During July board members Duncan Chessell and Andrew Stace travelled to Nepal to further progress HDFA’s work. With one of the keys to HDFA’s success being strong partnerships and relationships with the people we are trying to assist. The trip enabled us to meet with key local and expatriate development specialists to gain a better understanding of the needs of the people of the Kanchenjunga Region.
Three outcomes of the visit and many meetings were:
We partnered with local NGO, Kanchenjunga Buddhist Social Service (KBSS) to deliver infrastructure at Ghunsa Lower Secondary School. The KBSS is comprised of people from the Ghunsa area who are keen and well placed to help with the development of the area. Currently, unofficial boarding students live on the floor in a classroom. Our plans for a boarding hostel, dining and kitchen for thirty children will see a big jump in the standard of living for these students and their teachers.
We have engaged a company with an excellent track record of boosting tourism numbers in regions of Nepal to develop a website specific for the area to promote tourism in the Kanchenjunga area. The website will serve as a ‘live’ guidebook, allowing tourism operators and independent travellers to gain up to date information for trekking in the area. Economic development is crucial to the success of the region, and through increased tourist numbers, the local people will be encouraged and enabled to gain training and skills as well as increased income to the community.
We are investigating and developing our plans for the deployment of health care in Ghunsa, and the reconnection of satellite internet which will enhance teacher training opportunities and access to health specialists, along with future opportunities to bring the internet and its opportunities to a much larger area of the Kanchenjunga Region.