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InnovativeCommunities.Org Foundation

Worldwide Community Development

Nepal

Click here for the latest news from our initiaives in Nepal

Click here for news from the The Timberline and Carihi International Co-op Trip to Nepal

Land locked between India and China, the Nepalese border contains 8 of the 10 highest mountain peaks in the world.  Famous for its breathtaking topography, Nepal holds sanctity for many outdoor-adventure enthusiasts.  The Himalayas contribute to the remoteness and inaccessibility in the region that have helped shape the history and cultural ways of the people who live among them.

Visitors to Nepal enthusiastically recognize the Nepalese for their kindness and generosity despite the considerable poverty and hardship prevalent there. The Nepalese are diverse, made up of many ethnic and language groups.  Amongst a majority of practicing Hindus there are also sizable numbers of Buddhists, Muslims, and other indigenous religious groups. Amongst the Nepalese 80 percent live rurally and an almost equal number survive by subsistence agriculture.

Agriculture is the foundation of Nepal’s economy accounting for about one-third of the GDP. The majority of industrial activity involves the processing of agricultural products, such as pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Nepal has considerable potential to make use of hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of feasible capacity.  Political instability in Nepal has hindered investment and development.  Over the last several decades’ governance in Nepal has been consistently challenged and unstable. No government since 1991 has held power for more then 24 months.  In 1990 Nepal shifted from an absolute to parliamentary monarchy, and in 2007 abolished the monarchy in favor of becoming a federal republic.  A decade long civil war and major political related causalities have related to social trauma.  Additional challenges to Nepal's growth include its landlocked location, geographic complexity, and its susceptibility to natural disaster.

Nepal is what the UN defines as a Least Developed Country (LDC) and its markers of development have remained well below the Asian average.  With a GDP per capita (PPP/capita) at $1,200 (2010 est.), Nepal ranks 22nd from the bottom out of 227 countries.  These statistics are reflected in low levels of literacy, short life expectancy, high infant mortality, as well as poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Over 85% of Nepalese have no access to healthcare.

There are many generous, hardworking, and resourceful Nepalese working with local and international organizations and initiatives to build community capacity. Check out Nepal’s’ small scale community innovation projects working for improved education and community schools, food security, agricultural commercialization, eco-tourism, safe drinking water supplies, herbal processing, marketing, handicraft development, small irrigation, micro-hydro, forest management, bio-fuel, wind energy, and pasture management.

The District of Kaski, like many other areas of Nepal, lacks quality education. Government schools are often poorly supplied; teaching supplies, desks and chairs are often sparse, and some teachers struggle to be motivated to attend class due to poor wages. Poor families struggle to pay for school fees, books, supplies and school uniforms which are mandatory. Some very poor farming families require all family members to assist with the farming duties, making  attending school a challenge.

ICO is sponsoring the Scythe Project In Nepal. It will introduce the scythe to Nepali farmers -- an efficient fossil-free tool, with a low maintenance cost, suitable for cutting fodder and harvesting grains. With a scythe, a farmer can harvest significantly more during a day's work than with a sickle, commonly used in Nepal.

At this point, SPIN is on hold, with ongoing evaluation around next steps underway. Once it is felt that there is a strong potential to succeed, the project will be resumed.  

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September 28, 2013
Good connections have been made with N
June 25, 2013
The Timberline and Carihi International Co-op class just returned back from their work placement trip to Nepal. A group of 23 students and chaperones spent their spring break experiencing the culture and adventures the small country had to offer. The class worked with InnovativeCommunities.org Foundation on the Irrigation Initiative, and managed to raise enough money to fund 1.5 kilometers of the irrigation canal. This effort helped to aid thousands of farming families in the remote village of Lawachowk that could not have funded this project on their own.