Monday, November 15, 2010

Exciting news

Tomorrow our very first volunteer arrives in Pokhara. Of course we have had many volunteers before but this is the first volunteer which applied through the website and their stay has been completely organized by staff at the Eco Children Home.

We hope Josie has a wonderful stay and we look forward to sharing news about her trip with you soon.

Back to school

The children have returned from their villages after a month of festivities. They are all back at school. We received notice of the exam results for the term and they children all maintained their good grades. The children were ranked by the school in their individual classes and the results look like this :

Prita Gurung:-2nd position
Tirtha Gurung (Gorhe):-3rd position
Sujata Gurung;-4th position
Kamal Tamang;-2nd position
Hemlal Tamang:-1st position
Ashish Tamang:-3rd position
Herod Tamang:-2nd position
Manisha Nepali:-1st position 

We are very happy with the results and thank the volunteers and staff for their hard work at homework times. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Video

One of our volunteers, Yolanda from Spain, made this lovely little video of her time at the home. We hope you enjoy it. Thank you Yolanda.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


We finally have a newsletter going out. The plan is to send it once a month to provide updates on the children and any new developments.

Sign up for our newsletter and keep up with the exciting news from the home. We promise not to bombard your inbox useless spam. One letter with photos of the children, once a month.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Books - a new project

At the home we are running a new project with some of our past volunteers and supporters. We are asking people who wish to be involved to send one second-hand children’s book to one of the children including a short letter on where you live, your family or your job.

The gang reading their school books for the millionth time.

Most of our children have never received anything in the mail or owned their own books. It would be nice for them to receive something in the mail. We will use this experience to build a general knowledge of the postal system, the world and involve them in writing replies. We plan to hang a map on the wall and pin point where all the different books come from. We will use each book as an opportunity to discuss a different country or city and the people who live there.

It will provide us with an opening address some issues like caring for others, community and culture. We will ask the children to do a kind act for someone else at the home as a way of thanking the people who have sent them books. The children will also write replies to the letters they receive. New books will also help us to keep them interested in reading. At the moment they only have their school books to read over.

Pritta copying out her name.

 If you are interested in being involved the address to send your books and letters is: Bob Gurung for the children of the Eco Children Home, Eco Traveller’s Lodge, Gaurighat Lakeside, Pokhara-6, Pokhara Nepal.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hemalal collecting water from the community water point

At the Eco Children Home we pride ourselves on being active community members. Whether it be the Pokhara community, the nonprofit community or the blogging community we are trying to be more involved.

Today is Blog Action Day and the theme this year is WATER. We thought it would be fitting to discuss our water situation at the home and in Nepal. 

Water in Nepal is a problematic thing. During the monsoons we have so much of it sitting around that it aids the spread of many diseases. In other months there is never enough, causing people to line up at water points for hours to fill plastic bottles, jugs and buckets. According to WaterAid Nepal 4.4 million people in Nepal do not have access to safe drinking facilities.

At the home it is usually the housemothers who have the responsibility of collecting water while the children are at school. Everyday they collect large amounts of safe water for cooking and drinking at the home. It is a job which is very time consuming and requires great physical strength.

In pokhara we are fortunate as clean water filters down from the jungle to various water points. The home has two water points within blocks. For many others collecting water is a difficult daily task. In Kathmandu the water is becoming very polluted and traditional water points are becoming contaminated as the population increases. 10,500 under five year olds die a year due to inadequate water and sanitation access (WaterAid Nepal).

Recently one of our volunteers was hospitalised after drinking contaminated water during a trip to Kathmandu. She was shocked to discover the hospital had very limited facilities, no flushing toilet or soap in the bathroom. The hospital staff also declined to provide her with drinking water as the water was considered too polluted for foreigners to drink. 

We hope to improve the children's water practices. We have highlighted a number of water issues we can work on at the home. These are:

  • Clean hands - it is traditional to eat with the hands in Nepal so we need to ensure the children are diligent in keeping hands clean.
  • Swimming - none of the children can swim. The home is located blocks from a large lake. This provides a very real safety issue.
  • Water Safety for Volunteers - we need to ensure we can provide clean water and to educate volunteers of the dangers of drink water from unknown sources.
Head to Speak Up For Change to view other water posts from all over the world.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's been happening at our house...

Dawn at Sarangkot

Children playing in the jungle

House mothers at Sarangkot

These photographs come from one of our recent volunteers, Meriona from the UK. The children loved having her stay and she took them on a number of outings. The pictures above are from a trip to enjoy the view from Sarangkot. 

Meriona has left us to go trekking. We hope she has a wonderful time on the Annapurna Circuit. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why is Gorhe so sad?

I am sure it isn't because he has holidays for the next month. In October school shuts down for a month for Dashain and Tihar festivities. Some of the children will go back to their villages to see their families. We think it is important for the children to maintain ties with any family they have.

We will miss them and we look forward to their quick return.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Exam time again...

I can't believe it is that time again. The other day the children headed off to their second lot of exams for the year. We wish them good luck and we know after their wonderful results last term they won't have any trouble this term.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shopping list

The younger boys share beds until we can afford to buy new ones.

Since establishing the home we have been trying to source the furniture, cooking utensils and household items we will need when we relocate to our new location. We started a list but each day new things crop up that are required to keep children happy and healthy.

The list so far:

2 bunk beds
7 single beds
12 mattress
28 sheets
12 pillows
24 pillow cases
12 quilts
12 towels

3 tables
5 benches
extra chairs
1 blackboard and chalk

2 rice cookers
2 pressure cookers
2 frypans
15 bowls
15 plates
15 teacups
15 forks, spoons, knifes
15 water glasses
buckets to fetch water

This is just the bare essentials list. We haven't even looked into the water pump, the new glass for the solar panel, the possibility of springing for a TV. 

There is so much fundraising to do.

Travelling Koreans

We have had a very special group come and stay with us. A traveling school of Korean students stayed at the Eco Lodge for a month. They gave the children a number of music lessons and put on many singing and dance performances.  

We are very sad to see them leave and we hope they come back soon.

Snapshot - The Park

Most days the children go to the park for an hour or so. We like them to have a run around and some fun. Things shouldn't be all school and homework. It is about a ten minute walk from where the children are currently living.

Everyday we make a line and shamble down the lane, pass the shops, pass the water waiting to collect water, across the road, pass the soldiers with ancient riffles and to the park.

The view when we get there is amazing. We can see the snow capped mountains on one side and a lake on the other. We love going to the park. But it presents us with a few problems. Firstly the children do not know how to swim. Learning to swim in Nepal is not a huge priority and people drown in the lake every couple of weeks.

The second problem with our favorite park is the rubbish. The children play surrounded by chip packets, broken bottles, plastic wrappers and food scraps. Nepal has a huge waste management problem. There is no garbage disposal system to speak of, so it just piles up in places like the park where children play.

The last problem with our park is there is no equipment. We have a big open area for football but the goals where taken away. Despite this the children love going to the park. It is the best part of their day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Homework Routine

We have been working on the children's homework. We realised we were not meeting the supervisory needs of the children. Sometimes they did not complete all their work.

Bishnu helping the children

Bishnu has been helping with supervision but we have encouraged our volunteers to give the children extra, more challenging work. The homework set by the school is often too easy for their level. Our volunteers have been a big help in creating stencils for the children and coming up with educational but fun activities. We have tried hangman, dot-to-dot, colour by number, spelling quizzes, find-a-words and many other activities.

After speaking with the school we have decided to focus on maths, reading, spelling and handwriting as most of the children are having some problems in these areas. 

We have already seen the results of the new homework routine. Three weeks of study and focused homework time have lead to a great improvement in the children's marks in their most recent exams. Kamal managed to top his in all subjects and the other children were all in the top ten students in their classes. 
Kamal receiving his Tikka for first place in his grade

We are very proud of their results and home to see them keep on improving.

Rhea Auntie

Recently we had our first official volunteer come to stay with us. 19 year old Rhea from the UK stayed for four weeks. 

She helped with setting the children on a regular homework schedule. She was responsible for teaching Herod how to do double digit multiplication and teaching Pritta her colours. 

Rhea and Herod do some math

Rhea Auntie was also a lot of fun. She took the children on regular trips to the park.

Pritta the baby lion

She also had many gifts and games for the children.

Manisha and Rhea after a messy trip to the park

We would like to give a big thanks to Rhea and we hope she will come back and visit us soon. 

New Logo

Today we received our new logo for the website and blog. Now I just have to work out how to attach it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


A few months ago the staff, volunteers and children were very excited about watching the world cup. Eventhough Nepal did not have a team we still enjoyed picking sides and following the competition. The children were big fans of Argentina's team.

Once the cup was over we decided to get football for the children. A few of the volunteers have spent many hours at the park kicking the football around. In true english style, volunteer Ayaz taught the boys a crazy goal scoring dance.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School

Everybody ready for school

We are pleased to announce that 8 or the 9 children have started the year at their new school. We have opted to send the younger children to the Pokhara Cambridge English School instead of the government school they were attending for a number of reasons:

  • Quality Education - Pokhara Cambridge has a better reputation for providing children with a well rounded education and smaller class sizes. Already we can see an improvement in the children's reading and discipline.
  • Cost - while the school fees are higher we think the expense is worthwhile. Pokhara Cambridge is much less costly than other private schools in the area.
  • Opportunity - attending a private school in Nepal has a certain amount of status attached to it. For children who have the odds stacked against them in life, attendance at a school with a good reputation can mean better opportunities in the future.

Hemalal waiting for the other children to dress.
The children were very excited to try their new uniforms and shoes. They were so happy when they were handed a pair of school socks and new shoes, some of them for the first time. The first day they were bursting to get to school and see what their new teachers and classmates would be like. Unfortunately we have not been able to find sponsors for all of the children. We are working to ensure the cost of private schooling is met and the children can stay at the new school.

Bishnu, the oldest child at the home will remain at the government school as the expenses for him to attend private school at this time are higher then we can cover.
Poojan and Herod getting ready for the first day of school.

If you would like to help us cover the cost of private schooling please contact us on ecochildrenhome

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


A big hello from all of us here at the Eco Children Home. This is our new blog to keep sponsors, volunteers, supporters and friends up-to-date with all that is happening with us here in Nepal.

We have had some big changes: a new name, new staff, new children, new school  and a temporary new location. Slowly the children are settling into a routine and we are all happy with the new arrangements.

So let's introduce the new faces:

Badam Maya Gurung
House mother, and excellent goal keeper in a game of park football

Chej Kumari Gharti
House mother and amazing cook.

Tirtha (Goreh) Gurung
The baby of the home. He is cute as a button and twice as cheeky.
Pritta Gharti
Quirky and funny, Pritta is often a favourite with volunteers.

Sujata Gurung
Beautiful and spoilt, she is our little princess.

Bishnu Gurung
The big brother of the group.

We have also had a number of new volunteers: Asaf from Israel, Amanda from Australia, Rhea, Anna, and Ayaz from UK and Jolanda from Spain. Thank you for all the hard work and care. 

Asaf and Pritta
That is all the news for now but keep checking back for more updates and news.