A More Holistic Approach in Southern Nepal

By Ryan Brinkerhoff

June 22, 2017

Welcome back, Thrive Nation! Ryan here, reporting on my last week of this trip to Nepal.

If you have been following any of our social media channels, you might have noticed a video we posted about our work in Janaki Nagar, a community located in the Terai (Southern) Region of Nepal. While the video captures a lot of what we did and what we saw, the entirety of our experience unfortunately couldn’t fit into the short three minutes, so that’s why we continue to share our stories through this blog.

The first thing to know is that we came across this village thanks to our partner, Global Peace Foundation Nepal, who has already done some incredible work here. Together, with their local partner, Service for Peace, they have begun literacy classes, provided some solar lanterns for households and taught basic dental hygiene.

But as is often the case in struggling communities, more help is needed — so, they invited us to launch both a SPARK and FLARE program in this village of 150 people. For those of you who have been following us for awhile, this is particularly exciting because it is the first time we launched multiple programs in one community at once!

And running multiple programs in four days did not come without its challenges. On day one, we set up a health clinic at the newly built community center and quickly found a common thread: poor hygiene was leading to skin irritation and often infected wounds. It wasn’t pretty, but our team was able to treat those injured in the village. In the days that followed, the team also taught the community members how to properly care for these injuries, as well as more complicated sprains and fractures.

At the same time, members of the Thrive Nepal team scouted the community to find the best places to install street lights that would provide some peace of mind on dark nights. With the help of the local carpenter and two other eager young men, the team completed the installation and successful troubleshooting of two SPARK Systems and 14 street lights, including two in the new community center.

By the time our four days came to an end, we saw children brushing their teeth, women properly caring for their children’s wounds and a community brought together in one place that used to lay dark and idle after sunset. We formed bonds with this community that will follow us wherever we go, and eventually lead us back to them to continue our work.

Thrive Nepal president Karma Wangyal said, “This is the place where we can make impact — our work has only just begun.”

For updates on this project and many more, remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Dhanyabaad!

 

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