Chandani, Kavre District , Nepal
About 4 hours by bus from Kathmandu heading east by south east. As the crow flies, its only 45 miles but with roads the way they are in Nepal, distance is always measured in time.
The majority of the people are Brahmin; there are also some Mage (fishing folk).
Chandani is in the foothills of the Himalayas and is at about 5,000 foot elevation. Most of the people are subsistence farmers. The land is fertile and produces a great amount of rice, fruit and vegetables for the people. Chandani is a small farming community about 3.5 hours south and east of Kathmandu. Although the distance is only 43 miles it’s a long windy road with huge potholes and many villages to go through. Chandani has a rich mix of ethnic groups consisting mostly of Majhis and Tamangs representing about 60% of the populations with a smaller percentage of Newar and the Dalits.
The village sits at 2565 feet on a steep hill side overlooking the Indrawati River. Everyone grows rice to feed themselves as well as vegetables, lentils and chills. These four foods make up 95% of their diet. Most Nepalese eat two meals a day of dahl bhat (rice with a lentil soup and a small amount of fried vegetables with chilies. Most families have cows which produce milk for their morning tea as well as for sale. Most homes are three stories: the ground level is where you find the kitchen and gathering area and the animals. The second floor is for sleeping and the top floor is for storage of grains.
Raju Maghi is the school principal and has been a key contact person in the community because our projects over the years have all involved the school. Mr. Maghi has helped arrange the projects with the school board and KEEP and has been played an active role in all visitor activities.
Crooked Trails began work in Chandani in 2008 when we went to the community to help shore up and rebuild a section of their elementary school that was ruined in a landslide. Realizing they had no upper secondary school we returned in 2009 to build the lower secondary school, and in 2010 to begin building the upper secondary school. In 2011 and we went back to finish the job and complete the waters system and toilets for the school. Our love of this village and its kind people has continued to bring us back, running community-based village homestays.
Educational opportunities are crucial to young rural Nepalese with hopes for a better future. With the completion of the upper secondary school , villagers in and around Chandani now have access to a full education, extending through the 10th grade, which they have not had before.
In 2015 we supported our friends in Chandani following the devastating earthquakes that rocked Nepal, leaving this whole village flattened. We provided emergency funds for shelters and food, and additional fundraising followed to fund a self-sufficient milk station to provide an alternate income stream for the village.
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