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International School Students Build With Habitat Families In Nepal

Moved By Their Enthusiasm, Home Partner Desires To Preserve House To Mark Their Contribution

KATHMANDU, 15th November 2007: A build with Habitat for Humanity Nepal has left such a good impression on the teenage volunteers that one is even planning for his old age in few decades’ time. “I think it was an excellent experience outdoors and I think I would love to live here after my retirement, and someday I would love to build my own house and put my print in it,” said fifteen-year-old Namgyal Lama, a student from Lincoln School, an international school in the capital Kathmandu.

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Weighty task: The student volunteers passing stones and carrying the stones just as a Nepalese mountain porter would.

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Adieu: The students and their teachers from Lincoln School in a farewell shot after the build.

Over five days in October 2007, the students and five teachers from Lincoln School built with four Habitat home partner families in eastern Nepal. The families in the hilly Patalekhet village, Kavre district, about 30 km. from Kathmandu, have been saving construction materials such as clay and stones for some time. The home partners were happy that they would finally escape living in dark and stuffy houses, and jostling for space with their animals that were kept in the houses.

The volunteers helped to dig the foundation, pass and mix mud, carry bricks and stones just like a Nepalese mountain porter – in a basket (doko) with a single strap (namlo) around their heads. Their efforts resulted in a wall being built for one of the homes.

Construction work aside, the volunteers also had the opportunity to interact with the village community through games. “It was a lot of fun working with and getting to know the local community. It was fun to play football with the local school,” said Daniel Peniston.

Their youthful enthusiasm touched the Habitat home partners. “It was really a wonderful experience for me working with international people whom I have never met in my life and I am proud that these 14-15 year olds built a home for me. I have to preserve my house as they have contributed their sweat in this house,” said Sita Lama, a 30-year-old mother of three. She and her family are looking forward to their new two-story house, 306 sq. ft. in size, with two rooms and one kitchen.

Habitat for Humanity began its work in Nepal in 1997 and has built more than 1,700 homes.