Nakote on September 13th. The school in this village was well equipped and the students were well educated; they thoroughly enjoyed my basic first aid training to the students. I also taught the staff, although they were slightly reluctant at first.

I also did some health work where required (primarily when people came to me asking for help).

On the 19th September, Ola and Nima surprised me by arriving at Nakote School.

After swiftly wrapping up my work in Nakote we set off on the 20th September back to Timbu and

set of back to Kathmandu on the 21st.

First Aid Training

Teaching the nuns at Ghangyul

My training was based on the First Aid Manual (currently in its 9th edition, I also donated 2 copies to the school) however I had to make many adjustments/changes: In the UK first aider’s are taught to seek medical attention/ambulance aid for many basic and non life-threatening injuries, a situation which would be quite impractical in the Helambu region. I attempted to teach the staff how to judge the severity of an injury; would it require going to a local health post, would it require going to the nearest hospitals (Kathmandu) or would it heal on its own and what warning signs to watch out for later on. Most of the skills went above and beyond the scope

of the book and what would normally be taught or even practiced in the UK due to the absence of a rapidly acting ambulance and emergency service and the lack of readily accessible professional medical advice. I adapted my teaching to suit the needs of the area and taught more practical skills which could be easily used and adapted to fit many situations (such as casualty handling and transport).

At Ghangyul, the lack of English meant I had to improvise with gestures, pictures and demonstrations. This was a steep learning curve but I felt I succeeded in teaching practical first aid knowledge that the nuns could understand. The training methods I developed here were very beneficial to my teachings later on in my expedition.

Teaching Spinal Injuries at Timbu School

I taught how to do a full head-to-toe survey of a casualty and how to assess any injuries. I taught how to clean and dress wounds and how to support/immobilise fractures. This ranged from simple bandages and slings, to full body immobilisation and casualty transport (including how to make improvised stretchers from local materials). I also put an emphasis on teaching spinal injuries because of how the local people transported goods (via a sling round their head). This included how to immobilise and move a person with a suspected spinal injury, how to correctly use cervical collars (I donated 2 to the school) and how to create an improvising long-board (spinal board) for moving casualties.

I would like to thank Nuneaton St John Ambulance unit for teaching me some skills which have been out of practice for many years but where very useful and applicable to the Helambu region.

I would also like to thank a paramedic friend of mine, Colin Jones, for his advice about teaching many things including spinal injuries.

Teaching students at Timbu School

Helambu Project’s Beau Miller on PolicyMic

PolicyMic is an online platform for political news and debate.

Beau Miller has just published his article on development in Nepal there.

Check it out: In a Globalizing World, Nepal’s Solution is Local.

Fantasy Football with Helambu Project USA

(American) Football season is nearly upon us.

What does that have to do with Helambu Project? Well, we strive to achieve a balance in all th

ings, and this fall we are balancing our karmic endeavors with

our love of sport. Helambu Project USA has created its own Fantasy Football league to raise money for

its efforts in Nepal.

By making a $40 donation to Helambu Project USA through PayPal, you will be invited to join the league and compete each week until the end of the season, when the league champion will win $200. Your league fee/donation will help us to bring teacher trainings, improved sanitation, and access to health care to the areas where we work.

Never played Fantasy Football before? It’s easy. Through our league, you can manage your team of existing NFL players, who will score points for you based on their performance in real games. The deadline for donations will be September 3.

Experience the thrill of competition and help us do some good by joining our league today.

Good luck!

Pearl does it again!

The Wonder Woman that is Pearl Wight!

Pearl Wight ran her third race in as many years to fundraise for the Helambu Project, raising £400 at the Skye Half Marathon in the early summer of 2011.

Pearl has been involved with Helambu Project for over 3 years as a nursing adviser, health camp worker and fundraiser, raising nearly £2000 for our Nepali friends – thank you Pearl!

On Yer Bike Johnny

John Prosser, a teacher from Bolton, UK is cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats from 23rd July to 10th August.

He visited Nepal in 2006 with his wife Heather and was struck by how friendly and open everyone was, and how generous with their time, help and friendship during his stay in their country. Despite having very little material posessions, these were some of the richest people they met.

He’s now taking the opportunity to pay back to the community that touched his heart by supporting the work of the Helambu Project.

You can support Johnny by visiting

Ladies Day

Matt Dodds reports….

The weather forecast wasn’t looking good for our second “Ladies Day” fundraising event with some of the organisers suggesting postponement till later in the year, but hey this is Scotl and

and when it comes to weather it’s just a lottery. It was decided that, where our inaugural event was held in the garden, 2011’ s would be moved into the garage.

Our leading ladies then went about scouring the internet for decoration for the garage to be converted into a South Seas tropical outpost in the outskirts of Galston. After some sleepless nights and a lot of prep work, by our most able organisers and friends, the day arrived, sunshine, cloud and very, very windy but no rain.

Over 70 guests arrived some adorned in their brightly coloured Hawaiian outfits and on arrival a glass of tropical hooch and a garland were their welcoming  treats as they entered the plush indoor event.

A photo presentation of the school and Health clinics held in 2009 and 2011 was given by myself, giving background and more up to date information of what had been achieved over the past few years.

The day progressed with plentiful of food, refreshments, Baking display, Plant sale, Baking sale, raffle and our “Buy a Brick” for Helambu.

Our guests having arrived at 1400hrs were starting to depart by 1800hrs, having enjoyed a rare old time, and few a wee bit later than that. Ladies Day 2011 raised just over £2,000 and with some add on’s will be just over £3,000. A big thankyou must go to everyone who supported the event and mostly our organising committee of – Jeanette, Barbara, Elizabeth, Mae, Annie, Mary and all the helpers in setting up and clearing up the event.

A wee thanks to Galston BB, Galston Parish Church, St Sophias Church and Kilmarnock Scouts who helped out with chairs, tables and a marquee.

Matt has been a key fundraiser for Helambu Project since 2008.

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