Trekking, teaching or building a school
it’s best to take it
ONE DAY AT A TIME
On April 25, 2015 Nepal was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. Approximately 9,000 people lost their lives and 22,000 were injured. Gorkha District was the epicenter. Hundreds of families lost homes and loved ones. Schools were destroyed. The process of rebuilding is slow and expensive.
Hundreds of Nepali children still don’t have schools with adequate furniture, basic school supplies, art supplies, libraries, electricity, lighting, computers or playground equipment.
Your donations can help us change that.
Supporting education in Nepal
At Nepal One Day at a Time we partner with Kathmandu-based NGO Sambhav Nepal to build and equip schools and latrines in impoverished and earthquake ravaged areas of Gorkha province. We also provide scholarships for deserving students to access quality higher education in Gorkha or Kathamndu.
Schools: With the help of Kalamalka Rotary Club of Vernon, British Columbia, eight classrooms were completed at Devi Jal Kumari School in Aprik village. Students were able to move from the post-earthquake shelter school into new classrooms in 2018.
Sanitation: Toilet block and washing station built by Kalamalka Rotary in 2018.
Education: Library books and classroom shelving provided by WL Seaton Secondary School Interact Club.
We are proud to partner with:
Kalamalka Rotary, Vernon, BC., Kelowna Rotaract Club and NGO Sambhav Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
In September 2011, Patti Lefkos and her husband, Barry Hodgins, visited Nepal for the first time. They completed treks around the Annapurna Circuit and to the Annapurna Base Camp Sanctuary, Upper Mustang to Lo-Manthang and Everest Base Camp. During their three-month adventure their guide, Rajendra Neupane, and porter, Khilnath Regmi regaled them with stories of their home village in Gorkha District.
In April, 2014 about to turn 68, Patti gathered her courage and returned to Nepal on a solo three-month volunteering and trekking trip. Her journey began with a two-week volunteering stint in Raj and Khil’s village at Bhairabi Primary School in remote Ratmate, a small subsistence farming village near Arughat, a seven hour hardscrabble 4WD expedition and two hour steep uphill scramble northwest of Kathamndu.
She fell in love with the village and the school’s 150 kindergarten to grade 5 students but was shocked at the dark, dismal classrooms, lack of supplies and frustratingly intermittent electrical service. During the two weeks Raj took her to nearby Aprik Village. The first foreigner to visit, she was shown Devi Jal Kumari School, a 55-year-old hand built stone building dangerously tumbling down around its 225 students. Villagers asked for her help to build a new school. Patti left Aprik feeling like an imposter. The challenges she overcame and kindred spirits she met during her month long high altitude trek in Upper Mustang restored her and gave her the confidence to believe she could help.
Back in Canada, Patti didn’t wait long to assemble a Board of Directors, and in December 2014 she formed NEPAL ONE DAY AT A TIME, a British Columbia non-profit. Patti was also invited to join Kalamalka Rotary, a large vibrant club in Vernon, British Columbia. The club’s international committee soon agreed to support the plan to build a school in Aprik village. Barry created a slideshow showcasing their 2011 Himalayan trekking adventures and they held their first fundraising event at SilverStar Mountain Resort in January 2015.
Then on April 25, 2015 Nepal was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. Approximately 9,000 people lost their lives and 22,000 were injured. Gorkha District was the epicenter. Every home in Aprik village was destroyed. Four villagers were killed. The school was a pile of rocks. One month later Prem K Khatry, founder of their partner organization NGO Sambhav Nepal was the first to arrive with shelter materials and food. Many villagers still live in shelter homes. Valuing education for their children, they quickly assembled a dirt floor shelter school and classes resumed.
During the next three years Patti and Barry and their team continued with various fundraising initiatives: slideshows, a crowdfunding campaign, sales of original photo cards, a Nepali dinner and grant applications. Friends, family, outdoor and service clubs, in particular, Kalamalka Rotary, provided financial support. Prem K Khatry of Sambhav Nepal, originally from Ratmate village, coordinated the school building project.
The circle of caring and concern rapidly expanded. In April 2017, Patti, Barry and former Kalamalka Rotary president Mary Jackson travelled to Aprik to open the first four classrooms. WL Seaton Secondary School Interact Club in Vernon donated $1,500 for library books that Patti, calling on her expertise as a former elementary teacher, purchased in Kathmandu.
In October 2018 Kalamlka Rotarian Rob Bauml and his wife Corrie visited Aprik, taking funds donated by individual Rotarians to provide staffroom furniture and bookshelves for the school.
In November 2018 Patti returned to Nepal to visit all 225 students now enjoying their new eight classrooms. Her second duffel contained 600 toothbrushes and toothpaste donated by Vernon dentists, Rotarians and friends which she delivered to children and families in Ratmate and Aprik.
In April 2019 UBCO student and former Interact president Bailey Morin spent four days volunteering in Aprik.
LEARN MORE – BUY THE BOOK
Patti’s travel adventure memoir NEPAL ONE DAY AT A TIME, One Woman’s Quest to Volunteer, Trek and Build a School in the Remote Himalaya describes her journey from fearful solo traveller to humanitarian.
Profits from the sale of the book go to supporting education in Gorkha.
The Aprik village school development committee has signed on with Japanese International Cooperation Agency NGO to add more needed classrooms. We hope these will be completed in the coming year and a half. The additional rooms will allow classes to expand to grade 10 and provide space for a proper kindergarten, library, computer room, dorms for boys and girls who live too far away to walk to school every day, a kitchen and storage. However, JICA group does not provide furniture, whiteboards or school supplies. Kalamalka Rotary’s 2019 support will go toward kindergarten supplies, classroom bookshelves, electrical hookup, indoor and outdoor lighting, two computers and a printer for staff.
Once more we are pleased to partner with Kalamalka Rotary. Our project Nepal 2020, coordinated by Sambhav Nepal, has been postponed until 2021 due to Covid. In 2021 we will see 20 Rotarians, friends and family complete their fundraising then travel to Aprik to build two homes destroyed in the earthquake. Team members will also refurbish old school furniture and after consulting with staff paint classrooms, provide English lessons, play sports and continue to establish lasting relationships with students and families.
HELP STILL NEEDED
At this time most students are unable to continue their education past grade 8. Until grades 9 and 10 are offered at Devi Jal Kumari School scholarships are needed for students to complete high school in Gorkha boarding schools too far away to walk daily, and to go to larger centres to complete post-secondary education.
TO MAKE A DONATION
Go to Canada Helps www.canadahelps.org. Look for NEPAL- ONE DAY AT A TIME in the drop down menu at Afretech Aid Society. Receive an instant tax receipt.