I’d like to start by sending a huge THANK YOU to everyone back in Canada, Germany and London for your exceptionally generous donations. Without my asking, you have donated a total of $1700 CAD to improve the living conditions of some poor people in a remote part of the world whom you haven’t even met! Your trust and compassion has really touched me and instilled a great deal of confidence in the generosity of human-kind.
Most of the donations will be used towards the construction of Ganga’s house (approximately $1200). The remaining amount will go towards the construction of the multi-purpose community center. I know Jeevan is extremely grateful because I’ve seen him raise both of his hands in the air proclaiming to his mother that God must have sent me and my friends to help his village. Unfortunately, I won’t be here long enough to see the construction, but Jeevan has promised to share photos when construction begins. I plan to continue to support him with online/computer related stuff even after I leave Kanda.
Personally, the support I’ve received from you means more than I can express in this blog. But I feel like I’ve been of some real tangible help (especially after realizing that perhaps I might have overestimated my physical strength in the field of construction) :p
Below is some information on what I’ve been working on so far. I’m excited to say that I’ve added to my limited first-year civil engineering knowledge by trying to understand the construction of an earthquake proof building design, and figuring out the local resources required and associated costs. This design was first introduced by a group of Structural Engineers from the UK and it has since become a design model for buildings here. This is one of the ways volunteers are able to help, by imparting valuable knowledge and skill sets that they would have otherwise not had access to. As exciting as it is for me to figure out how many bags of cement and sand is needed to build things like toilets, I can understand if this is as exciting to you as grass-cutting is to me :p
But if you’re interested, feel free to read on…
Construction of R.O.S.E community center
This ongoing project is a multi-purpose building intended to help the people most need in Kanda. It acts as an emergency shelter to families whose homes are unusable due to the seasonal flash floods and mud slides. It is also used as a free six-day public school for the children of poor family who cannot afford to send them to regular school. It will be used by the community for a meeting place and as a cultural centre. The community center is the first of its kind in Kanda.
Estimated cost (excluding future plan)
The total estimated cost for building the lower level is Rs.177,375.
Resource and cost breakdown
Progress has been slow and steady and parts of the center are constructed as donations are received. This is the reality here – this is always work to do, just not the money. Things are built as donations are received
Two twin-tank composting toilets and a fair-price shop upstairs have been built with the aid of donations, volunteers and local skilled and unskilled labours. The common meeting room and volunteer station in the basement level was a major achievement completed late last 2011. The construction of a wall has begun to build a school room.
Future Plan – Building Community Center – Upstairs (50′ x 20′ = 1000 sq feet)
The future plan for the community center is to build an addition to the upstairs once the basement level is completed. The additions will include two public sitting-toilets (for disabled and old people who are unable to squat), and a free “nursing home” to care for the elderly.
Building a water management system
In order to provide safe drinking water to the locals, a water management system is needed at the community center. The project will bring fresh spring water, from a nearby hill, in a 700 meter long pipe to a water tank to be installed near the community center. The water stored in the tank is then pumped into the taps by a small water pump.
Total estimated cost is Rs. 236,000