News from Peace Corps Nepal
Greetings from Peace Corps Nepal
Namaste! Welcome to the Peace Corps Nepal website.
Peace Corps Nepal is one of the oldest and most beloved of Peace Corps’ programs. From 1962 to 2004, over 4,500 Volunteers contributed to the development of this country and made lifelong impressions and friendships with the Nepali people. The program successfully returned to Nepal in 2012 after an eight - year absence due to civil unrest, and our staff and the first groups of Volunteers have started the process of rebuilding the Peace Corps program in Nepal.
In fact, the first group to return in 2012 has now completing their Peace Corps service and moved on to new adventures, whether that be further work in international development, graduate school, or possibly extended travel on the way home. Our third group of Volunteers to arrive in Nepal since we re-opened has completed their training and moved to their permanent sites at the end of November, 2014.
If you are interested in the Peace Corps and considering Nepal as one of the countries in which you would like to serve, you may have noticed that Peace Corps Nepal currently has no job openings for on the Peace Corps website, however, we will be posting job openings for 2016 very soon. Additional details on our program are listed below.
Our fourth group of Trainees arrived in Nepal in early March of 2015. In 2016, we are expecting 35 new Trainees to serve in our Food Security program. Please note that these job openings have not yet been listed on the Peace Corps website; however, you can look for them sometime in the spring of 2015.
Our new English Education program is now under development, with details to be completed by late winter 2016. At this time we have delayed opening that program until April of 2017 as our work in Food Security continues to be our priority. We anticipate that Peace Corps Volunteers in the new Education program will be teaching and/or co-teaching English as a foreign Language (TEFL) for students in government schools located in rural areas of Nepal in the upper primary grades.
We are delighted that you might be interested in serving in the Peace Corps in Nepal and will consider applying for either our Food Security project in 2016 or either the Food Security or Education programs 2017. Namaste!
You May Think You Can't Dance But Nepalis Will Make You Try
Recently, for perhaps the first time in my life, I witnessed my father dance in public. Not only was this in public, but on live TV at a Nepali temple in the middle of festival season.
Keep in mind this is a man rarely seen dancing even in his own home, let alone in front of hundreds of strangers in a foreign country. Only four days into his trip to visit his daughter in the Peace Corps, he succumbed to the relentless powers of Nepali persuasion (and without a stiff drink, mind you).
The joy of dancing — and watching others dance — is a central Nepali pastime. Today Nepal is the second poorest country in Asia and over half of its people live on less than two dollars a day. But that doesn't stop them from having fun. For many, dancing is the surest, if not the only, form of entertainment around.
Peer pressure is integral to Nepali dance. There's even a word for this: nachaune, "to make dance." The formula goes like this: blast some music, take turns goading everyone around you into the center of the circle, then stand around clapping and hollering at the brave soul who takes the first plunge. It's an elaborate group flirtation. Coyly insist you can't, and then once you're begged, bust out all the moves.
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Women, School, and Community Tree Project
The tree project started by out by only being a fruit tree project to help Individuals especially women, schools, and communities to generate income and have for food. Different varieties of fruit trees were collected which included mango, lemon, lime, pear, lichi, orange, papaya, pomegranate and guava. They were later distributed to the different areas.
The project expanded to trees for other uses such as animal fodder trees, wood trees, live fencing, and erosion prevention. The trees were gathered from several nurseries and transported to the various schools and communities for programs. The Nepal Department of Forestry nursery and The Nepal Department of Soil Conservation nursery were a great help with this project as well as with the assistance from The Nepal Department of Agriculture with fruit trees.
Tractors, buses, and carts carried the trees most of the way but sometimes the trees had to be carried by hand especially to difficult areas where vehicles could not travel.
The trees were distributed to groups, schools, and communities for planting.
When individuals received their trees they were instructed on the proper planting techniques also the maintenece and caring for the trees. At schools the importance of trees with the environment and the uses of trees was stressed to the students as well as the proper care for the trees.
Live fencing was demonstrated and started at three schools. The plants will group up near either the current wire fence or in a row where there is no fence to create a barrier around the school. The live fence will serve several purposes as it will act as a compound around the school, beautify the school, help with erosion problems, certain plants will help with soil fertility (nitrogen fixing), and can be used for income generation. Several varieties of live fencing plants can be used for animal fodder so schools can trim the trees and sell the leaves to the community or at the market to make money for the school or the school can donate the leaves to community members which will help draw the community closer to working with the school. One school which has already planted the fence has used the extra money they had made from selling the animal fodder from the live fencing to pay for two of their teachers salaries.
The tree project has been a great success as over 12,000 trees were distributed to individuals, women’s groups, schools and communities. They also learned the importance of trees, the different uses of trees and the proper care of trees. The trees went to 6 different Sahare District VDC’s (equal to a US state county) and 1 municipality also eight schools benefited from the project. This project could not have been accomplished without the support and aid of John M. King and King Forest Industries of Wentwoth, NH USA. This tree project has helped and touched so many people and schools to help themselves to improve their lives and help their communities.
Steven Fosher PCV Nepal