National Newspaper of Nepal (June 2004-rough translation) Mom and Son: Development Mission
Rabindra and Russell are committed on developing a remote Village not far from Kathmandu.
Rosalind Russell, from California, America and her Nepali Son Rabindra Sitaula are now a days busy on developing a remote village (Ojhetar, Devbhumi, 6) of Kavre District for the revolution out of poverty.
The project is named as “Women Helping Women”, and the main aim of this project is to enlighten the villagers with literacy and self-independence out of poverty. Russell is devoting herself to the project by arranging the necessary materials and Rabindra is helping by coordinating the whole village for the project. The best part of this project is that, they never organized any formal seminars, never wrote any unnecessary project proposals, just the necessary things they did was by informing and working with the Government Livestock office of Nepal and their regular hard work within the villages.
Kavre is a district situated 40 KM far from Kathmandu.
Devbhumi Baluwa Ojhetar-6 is a small village of the Kavre District. Neither does the village have any good schools nor any major highways for access, limiting their agricultural products to get to the market. This place has a hard life and people are suffering due to the lack of enough clean water and no electricity.
There is a small school in the central part of the village though most of the children don’t go to school because there are very few people who understand the value of education. This village has no educated children. Recently one lower cast girl graduated 10th grade and she was the only one who had some knowledge about the education but after she married the village has no literate child. (Married women leave their village to move to their husband’s village). Even though Ojhetar is close to Kathmandu, it has no sign of development, no attention by the government, but now Russell and Rabindra are committed to bring the revolution, the changes in the village by spreading the knowledge of possibilities and development and adding education for everyone interested.
“If there is a will there is a way” the most interesting part of this project is the story about Rosalind Russell who was very curious to see her son and family after very long barrel of time. On Poush 5th (Nepali Date), ((December 22,’03)), Rosalind Russell arrived in ‘her’ Nepali from California, USA. She was here in Nepal a month, not to enjoy and visit beautiful places, but she was here to exchange herself with all innocent villagers and many people of Nepal and to gift them something from her side of the world. As reporters we had many interviews with many village people and they all refer to her as “MOM” which sounds very nice to everyone’s heart, as that is where they hold her.
After they, (Russell and Rabindra), decided to do something new in a Village they headed towards Ojhetar village. With her own personal investment, Russell bought 204 goats for 100 roofs in villages. Rabindra and Russell gathered the women and girls of village and established a project they agreed to which the village women will control. They created the project into four major divisions and they distributed per adult woman, 2 goats, there were some terms and condition that goats can’t be killed or used as a flesh for a certain period of time. (Females are not killed but used for breeding). If they have to sell it then they can do that, but they need to fulfill the necessary amount in the project to pass on 2 goats first. And every group member has a responsibility of paying 5 RS per month (dues, about .10 cents American), to the Community so that they can use it in case of urgency in the village while growing the account for other uses. Besides that she (Rosalind), gave 5000 Rs to each of the four groups to use as they vote upon. (loans with small interest which returns to the Community pot of money so as to establish businesses, use for health, for education and what they deem as good for them). We all Nepali are proud of this project and proud of our American Mom. This project is not limited only to Ojhetar as they did the same thing in another remote place called Bakhunde, which is also falls under Kavre District. Russell and Rabindra are now working to establishing a school in Ojhetar at this time, as education will help remove the poverty.
Regardless of the horrible situation of Nepal, Russell and Rabindra are fully devoting themselves to change the shape of that small village(s). Other villages and villagers are also influenced by the revolution (changes), created by this development. Today Russell is in the heart of all the poor villagers, and many other people. As we have heard Russell and Rabindra are expanding their development again in the coming winter. We feel extremely proud of Rosalind Russell and Rabindra Sitaula for this incredible job, we wish them all the best.