The Jimmy Robert’s Memorial Fund (JRMF) was established in 1998 to protect the rich environment of the beautiful Seti River Valley, near Pokhara in West Nepal. Jimmy’s concept was to reduce game wardens and invest in stimulating the young about the importance of conservation through education by increasing teachers’ numbers in local schools. His concept continues to thrive on two counts; environmental deterioration has been halted, whilst educational standards increased significantly. Now 1,400 pupils attend the 7 primary and 3 secondary schools in the Seti River Valley, creating an urgent need to establish a 10+2 School (Sixth Form School), to enable the rising numbers of those who are intellectually competent the opportunity of a university education. This pressure has been significantly increased by the commitment of a large group of 10+2 students, willing to leaving home at 5 a.m. daily, to attend lessons from 6 to 10 a.m. in a Secondary School, which is available outside normal school hours. The mission of Nepal 2011 is to establish a 10+2 school with a capacity for 100 co-educational students. It will be two stories and have four classrooms, a library/computer facility and a toilet block.
JOA grants do not usually become available until late January and in May the monsoon season starts. The period for building was therefore be restricted and because of this, there was be much to be accomplished and the tasks were many and varied.
Sukla Gandaki Village
Sukla Gandaki Village is situated in the lower region of the Seti River Valley and has an elevation of between 3,000 to 4,000 feet. Pokhara, the principal town, is one hour’s walk plus 30 minutes by bus and will not be accessible by members of the team on a daily basis. Kathmandu is approximately 200 km, or a day’s drive from Pokhara. Sukla Gandaki has no western cultural attractions, boasts a couple of local shops and a cafe. Subsistence agriculture is virtually the only employment in the area and is family managed. Money is scarce and bartering is common amongst the locals. Trekking is popular and the countryside is beautiful, exhilarating and interesting. Temperatures range between 34c by day and falling to 20c at night. The sun rises at about 6 a.m. and sets at 6 p.m. Because of the high altitude, persons with heart defects must consult their GP before applying. The lack of transport and hilly terrain are deterrents to non-walkers and the isolation of the village will be unattractive to persons unable to detach themselves from a western culture for more than a couple of days.
The Lamp of The Path is a Buddist organisation working amongst the very poorest people on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar. They currently run a community centre which provides a soup kitchen, a medical centre, Children’s Development Program and a self help group for women who make and sell items of clothing in a sewing centre. The object of this project is to provide a kindergarten for children living in the area who otherwise would have no hope of education.
There is only four month period when building is possible due to extreme weather patterns in the region around Ulaanbaartar therefore the project will start in April and finish in August. The JOA 2011 team assisted local builders in June/July. By the time of the team’s arrival the foundations were laid so the team helped with the walls that may be made of heavy concrete blocks.
Ulaan Baatar is the Capital of Mongolia and its largest city. The city is an independent municipality not part of any province, and its population (as of 2008) is just over 1 million. Located in the north central part of the country, the city lies at an elevation of about 1,310 metres (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River. It is the cultural, industrial, and financial heart of the country. It is also the center of Mongolia’s road network, and connected by rail to the Trans- Siberian Railway and the Chinese railway network.
The aim of the Ghana 2011 project is to build a school in Offinso-North district of Kumasi in Ghana
Dreamland School was started by James Dugger and Agartha Amponsah in 2003, and their objective is to provide education to orphans, street children and the less fortunate children, and also to provide them with the basic necessities to live, such as clothes, shelter and food.
The school is currently a wooden structure which is prone to flooding in the rainy season, being blown down in winds and open to all sorts of creatures and other elements all year round. These conditions do not make it easy to teach or study
The school currently has 300 pupils with free education for 40 orphans and 60 needy children.
The children are also fed a daily meal; often their only proper meal of the day.
We will be building a 6 classroom block using concrete blocks. It is hoped that the foundations will be laid before we arrive, but if not we will have to dig them ourselves. The cement will be mixed by hand.
Over the years Overseas Aid has found that a Team of equal numbers of males and females with an age range of 20 to 60 works well. Ideally we would wish to include some skilled tradesmen and a nurse but it is most important to have the willingness to pitch in and work hard from those less or unskilled. For those yet to undertake an Overseas Aid project, this project would be an ideal starting point as being closer to home and for the duration of only three weeks, it will give the experience necessary for those interested in undertaking other projects with Overseas Aid further a field and for a longer duration.
Applicants should be reasonably fit and should not suffer from any health problems which would prevent them from carrying out physically demanding work for eight hours per day, five and a half days per week.
Each volunteer, if accepted, will be expected to make a contribution of £550 to the project cost and to provide all his/her personal kit. £50 is returnable at the end of the project providing the volunteer has maintained a good standard of behavior throughout and has completed the de-brief form and attended the teams debrief session upon return. A recommended kit list will be provided during the training period.
Accommodation will be based in the church hall and very basic. Water supply and power may be very intermittent, and we may have to use solar showers and torches / candlelight.
We will also have to shop for and prepare our own meals. There may also be limited access to phone networks.
Training and Fund Raising
Applicants should be prepared to give up much of their free time prior to departure to prepare for the Project. Training will include keep fit, first aid and training in technical skills. Fund raising is an essential part of the preparation. The funds raised will be used to improve the lives of people in the local community, in areas decided by the Team. Fund raising is an important means of building Team spirit and cohesion. Attendance at team meetings is essential.
Travel & Proposed Dates
At the moment it is anticipated that the Team will be away from Jersey for three weeks in August. Volunteers will be informed of the exact dates as soon as the flights are known.
It is essential that the Jersey Team does not, in any way, offend the local population. All applicants must be aware that restrictions will apply on alcohol and tobacco as well as clothing. Swearing is not acceptable at any time and displays of intimacy may also offend. The Team will be expected to attend church on some Sundays. If a potential volunteer feels that these rules are too restrictive, he/she should not apply.
The team will, of course, have some free time. They will have the opportunity to see some of the local scenery.
How to Apply
Application forms are available at the launch evening, anyone not able to attend but still wishing to apply should collect a form from the States Greffe Bookshop at Mourier House, download from our website or by email email@example.com
- Preferably have lived in Jersey for at least five years
- Be able to take three weeks leave from their employment/studies
- Be able to give up much of their free time between February and August to be able to take part in training and fund raising activities.
- Be able to pay a £150 deposit on being accepted as a volunteer and the balance of £400 six weeks prior to departure.
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