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(Almost) one year in review

Updates

Updates on our projects and work in Nepal

(Almost) one year in review

Michelle Welsch

I spend a lot of time considering what needs to be done, but I think it’s equally important and necessary to recognize progress. I first left for Nepal just under one year ago. Thanks to your help, here are a few of the things that have happened:

Accomplishments

  • Crocs sponsorship in tandem with Mobile Media Labs: 80+ pairs of shoes donated and sent to Nepal
  • Soccer clothes and gear: BC Force collected and donated lightly worn and new equipment; a generous individual helped cover shipping costs
  • Over $2k fundraised for student scholarships
  • Maya Foundation partnership: organized Dental Clinic lecture on health and hygiene and necessary treatment for over 40 students 
  • Successful Indiegogo campaign: exceeded crowdfunding goal to raise over $10k for solar installation at Matepani
  • Created team to manage solar project completion alongside local company Gham Power
  • Pollination Project Grant Recipient
  • English teaching program founded; hired local English teacher and sponsor monthly wages
  • Academic program development: noticeable improvement and responsibility taken by leaders; five classes now offered and students separated according to ability instead of time at monastery; regular exams offered
  • Fresh paint to update old classrooms
  • New wall posters, books, school materials
  • Fundraised for computer and media lab center
  • Pizza parties, birthday parties (some boys’ first ever), even a pineapple party
  • Rafting trip
  • New basketball nets and sporting equipment 

Personal victories

  • Significant relationships established across all levels of Nepali society: from government posts, business tycoons, local leaders, community figureheads
  • Established international connections: Nepalis in Colorado, entrepreneurs in China, paragliders from Seattle, Dutch do-gooders, Tibetans and monks in New York (to name a few)
  • Built and maintain www.khatalife.com
  • Coached local Nepali artist and entrepreneur on website development, helped him build new website
  • Served 1000+ people in mountain district of Manang for two week event
  • Acquired basic Nepali language skills
  • Various grant applications submitted (various rejections received)
  • Everest Base Camp
  • Continuation of successful Project Exponential dinners
  • Blog maintenance and regular posts (almost 50k views)
  • Development of private online community
  • Close to 40k people have read Medium articles 
  • Published on Fast Company
  • 57,000+ word working novel drafted 
  • Frequent posts to twitter and LinkedIn 
  • Danced in traditional Gurung dress
  • Interviewed on Nepali Radio Online
  • Spoke at International Nepali Literary Society
  • Appeared on Huffington Post’s Third Metric
  • Dinner in NYC with Nepalis formally of Matepani community
  • Families and friends I love and care for deeply 

In progress

  • Publishing English conversational book for Nepalis

  • Sponsorship inquiries for Buddhist community school

  • Completion of annex school building, furnishing of four classrooms

  • Development of in-house volunteer program

  • Continued teacher training

  • Documentary

  • Working progress on novel

  • Installation of computer and media lab center, appropriate training and education

  • Improving Nepali language skills

  • Application for one-year volunteer visa to continue to serve people of Nepal

These accomplishments are all due in part to the support and help from friends near and far. Thank you for your continued encouragement as I dare to show that one person can make a difference.