March Trip

Plans for our March Trip!

As may of you know by now, Nana’s House Non Profit will be making our 5th trip back to Pokhara,Nepal to continue with our social service projects and work with our Nepali partner organization, Hope Nepal. Some truly wonderful projects were completed during our October 2014 trip such as a health and dental camp for more than 500 residents of Leknath Village, along with backpacks and school supplies for the 8 children of the Pokhara Nestling Home.

We have some very lofty goals for this trip and hope that our fundraising efforts during these next two months will allow us to take on such projects. Through our partner organization, we have located upwards of 15 children who are not able to attend school due to financial reasons whether due to poverty within the family or tragic circumstances regarding the parents. The tuition prices are very cheap in Nepal and for $150, one child would be able to attend school for the year.

Our goal is to raise $6,000 by March 10th so that we are able to sponsor 15 underprivileged children for the ability to attend school, and to be able to continue our support of the 8 children of the Nestling Home.

As of now, we have raised 1/3rd of our current goal.

If you would like to donate, please click HERE

This is Mandip, Rekha, and Renuka. They are orphaned siblings. Their father died in an accident and mother got married to another man and left them to fend for themselves. They are currently living with their grand mother who is 71 years old. She does not have any property nor any income sources for living and to provide food and education for the grand children. Mandip, who is 10 years old, would be attending the 4th grade this year if able to attend school. Renuka, Mandip’s sister, is 12 years, and is at risk of not attending the 6th grade. Rekha, the oldest,is 14 years old, and because at an early age was forced to stay home and tend to the chores of the house, is at the same education level of her sister Renuka.

Projects in Nepal

I would like to share with you all a fantastic article written by our President and Vice President of Nana’s House outlining the currents problems facing children in regards to dental hygiene and our dental camp being held on September 18th in Leknath, Nepal in conjunction with our partner organization, Hope Nepal.

A MESSAGE FROM NANA’S HOUSE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
Judy Schumann and Marsaili Vanderhoeden

Judy SchumannMarsali

As president and vice-president of Nana’s House Board of Directors, we would like to thank all of our followers and supporters and update you on our first big project to impact the quality of life for children in Nepal. We are so excited that Nana’s House, through your generosity, is able to provide financial support to our partner, Hope Nepal Association for Social Welfare, for a dental clinic in Leknath, Nepal.

On September 18, our director, Josh Bingham, along with two dentists, dental assistants, three oral health educator/counselors, three members of the Hope Nepal team and volunteers will make the forty-five minute drive from Pokhara up steep mountain roads and then trek another fifteen minutes up the hillside with supplies and equipment. They will be providing check–ups and cleanings, toothbrushes and toothpaste, education and educational materials and counseling. Anyone needing fillings or extractions will also have those services provided to them. We will schedule and subsidize transportation and follow up procedures for individuals needing more extensive work in Pokhara. Future plans include providing eight month checkups in the village to ensure ongoing dental health.

Why hold a dental clinic? Rural villages in central Nepal, at the base of the Annapurna range of the Himalayas, are populated by subsistence farmers. Most live in mud houses. They often trek an hour or more to tend their fields of wheat and rice. Few are fortunate enough to have a buffalo to provide the milk which would bring needed calcium into their diets for bone and tooth health. Electrical service is sporadic and plumbing is non-existent. Intermittently staffed government health outposts can treat very basic illnesses but do not provide any oral health care. Laura Spero, a U.S. dentist who has run a non-profit to address these issues in Nepal for ten years, found only a pair of rusty pliers as dental equipment in one of these villages.

Leknath is one such village. While visiting there Josh was able to talk with the orphaned, abandoned and needy village children through an interpreter. Many told him their teeth hurt. Imagine as a child suffering from severe tooth pain and your only option is to wait until it falls out or can be pulled out (if you are ‘lucky’ enough to have that service provided). How difficult for parents to watch this and then worry about the risk of infection and even death due to sepsis because you know proper health care would not be available to treat it.

An article from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting by Jennifer Miller, dated September 5, 2013 stated the following:

“Nepal is currently facing an oral health care crisis. Fifty-eight percent of children and sixty-nine percent of adults in the country suffer from bacterial tooth decay. This can lead to infections, gum disease and chronic pain as well as heart disease and diabetes……..Thousands of Nepalis in rural villages have no access to basic care such as (check-ups) fillings or even (toothbrushes and) toothpaste. Meanwhile intense superstition surrounds dental care, including the belief that tooth extraction can cause blindness (and deafness). In Kathmandu, people nail coins to a tooth god shrine to heal their mouth pain. “

Additionally, new mothers are routinely told not to brush their teeth for two months after giving birth. There is stigma associated with the use of fluoride as well as an economical issue. A tube of non-fluoride toothpaste costs $0.26-0.52 (US) and fluoride toothpaste costs $0.92 (US). This is a significant monetary diffrence in the average Nepali household. Research shows that Nepali men are more skeptical and resistant to the use of fluoride than women.

Education and counseling are an integral part of changing these cultural attitudes and superstitions.
By making a real effort to educate Nepali women; the children, and especially young boys, receive the encouragement they need to continue to practice good oral hygiene as adults. In 2006 fifteen women in a rural village were educated and trained in proper dental care. A follow up study two years later showed that this information had been passed on to 2,200 women and over 4,000 children in the region. As an investment in the future, our dental clinic on September 18 will service, educate and counsel not only 100+ children but parents as well.

Your past support is greatly appreciated. Funding is still needed to carry out this project and future plans for more rural dental clinics as well as health clinics and follow up care. Please share our contacts with friends and family!

 CLICK HERE to make a donation.Donate

*****WATCH FOR INFORMATION AND PHOTOS SOON FROM THE LEKNATH DENTAL CLINIC******

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Judy’s Fundraiser!

Would like to celebrate Judy Smith,one of our board members, and her fundraising efforts during the Syttende Mai parade in Stoughton,WI

Over the weekend,Judy was able to raise over $700 for Nana’s House which puts us at almost $5,000 raised! We are already 1/5 towards our goal to purchase the land in Bhalam,Pokhara!

Way to go Judy!

Learn More about Nana’s House: Click Here

If you would like to donate to Nana’s House: Click Here

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Nana’s House Introduction

 

My name is Joshua Bingham, a 23 year old resident of Washington State and graduate of Evergreen State College. Up until the age of 21, I was certain that I was destined to become an actor; it was all I had dreamed of since the age of 15. This feeling was heightened when I participated in a month long acting workshop in Italy where young directors and actors had the chance to, and legal ability to run through the streets of Florence shooting movies until the sun came up. I was certain this was to be my future. That sentiment all changed when I decided to volunteer in an orphanage for 5 months in Nepal. The $4,000 price tag, including airfare, was raised through doing odd jobs at $15/hour for local residents within my community. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, and about to embark on my first ever oversees volunteer experience, I was ready to change the world. Nepal needed help, and here Joshua Bingham was coming to the rescue.

You would never imagine volunteering that the party most affected and changed is you.

Joshua Bingham

 

My placement was at The Nestling Home located in Pokhara, an 8 hour bus ride north of Kathmandu, the home of 8 children + 1 house mother + her two children. The children and I’s ice breaking activities were to take walks around the area, traversing steep hills , exploring the forests, climbing trees, and making Macgyver-esque tools out of sticks and leaves found along the way. We would also spend the days working on homework, washing the never ending amount of dirty clothes, trips to the local supermarket for ice cream, or nights spent in candlelight due to the power being out, telling stories and singing traditional village songs. These were some of the best days of my life and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

As the children and I developed a stronger bond, I also began to learn about their painful past and the emotional, sometimes physical scars they carry from years earlier. Some were physical abused by a father who drank too much, abandoned in a hotel room till days later when they were found, forced to work in a restaurant at the age of 5, some dealing with the pain of the murder of their father by Maoist forces and mother unable to financially support them. I learned about their fears of some of them being from a lower caste and the social stigmas that come with that, the fear that they might not get good jobs or ever make it to where they want to be in life, simply because of the caste they were born into. The girls talked about arranged marriages and the fear that they might not be able to grow up and marry who they want, but instead be forced into marriage. They looked at the house mother as an example, who had been forced to marry at age 17, and by her own admission, forced to give birth to two children. Learning about all of their individual stories certainly made me appreciate the smiles and laughs they had for me, which masked a painful past.

A particular day I will not soon forget is the day we went for our weekly visit to Fewa Lake Park where the children would attempt to catch fish in the stream, or play on the swing set. Upon arriving, I saw the two boys I had seen last time we visited, and the time before that. Their skin blackened and charred from prolonged exposure to the deadly sun and heat, feet dirty and mangled from the lack of shoes, eyes yellowed and showing signs of Jaundice. With the help of my local Nepali friend, I was able to ask them why they were always there, and about their stories.

Brothers, and with parents who were both crippled from a massive motorcycle incident, they were both forced to survive on their own. One of the brothers unwrapped a piece of paper from his pocket, the piece of paper contained two pictures of an older man and woman, presumably their mother and father, a government seal, and some writing. They explained they were given this piece of paper to aid their begging efforts, that locals would be certain that they were truly in need and to give them that extra piece of bread or rice. They also called the Fewa Lake Park their home. That day, the boys received a new pair of shoes, a haircut, a meal and the name and number of someone who could help them. It was all I could give at the moment to the two boys.

I left Nepal promising myself I would be back with greater means to help children like the Few Lake Park boys.

Nana’s House was born from this promise I made, a nonprofit organization looking to help at-risk and underprivileged children in Nepal. Named after my grandmother, and the warmth, safety and immense amount of love I feel each and every time I visit her house, and continue to this day.

Where we are at now: We have found some potential land for the creation of a Children’s Home in the Bhalam area of Pokhara. We have partnered with a local organization called Hope Nepal which gives us the legal ability to carry out this project. We hope to buy this land, along with the creation of a guest house and Children’s House, with the guest house supporting the latter of the two.

We are very grateful for your support, and would like you to know that every dollar donated goes to this project. A simple “share”, “like” or comment certainly goes a long way in showing your support. We are always looking to network with people who have the same goals or aspirations similar to ours.

Nana’s House is my love letter to the country that has made me the better human being that I am today. I hope to one day return the favor to the country that has changed my life for the better.

If you would like to donate to Nana’s House please click HERE

Joshua Bingham

Director of Nana’s House