Just one week before finishing my quest of visiting every country in the World, I was sitting on top of Poon Hill in Ghorepani among some of the highest mountains on this planet, thinking. What can I do next? I knew it had to be something meaningful, and something that could do good to the people around me. After all I had received so much hospitality from people I had met along the way. It soon became clear to me; since I cannot return to every country and give back to all the people who have helped me, I should find a way to pass it on to someone else. It was a couple of days later that I met Prakash, my couchsurfing host in Pokhara who presented to me what we should do:
Build a kindergarten made from empty plastic bottles filled with sand.
How could it be done? I asked. Prakash who had already completed building a school from plastic bottles, and explained passionately.
Well, we first we needed to collect 20 000 bottles
Then we had both local and international volunteers come and fill them up, he said.
At the end we used the bottles as bricks and cemented them together. Prakash then explained me that the flexibility of bottles is good in case of earthquakes like the one in 2015 which left eight thousand dead and tens of thousand injured or homeless.
The idea of how such a school would help clean up the communities and teach the kids to look at these as a resource instead of trash: it hit right in the soft spot of my heart and I asked Prakash to lay out a budget for me.
Total cost of building this school:
- 100 bags of 50kg cement, each costing 8$
- 15 trucks of sand, each costing 100$
- Iron bars for the frame costing around 1000$
- The trust/roof of the building costing around 1000$
- 3 Iron pillars that were mandated by govt to have 1000$
- 2 aluminum doors and 4 windows for 1000$ (or 50% more for wood)
- Paint which will cost 500$
- 2 trucks of sand for the foundation, costing 200$
- 2 trucks of pebbles for the foundation costing 200$
- The collection and transport of bottles would cost 500$
- Masons and helpers would cost approximately 1000$
- 5-10% miscellaneous cost, which would be less than 1000$
That brings the total cost up to... approximately 10000$ I added up- not much for a whole school building! THIS is what my next project should be, I thought.
We sat down and have made a timeline which we will commit to in order for the school to be finished on time this year.
January 2020: Bottles would be collected and filled
February 2020: A temple was built at a school as practice (read more)
March 2020: A location was chosen for the school close to Pokhara
The are is really nice, and close to some spectacular hiking in the Annapurna mountains. See the exact location on this link.
July 2020: Foundation will be made and building will start
November 2020: OPENING mid November!!
I have my whole heart invested in making this happen and will make a considerable contribution to get the building started. I will be looking for corporate sponsors, individual contributors, volunteers and people who have ideas which can help make us reach our goal. If you want more information or are interested in joining us then please get in touch through the contact form and I will be looking forward to hearing from you!
You will find more pictures from the project on this link(Google Drive):