Firstly, Happy New Year to all of you and thank you for your part in everything that we have achieved in the last year
We have exciting times ahead, especially when those of you who are at the moment working part time finish your exams and start working full time. So, I would like to share our exciting plans for 2020 with you. Of course equal rights for girls and women will be a very important part of everything we do.
We plan to start the first of a three-year series of medical camps after the rains. Each camp will visit two communities in rural areas where they have no good access to medical services. A team of approximately 10 doctors and medical technicians will visit each of the two communities for a few day and provide medical and dental treatment and will particularly concentrate on respiratory and high blood pressure problems as these are the two largest causes of death in rural Nepal. We will also have an education program for women of childbearing age to try and prevent stunted growth in children (50% of children in rural areas have stunted growth) and of course we will be strongly promoting our message equality for women and girls.
Ical English Teachers Training Program
In conjunction with our American friends we will be trying to improve the teaching of English in schools in rural Nepal and a program will be developed in order to carry this out. We hope the official training to take place in Nalang in May
ISSB stands for Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks. These are blocks that are made mainly of earth with some sand and cement. They are stronger than bricks and also better at keeping the inside of houses warm. They are also cheaper than bricks and quicker to build with and also easier to make earthquake resistant buildings. They are also more environmentally friendly as unlike bricks they don’t need burning (so no trees chopped down and none of that thick smoke you see from where they are made around Kathmandu)
We are buying the equipment for these blocks and hope to have it by the end of January.
At the same time, we will set up a company to make and sell these blocks to other people and communities. Anyone who works the machine to make blocks for this purpose will be paid for their work and the profits from selling the blocks will be used to help with the running expenses of the NMA
Sport is important for a variety of reasons. Not only for fun and fitness but also because it helps develop self-discipline and teamwork and is shown to help produce better academic results
I promised at a meeting of the Management Committee of the NMA that we would help develop and encourage sport at the NMA. We have now given the money to buy the flat land between the school and the hostel and this will be developed for sport. In particular Volleyball and Football. It is not large enough for a full-size football pitch so we will use it for Futsal. Futsal is a version of football that is five a side and helps develop footballing skills. All the great South American footballers learned their footballing skills through Futsal. Nepal’s Futsal team is higher rated in world terms than its football team. People who play it also say that it is more fun.
We will also have two new members of our team to help with sports coaching. Kopila Uprety will be coaching volleyball and Santoshi Shrestha will be involved in fitness training. So the Trust now will have two Nepali internationals working for it.
Nalang Olympian Games
A competition in a small rural village in England called Wenlock in 1850 inspired the setting up of the modern Olympic movement. The games included local sports as well as things like spelling and maths competitions and was called The Wenlock Olympian Games. The games are still being held every year
We are proposing to hold The Nalang Olympian Games (similar to the Wenlock Games) in early October and if it is successful to hold the games every year. We will discuss with everyone during our visit in April the events to be held at the games, but they will definitely include volleyball and Futsal. Peter van Tarel who is the manager of the Netherland’s Men’s volleyball team (one of the top ranked teams in the world and also is a member of the International Volleyball Federation) will be helping us in organising the games as will new team members Nepali internationals Santoshi and Kopila
We will be investigating ways of encouraging teachers from the city to stay longer at the NMA to provide continuity for pupils and this includes provision of better accommodation for teachers who do not come from Nalang.
We also feel that there is scope for possible improvements in teaching techniques. Unlike in England teachers do not get regular teacher training to help them with their teaching skills so we will see if there is a way that this can be provided at the NMA.
This is a big program but we are sure that with your support that the Trust can manage all of this in 2020 and make a real difference in rural Nepal
Carol Maxwell, who is Head of Special Needs teaching at a large English school (2,000 pupils) will be coming to Nalang in April to conduct teacher training for the staff at the NMA and also to hold a workshop for teachers (also teachers from other rural schools). Carol has a Master’s Degree in teaching pupils for Special Needs
John and Dori
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