Global Village Nepal

Habitat for Humanity - Newsletter 1


Hi Team!

I am so excited you have decided to join us on an incredible experience working with Habitat for Humanity Nepal! What a great way to spend two weeks!

Please make sure to read through all the pre-trip materials carefully and let me know if you have any questions!

~ Rebecca


There are a lot of logistical details to planning this Global Village trip, please read below….don’t forget anything along the way!!

1. Flights:

Please arrive into the Kathmandu, Nepal airport by Sunday, January 5th.

Once your flight is booked, please send me your flight information.

*Remember, airline tickets need to be purchased individually and are not part of the Habitat Global Village Program Cost.

**Trip Cancellation Insurance is not included in your trip cost; here is one option, if you would like to purchase it:

2. Money Matters:

Total Global Village Program Cost: $2,390

You have already paid the $350 Deposit

Final payment is due this week.

*Make sure to code all payments with your individual 8 digit ID number, and our trip number: GV14352

3. Fundraising Challenge:

In addition to the $2,390 program cost, our team is taking on the challenge of raising an additional donation for families living in inadequate housing in Nepal. Although the program fee is due this week, you can continue to fundraise beyond your program cost through January.

This is not mandatory or required to participate in this trip, but we hope you will take up the challenge, and help Habitat make an even bigger impact on this special community we will be visiting.

**If you would like to set up a fundraising page, here are the instructions:

And, here is the sign-up link:

**Take a look at a few fundraising ideas, and please share any ideas you might have:

4. Vaccinations:

Habitat does not require you get any vaccinations, but we do recommend you look at the Center for Disease Control Website & consult with your primary physician:

5. Passports/Visa

Please make sure you have a current passport that does NOT expire within 6 months of our trip to Nepal.

**If you need to renew your passport, please do so immediately:

* Please send us a copy of your passport, for risk management purposes, by December 1st.

A visa is required for US citizens to travel in Nepal. This can be done prior to your travel from a Nepalese embassy or consulate. If you are unable to obtain your visa prior to your departure to Nepal, you may purchase your visa upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. A fifteen-day multiple-entry visa is $25 and a one-month multiple-entry visa costs $40. It is recommended you purchase the one month visa in the event of any unexpected travel delays. This expense is separate from the GV Habitat trip cost.

More information can be found here:

6. Participant Bio

It is important we get to know each other even before we arrive in Nepal!

Please answer the questions outlined in the email body and send us a picture of yourself!

**Please send your bios by December 1st, but the earlier the better!

Any special dietary needs/restrictions:

Habtat Nepal Project Summary

· Housing need

The chief residents of Chitwan include Tamang, Magar, Brahmins and Newars. The people of Chitwan are usually engaged in animal rearing and small shops. Through such types of occupation they can barely earn a good living. The result of this is poor housing conditions. There are 11 slum dwelling areas with 1,117 houses to accommodate 5,251 people. The houses are made of tin roofs and mud walls. The roofs are leaky and the walls lack adequate foundation. The homeowners neither have the capacity to build an entire house at once nor can they borrow a loan from a financial institute.

· Habitat Interventions

Habitat aims to build houses and improve the lives of the people in Chitwan. To address such challenges of the community Habitat offered a ‘Save and Build “program to assist the slum dwellers, which is now acknowledged by the community as their own program. With their own saving, the matching fund from Habitat, and locally available materials they succeed in building decent habitats for themselves.

· Type of house

Normally, the houses Habitat builds have two rooms and one Verandah. The houses are built with bricks/cement blocks and other locally available materials. The roofs are constructed of Corrugated Galvanized Iron (CGI) sheet roofing.

About Chitwan

General Information

Chitwan district, a part of Narayani zone, is one of the seventy-five districts of Nepal, and is located in the mid-western region. The district, with Bharatpur as its district headquarters, covers an area of 2,218 km² and has a population (2011) of 579,984. The district is divided into 40 Village Development Committees (VDCs) and two municipalities, Bharatpur and Ratnanagar. Chitwan borders the districts of Tanahu and Gorkha in the north, Dhading in the north east, Nawalparasi in the west, Makwanpur in the east, Parsa in the south east, and India’s Bihar State in the south.

The district takes its name from the Chitwan Valley, one of Nepal's Inner Terai valleys between the Mahabharat and Siwalik ranges, both considered foothills of the Himalayas. The name Chitwan is a combination of the Sanskrit words चित्त - "citta " - meaning heart, and वन - "vana" - meaning jungle or forest. Thus, the meaning of Chitwan is Heart of the Jungle.

· Community background

Chitwan provides a splendid site for tourists with the famous Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) - Nepal’s first national park - and beautiful places like Sauraha and Kasara. Chitwan has particularly rich flora and fauna. RCNP together with the adjacent Parsa Wildlife Reserve support a species diversity much higher than any other on the Indian subcontinent. Rare species include Bengal tiger, gharial and the world's second largest population of Asian Rhinoceros, as well as leopards, Mugger crocodile, Indian rock python and several species of deer. The protected areas are guarded by a battalion of the Nepal Army and patrolled by seven anti-poaching units. The RCNP is the third largest tourist destination in Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Until the 1950s, the Chitwan lowlands were sparsely populated by indigenous, malaria-resistant people, mostly Tharus and some Bhote and Bharai. Government prohibition and endemic malaria kept immigration at low levels. In the early 1800s, cultivation in Chitwan valley was actually prohibited by government decree for a time, in order to preserve the malarial forest as a defensive barrier to invasion from the south. Later, under the Rana regime (1846-1950) Chitwan was administered as a private hunting reserve. The overthrow of the Ranas in 1950 effectively opened Chitwan to immigration, which was facilitated by the malaria eradication efforts between 1954 and 1960 (the disease was officially declared eradicated in 1960). Between 1950 and 1960 the population of Chitwan District nearly tripled. The spreading settlements caused the disappearance of almost two-thirds of Chitwan's forests during the decade and numerous wildlife species were almost eliminated through hunting and habitat destruction. The rhino was hunted especially intensively for its enormously valuable horn (in 1981 rhino horn was worth up to US $17,000 /kg). The immigration also very negatively affected the indigenous populations.

Bharatpur is the commercial and service centre of central south Nepal and major destination for higher education, health care and transportation of the region, and is one of the fastest growing cities of Nepal. It lies on the banks of Narayani River as well as at the centre of the Mahendra (east -west) highway and Kathmandu - Birgunj (North-South) road corridor. The proximity of this city from Kathmandu (146 km), Pokhara (126 km), Butwal (114 km), Birganj (128 km), Hetauda (78 km) and Prithivinarayan (Gorkha) (67 km) has augmented the importance of its advantageous geographical location. Bharatpur is also home to Nepal’s premier cancer hospital, B.P Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Bharatpur.

Chitwan is also famous for its production mustard from which mustard oil is produced. The high production of mustard is made available by the soil type in the region, which is very silty, due to a long history of flooding from the Gandaki and other rivers. Clay is also found in many areas of Chitwan, which allows for high production of rice. Other popular cash crops in the region are maize and wheat. The soil is also very good for growing various types of vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, radish, potato, broccoli, cucumbers, pumpkins, and carrot. Chitwan also hosts 80% of the country's poultry industry, and is also famous for floriculture, mushroom cultivation and bee keeping. Chitwan is regarded as a food surplus district, and food processed in Bharatpur is sold to major cities of the country including Kathmandu and Pokhara.