Sunday, May 6, 2012

New School 2012 Trip

Hello Everyone! More specifically the ones who plan on reading a blog... this blog!

Once again Janelle and I are in Nepal. What a crazy but lovable place this is. I can't quite describe to you how special this place is to me. So I thought that I could share with all of you a little of experience I have had so far this time. We arrived the 22nd of April into the loving arms of our guide and Uphill Both Ways Director of our Nepal division (It's only him) Pema Norbu Lama who affectionately call Vishwa late at night. We slept. Then woke up promptly at 6am to bed tea and were whisked away in a jeep along with Murray, Janelle's dad, Derek Harding and his wife Yolayne, my Auntie Carol and a host of other Albertans. Murray had organized a group of about 20 to visit Nepal and the school visit would culminate their visit and start ours. I believe there were 10 of us in all. I was very happy to have my Aunt Carol along to see first hand what the school was really like. Murray and Derek were there to represent the Lethbridge Rotary club as this project was jointly funded by them and Uphill Both Ways. I would like to take the time again to thank them as we couldn't have done this without them.

So a small 7 hour 117km drive later we arrived at the school. hahaha. Please read that last sentence again. Thank you.

Needless to say this school is not east to get to. Now if you have seen our long video you have seen the state this school was in. The people in this village came to us and asked for help as the building was falling down and adequate money was not being provided to them. We established that if they put forth an effort and showed us that they wanted this we would help them. I really think that's an essential step when doing things like this; you make sure they want it and it's going to be used as it was intended to be used. SO, they ripped out a hill and leveled the ground so that a stable foundation could be laid down. We knew they were serious and jumped at the chance to help them.

By no means did this happen overnight and a host of villagers worked on the school. All received fair pay for their part in the construction. It took less than a year to construct the 7 rooms each outfitted with a white board and desks. and a girls and boys toilet. Each student received a bag with school supplies that included pencils, erasers, pencil crayons, a ruler, sharpener, and notebooks to take notes down. One child was missing his pencil crayons... and he cried!!! Don't worry though as we found an extra set for him. The teachers received sporting equipment and teaching materials to make their lessons a little more colourful and a place to lock up these materials. Finally we had budgeted into our cost the salary for some of the teachers for the next few years! Now... here's the best part. The project came in way under budget!!! Amazing I would have to say. So the question is what to do with this extra money?

Now I can't take credit for this idea as it was Murray and Derek's but the idea is try and set up a microcredit loans project with this village. If you haven't heard of microcredit Google it quick.... Here I did it for you.... Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to poor borrowers who typically lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history. It is designed to spur entrepreneurship, increase incomes, alleviate poverty and often also to empower women. (Straight from Wikipedia). So either some of the profit from the new business or a percentage of the payments from the loan given will go towards paying teachers salary or any other school related cost. We presented this idea to the teachers and important people in the village. They seemed to be very receptive to the idea but needed to talk about it. We are expecting to hear back from them within the next few months on how they would like to proceed as ultimately it has to work for them for it to work. I am extremely proud of this community and hopeful for their future.

Here are a few photos from our time at the school. Enjoy! Until next time.

(in case you didn't already know)

Janelle and Murray

Murray getting his Visitor pin from a teacher. She is super awesome!

New sign for the school with our plaque underneath.

Close up.

Examples of bags each student received.

Giving away supplies to students.

Checking out all their new stuff.

Some cute kids!!!

All the students. Please notice the Canadian flag that they made!!!

Vishwa, Murray, Janelle, Me, amd Derek with the school behind us.
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nepal 2010 Video

Hello Everyone!!!

At long last the blog is being resurrected. Here is a link to a video that sort of encompasses our trip to Nepal in the spring of 2010.

Nepal 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010

At Castle Mountain Fundraiser!

On December 12th we held a dinner and silent auction at Castle Mountain to raise funds for our organization. Needless to say it was a smashing success!

With Christmas, packing, and trying to see all the people I wanted to see I haven't been to active on here. Sorry about that.

Here are a few photos.

We did an interview with Snow Seekers! They are all really fun guys! Check them out!


The Rock Walker Trio!

Turkey Bingo!!!

Janelle and I with the lovely people of the Rotaract Club. They once again came to our rescue!
Monday, December 14, 2009

A sign to take to Nepal??

So this all started when Janelle and I were talking about cameras and how many photos we wanted to take while we are on our trip. As we were talking we decided that we needed a banner that we could take to Nepal with us to put up when we are taking photos with the school children. Then the light bulb came on. One of my best friends Reggie started a new job where they make signs for companies all around town! It sounded too good to be true....

I talked to Reggie and he thought he could make our banner. I went there on December 3rd to see what they could do for us. I met Jena. She is the spirited owner and manager who was more than happy to help me out.

You can check them out on facebook. Here is the link: Simply Signs!!!

Not quite right...

It's big. That hand is far larger than mine... haha

Perfect!!! It looks so good!

Now, thanks to Simply Signs we have a great looking banner to use at all our fundraisers and to take to Nepal with us. Props to you two! You did a great job!
Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Weeks Ago....

So I will be better this week for posting as we have done a lot since I posted last.

On November 28th we held a fundraiser at the Blarney Stone in Lethbridge. It turned out to be a very successful event!!! It was called 80's Babies and Beyond!!!

Maestro Fresh Wes was live in concert and me put on a very good show! If you don't remember why he was important to the 80's listen to this!!!

Let Your Backbone Slide

Janelle and I were able to get a shipment of pashminas, toques, and jewelery straight from Nepal that we sold at the event. The Pritchard's have a contact in Nepal named Vishwa who bought everything for us and shipped it here to Canada!

Also the Rotaract Club from the University of Lethbridge as well as my friend Bruce came to the rescue and took money at the door for us. We couldn't have done it without them!!!

Here are a few photos from the night!!!

Janelle and I.

I think I look like Don Johnson don't you think??

Janelle and her sister Kristina who has also been to Nepal.

The Lovely Ladies of The Rotaract Club! Sam, Alix, Kristina, Eva, and Marie. Thanks so much!

Bruce and I. I'm really glad you could come help me out!

DJ Fresh Wes!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Post! Who we are and what we do!

Hello! Welcome to our blog!

Let me just take the time to talk about who we are and what we are doing in Nepal!

My name is Andrew Andreachuk and I am a fifth year education/biology student at the University of Lethbridge. I am a board member of Uphill Both Ways Education and Relief Fund.

Uphill Both Ways was developed after a trip in 2005, when Janelle Pritchard, founder and president of Uphill Both Ways and a group of southern Albertans went trekking in Nepal. After witnessing the state of extreme poverty, they decided to make a small contribution to improve the state of one rural school. A simple act of generosity involving a few hundred dollars was sufficient to purchase an incredible volume of teaching supplies, books, and educational resources. A dilapidated shack full of eager young children was turned into a classroom, and started an incredible chain reaction. Three years, another trek, and a few thousand dollars later, several remote villages were able to receive desks, blackboards, classroom materials, school supplies, and sports equipment. All the result of Janelle’s family’s fundraising efforts and the overwhelming generosity of local donors.

In the spring of 2010, Janelle and I will be returning to Nepal. Our intention is to travel to Nepal at our own personal expense, and work with our local contacts to purchase and deliver educational and healthcare supplies. We are currently proceeding with several fundraising projects, and are looking for community support in order to raise the necessary funds to make this project a success. All funds raised will be applied towards the organization’s purpose, as we are working with no overhead or administration expenses.

We have found that a Canadian Dollar in Nepal has tremendous purchasing power, and are therefore seeking financial contributions. A few dollars can supply a child with books and supplies. A few hundred dollars can buy blackboards and desks for a classroom. A thousand dollars can provide clean drinking water for an entire school.

The final member of the board is Murray Pritchard. He is Janelle's father and has also been to Nepal so he knows first hand what it will be like over there. Murray has been a huge help to us while preparing to go to Nepal.

Please consider making a donation, and help us bring hope to the lives of children in Nepal. Cheques payable to Uphill Both Ways Education and Relief fund can be sent to:

Suite 807-400-4th Ave. S.
Lethbridge, AB T1J4E1