This year is the 25th anniversary of the birth of the Nepal Trust. The years have flown by and we have achieved so much in that time.
It all started when a young woman from Humla, in the far northwest of Nepal, requested that we build a health clinic. Previously she had persuaded two young British doctors to go to Humla and run a clinic. It was run from a small room in the local school and was unsatisfactory from an operational and hygiene point of view.
Within 18 months the funds had been raised and a small group of paying trekkers were on their way to help build the clinic. Our first Trek-2-Build was established and a brand new clinic in the village of Torpa was built. It quickly became widely known and villagers trekked from miles around to use its services. Unfortunately the clinic was destroyed in the subsequent civil war, our only one to be damaged in this way. In recent years we have rebuilt it and it is back better than ever. However, demographics have changed and the clinic is closely linked to a government clinic in the neighbouring village of Bargaun and our new Birthing Centre in the same village. Torpa will remain as a working symbol of our original foundation but its role will adapt to meet everchanging requirements.
What about the future? Like all INGOs in Nepal the Trust is required to submit 5 year plans to the government for approval. It is a time consuming business but necessary to produce a coordinated approach that will be in harmony with national needs and improve the lives of the people of the Hidden Himalayas.
Over the last 25 years the Trust has built 6 Health Posts, 3 Birthing Centres and helped to improve the District hospital. We have organised 4 major Health Camps attracting patients from all over the district – some many days walk away. Maternal and child health education has been at the forefront of our work to help raise health awareness and knowledge of how to deal with everyday issues.
Water supply and sanitation projects have benefitted over 30000 people and helped to improve living conditions and personal health. Our investment in renewable energy resources; 7 micro-hydro schemes, 11 community solar projects and a Renewable Energy Service centre have contributed to healthier living conditions and lifestyles. Our focus on opportunities has improved agricultural productivity and helped to create many tourism related and hospitality projects including helping to establish the world’s greatest trekking trail.
And now to the future. Since those early days we have expanded from working in one district, Humla, to five districts incorporating 26 Village Development Committees (VDCs). Our work affects the lives of over 145000 people. We will continue with our seven major practice areas including:
- Primary Healthcare.
- Education and Literacy.
- Food Security and Agricultural Development.
- Renewable Energy and Climate Change.
- Culture and Heritage Preservation.
- Sustainable Tourism and Social Enterprise Development.
- Water/Sanitation/Hygiene (WASH)
This project ‘Healthcare and Opportunity’ will continue to focus on primary healthcare and education in Humla. Three new Clinics and Birthing Centres are at an advanced stage of planning and collaboration with the government and the local DHO. The project will cover remote areas of south Humla currently with very poor or limited services. Our very successful child health education project (Little Doctors) will expand as will maternal health education.
Opportunities will improve as we develop our ever expanding school building programme and provide help to support agricultural and tourism projects. We will focus on expanding renewable energy support with an emphasis on our innovative and unique Renewable Energy Service Centre.
I hope this gives you a feeling for what we have achieved over 25 years in one of the most remote and forgotten corners of the world. Also what we hope to achieve for the future in an area where the need seems to be limitless. Of course, we could have achieved nothing without your help and support. I hope you will continue with us and do let your friends and neighbours know about us.
For more information please click this link.