It was a busy and productive year for Ten Friends' Elevate Initiative. Efforts worked towards fulfilling our mission of helping individuals break the cycle of poverty. Focus continued to be on the people who are part of the Musahar Caste and who generally reside in the village of Tilahi.
We were able to continue our sponsorship of now over 60 children allowing them to attend school and after school programs.
We also provided books, school supplies, shoes, and uniforms to our sponsored kiddos. One significant change was that we no longer had to pay for the cost of tuition to the government run school. Almost all of the students are boys but we made efforts to increase the number of girls attending the school.
We conducted three successful medical and dental clinics in the village. As seen, Ten Friends' Board Member and Elevate Founder, Pema Sherpa, conducted dental clinics for the children. Dental exams and instructions on dental care were provided to many of the village's children. Tooth brushes, tooth paste and other dental supplies were also provided to all community members. Importantly, the children were excited to participate in the dental clinics -- a credit to Pema -- for if it were others conducting the clinic -- I doubt you would see any children in the picture.
In addition a Medical Team was brought down from Kathmandu and free exams and medical services were provided.
Drought in the area continued to be an issue and for 6 months the lone existing well had run dry. Pema and Nurbu responded to this emergency and life threatening situation and Ten Friends was able to pay for the construction of two new wells. The hand pump wells were located on government owned property. Each well was drilled to a depth of 250 feet and now provide a plentiful supply of filtered "drinkable" water. Materials and the drilling of the wells were paid for by Ten Friends and local villagers provided the sweat equity labor.
In addition, a Norway based non-profit funded and helped to construct two new sanitary stations. The latrines provided a much needed and safe temporary solution to deal with human waste.
Clothes, shoes, coats and other much needed items were provided to members of the community. Some were donated by individuals in Central Oregon and other items were purchased by Elevate. In addition, Rotary of Sisters made a donation that was used to purchase backpacks which were provided to all of our 60 sponsored children.
In addition, coloring books and pens were provided to local children. They were immediately used overnight and works of art were displayed the very next morning.
All of the items were hand delivered to the community by Pema and Nurbu Sherpa as part of their visits to the Village. It was a very joyous time and celebration for local villagers and for Pema, Nurbu as well as for their friend County who accompanied them on the visits.
Vocational Training - Village of Tilahi
2023 saw the continuation of work by the newly trained seamstresses with their number increasing to seven. Clothes and garments were produced. While the hope going into the project was that items would be produced for sale in the United States, the reality was that garments produced were needed by members of the local community. This met both a local need and the generation of income for the women producing the products.
Through the kindness and generosity of Pema and Nurbu Sherpa and funded through High Camp Taphouse several other worthwhile projects were taken on. One of the projects involved providing financial support to a handicapped shelter in the Kathmandu area. The shelter provides housing for individuals who have physical handicaps and allows them to live in a safe environment. Three months of rent were paid for which allowed the shelter to continue to operate.
In addition, Pema and Nurbu continued to support a student who is studying at the University level in his pursuit of becoming an engineer and achieving his lifelong dream.
Two separate trips were made to the Village of Tilahi. Pema and Nurbu Sherpa visited the area in October and November. Mark LaMont, one of the founders of Ten Friends, visited the area in August and was accompanied by Denish Khakurel, Ten Friends' Nepal based representative, and observed first-hand the needs of the villagers. In addition, Ten Friends continued to work with Jay Mandal -- our local representative and teacher in the Village of Tilahi.
2023 saw some major changes to the organization. Elevate Nepal merged with Ten Friends and the merger has been successful with each formerly separate organization being able to leverage each other's skills and talents. Together we are a stronger organization.