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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Going to Nepal

Well, the new year has arrived! That means that I'm about to set sail (well, I won't be sailing, but you know what I mean) for Nepal in the next few days.  I plan to spend the next 12 weeks in WELNepal’s target area making sure all the money collected is well spent.  I'll also be able to get away from the freezing cold weather here in Canada. 
Happy Monica, second from the left
Our silent auction, just beginning

Despite the downturn in the economy and predictions of “tough times” ahead, our donors were, once again, very generous.  WELNepal’s main event of the year, Monica McKenna’s Annual Benefit Bash for WELNepal, was our best yet.  We held the event in a new venue  last year, something that can sometimes spell disaster.  But once again, Monica worked overtime to make sure her party was the best it could be.  And folks did come from miles away to enjoy the food, the live bands, the silent auction and good company.
George and Eva, way in the back, in Nepal with their class.
Last year also marks the year I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of social networking.  We debuted a great new website put together by Anneli and Ashley;  we plan to keep in touch with our donors by electronic newsletters; we are tweeting, and look - I’m blogging!
WELNepal’s good friends George and Eva were, once again, wonderfully generous. And not only with their donation, but also with their efforts in getting the word out to their friends, who added to WELNepal’s coffers.  Along with being kind and giving people, they visited Nepal a few years back and have seen for themselves what we are doing for the women.  They also fell in love with the Nepali people, as most visitors do. We are going to try and get more of you to visit us in Nepal and to take a walk in the beautiful Himalayas.

But, as usual, I’m leaving for Nepal with too little money.  We have learned that we cannot abandon the groups of women that finish their literacy classes.  Literacy is the foundation of their growth and we must keep working with these women before their Nepali ABC’s are forgotten.  The more women’s groups that complete their literacy classes, the more money we need to keep funding training and money-making projects. This year, there will be 15 groups added to our list of those in need of continuing support.  That means there is less money to start new literacy classes for those groups of women waiting impatiently to begin learning.  Telling the women that there is not enough money to pay for a literacy class this year hurts me almost as much as it hurts them. 

It will take me a little over a day to get from here to Kathmandu, a day and a bit to recover from the flights, a few days before I get to my little village of Sauraha in the south of Nepal, and a few more days to see what is going on with WELNepal’s work.  

More from me then.