Help a community in Nepal overcome current challenges & grow

  • €205.00
    raised of €1,000.00 goal goal
20% Funded
6 Donors

No more donations are being accepted at this time. Please contact the campaign owner if you would like to discuss further funding opportunities

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Over the years, I came across many meaningful projects, passionate people and communities. I learned about and volunteered in many places, where grassroots projects have changed the course of people’s lives. This story is about a lifelong dream, a tireless journey worth of many years’ work and effort, people’s commitment and the willpower of a strong woman - Radhika Bhattarai, locally known as Guruaama or Aama (=mother in Nepali). The story of an inspiring community based in Nepal, whose aspirations have been put to a test. To understand the need for this fundraiser, please take a moment to read about the history of this community and the challenges that they are faced with today.

Shiva Yog Sadhana Kendra is the brain or better said heart-child of Guruaama. From her home in Bhaktapur, she and her family have worked tirelessly to create a positive impact in the society, locally and beyond borders. She has been outspoken and fierce in raising awareness, educating and challenging deeply rooted social norms that keep women and other social groups in a state of vulnerability. She has given voice, listened to and created a safe space where so many could find understanding, shelter, or whatever they were seeking at that time. Their home has been the home of many youth who over the years have found not just a roof over their head, but also support in finalising their education. Led by spiritual values, the community has grown to become a place where women, children and their families could come to learn, to share challenges and joys, to lend each other a hand in times of need or to celebrate life. Built on the foundation of spiritual values, the goodwill and work of Guruaama and her family have created a social community movement, which was ready to grow further in a natural setting.

A few years ago, Guruaama and her community found the long-sought place where they could expand their dream, in the village of Dhulikhel. A place where everywhere you look, a picture postcard landscape lays in front, as the Himalayas rise at the horizon. This village hosts a richness of flora and fauna, a flourishing ecosystem, but which has also become impacted by the nature-intensive human activities. A village where the top of the hills host tourist resorts, yet the valley is the home for hardworking, often underserved farmers. A place where the contrasts of Nepal meet in all their splendour. This is the place where a vision was being empowered. Guruaama and her family, together with many other kind-hearted people, have built a settlement and a temple here, which has served as a meeting point, a shelter and the physical epicentre of their project. Since their arrival, the community members have worked to restore and solidify landslide-prone land, planting trees and being mindful of preserving the biodiversity of the land. The settlement started to create work opportunities for the local community as well. Upon advocacy with the local authorities, resources have been mobilised over the years, to build infrastructure that would serve this remote side of the valley. Moving forward, this place was envisioned to grow and become a peaceful yet dynamic eco-village that would welcome people of all ages, transferring local ancient wisdom of natural living, grounded in spirituality and ecology. The plan was to host educational programmes for youth, events that promote cultural exchange and personal growth, while supporting local livelihoods and developing inclusively. Whether you came from abroad, seeking to learn about ancient traditions, about yoga, meditation or Ayurveda or you were in search of a place to sleep and food, the door of Guruaama, her family and the community was always open. I, myself, can testify on this.

But all has not been going smoothly. After several years of blockages and interactions with powerful individuals in the village, the community has seen their land violated aggressively on the 5th of June. Without permission, their property was intruded with a bulldozer, under the claim of building a road. Several large trees were taken down, without consideration for the environment or land owner rights. The purpose of the road has been questioned by the community, as another road exists just above the land, which still requires local investments for pavement and wall solidification. The allocation of local resources to create a new road has been argued to be a manoeuvre driven by the economic and political interests of a few influential stakeholders.

Nonetheless, against all opposition from community members, the new road was created forcefully, tearing down trees and leaving behind an unprotected earth wall, at the base of a steep slope. No other measures have been taken by the local authorities to solidify the land nor action has been devised until the ‘allocation of new budget will be in place’. As the monsoon season is approaching and this is a landslide prone area, there are serious concerns about the impact of heavy rain on bare land, where the large trees were essential in holding the earth in place. So to conclude, without permission or prior acknowledgement, a new dirt road has been created, entering the community’s private land, removing trees essential to sustaining the land and the life of local fauna, and threatening the structural integrity of the land on which the community building is placed just above. Unfortunately, this is only the last and most aggressive event displaying abuse of power, from a series of conflicts between the community members and a few individuals. Feeling threatened and unsettled in ongoing disputes and disagreements over conflicting local priorities, the community has come to the decision that they must leave the village and search for another land to stay.

The relocation of their project and the transition period ahead will come at extensive costs. The inspiring resilience and motivation of the community keeps them going even in these challenging times, but the financial implications of this situation are equally great. I wrote this fundraiser out of my own initiative, believing in the power of catalysing good-will and resources to help this dream move forward, overcome current challenges and continue into realisation. So for those who can, please join and help by making a donation now.

Many thanks and gratitude for your kindness!

Organizer

  • Daniela Nemeti Baba

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Donors & Comments

6 donors

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Olivia Bauer
€205.00
raised of €1,000.00 goal
20% Funded
6 Donors

No more donations are being accepted at this time. Please contact the campaign owner if you would like to discuss further funding opportunities