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WEEK 6

Monday we gave our second collage workshop at LMV. We were very happy to see that the kids learned a lot and had much more fun in making the collage.

This was a very special week for us. The week of a five-day-long Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal   called Tihar. This festival is all about friends and family and we got to celebrate it at the DOCS foundation, an orphanage in Nakkhu were we will be placing a mini-library. 

We had two wonderful days of work and fun. We believe that every child needs a nice place to read and feel at home. While Marleen went to the bookshop with 4 of the kids to make them pick out books, Amber made a big painting on the wall in the joint room.
In Nepal it’s not a regular thing for kids to see a bookshop and pick out they’re own books. Most of the children don’t get in contact with books for fun. They only see books as learning-material that teachers pick out for them.
At the end of day two, we ate together and played our memory game to celebrate! 

Furthermore, we had another consultation with Sarita Dongol about the rebuilding of the outdated library next year in Khokana. Khokana is a traditional and tiny Newari village about 8 kilometers south of Kathmandu (on the outskirts of Patan).
The placement or rebuilding of a mini-library takes a lot of preparation. There are forms that need to be filled out and the input of the town itself is very important. Also, we are in need of a contact person to do check-ups with. All this needs to be discussed before the project can be started.

On Saturday we visited the secondary school of Kirtipur. We were invited to take a look and it was a very good school with a beautiful library and kindergarten. They are even exploring possibilities for the placement of a small playground which is very special in Nepal.

WEEK 5

This week we got to meet a very special person, Ani Choying Drolma. Ani Choying, is a Buddhist nun and musician from the Nagi Gompa Monastery in Nepal. She is well known in Nepal and beyond because of her interpretations of Tibetan Buddhist music and chants. Besides all these talents she has a warm and very open personality and possesses a lot of knowledge of Nepal. Talking to her has therefore been very helpful to our foundation and she had a lot of good advice.

On monday we started with a workshop ‘making a collage’ at the LMV school, in the upper class of primary school. The workshop was all about dreams, hopes and fears.

The kids had never made a collage before, so they had a lot to learn and it was very inspirational for them.

From Tuesday on we continued with the Book Creation Workshop. We got to meet Durga Lal Shrestha, the writer of the stories. All the illustrators could talk about the stories they had chosen and used this as an inspiration while they were drawing.

While Amber was teaching at the School of arts, Marleen got to meet Pranita Chettri. She is the writer of a very special book: ‘PAWANKALI’. The book is about an elephant who was captured at a young age. Growing up in the zoo in Kathmandu, she longs for her family and her life in the wilderness.

Of course we wanted to meet the star of the book, so we payed a quick visit to the Zoo to say ‘hi’ and showed her the book.

The weekend was filled with workshops in the drawing room. The kids got to make paper puppets an games and it was a lot of fun!

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WEEK 4

This week we have been traveling a lot. So during Dashain we decided to go to Tukuche. To celebrate Dashain with friends, but mainly to check out the location of the first Mini-library. 

Packed with a suitcase full of books we travelled two days to the mountains. We handed the books to Purna and Patrick. The books were sponsored by Stichting Thang and Srijanalaya. 

The mini-library is going to be established  inside the Shree Yogendra Higher Secondary School.

Furthermore, we can say that the second Mini-library was placed in Dang. Sadly we don’t have enough time to go and see it.

We decided to make the Mini-libraries our main priority instead of persisting the library-bus idea. Mainly because there already is a simular concept in Nepal and it doesn’t match our ideals. The most important goal of our project is that the books will reach every child. The school and the children in remote areas have our main priority and due to bad infrastructure we can’t reach them by bus. By placing the Mini-Libraries kids have access to the books the whole year through. The libraries are placed at secured places and within communities. 

Last Thursday we came back and on Friday we started Day 1 of our ‘Book creation workshop’. It was organized by Srijanalaya and supported by The Asia Foundation. 

The workshop was held in Drawing Room KTM. And was facilitated by Amber/Stichting Thang. Illustrators will be illustrating the children books on Durga Lal Shrestha’s Nepa bhasa (Newari language) poem and songs. Durga Lal Shrestha is one of the important Nepali writers who has written both in Nepali and in his native language Nepa bhasa. Nepa bhasa is an ethnic language of Newar’s, the indigenous people of Kathmandu. 

 

This week we would especially like to thank Keshav Pandey from the mountain leaders for arranging our trip. And Purna and Patrick for letting us stay at High Plains inn. 

 

www.mountainleaders.com
www.highplainsinn.com

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WEEK 3

Even though it is Dashain* in Nepal and everybody is off to celebrate, we are still working hard!

The week started with a workshop making boardgames for the students at Srijanalaya. They have worked 5 days, individually and in groups and the results were impressive. They even got the chance to show their works at the Art Market at the Yellow House Kathmandu.

Marleen visited a Newari-community called Khokana to do some research about the library project. In the future we will start rebuilding the old dismissed library along with the already existing local library. She also visited Tokha, where we will be placing a secured mini-library.

At the start of week 4 we visited the Disabled Service Association (DSA).
DSA supports and takes care of children with disabilities, they generate public awareness about their needs and rights, and work to remove existing social barriers that are discriminatory and prejudicial to their living a productive and dignified life.
On Tuesday we went to the school and home of the kids to decorate kites and – of course – let them fly.

And now we are on our way to Tukuche (Mustang) with a lot of books for the first mini-library!

Happy Dashain!

*During the month of Kartik (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country.

 

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WEEK 2

Last week went by quickly again. 

At first we had a really warm welcome at the LMV school. We got to meet all the children and even filled in a class of a sick teacher. 

We also got to meet a few people at kuart (kathmandu university school of arts center for art and design). We got a little tour around, and saw an exhibition of the students. It was very impressive to see what they are building up again after the floods from a month ago. Also we got an invite to do a workshop next month.  

Further on this week Amber was taking place at a ‘Let’s Read! project’ from the Asia Foundation, while Marleen was doing a lot of research for the mini-library project. 

Let’s Read! empowers underserved communities to build digital libraries in their own languages and enables even remote populations to access books via mobile devices and print options. *If you would like to read more about the Let’s read project click this link. 

At the end of the week we took an 8 hour trip to Pokhara to take place at The Innovation in Education Fair. The Innovation in Education Fair (IEF) is a forum for educational professionals to discuss how to make the teaching and learning practices in Nepal more engaging, meaningful, and memorable for students and teachers. We got to meet a lot of people and help out with the creative workshops. 

Next week more! 

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WEEK 1

From now on we start writing in English,
so our friends from Nepal can enjoy our journey as well.

Last week we have been doing a lot!

On monday we were invited to take a look at Srijanalaya which is a non-profit organization in Patan.

Srijanalaya’s mission is to create safe spaces of learning through arts. Every child needs to have access to a safe haven, where it can be heard and express itself freely. And we are very proud and honored to give some workshops here in the next few months.

Tuesday we were introduced to LMV (Lalitpur Madhyamik Vidhyalaya). This is a secondary school were we will start doing workshops about the importance of books and reading. They also opened a little library at the school that morning, yeay!

In the mean time we are very busy working on the book project. We were invited to take a look at a local printing company were we talked to a few artist, illustrators and writers.

Furthermore we are absolutely delighted about the fact that we are going to make our own book with poems of Chirag Bangdel and illustrations of our own Amber.

We’ll keep in touch!

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