Cultural Exchange

2005 saw the intiation of a school partnership between the Kali Devi Primary School, in Gati, Sindupalchowk District, with Geshwister Scholl Gymnasium, Freiberg, Gemany. This partnership was initiated by Agenda 21 Initiative at the Freiberg Municipality, socialtours.com and Borderland Resorts in Nepal. It was facilitated by Birgit Lienhart, working as Tourism Advisor then at SNV Nepal, who had initiated a similar partnership in another part of Nepal with an NGO.

Since this partnership started, several activities have taken place, many of which has won awards in Germany.

Cultural Exchange

Every year, a group of students and teachers come to Nepal on a cultural exchange trip. They conduct homestays in the village, do a little bit of volunteering work there, and then go on a rewarding trek or rafting or jungle safari. Two groups have come so far, and in 2007, upto 19 people are coming on this program under the aegis of this partnership.

The evenings in the village homestays is where you see the cultural outcome of this project. Villagers conduct cultural shows and German songs as well as Nepali songs are sung till late at night. There is much dancing and merry-making. Students stay in a selected homestays in a village. and a fixed amount is paid for the hospitality, which the hosts generally volunteer should go into the common developmental pot for the village. 

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Fund Raising

Students from Namaste Nepal S-GmbH have done several award winning fund raising initiatives. In 2005, they did a 'run for money' campaign which raised over 14,000 Euros on a 42 hour running drive. With this money invested in solar cells for the school building, they are assured of at least 2000 Euros every year for the next 20 years, which they now plan on investing in development in Nepal.

Every year, they develop the Nepal Calendar, which is printed on a limited run, and sold at a small profit to raise funds

In 2006, they raised money through a 'run for money' a 'Nepali Concert' of the popular Band from Nepal 1974 AD in Freiberg, Germany and the calendars

A similar drive is on going in Freiberg to support ongoing projects of the company in Nepal. 

Students Company

The registration of the students company itself was quite an achievement for school students and they have won accolades for this initiative. 

Education Support

In 2005, a Kindergarten teacher was trained in Montessori techniques in kathmandu, nepal and now she is handling the kindergarten in the village, which was going defunct after another project abandoned them and funds ran out. Namaste Nepal (NN) now pays salaries, provides mid-day meals to the children, and supports other activities here from time to time.

At the primary school, NN supports part salaries of some of the teachers, and has provided funds for the conversion of the school building facilities to upgrade to a Secondary School. The primary school has secondary status now. 

Health Support 

In 2006, NN fully funded a Cataract Eye Camp in Chautara, the district headquarters of Sindupalchowk. It conducted over 175 cataract operations in five days. This was the most ambitious project to date, and involved Joy Foundation Nepal for the coordination of the camp with Til Ganga Eye Hospital, which is a world renown ISO 9002 Intra-Ocular Lens manufacturer and hospital in Kathmandu

Namaste Nepal in Nepal

An NGO called Namaste Nepal has been set up in Nepal, under the aegis of the Social Welfare Council, to support the management and implementation of these projects. The coordinator for this project is Mangal Dangol, a social work diploma holder, who is currently working from the socialtours.com offices in Thamel, Kathmandu 

Projects in the pipeline

In 2007, more ambitious projects are in the pipeline. We are on the verge of starting a new partnership with a school in Dansing, Syangja District which will rebuild the school there and starting energy conservation activities in Gati

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