GlobeMed at CU - Boulder partners with Himalayan HealthCare to improve the health of communities in impoverished regions of Nepal.
GlobeMed at CU - Boulder + HHC
Himalayan HealthCare (HHC) | Jawalakhel, Nepal
According to the United Nations, Nepal ranks 138th in the world in overall human development. About one-half of the Nepalese people live in poverty which is concentrated in geographically isolated rural villages and among lower castes.
“My GROW internship to Nepal allowed me to fully grasp why we, GlobeMed and Himalayan HealthCare, work so hard. What we strive for is more than just a change. It’s a commitment to the world and a commitment to humanity. I am forever tied to this movement.”
– Navodita Kc, CU-Boulder ’11
About the Partnership
Himalayan HealthCare (HHC) is a grassroots NGO that has been working in the remote regions of Nepal’s northern Dhading District for more than 20 years. Although HHC was founded to provide healthcare, it quickly realized that improving livelihoods requires a more comprehensive approach. Today, HHC aims to help people help themselves through the trifecta of health, community education, and income generation. HHC believes that each of these approaches is like the leg of a stool—if one missing, the stool will collapse! Himalayan HealthCare has been rated 5 out of 5 stars by the government of Nepal as one of the most effective non-profit organizations in the country and is very active in advocating for policy changes at the district government level.
GlobeMed at CU-Boulder and Himalyan HealthCare collaborate on a variety of projects:
1. Sanitation Structures to Improve Health and Reduce Water Borne Diseases
Since the end of December 2014, GlobeMed and Himalayan HealthCare have constructed 15 toilets in individual homes in Tipling and Lapa villages with priority given to Kami (oppressed / underprivileged) households. HHC, as in the past, has partnered with Community Based Organizations (CBO) Sewa Nepal of Tipling and Apanga Ekta Kendra (Disabled United Center) of Lapa to help carry out this project. HHC promotes such partnerships to encourage and facilitate local participation and help foster local leadership and ownership.
Additionally, new latrine standards will be implemented this year in partnership with Rotary International. These standards will include dimensions for minimum door heights, structure width, and septic holes to ensure long-term use and functionality of the latrines. Other new improvements include drainage areas for showers, steps inside, water buckets for easy cleaning, small windows, and more tin to hang above the front door.
2. Cookstoves to Reduce Smoke-related Illness
GlobeMed and HHC have collaborated to provide 100 new cookstoves for households in the Tipling and Lapa villages with priority given to Dalit (oppressed / underprivileged) households. HHC partners with Community Based Organizations (CBO) Sewa Nepal of Tipling and Apanga Ekta Kendra (Disabled United Center) of Lapa to mobilize individuals in the community to carry out this project.
HHC has trained various community personnel to build efficient cook stoves that consume only half the firewood that traditional ones do, thus minimizing smoke in the house. Trained personnel and HHC woodstove supervisors help the recipients at all stages of stove-making: from selection of appropriate clay for the bricks to making two types of bricks using standard brick moulds. They also help in the final construction of stove using bricks and metal pieces (provided for strengthening), firing of stove for strengthening, and finally the construction of the chimney.
3. Goat Program for Financial Independence
This project is designed to empower Kami households through financial independence. As of February 2014, goats have been purchased in Kathmandu, but the project has been delayed due to the recent government elections and staff capacity. The current selection of households for the goat project is being carried out by Sapta Ghale, HHC Field Coordinator in the village of Tipling.
4. Community Land for Lower-caste Households
This project is targeted for the Kami women who have no land but are able to generate additional income while their husbands are making blacksmith tools. Acquisition of land has taken over six months mostly because of higher-caste members’ unwillingness to sell their traditional land and their lack of trust in handing over their land to local political authorities.
HHC and GlobeMed at CU Boulder are investing in this project for future use as they wait for behavioral and societal changes to take place.
5. Additional Medical support in Resource-Limited Areas
This program aims to support individuals facing diseases, injuries, or extreme medical ailments that are unable to be fully addressed or treated at community health posts due to limited resources and lack of staff expertise. Patients benefiting from this program require attention from larger medical facilities in major cities for conditions such as epilepsy, severe anemia, patella injuries, heart malfunctions, liver abscesses, and other similar extreme cases.
Support for this program includes transportation costs for a 3-4 days travel to Dhading or Kathmandu, housing, hospital stays, and necessary treatment to ensure full recovery.
6. Additional support for Girls and Underrepresented students
In 2012, HHC collaborated with local governments to build a new school building in Lapa for grades 1- 10. New furniture and over 8 computers were provided to the school. HHC continues to work alongside government authorities to improve the next generations of teachers and students in the Dhading district.
New improvements include supporting two more higher study students after their completion of the national School Learning Certificate (SLC), yearly selection criteria such as attendance and grade performance to receive stipends in the rural villages, more school space in Tipling and Sherthung, more secondary school library books, a student hostel in Lapa, and greater job opportunities for secondary school graduates.
7. Additional support for Women and Girls who can not attend School
Twice a week, women discuss topics surrounding building toilets, domestic violence, alcohol, immunization, birth spacing, hygiene, child care, nutrition, animal care, vegetable farming, and any other issue they deem important.
New improvements include supporting a new women’s group in Lapa, addition of new topics such as women’s anatomy and reproductive system into the curriculum booklet, training and supporting women instructors, large white boards to cover literacy topics, and additional chapters focusing on agricultural business plans.
GlobeMed at UC Boulder hopes to raise $30,000 this year for Himalayan Healthcare. These funds will go towards village latrines, income generation for kami women, cook stoves, women’s empowerment programs, medical supplies and referred patients, school supply and tuition, and pilot projects. In a post-earthquake Nepal, the chapter also hopes to support Himalayan Healthcare in any relief efforts that are going on at this unsteady time.