Nepali for Nepali

(October 24, 2017) about progress on the Mandali School. “It’s hard to believe that almost one year has passed since we had our first meeting with the MSP donors on December 6, 2016. I remember leaving that meeting with so much energy and excitement in anticipation of starting our first fully-sponsored school project. The project founders, Sarah Dickson (UK) and Balan RPS (Malaysia), were easy going backpackers who had stumbled upon a destroyed school in Gorkha and then took the brave decision to build the community a new one. We were impressed by their initiative and compassion for a village they had barely scratched the surface of and they in turn understood and respected our small-scale working method. It seemed like a perfect match. Then the project began and the rest is history! There were many misunderstandings, arguments, conflicts etc. and those were only from the donors’ side! The villagers were…stubbornly uncooperative. However, now that we can officially bring this project to a close, we are more grateful than ever to have been paired up with such patient and flexible sponsors. There is no denying that they unknowingly handed us a Trojan horse, but we somehow managed to thwart the assaults.  Attached below is the Final Report for the Mandali School Project. The total cost of the project was 1,467,850 Nrs. ($14,678.50) over a 7-month period. Thank you again for all of your support. Don’t forget to send us your feedback! Marli

Please see earlier references below, which provide more information.


January 15, 2017

Hello NFN supporters!

I am home for the holidays and have been enjoying the central heating and hot running water!   (Marli returned to Nepal in January 2017) My team has been busy proving that they can fill my shoes. Here is some of their report on our new school project!  (for complete report: Mandali School Project)
Labor expenses
Five workers and one volunteer  worked on block production and four local workers collected sand and soil. We used extra labor for water and paid them per liter to reduce labor costs. In some cases we hired the same person for double duties like cook and assistant labor. Each employee works one and a half shifts; soil collection and block production.
We set up a small kitchen in our room where we are having all our meals. We did not find any more rooms so we set up one additional bed as well. We are using internet to send updates on our progress.
We found some regular workers who are fully dedicated and determined to complete the Mandali School. We have gained some local support after beginning our block production and proved our full commitment to building the Mandali school.  Now we don’t have to worry about any local threats.
We had to exert a huge amount of effort to find any raw materials (sand, soil, water), No local laborers can commit to continual work. Our Manager has to search for laborers on a daily basis. We have also faced difficulty collecting bills in Baluwa where there are very few registered companies.
The project gives us a good opportunity to show locals about safe housing. Interactions with local youths are the best way to bring
interest in Interlocking Block technology to this village.
We faced a couple of incidents with the locals during the start-up phase of this project.There were discrepancies over the ownership
of the school land; locals drained our entire tank of reserved water and there have been repeated confrontations with inebriated

individuals. It has been a challenging environment to work in.

Bhuwan Rokka (Project Coordinator) 20 February 2017

Subash Lama (Program Manager)



Margaret “Marli” Gordon (WAHS Class of 2010 and Boston University Class of 2014) went to Nepal in August, 2014 to work as a volunteer in a home for orphans. She became aware of a low caste village that urgently needed a new school. Marli raised enough money for the first phase of construction and building was about to begin when the earthquake struck. The focus has now shifted from building a school to building villages. With Nepali friends, Marli has registered an NGO, Nepali for Nepali, that is dedicated to this cause.

“We have stayed busy during the monsoon season. We have contacted a Non-Profit that is also involved in Interlocking Block technology and have decided to buy a machine from them. This was far from an easy decision but in the end, the high quality and prime locality clinched the deal. For 375,000 NRP (just over 3500 USD) we will receive:
a. One complete earth brick machine with interlocking mold
b. Insert mold for half block
c. Insert mold for 2/3 block
d. Insert mold for U-block
e. Machine base frame for foundation

Attached is a full explanation on the Interlocking Block process. IB.pdf  We have completed our pilot project in Hokse and met with inspectors from the  National Reconstruction Agency (NRA) recently.  The NRA will either approve our construction method as a viable reconstruction option or we will be limited to providing IB information and technology to villagers. So we continue full-steam ahead either way!”