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Surya, our Nepalese partner, stands in front of a home in the village of Halete. Not one of the 55 homes that existed before the earthquake stands today.

destroyed home nepal earthquakeNepal got rocked again. This time by a 7.3 earthquake. According to Aljazeera, at least 66 people have been killed. More than 300,000 homes were completely destroyed, or made to dangerous to live in.  What little shelter there was, has become even more infrequent. People fear being buried alive by rubble, and continue to sleep on the streets. The death toll has reached more than 8,200 people.  

nepal earthquake destruction

supply truck nepal earthquake

Another scary factor- monsoon season is just around the corner. With the rains starting in late may, landslides threaten to close the few roads that are open. Help might not be able to reach the rural secluded villages.  

Surya has been reaching out to those villagers. In Halete, his team passed out blankets, rice, onions and soap to every house hold.   

food for nepal earthquake survivors

Medicine was distributed where necessary. Over 80 people were injured from April 25th's earthquake.  

medicine for nepal earthquake survivors

Other food staples, lentils, oil, masala, salt and spices, were allocated. Food supplies are best provided by locals, who understand the dietary needs and traditions of the Nepali people. Donated canned food like tuna and mayonnaise often go to waste.

supplies for nepal earthquake survivors

Additional help is needed. Unless you have a medical or disaster-relief background, it is not necessary the time to volunteer in Nepal. You can help through additional monetary donations.  Learn about our campaign here.  With donated money, supplies, blankets, tents and medicine can be bought and distributed to those who need it most.

cow in nepal after earthquake

Yes, that is a cow in there.

This course is designed for:

  • People looking for ways to improve the quality of their food.
  • People who want to live a more sustainable, meaningful life closer to nature.
  • People who want to live a more simple life growing their own food, even if they have no land.

 

Course Content:

Week one:

  • History of conventional farming and problems with our present food system
  • Principles of organic farming, soil /plant relationship, law of return, diversity, rotation, etc.
  • Value of organic matter in the soil
  • Composting: urban Invisible composting, trench and hole methods, cold urban composting, hot composting, Bokashi, and microorganism traps
  • Green manures and using legumes
  • Mulch
  • Visit to the Environmental school

Week two:

  • Plant associations and companion plant rotations, plant families and garden planning project.
  • Plant nutrition
  • Organic fertilizers
  • Seed saving
  • Permaculture
  • Principles and ethics, design, multiple use species, integration of resources, composting toilets, alternative energy, biotechnology, etc.
  • Permaculture design project

Week Three:

  • Liquid fertilizers and vinegars
  • Worm farming
  • Soils and soil testing
  • Permaculture design presentations
  • Weeds and wild foods
  • Traditional use of the moon calendar in agriculture
  • Mulch gardening
  • Double dig gardening-French intensive method/No dig gardening
  • Natural farming

Week Four:

  • Pest and disease management- Student presentations
  • Identification of virus, fungal, bacterial, deficiency and insect problems.
  • Traps and repellents, natural insecticides, beneficial insects etc.
  • Organic standards and certification
  • Land restoration - conversion to Organic Agriculture from a conventional system
  • Biodynamic farming, history, principles, cosmic influences, preparations
  • Animal welfare and organic animal production
  • Beekeeping

 

About the course:

  • The course is accepted in most universities as credit for your studies. We are help fill out any evaluation forms that you might need.
  • Some Spanish skills are useful, but not a requirement.  Some of the practical work may be done with Spanish speakers. 
  • Course Hours:  Monday through Friday, 6.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Daily schedule:  The day begins with practical work; feeding the animals before breakfast; then classes are 8.30-4pm, with lunch breaks from 12-1:30 pm.  Saturday and Sunday free.
  • Course dates 2015:
    • May 19 - June 13 (IN SPANISH)
    • July 20 - August 14
    • November 9 - December 4

 

What's included:

Accommodation: Shared rooms in cozy cabins constructed from primarily local materials, bedding is provided. Volunteers can bring their own mosquito net if they want one. Toilets and showers are in separate buildings.
Meals: 3 meals per day 7 days a week. Vegetarian and white meat served.
Airport pickup: Not included, but can be arranged.
Pre-departure Orientation and Onsite Training: Volunteers receive a comprehensive orientation on safety and security, culture shock, and about being a volunteer in their project. At the farm, most of the training is hands-on and takes place before working on specific projects or chores.
Support:  24/7 during your study time.

 

What's not included:

Flights, visas, insurance.

 

Cost:

  • US$1500 ($1300 if booking and payment is made three months before the starting date)
  • All Registration Fees are included in the price above.

 

 

Update on Nepal Relief Efforts

Surya, our Nepalese partner, just returned from from Halete yesterday. It's a small village that does not even exist on Google Maps located next to Kartike Deurali and Nagarkot, 30 km east of Kathmandu. About 300 people live in this small village, with a total of 50-55 houses.Surya

Today, not a single house stands, and four people lost their lives to the earthquake, with more than 70 people injured. Days after the earthquake, the land keeps shaking and people still sleep without shelter, on a neighbor's land or along a road, using burlap sacks (once used to store grains) as blankets. 

Surya and his team will travel back and forth from Chitwan and Kathmandu to Halete carrying supplies- food (rice, lentils, beans, etc.) blankets, medicine, tents, andwater purification tablets. From Kathmandu, they'll drive four hours by jeep, and the remaining two hours by foot. Landslides and damage make it impossible to complete the entire journey by car.

While this seems small on the grand scale of what happened in Kathmandu, many of these small villages, devastated by the earthquake have been cut off from all relief.  Please help us bring help to those isolated from it.

We will provide continuous updates with more information and photos. 

In Colorado One School Is Trying to Censor History

Native American genocide, slavery, and civil disobediance and other negative U.S. history will soon be erased by the Jeffco School District in Colorado.

Apparently now in Jefferson County, the school district is interested in promoting a deemingly more "patriotic" view in their AP US History class. Hundreds of students have walked out of school in protest with the support of many other local town residents.

Support non-censored education and don't let history be written by the winners (or in this case the losers). Sign this petition.

Change. Lots of change. National Geographic released an article citing the crazy statistic of our population increasing to 11 billion by 2100. Today its 7 billion people. That's a huge jump.

Countries like Nigeria, one of the Africa's largest countries at 174 million people today, will have their population jump to 900 million people. “Of the people added to the planet in this century, according to the UN, one in five will be Nigerian.”

In a world where resources and space are already running scarce, new ideas, inventions, and techniques will be essential to ensure the survival and quality of life for the world's population. What are you going to contribute?

Why Smart Girls Rule

Sometimes hashtag # campaigns really annoy me. I haven't decided where I stand with #BringBackOurGirls yet. These campaigns, a.k.a. Kony's Child Soldier campaign, have a funny way of blowing up in our faces. You debate on one hand if its done responsibly or if its just a sensationlistic 15 minute thing that is in the now. But when you find articles, like the one written by Nicolas Kristof called What's so Scary about Smart Girls?, it makes you happy the hashtag campaign happened.

Kristof makes us think about what else we can do. Bringing opportunities to all springs forth exponential economic growth and furthers stability. Perhaps its time we take a moment to think about how we can engage our own civic duty.

Check out our projects in social development, like Single Mother's Empowerment, to help bring opportunities to all.