In February, we were contacted by the Bonn-based art historian Bernadette Bröskamp, then working in Nepal, who told us about a small village school run by the Maharanas, a Baptist couple with a strong sense of social commitment. As the school was only two kilometres or so from Bernadette’s institution in the Lumbini Zone, she had been able to pay regular visits to the Maharanas and their school. One Wednesday evening, her description of the Nav Jeevan School, its pupils and the head teachers was so inspiring that it convinced action five to offer its support. When Bernadette was back in Nepal after spending some time at home, she was able to pass on the news of our readiness to offer funding. Jisay Maharana developed a project application for action five which listed the most urgent improvements required by the school building, which was still some way off completion. On 12 March, action five’s core committee decided to contribute EUR 4,700 in two instalments in support of the following measures:
1. Laying power cables for lighting and ventilators, enabling the school to be used when there is little natural light or in very hot weather.
2. Constructing of a canopy to prevent rain from getting in at the sides of the classrooms.
3. Constructing a paved path from the gate to the school building and a paved terrace in front of the building to stop children sinking in the mud.
4. Completing the toilet facilities – at that point, only the septic tanks had been built.
5. Constructing the remaining exterior walls with doors and windows between the supporting columns, completing some classrooms on the ground floor.
6. Weatherproofing the building parts of unfinished buildings.
Towards the end of May, Ms Bröskamp paid another visit to us in Bonn. She was able to report that, despite the difficult situation in Nepal due to the upcoming elections, the first instalment of our funding had been disbursed as planned, albeit with a slight delay, and the requisite materials purchased. The second instalment is now mainly to be used to cover labour costs.