Newsletter Summer 2020

A Story From The Mountains Of Nepal
Dear Friends,

We hope you are all well in these challenging times. In the poor regions of the Himalaya mountains and around Mount Kenya the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges. The schools are closed, and many students are unable to study for their upcoming exams. Our local teams are working hard to provide education through our Digital Learning project in Kenya and Radio Education program in Taplejung to help the students prepare for their exams.

In special times like these, it seems timely to reflect. Reflect on our purpose and if what we are doing creates a real positive change for people in challenging situations. At HPF we have also reflected on our work and how we can have an even greater impact on the lives of the children we are dedicated to improving in Nepal, Kenya, and Denmark.

As the late, Danish poet Søren Kierkegaard cleverly put it: “In order truly to help someone, I must understand him – but certainly first and foremost understand what he understands”. 

These words are essential to the work of Human Practice Foundation. In order to create real change, we must first and foremost be humble and grateful. Humble and grateful towards our local implementing teams and all the people with whom we are working together to create an impact – but even more importantly humble and understanding towards the local communities we wish to transform for the better.

We are also extremely grateful for all the donations we received in relation to Ole Andersen’s funeral. They fund a new school building in Taplejung in memory of Ole. He will always have a special place in the Human Practice family’s heart ❤️

We want to take you on a trip to Taplejung and meet the local Maden-family who is part of our local projects. This story inspires us to continue the journey – hopefully with you.

“HPF has touched almost all aspects of our life”

In the mountainous district of Taplejung is a small village called Hangdewa. The village is stricken by poverty and many families struggle to make ends meet. This is also the case for the Maden-family who is trying to support itself with their family farming.

Devendra Maden, the father of the family, is a 54-year-old farmer. 12 years ago, poverty forced him to go overseas to the Gulf countries as a migrant worker and work under inhumane conditions to support his family. In 2016 Human Practice Foundation initiated the construction of a new school building and educational facilities at Janata Secondary School in Hangdewa as well as community activities and in 2016 Devendra returned home. With the new school building, Devendra could send his children to a good school in safe conditions.

Devendra recalls how having a modern school building in the village made him happy: his children could now get a good education and the children could focus more on learning. In his words: “Development had finally entered our small remote community”.

Devendra Maden tending to Kiwi plants at his home

While in the Gulf countries, Devendra experienced specialized farming and upon returning home in 2016 he desperately looked for ways he could support his family with farming. He was anxiously searching for opportunities to improve his farming and its profitability. In the meantime, he learned that HPF had initiated a coffee farming project in Taplejung. He decided to approach HPF and was admitted to the project. Since then he has been trained in how to produce coffee beans of high quality that can be sold for profit through HPF. In 2019 he received 150 coffee plant seedlings for a small fee and is planning to expand with an additional 200 plants in 2020.

In 2017, HPF also launched a community awareness program on physical and dietary behavior as a part of preventive measures against diabetes. Devendra was also one of the participants and found that the training helped him a lot. He decided to try more organic products and to grow more vegetables for his family’s health. The small plot of land has expanded over the years adding fruits and more vegetables. His family now consumes organic vegetables produced from his own garden and also sells them at the local Fungling market every Saturday. His family’s expenses are now covered by the production of kiwi and vegetables that give them an average income of 40 USD per month. His monthly income is expected multiply by five when his first batch of plants starts yielding coffee beans. The first batch of coffee from Taplejung has already been sold in USA and received high acclaim.

Coffee sold in the San Francisco, USA made from Taplejung coffee beans
Devendra’s wife Jog Kumari Limbu was working hard with household chores and taking care of their children while Devendra worked in the Gulf Countries. In 2018, she enrolled in HPF’s Micro-Enterprise Program. She received training on more effective farming, and how to run a small local business for a profit. She proposed to start poultry farming and received specific guidance and financial support from HPF for this endeavor.

Now, she has 40 chickens on her poultry farm. Her plan is to sell the chickens in the local market within the next 6 months. At the same time, the chickens’ eggs have helped provide food for her family. She expects to earn USD 400 of which 40 USD will be re-invested in more chickens. Jog Kumari is now feeling more empowered and said: “HPF has broadened my work. Previously, my kitchen was my playing ground however this has now expanded and became bigger where I want to be a successful entrepreneur”.

Jog Kumari Limbu tending to her chickens

Devendra and Jog have two daughters, Paris Maden Limbu (19 years) and Spain Maden Limbu (16 years). Paris Maden recently graduated from Janata Secondary School with good grades and is now studying a bachelor’s degree. Spain Maden is studying in grade 10 and explains that since HPF constructed the new school building and installed facilities, the quality of education has significantly improved.

She excitedly shares her happiness of getting a chance to do practical training at the science and computer labs. She expects this to help her in her studies after graduating from secondary school. When we talked with Spain Maden she told our team that she used to be weak in English, but last year she had the opportunity to take part in different sessions of English learning from the HPF Impact Education Program. “My English has improved a lot and I expect to pass the SEE Exam, at least with a B+ grade. In the past, I failed in Math subject, until grade 8 however this year I am securing good marks in Math.”

Spain Maden also shared that she has been trained on nutritive cooking, health, and sanitation. During the current COVID-19 lockdown of Nepal, this has proved extremely helpful. Part of this program trained proper handwashing techniques which she has shared with her family to help combat COVID-19 and other diseases.

The Maden-family has benefitted from HPF’s efforts in Taplejung and has used this opportunity to improve their lives and their futures. In the words of Devendra: “HPF has touched almost every aspect of our life. Initially, I thought that HPF might be similar to other developmental organizations but now I find a real difference in HPF that is a more caring and motivational social organization”.

A huge thanks to our donors and partners for making this change possible. Rene Mouriers Fond (school building at Janata Secondary School), Honore’s Fond (Coffe Impact Project and Social Entrepreneurship Program), Flemming Topsøe (Coffe Impact Project) Jacob Raben and the Foss-family (Social Entrepreneurship Program), the Kavli Trust (Quality Education Program) and World Diabetes Foundation (Health and Diabetes Program).

Spain Maden Limbu studying to the HPF English Education Radio Program
Human Practice on a Larger Scale

Fortunately, this story from Taplejung is not unique. We are dedicated to bringing this kind of change to as many poor and marginalized families and communities as possible in Nepal and Kenya. We are continuously constructing new school buildings, while our local teams are training teachers and school management, supporting the students, and making sure that the communities have the possibility to create change.

We are proud to present you with some of our achieved results.

In case you wish to learn more about our initiatives and how to become part of creating this change, feel free to contact us, and we would love to meet for a coffee and an informal chat. 

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who is working tirelessly every day to make this happen. This includes our local teams in Nepal, and Kenya, the HPF movement in Denmark, Zürich, London, and Stockholm, our Founding Partners, and Companies ensuring the 100%-model. Without all of you, this would not be possible.

We wish you all a lovely Summer!

 Best wishes
Pernille, Simon, and Lone
and HPF teams in Denmark, Nepal, and Kenya

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