About Goats Giving People a Perspective

In this article, I want to tell you about other CCODER projects that were and still are a response to the devastating earthquake in 2015.

The Gorkha district was one of the worst hit areas by the 2015 earthquake and left many villages completely destroyed. In contrast to the capital Kathmandu there was no quick reconstruction and to this day many people live in makeshift tents. The government assured to provide resources to rebuild the area but failed to deliver them so far.

CCODER has been active in this area for more than two decades. They run a school and help with many community based projects. This was the reason why CCODER had already an established link with the region and could act quickly. As an immediate response, they provided makeshift school tents to at least restore some normality. But this was obviously not sufficient. CCODER wanted to deliver long term help. And this is the point where the goats come in.

Since CCODER has not the funds to rebuild villages they focused on more long term help. Seventy-five families received training in goat keeping, an education approved by the government. Passing this training successfully was the requirement to receive three or four goats and enough seeds for their food. Breeding goats can feed a family and provide a possibility for long term income by selling their milk and eventually their meat.

This project is part of a greater program called LEAP (Lamidana area Enterprise Adaption Program) backed by a german school. The idea behind it is to provide five villages in the area of Lamidana with the possibility for sustainable development.

Another part of this project is the training of sixty men as carpenters to respond to the reconstruction needs after the 2015 earthquake. Such a training gives the involved persons a future beyond the reconstruction phase, obviously not achievable if the villages were rebuilt by outside contractors.

The education of farmers on how to grow different crops such as potatoes is another example. Why potatoes, you may wonder. Well, potatoes are not that easy to store in good quality. This is why CCODER helped to build a potato storage house. Storage is necessary since, in this area, it takes a long time to reach the next street and the markets associated with it. Like this, the cooperative of the farmers has the possibility to store the potatoes and organize an efficient transport to the next market.

By the way, the same approach is used for beekeeping, as honey is easy to store and provides a good profit margin. The sum of such projects allows for sustainable and stable earnings and provides a local prospect which will reduce rural depopulation.

The founder of CCODER likes to say: “We help you to help yourself.” And these examples really prove it. The focus is to cure the basis of poverty rather than fighting its symptoms.

In the same area CCODER is now rebuilding a school similar to the one in Palpa, the one I described in an older blog post. Special about the new school building are the bricks in a new "earthquake-proof” design.

These bricks can be produced on site with a molding press. The finished products lock into each other like LEGO bricks, such preventing the walls from falling apart during a quake. Much research was done about their design and this seems to deliver what it promises. Hopefully it never has to prove itself in reality, but then, Nepal is an earthquake-prone country.

In a next issue, I will look deeper into the ideas behind this NGO and how it interacts with the government and the local authorities.