Dear friends, Namaste! All of us here at KRMEF would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and new year! 2014 has been an enormously productive year here at the foundation, and we are so excited to share our progress with you in our 2014 Holiday Newsletter! Inside, you will find out about many of the year’s exciting events, distinguished visitors, and completed projects- including our new two-story seminar hall building! You will also get a chance to find out what we have planned for the coming year in the Holiday Fundraiser section. We hope that you enjoy reading this edition of the KRMEF newsletter, and we hope to see and hear from you over the coming year. Thank you for all of your incredible support. We could not do this work without you! DECEMBER NEWSLETTER 2014
Last Sunday, on the 9th of March, the KRMEF team were lucky enough to host Dr. Abuleish for a day of wonderful interactions about the shared vision of sustainability, as well as great food, planting, and a presentation given by Krishna Gurung about KRMEF’s work and projects thus far. Ever since Krishna met Dr. Abuleish Ibrahim in SEKEM, Egypt in 2004, he has always dreamt of bringing him to Nepal. Dr. Abuleish won an alternative Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for transforming a dead Egyptian desert into a living oasis. His work has very much inspired Krishna with his own sustainbilty projects in the Khahare community, and much has been learnt from the great Dr. Abuleish’s accomplishments. The Foundation was thus very much honored that Dr. Abuleish had heard of this newly emerging foundation, KRMEF, and that he wanted to pay a visit with his delegates. It has been our greatest honor to welcome him here and share the vision. We are glad that they all enjoyed Krishna’s presentation about KRMEF’s projects (he even wanted to have a copy of it!) and that it was a fruitful visit for all of us. Greeting Dr. Abuleish at the Foundation Planting avocado trees on the KRMEF property together
KRMEF extends our very best wishes to you for the New Year! Have a look at the progress KRMEF has made over the past few months! The Ankuran Orphanage and Children’s Center is nearly complete! It is fully equipped with plumbing, electrical wiring, carpeted floors, as well as some fun interior decorating by our volunteers! The ground level is open and with this new space, we were able to expand our kindergarten classes until the orphanage program is ready to begin. We recently held a Parent’s Day for all our new kindergarteners and it was very successful! The Village Center is well on its way! A team of around 20 local Nepali workers and volunteers are busy constructing a cow and chicken enclosure, which will accommodate up to 10 cows and 100 chickens. We are excited at the boost in sustainability this project will bring with it. We will be able to improve food self-sufficiency as well as expand our bio-gas program. Half of the land continues to be used as an organic farm until further additions to the Center can be made. We look back fondly at 2013 and all we have achieved; we could not have done it …
Welcome to the new and improved KRMEF website… a labor of love by intern Jimbo Russell! It’s easier to navigate, comprehensive, with lots of great new features and updated information on all our activities! Work at the foundation is progressing very well The Ankuran has resumed construction with the help of Bimbaadur, our friendly local construction expert, and our volunteers. Bamboo railing construction, a fresh coat of paint and the last finishing touches are being done to open it up. The top floor will be used to house visitors until we are ready to begin our orphanage program. We are delighted to see the Ankuran grow and look forward to its completion in the coming months. The medical clinic has also resumed operation. Dr.Singh has once again offered his time at the clinic to treat patients once a week. It is open on all other weekdays and staffed by Indu, a health professional, who can treat minor ailments and replenish medication. The community is happy to have this service up and running again. We have been busy working on the large plot of land we have recently purchased. The soil is being tilled in preparation for our new organic crops. …
Construction with the Ankuran continues to make great progress. The walls on the second floor are nearly complete, mud plastering still needs to be applied to the exterior walls. At the moment, the ground floor is a top priority. Keep posted for photos and updates. Currently, local workers are handling all the construction. Tourist season in Nepal is slow and dormant. So there are very few volunteers at the foundation. We hope to get more as the season changes.
In July 2012, thirteen story writers spent two days at KRMEF. They toured the foundation, talked to volunteers and wrote a children’s book based on their observations and experience. The title of the book is, “In Love of Soil”. The book discusses biodynamic agriculture and informs children about welfare and health maintenance of crops, hazards of pesticides crop rotation, increasing the variety of crops and vegetables. One story explains the benefits of composting and the detrimental effects from pesticides. Here is a brief summary, a vegetable contest takes place and there are many contestants. A particular contestant is a large pumpkin who thinks size determines the winner. However, he ends up losing to a tiny carrot because the carrot was grown organically. All eleven stories introduce environmental conservation through fundamental morals and fun illustrations. The books were published in November 2012 and plan to be implemented at the KRMEF Kindergarten. They were printed in two languages, Nepali and English. KRMEF also plans to sell the books to local schools and educational institutions.
KRMEF tries to assist other communities by initiating income generation projects. Often times these communities work together as a co-operation or as individual families. Jumala is famous for their apples. These apples have a higher demand and quality in comparison to other apples found in Kathmandu. However, transporting the apples is too expensive for the farmers. So, in late September the foundation worked with two communities to help establish a source of income. KRMEF helped the Jumla community by transporting about fifty kilograms of apples to the city market. They also brought apples to the foundation to help feed volunteers. Currently, KRMEF is helping Jumla find a stable market and develop a proper business plan. Ramechap is the second community KRMEF assisted with income generation. Fifty beehives were taken from KRMEF and sold to 15 low-income families. KRMEF also provided beekeeping training. The main role of the families is to produce bees, which can be sold for profit. Both communities continue to progress with their income generation project.
The health clinic and community center plans to operate a health clinic for the village that is open every day and provides diagnostic testing. Currently, the clinic is open once a week and provides basic medical services. The two health professionals work at the clinic, Dr. Singh and a health worker named Indu. Since 2010, both Dr. Singh and Indu have volunteered their time and services free of charge. Recently, KRMEF set up a payment system to offer a small compensation to the health workers. The clinic has a year’s supply of basic medications which is offered to patients at no cost. The clinic remains to have no diagnostic equipment. KRMEF continues to look for sponsors and donations. The community center/library offers an after school program for local children. The children spend on hour doing homework and thirty minutes playing with the volunteers. The volunteers constructed a playground with a teeter totter, climbing web, basketball goal, volleyball net and climbing blocks. There are plans to show educational films, add more books to the library and host educational workshops.
The Biodynamic Garden plans to plant and grow a variety of crops by biodynamic production in order to provide food for the foundation and serve as an example that biodynamic farming is possible and effective in Nepal. Currently, there are three tiers of plots that are producing biodynamic fruits and vegetables for the foundation year round. About 70% of the produce is cooked at the foundation. However, the supply is not enough to completely eliminate the need to buy produce from other markets. At the moment, KRMEF hosts several Biodynamic Seminars and implementing crop rotation to the foundation’s garden. Other new garden practices include the making of BD500 and BD501, which are natural garden sprays that enhance the soil and crops. BD500 preparation process, the cow horns filled with fresh cow dung are placed in the winter months, October to April, in the soil. After being dug up 30 grams are stirred in 16 litres of luke warm water for one hour and applied on the soil late afternoon on an area of 1 acre. BD5001 preparation process, the cow horns filled with fine powder-like quartz are place in the 6 summer months in the soil. After being dug up …
On November 21, 2012, KRMEF opened The Waldorf-Inspired Kindergarten for six wonderful students. Currently, we plan to expand enrollment over time up to a maximum of 40 students. Students range from ages 2-6 years old and curricula will teach up to a Grade 6 level. Renovations for the building including upgrades to both classrooms and bathroom were completed prior to the opening. The kindergarten will provide imaginative playing, meaningful work, expressive arts, environmental learning and the opportunity to experience international and Nepali culture. A teacher and a teacher’s assistant have been hired. Low income families are now able to work during the day as their children attend classes. The kindergarten is operating as a separate entity from the planned Ankuran Orphanage.