Rebuilding smiles in earthquake-torn Nepal

Rotary members in Nepal build shelters for earthquake survivors.

Rotary members in Nepal build shelters for earthquake survivors.

By Roshan Maharjan, Rotary E-Club of District 3292 Nepal

I was finishing a lecture at the Academia International College in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal, on 25 April when the ground began to shake with increasing violence and I had trouble standing on my own. Supporting myself on the side of a computer table, I noticed my students were very frightened. As I consoled them as best I could, I also worried about my mother, brother, sister, and wife and children. It wasn’t until I got the text from them that all was OK that I could breathe a sigh of relief, but I was suffering from a terrible headache. The earthquake was 7.9 in magnitude. Continue reading

Visiting polio immunization booths on the border of Nepal

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By Sujan Pradhan

In June, members of my Rotary Club of Kakarvitta, Jhapa, Nepal, inspected 15 polio immunization booths around the municipality of Mechinagar, on the border of Nepal and India. The Nepal PolioPlus Committee had declared a National Immunization Day on 23 May, but due to the major earthquake in April, our inspection was postponed to early June. We visited booths from urban areas to far rural areas, and distributed banners, pamphlets, and water bottles to the volunteers at each booth. Continue reading

Supporting education in Nepal: technology that improves teaching and student learning

Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal

Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal

By Quentin Wodon

Rotary members come in many different styles. Most have a day job and engage in service work in their free time. Some go a step further: They make service work their day job!

Rabi Karmacharya belongs to the second group. In 2007, he founded Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal. His organization is respected internationally as a pioneer in the integration of technology in the classroom. OLE Nepal has worked with Nepal’s Department of Education to make laptops available in schools. But much more importantly, it has also developed great digital learning materials for students, and trained teachers to use technology and digital libraries to enhance learning. Continue reading

Recycling old shoes to protect the environment

Shoes collected during the drive.

Shoes collected during the drive.

By Anit Thapaliya, president of the Rotaract Club of Pashupati Kathmandu, Nepal

We collected more than 1,100 pairs of used shoes to be recycled and reused as part of our project “Yes Dear, You Change Before the Climate.” It proved that we can teach others to change their behaviors before our climate changes, for the worse.

We set out with the help of Working Hands, a local nongovernmental organization, to convince people to give us their old shoes
instead of throwing them away. Shoes take Continue reading

Skip a cup of coffee, help educate a child in Nepal

Gail Barlow (third from right) visits with students during a recent trip to a school her Rotary club supports in Nepal.

Galia Barlow (third from right) visits a school in Nepal during a recent trip. Her Rotary club provides scholarships for 30 students to attend the school.

By Galia Barlow

My husband, Robert, and I decided to take one of those lifetime voyages through India and Nepal while we can still travel and learn.

Being a member of the Rotary Club of Branchburg, New Jersey, I was asked by the past governor of our district, Tulsi Maharjan, to visit the school in Nepal our club is supporting. We provide $500 scholarships for 30 students from poor, working families, which pays for books, tuition and other school supplies. Continue reading

Fighting indoor air pollution in Nepal

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

By Yale Jones, Rotary Club of Taos-Milagro, New Mexico, USA

I first met George Basch when he joined our Rotary Club some years ago. In 2009 we spent two weeks together hiking in the Upper Mustang region in Nepal, one of the main areas now served by the Himalayan Stove Project. 

In 2010, George’s desire to give back to the people of the Himalayas, an area he loves and has visited often, led to a plan to distribute clean-burning, vented cook stoves for free. Continue reading

How South-East Asia became polio-free

A child is immunized against polio in Nepal.

A child is immunized against polio in Nepal.

By Rotary staff

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) today will declare the South-East Asia region of the World Health Organization as polio-free, an important milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. The 11 countries in the region — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste — are home to 1.8 billion people and represent the fourth of six regions worldwide to be officially certified polio-free.

Continue reading

Climbing Mount Everest for polio

Past District Governor Joe Pratt on Mount Everest. Photo courtesy of Joe Pratt

By Joe Pratt, past governor of District 7870 (parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, USA)

In October of 2011, my wife and I along with another Rotarian couple traveled to Pakistan to participate in a National Immunization Day (NID). The trip came about because of a Pakistani Group Study Exchange team visit to my Rotary district and the subsequent invitation to visit their country.  

Despite the State Department’s warnings against travel to Pakistan as well as an outbreak of dengue fever, we decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. At this point I had been training for my climb on Mount Everest for eight months and it was the consensus of our group, in particular Steve Puderbaugh, that the climb be dedicated to raising funds to help eradicate polio.  Continue reading