Spring 2011 Newsletter

TRAS publishes a newsletter three times each year. Our Spring 2011 Newsletter, featuring information about the upcoming Nepali Film Festival on April 3, was recently mailed out. You can read it online in PDF format.

READI, Humla, Nepal

December 2010:  TRAS is thrilled to have helped create the very first library in the north-western district of Humla in Nepal. Partnering with the Vancouver-based Nepal Library Foundation and the Rato Bangala School in Kathmandu, which has its own publishing house, TRAS has arranged for the delivery of hundreds of books to Humla’s tiny capital of Simikot. The library has been set up in the school where the TRAS-supported project is educating the first group of under-privileged children. Two teachers have been given a briefing on how to manage the library, and interest in this exciting new venture is growing amongst the citizens and other schools. Although the books are already in use, an official opening will be celebrated in the spring, when the bitter Humla winter is over. Enthusiasm for the library has led to the promise of more books from an Asia-based NGO. Like ripples on a pond, our first small stone is having a growing effect!

SHARE Vocational Training

TRAS has worked with SHARE, a local NGO in Manali, north India, for 18 years. SHARE’s goal is to bring better health, educational and income generation opportunities to the impoverished villages in the hills above Manali.   The TRAS successful latrine building project completed over 1,000 toilets. The Family Health Project saw all children immunized and 750 families joining a health plan which includes monthly visits and education. An environmental protection program was started in several schools. Each of these projects has had long-term benefits: by the end of 2011, every household will have a latrine, although funding of new latrines stopped several years ago. Mothers now routinely take their babies into Manali for vaccinations. The health plan has spread to hundreds more households than expected. Water sources are cleaner. The child mortality rate has decreased dramatically. 

In 2010, TRAS and SHARE partnered on a new project to bring a vocational training program to the village youth, giving them their first chance to prepare for jobs in the growing tourist industry based in Manali. Classes are held in computer skills, English, general knowledge, and hospitality. 

December, 2010: The first six-month report shows unexpected results: the students have quickly and adeptly picked up computer skills, and some have asked for an extension of the program to include accounting and typing in Hindi. Two students have branched out into higher education in math and science with the goal of attending university. English skills, however, are not as strong. The good news is that the English course will be extended, and SHARE is offering a refresher course in English language for local teachers.  So far, 13 enthusiastic participants have enrolled, which bodes well for the future. TRAS is delighted with the early results of this three-year project.

NEPALI FILM FESTIVAL

 
 

By Marina Guy, Event Co-ordinator

TRAS and Langara College Continuing Studies are proud to present the 5th Nepali Film Festival on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at Langara College (100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver).

The date has been set and the films are being sourced – all the details are coming together for another engaging Film Festival. This one-day festival will feature inspiring and thought-provoking films by Nepali filmmakers as well as a Himalayan market where many treasures can be found. All proceeds from the festival will go to TRAS-supported projects in Nepal.

We are currently compiling a committee to voluntarily coordinate all the details of this event and are looking for individual, community and business sponsors to support the festival financially or in-kind in return for advertising opportunities. If you would like to volunteer for the festival or learn more about festival sponsorship opportunities please contact our Events Coordinator, Marina Guy, at marina.guy@tras.ca.

For updates on the Nepali Film Festival please visit the TRAS website at www.tras.ca

Stay tuned for updates!

Disaster Relief Welcome

Voice of Children Project

TRAS members responded quickly to the appeal for emergency funds to help our two local partner NGOs give aid to stricken villagers after the disastrous September floods in Uttarakhand, north India. A recent report from the field indicates the TRAS donations outfitted 62 families with clothing, bedding and food supplies, and helped with rebuilding houses. Thank you to our members!