News Update Annapurna Self-sustaining Children Home
First, a really big thank you to each of you, who have made a contribution and helped us to get where we are today!!
Sarada and I have been evaluating many aspects of our children home this past week during my time here. In many ways the Home is going wonderfully well - the children are healthy and happy, they have achieved top marks in their school, including a few of them gaining distinctions. Many behavioural problems that they arrived with have shifted and changed, allowing them to become better adjusted and integrated with other children and adults.
The team working within the Home, Sarada and three additional mothers, are happy and enjoying their commitment. The vegetable production is excellent, providing the Home with fresh organic vegetables every day, thus making a substantial saving on spending.
Additonally, the milk from the cows and buffalos provide 10 litters every day for the children. The excess of both vegetables and milk is sold locally, providing a small income to pay for other food and essential items that we don't grow. Due to hygiene issues, we have closed the larger chicken production, but maintain a few chicken for the eggs and meat for the use within the Home. (It has meant a loss of income closing the chicken farming)
And, on the practical and self-sustaining level, we need a next step. Currently we rent the house and land that the Home is locate upon. Each month this is quite a large expense. Plus the costs of food (that we don't produce), school fees, books, clothing, essentail items like soap and oil - all have increased substantially in the past few years and this is a continuing trend. Plus, the children are growing and their needs increase with their age and appetites!
So ... Sarada and I have a plan!
We are negotiating to buy land nearby and build up our buildings and farm, so that we no longer need to pay rent, thus reducing major cost. This will give us long-term security. Plus it will allow expansion of our farming and living needs, that are possible in our current location. We have identified the first bit of land and are in negotiations for the purchase. We have almost, but not quite, enough for this first step!
Here now is our full vision and plan for you to review and consider:
We would like to create and build a Home, that is a safe and eco-friendly place for the children to live. To build structures structures in accordance with current earthquake standards as we live in a high risk area. With enough enough land for agriculture and farming, that easily maintains a hygienic and safe environment for the children. We wish the whole complex to be relaxing and inviting, creating a natural state of meditation and reflection. Within the complex we wish to build a larger room that can be a multi-purpose room. For the children it can be a study room and used for playing and additionally it can be used for mediation and yoga. This room while children are at school can additionally be used for education of womens' health and other community education needs.
We will continue our Self-sustaining principal and develop further the organic farming of vegetables and milk production. This creates our daily basis of living as well as proviging the children wit natural surroundings and potential to develop healthy life-skills. Our plan will also continue to employ marginalised women as our live-in mothers and farming support.
We consider this Vision is like our own Mount Everest, we have taken the first steps but we have quite a bit more to achieve the summit!