Foundations become walls!

We are well on the way to the school being completed. Despite the horrendous weather conditions afflicting Nepal over the past couple of months, the team has kept going. Here are some progress pictures from September. As you can see we are now moving onto the construction of the walls! Things will hopefully keep progressing quite quickly from here. We are still raising money to complete this school, and for the next one. Please visit our “donate” page for information on how you can help.

ABIN featured in new movie, “Nepal’s Heartbeat lives within the infinite resilience of its people”

We are excited to announce the premiere of “Nepal’s Heartbeat lives within the infinite resilience of its people”, the documentary movie created by Nick Versteeg (DV Media) that is follow-up to his previous work “Five Weeks in Nepal”. The premiere will be showing September 19th @7pm in the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

Here is the synopsis of the presentation:

“In the sequel of “Five weeks in Nepal” producer Nick Versteeg, takes us back to Nepal to show what happened with the donations that were made two years ago after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 8000 people.

We travel with Nick and his guide Bibi to the Khumbu Valley and see the rebuilding process first hand. In the chaotic city of Kathmandu they are rebuilding the three hundred year old temples that came down in Bhaktapur.

Nick also teamed up with Rob Tournour’s organization “Another Brick in Nepal” to show the work his organization is doing to rebuild schools.

We travel with world-renowned earthquake expert Dr. Bishnu Pandey who is teaching the Nepalese people how to build better homes. The villagers are not and cannot be dependent on a chaotic government for reconstruction even though such has been promised.

It is with financial and technical help from outsiders all over the world that they rebuild their houses, schools and medical centres.

These villagers are the beating heart of Nepal. It is their infinite and inexhaustible resilience, which inspires the rest of the world.”

We will share how to view the movie after the premiere if you don’t manage to make it over the next couple of weeks.

Thank-you, Nick, for making such an amazing piece and showing the incredible strength of the Nepali people.

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Monsoon Season

Just a quick update regarding the incredibly heavy monsoons now afflicting Nepal, and their impacts to construction:

From today work has been stopped on the school. It has been raining very heavily. Within 24 hours 36 people and hundred of domesticated animals were killed in the floods and landslide in different parts of the country. The Department of Weather forecast has warned people to remain alert for another 3 days.
This could be the start of a long delay due to the monsoons. Fortunately our Nepali project manager, Parshu, has made the correct decision to stop work until it is safe. 
We will keep you updated on the progress, and hopefully for our friends in Nepal these dangerous weather conditions will soon be over.

Building Update

Construction is continuing well, with the concrete footings which form the foundation of the walls completed progress is looking good! Here are a couple of photos of Parshu and some of the construction team.


Parshu is meeting very regularly with the builders on site to ensure consistent, high quality work.

We still have to raise almost $20,000 to finish the first school and we need your help. Every little bit helps us get this village back their school. You can donate in a variety of ways including email money transfer (in Canada) to info@anotherbrickinnepal.com, send a cheque directly to us at 121-937 Dunford Ave, Victoria BC V9B 2S4, or go to our GoFundMe page and pledge money there. Thank you for your support!

Under Construction!

Construction is getting underway in Apchaur! We have transported almost all of the materials, except for the bricks which will be arriving today. The delay is because the government school has also begun their construction, which is causing some issues with storage and traffic.

We have encountered slight problem with water. We were not expecting the government school to be under construction until october, thats what we were told by school management, but for some reason they are mandated with completion within a month. This is causing some issues in terms of water required for construction. We are trying to manage water through rain water harvesting and have meeting with people from another village requesting for water.

Also, the school management has decided to change the location of construction. Now our school will be adjacent to the current school on the back side. So we are having to invest an extra 4 days to clear the stones and break the concrete that was already there.

Below are some update photos from the start of construction.

Approvals, demolition, and documentaries

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Meeting with the Apchaur villagers to discuss the next steps.

Last month some ABIN Board members returned to Nepal to meet with Nepali government officials, and our local design team (Creative Services). On this trip ABIN entered into a partnership agreement with the Society For Economic Development (SODEC), a Nepali non-profit. This was an important step as such partnerships are required in order work in Nepal. Rob, Parshu, and Dave spent many hours working with Creative Services. Our goal of finalizing the school design and submitting it to both the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) for approvals was achieved. We will be constructing the walls using an interlocking style of concrete block. This system is a dry laid type of masonry that is reinforced with rebar and concrete grout. Important from a seismic perspective, cast-in-place concrete lintels poured above and below all window and door openings and at the top of walls. The lintels run completely around the whole structure at these intervals. When we visited the school site in fall 2016 it wasn’t possible to drive to the school; however, the people of Apchaur have since built a road, partially by hand, so that we can bring supplies up to the school site.

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Apchaur, 2 years post-quake.

One of the buildings fell in the 2015 earthquake and has been replaced by a temporary structure built from corrugated steel and bamboo. The other building was heavily damaged and condemned. The people of Apchaur were trying to raise the 25,000 rupees ($350 CDN, approx. half a year salary in Nepal) needed to demolish the second building, which had to happen before we could begin construction. Raising money is difficult for farming communities as they mainly deal in barter trade, so this was going to take all the village’s saving and more. While at the village last month, ABIN made the decision to give the village this much-needed money. The villagers were very pleased, and got around 30 people over the following days to demolish the building. We are now ready to start building!

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The condemned school building and one of the Apchaur council members.

Nick Versteeg of DV Media joined the ABIN board in Nepal. Nick is working on a follow-up to his documentary on the 2015 earthquake. We will let you know when his newest documentary is complete. Please take a look at Nick’s website for information and a blog about his time in Nepal. All the stunning images in this post were provided by Nick.

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Rob, getting his hands dirty doing some Nepali style building with the locals.

Over the next few weeks we hope to be sharing with you news about supplies being brought in and the foundation commencing. This dream has become reality and we are grateful for everyone involved. We are still about $20,000 away from our goal to complete this school so please consider making a donation, you can even send an email money transfer to info@anotherbrickinnepal.com as this avoids the fees charged by GoFundMe.

Progress…

We wanted to take a moment to say a HUGE thank-you to all of our amazing supporters. It is thanks to you that the dream will become a reality, and soon! We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community, especially the local construction companies. These t-shirts are currently in Nepal (and available for purchase to support us!) displaying the names of some of these generous donors.

Rob set off with some of the team last Thursday to visit the village and meet with various officials as we complete the plans and start to collect materials for building. Nick Versteeg, the talented local filmmaker (dvmedia.ca), met with them yesterday at the village to capture some of the journey for his next piece. We should be able to share some of his images with you over the coming weeks.

Here are some pictures from the visit:

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Rob and Parshu giving tshirts generously donated by the team at VanCity
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Rob distributing the toothbrushes and supplies from Sherwood Family Dental
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Rob and the reason we are doing this, the children!

We learned in the past few weeks that the Nepali Department of Education wants to partner with us to rebuild the school in Apchaur, and hopefully continue to work with us on future projects. This is a huge step forward and should enable us to build more and cut through the red tape a little bit faster! This makes your donations even more important; we are around halfway to our intital goal right now and we need to have the materials collected before the monsoon season kicks off in full force. Please donate what you can, every bit helps. You can send interac money transfers to info@anotherbrickinnepal.com or visit our GoFundMe page to donate online.

 

 

Exciting Updates!

This is a blog that is a long time coming and I am very excited to share our updates.

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Alana giving bracelets she made to the children.

In each of our bi-weekly meetings we seem to launch forward, which is very exciting, as our dream is becoming reality.  We have been working hard to finalize school plans; we have our project manager, Dave, leading this with our contact in Nepal. Our president Rob will be going with Dave to Nepal in April to sign contracts to begin the work! Construction itself is still a ways away, but Rob making this trip is a huge step forward. We are working with an engineering and construction firm based out of Kathmandu so we are keeping all the money within Nepal.  This trip will begin the process of obtaining approvals and permits, having trees cut down along with sand and rock taken from a river in order to make concrete as well as making a trip up to the village.

 

Another exciting piece of news is that a local filmmaker, Nick Versteeg, has approached us as he is making a follow-up documentary to his ‘Five Weeks in Nepal’ project and wants to do a feature on Another Brick in Nepal. Nick’s documentary can be found on the here, and you can read more about him on the DV Media website. This is a great opportunity to work with a local filmmaker and have our project gain some more exposure. Rob will be working with Nick during the trip in April.  We will keep you up to date on the documentary as it gets produced.

 

Thank you everyone for all your support. Please keep telling people about ABIN.

 

Alana

One brick at a time…

Last week we setup a table at MARPAC and had the chance to talk to many of the amazing Canadian service men and women who went through the show.

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Here’s the table we set up, don’t forget to look for us around at various events in Victoria, BC, this year. We are always happy to talk about Another Brick in Nepal and the plans that are already rolling for the first school this year. We also have some great hats that we are selling for $25 (cost is $13, $12 goes directly to rebuilding a school!), so you can represent and help us raise awareness as well as money!

We will let you know in advance what the next even will be, and hopefully we will see you there 🙂

You can always donate now, and know that our goal is to have a minimum of 90% of all money raised go directly to the communities we are trying to help. All building supplies and labour will be locally sourced. This is about putting money into communities who need it, and making sure their economies get the boost they benefit from as well as the schools the children will build their futures in.

 

 

Vlog #2

Randy, one of our board members, talks about the project and his involvement in Another Brick in Nepal.