Nepalis building a library with their own piggy bank fund
PRAVAT JUNG GURUNG
KATHMANDU, July 25: On July15, 2012, the campaign called 100 Days 100 Rupees commenced where more than 1,000 students participated by distributing personally hand-painted piggy banks to 5,000 households to raise funds to build a community library in Panauti, some 35 km from Kathmandu.
The campaign was jointly organized by READ Nepal and Anuvuti International as part of an effort to construct a community library and resource center in Panauti solely with Nepali contributions.
“I think what’s more important is the idea of the campaign. Being a Nepali isn’t just about carrying the flag and donning a Dhaka topi, it’s more about taking active role in what’s happening in the country and bringing people together. It has to be a constant effort of everyone, and it’s important for the young ones to know this,” shared Swastika Shrestha, founding CEO of Anuvuti International, a social enterprise that provides service learning programs and opportunities.
In a span of 100 days, more than 1,000 students will be involved in raising Rs 500,000 with the participation of at least 5,000 households.
“The piggy banks that the kids made have been handed over to their family members and relatives by the children themselves wherein they will have to drop at least one rupees a day, so they’ll have at least Rs 100 by the end,” informed Shrestha.
The fund collected through the campaign is set to be used for the construction of READ Nepal’s 50th community library and resource center in Panauti that will be built solely by Nepali contribution.
“In our 20 years of history, we’ve built 49 libraries and community resource centers across Nepal with generous foreign donors. We decided that we would build the 50th library entirely with Nepali resources. We believe that this process will bring our nation together,” says Sanjana Shrestha, Country Director at READ Nepal, a not-for-profit organization in Kathmandu.
Some 700 more students from Panauti are set to participate in the campaign and collect more fund for the project.
According to Shrestha, the library is not just a library with books but also a resource center and a community center for the whole village.
“Meeting of the Ama Samuha (Mothers’ Group), audio and video collection, books related to agriculture and animal farming, among other things, are made available in the libraries,” she said. A research is conducted by READ Nepal before the library is set up and what the community needs is what is provided in the library for them.
“The common households will also get hold of philanthropic work. They may not be benefiting from the library they are donating for and may not visit the center at all, but they are bringing about a change in people’s lives and that’s what’s important for them to feel and learn,” added Shrestha.
The students were briefed about the campaign by the Anuvuti Fellows and what they can do to help people in Nepal. The students then signed up for the project without any pressure from anyone.
“The young ones thoroughly enjoyed themselves while they were making and painting the piggy banks. Some of of kids started drawing nationalistic things like the national flag of Nepal and it was a good experience for them too,” believes Shrestha.
The campaign is set to end in October this year after the students of Panauti complete the 100-day cycle. At the end of the campaign, 100 individual donors, according to the plan, will match the funds raised by the students, thus tripling the fundraising amount to Rs 1,500,000.
Interested donors can get in touch with READ Nepal at 4423141 or 4439858 or through its email at firstname.lastname@example.org.