R Star Foundation announces that as 2017 ends, a greenhouse has been added in each of 30 villages in Nepal. Approximately 90 percent of the homes were destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes. R Star is finally receiving the necessary supplies for the designated families to receive a greenhouse to offset the cost of rebuilding homes.
However, the overwhelming need remains for adequate and humane housing, as only five percent of the destroyed homes have been rebuilt (or started).
Rosalind Russell, founder of R Star, says, “The goal of R Star is to put at least one greenhouse in each village for the poorest. We are at 51 villages, but we have 18 greenhouses to go. Progressing forward we wish to continue adding greenhouses and, of course, goats which we are more known for too, to help the continued struggling of the villagers which remain severe beyond our imagination.”
Photo by Rosalind Russell / Earthquake damaged home
In each of the 30 villages, to determine who receives the greenhouses (referred to as tunnels), the villagers ‘elect’ the single woman or family to be the recipient. The greenhouses offer year-round organic farming, adding to the meager income they get from only two seasons in the fields they work each year.
Russell says, “What a grand way to end the year with the long-awaited greenhouses for the 30 different villages, all castes I will add, and 30 different families benefiting. Obtaining the right bamboo caused a part of the long wait as we gifted the funds early this year while I was there hoping to have them all up and running by mid-summer.”
Photo by Rabin Situala / Greenhouse supplies
R Star greenhouses produce up to four crops per year, in some cases, five. The plants are started by organic seeds the villagers have for each growing time. Being organic means they bring in higher prices as organic produce is pricier.
“I love knowing bamboo is a replenishable, sustainable product, even growing fast, but still with such a demand we have had to wait endlessly paying higher prices than ever known in Nepal for bamboo,” Russell adds. “Another election which pretty much slowed or stopped the country from progressing in building just concluded, and add in some of the holidays of the Hindus being celebrated, stopping [momentum] for building in Nepal with the festivities.”
Click on photo for larger image
Photo by Rabin Situala
Bamboo bundles ready for transport
Russell discusses conditions in Nepal and the greenhouse constructed at TOW, that will in time become a place for students to learn first-hand about sustainability concepts.
“Unlike the wonderful TOW Laguna school, there are no amenities beyond a water tank for the dry season, a hose, training on how best to produce the finest of crops, organic fertilizer, nails and wire. Other than the bamboo and water tanks, the supplies have reached their destinations with the ground being prepared to build upon. Having the humidifiers and other accoutrements as LB’s TOW elementary school has would be wonderful, but only the big investors in Nepal coming from India have grand greenhouses which I have seen by private tour. Regardless, our simple greenhouses are doing well to help our villagers, I am proud to say.”
For donations for greenhouses or goats, (a tax deduction), click here to make a quick donation or mail to: PO Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92652. A greenhouse is currently $600. A goat is $200 which also provides microfinancing for village ladies.