Jhumlawang village is a home of about 1000 people from 6 major ethnic-groups of Nepal: Chhetri, Dalits, Gurung, Magar, Newar, and Thakuri. We have been living in absolute harmony for generations.
Any issues that arise between members of the community are being dealt by village leaders- called Bhaladmi (gentlemen/women). After receiving a complaint, they call a public meeting to hear both side of stories, see evidences, and take witnesses before they give their decision, which is expected to be respect from the both parties. However, if any party does not agree with the decision, they could go ahead to take the issue further to the government officials.
The village meeting that took place on 20th December 2008 recognised that it is absolutely necessary to build a community centre in order to give sense of unity, keep and preserve essence of harmony that we have within, and to be better organised. The community Centre will address the following issues that we have been going through:
- JVF Office:
- The community does not have designated building to set up, and run its own office. So, official files have to be carry around in bags and store either in field co-ordinator or one of village leaders’ house. Having its own office will certainly help to be better organised.
- Meeting / training Hall:
- The community meeting has been taking place under open sky for generations. However, it is hard to organise and call a meeting in this way especially during monsoon season and extreme weather condition in winter.
Apart from community meeting, JVF has plans to run training programs in agriculture, conservation, education, health, human rights, sustainable development and many other areas. It will show documentaries made in these topic. The meeting hall in the building will be useful for both purposes.
- Adult Education Program:
- Our internal survey carried out in 2010 reveals that nearly 65% of our community members are illiterate. The community ran Adult Education Program in the past, but it failed to continue as there was not a special designated place to run with all necessary teaching materials and environment where both men and women could come to learn after finishing their household chores in the evening. The meeting hall in the building will be used to run adult education program.
- Library and Information Centre:
- JVF has a plan to establish a library and information centre. It will be a place where members of community, students, teachers, and volunteers can come to read daily and weekly newspapers, book, and be connected outside world via internet.
- Guest Rooms:
- The community has a tradition to welcome visitors and volunteers who come to our village. Until now, we accommodate them in one of our members’ house. We would like our guests and volunteers to have their own private place to relax. Once construction work of the building is completed, there will be two guest rooms for them.
Construction of a Building:
Nearly two years of preparation the construction work of the community centre started on the 25th November 2010, and the first phase of the project is almost completed.
The plot of land for the project was donated by one of our community members Mr Ram Prasad Gurung in memory of his late parents.
Our diaspora member, architect Ajay Magar designed the building and has been leading a team of 2 sub-civil engineers- Laxman Budha and Tejendra Budha, to oversee the overall construction of the building.
Other members based in the village have been working voluntarily to contribute at least 25% of the total budget. Diaspora members are contributing not only their expertise, but also by giving about 5% of their earnings, and co-ordinating fundraising events around the world.