In the past six months, we have been relatively busy and have created many new initiatives at the foundation. We have welcomed several groups of students from all over the world. Elisabeth Dohr and Friedhelm Hoemborg from Germany helped build in the village and volunteered at the school. In March, we had five students from the Youth Initiative Program who stayed for a month. They raised funds and helped demolish an old house where we are building the “Ankuran.” Next, we had a group of nineteen British students and five teachers. During their stay, they built a canteen for the community school. Then, in the beginning of April, we welcomed a group of students from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. They attended lectures and visited the clinic and leprosarium. At the moment, we are putting together a volunteer sponsorship package (VSP), working out the budget, and finding ways to secure funding for projects. The VSP will help volunteers fund their stay, make travel arrangements, and raise awareness. The budget is in the final stages and is now being carefully revised to ensure efficiency. We are looking into ways to raise funds and awareness, such as grants, events, and products. …
We are very happy to continue our soap nut crafts and jewelry work. This project presently employs 10 village women. This year, Diana Burgos from Canada and Angela Teske from USA helped us with new ideas and designs as well as with selling the products. We are very thankful for all their work. To check out the designs visit our jewelry website here. We hope to keep growing by expanding our market, selling more and training and employing more women from the village.
We are continuing to work with students at the University of Virginia (UVA) to enhance the effectiveness of various community development works. Krishna sees great value in meeting the innovative teachers and students at UVA. They share ideas and develop environmentally sustainable projects. KRMEF would like to extend a warm thank you to Professor Swap and everyone else at UVA for this great opportunity. Working with UVA and M-CAM, Integral auditing, a company dedicated to help finance start-up businesses, vital information has been compiled to identify the condition of a community. Integral auditing includes data indicating local commodities, customs/cultures, and resources (knowledge, technology, money) as they relate to overall well-being of the community. This model can be used worldwide to assess the surpluses and deficits in a community. These strengths and weaknesses can then be used to create projects and initiatives to improve deficits, in turn improving well-being. Thanks to Dr. David Martin, Ken and Kim for allowing us to work together.
We are very excited to announce a new beekeeping program. We have adopted forty-two hives so far, and in two months time we will have another forty. We will be distributing the hives to the villages for a low cost price. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating many of the crops we eat. They have the ability to pollinate up to a five mile radius from a hive, increasing crop yield and crop quality. Worldwide, we are seeing a drastic decline in bee populations. If the bees die, we lose one out of three mouthfuls of food we eat every day. By providing beehives and educating villages, we are promoting cross-pollination, helping increase declining bee populations and providing a source of income through bee products (i.e. honey, beeswax, etc). We believe in the three B’s as indicators of a healthy environment: Birds, Butterflies, and Bees.
As a step forward in our plan and vision to start different community based programs, KRMEF is on the way to achieve the mission and goals of the organization. KRMEF now holds 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status in the USA, which means that as of now, all contributions are tax-deductible. We now also have a responsible, dedicated and creative executive board formed in the USA. This transformation was made possible by a wonderful groups of volunteers, participants, and advisors, and we would never have gotten here without them. Thank you to Ellen Hale from Denver, for helping KRMEF attain the 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status. Thanks to Bill Hutchins, Board President, and the entire board for taking on this big responsibility. KRMEF recently met with the Nepali ambassador to the USA, Dr. Shankar P. Sharma, about the ongoing program, and he pledged his support in finding more associates.
The motto of the KRMEF is “Promoting Health and the Environment through a Synergy of Man & Land.” With this concept in mind, we have used biodynamic gardening to improve soil conditions and promote healthier living conditions. In the past six months, we have been able to organize and facilitate three biodynamic seminars across Nepal. Hans and Krishna traveled within central and east Nepal to Pharping, Kathmandu; Chitlang, Makuwanpur; and Saptari, East Nepal. In these three locations, we were able to educate over one hundred enthusiastic young farmers. We taught these farmers about the harmful effects of chemical farming, the relation of soil quality to overall health, the value of composting, and the benefits of biodynamic practices. With positive responses and interest in the seminars growing, we hope to host at least three more seminars in the next six months. We are working with government officials, NGO leaders, local grassroots organizations, and farmers to continue this work effectively.