This report was written and submitted by Joanne Frappier, who recently completed the project described below.
Last November, the One School – One Nursery project took shape in the Ilam District.
Besides the 10-day banda (general strike) and the national election that forced the project into paralysis for about ten days, two schools and a group of users of community forest started the establishment of nurseries following their needs and desires.
The first school, Prajna Sadan – an English immersion school, chose to grow ornamental plants to decorate their new school grounds as well as plant fruit trees to feed their borders and students.
The second school, Saptamai Gurukul – a traditional school where teaching is done in Sanskrit, chose to grow medicinal herbs as well as plants and trees of religious significance for them.
Finally, the users of the two community forests (one managed by a group of women and the other by men) have set their sights on commercial species to increase their income. For the women’s community forest, the nursery will consist of jackfruit trees while the men’s will consist of avocados. Since the canopy is dense and the landscape challenging for the establishment of plantations in the men’s forest, the community will likely test growing mushrooms in the near future.
While back in North America, Joanne’s, Brian’s and Chris’ work is not finished.
Chris is developing a practical guide on the establishment of nurseries that will be produced in English and then translated into Nepali.
Brian is preparing two short videos: the first will document and promote the initiative One School – One Nursery; and the second, is aimed at promoting the Namsaling Community Development Center (NCDC ), our sister NGO in Nepal. To achieve this, Brian taped twenty-seven interviews. Be they farmers, students or employees of the NCDC, thanks to the work of the latter, they all see a prosperous future for the Ilam district, a future that will be grounded in a sustainable environment and the responsible use of resources.
As for Joanne, she is following up with the NCDC, following up on the budget, thinking of new fundraising activities and with the NCDC, is preparing the next field season in Ilam.