Located in Meghauli and Daldale in the Chitwan district of southern Nepal, Clinic Nepal is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 by Hari Bhandary who possessed a vision for rural southern Nepal to have access to education, healthcare, and clean water and sanitary facilities. Since its creation, Clinic Nepal has established a Friendship Health Clinic, Friendship Scout Troop, Asha Kokiran Children’s Hostel, and three kindergartens. Clinic Nepal has also facilitated the sponsorship of over 150 students in both academic and vocational capacities, the installation of clean water pumps and sanitary latrines, and recurring travel health camps. Clinic Nepal has many sponsors, volunteers, interns, and other friends from all around the world to thank for its success.
GPE began its partnership with Clinic Nepal in 2012. Clinic Nepal was founded in 1997 by Hari Bhandary with the mission to provide access to clean water and sanitary facilities, healthcare, and education to the rural communities of Meghauli and Daldale, located within the Chitwan district of southern Nepal. Clinic Nepal has established a health clinic, mobile health camps, three kindergartens, a children’s hostel, and a scout troop.
Past GPE Nepal projects have been 8-12 weeks. They consisted of teaching English to the Meghauli community, volunteering at the Wolfgange Linke Kindergarten, and putting on a summer camp. The camp worked with the Friendship Scout Troop and Asha Ko Kiran Children’s Hostel. The group focused on personal hygiene, environmental sustainability, and youth empowerment. They also donated reusable bags. In the summer of 2016, GPE Nepal will be continuing these projects.
In summer of 2012, GPE sent four FSU students for 12 weeks to establish a partnership with Clinic Nepal, a non-profit organization located in Meghauli and Daldale, Chitwan, Nepal. Hari Bhandary, founder of Clinic Nepal, started this organization in 1997 with a vision to provide the local community access to clean water, sanitary facilities, healthcare, and education. During this first trip, volunteers were able assist in the expansion and improvement of the Friendship Health Clinic, Wolfgang Linke Kindergarten, Friendship Scout Troop, and Asha Ko Kiran Children’s Hostel through volunteering time daily and facilitating key donations specific to each entity. Most importantly, the volunteers were able to critically evaluate how future GPE volunteers could contribute more effectively and sustainably.
In spring of 2013, Hari Bhandary came to visit Florida State University to speak about Clinic Nepal and to endorse the work of GPE in Meghauli and Daldale. In summer of 2013, GPE sent a team of six FSU students for ten weeks and were joined by Saurav Bhandary from Birmingham Southern College (BSC) to continue the project. Volunteers facilitated a summer camp on leadership, environmental sustainability, and health and hygiene. This included challenge course facilitation, donating 1,500 reusable bags and installing several concrete dustbins at local chouks (Nepali for intersection), and organizing the scouts to teach the kindergarten and local community about the environment and hand-washing. Volunteers also taught English to local community members and conducted interviews with Clinic Nepal special treatment patients.
Saurav Bhandary and Wesley Chambers founded Bimingham-Southern College’s GPE chapter on the fall of 2013.
In summer of 2014, GPE sent five FSU student volunteers for ten weeks. They were joined by two BSC students for a third year in Nepal. The volunteers continued the environmental project greatly supported by Hari and the entire Meghauli community and to facilitated a summer camp for both the scouts and hostel children on dental and personal hygiene, self-defense and yoga, and self-esteem. Volunteers also continued teaching English and implemented the GPE Kindle Project which involved a loan system of three to five Kindles to the older community in order to counter the unsustainable practice of bringing donated physical books with light-weight e-readers that can double as English learning devices.
Unfortunately, due to the devastating earthquake which occurred in Nepal shortly before the volunteers were set to leave for the project, the Nepal Project was not continued during the summer of 2015.
In summer of 2016, GPE sent a team of four Florida State University students who were joined by two students from Birmingham Southern College for a fifth year to continue Nepal project. This summer a group of students travelled to Nepal to continue the Nepal Project for a sixth year. Global Peace Exchange Nepal Project Team 2017: Jen Concepcion, Andrew McMahon, Sophia Lisandra Alfaro, Meena Barakam, Chelsea Gow, Bryan Acuna.
GPE’s Uganda Project partnered with the organization Bright Kids Uganda. Bright Kids Uganda or BKU has been operating since 2000 and is a children’s home located in Entebbe, Uganda. The organization assists children from various backgrounds ranging from street kids, HIV/AIDS orphans, children who have been living at Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camps and those rescued from the rebels in Northern Uganda.
In 2010, with the help of FSU faculty, GPE recognized a need for close and affordable healthcare for the children at BKU and the surrounding population. A team of students spent the summer of 2011 conducting field based research to understand the healthcare needs of the surrounding population, potential sustainability of a clinic, and other necessary market analyses. In 2012, GPE received the True Seminole grant to fund the construction of a sustainable healthcare clinic in Entebbe Village. This soon came to be known as the Gloria Namusoke Memorial medical clinic, named in honor of a BKU child who passed away due to medical neglect at boarding school. Students spent the summer on site, overseeing construction, budget management, the hiring of an on-site nurse, and focused on community outreach. By 2013, the clinic was fully functioning, providing necessary and quality care to the children of BKU and local area. With the success and continual use of the medical clinic, GPE returned in 2013 to begin a clinic expansion to add two additional rooms. Students maintained responsibility of managing constructions finances, labor, and community outreach. Recently, BKU became a Deihl Family Social Enterprise Competition finalist and received a fifty-thousand dollar grant to further develop the clinic to include housing units and renovate a nearby market in order to develop sustainable methods of income for the BKU children’s home.
On April 24, 1963, Birmingham-Southern sophomore Martha “Marti” Turnipseed chose to join seven African-American students at a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s food counter in downtown Birmingham. The other students were arrested, and BSC officials told Marti—a third-generation BSC student—that she had to leave campus. She was allowed to return a year later and complete her degree, and died in 1972 in a tragic car accident.
On April 24th, 2013, BSC President Gen. Charles C. Krulak and Birmingham Mayor William Bell Led more than 1500 students, faculty, alumni, and members of the community on a march from campus to downtown’s Kelly Ingram Park, tracing Marti’s footsteps. All the Global Peace Exchange (GPE) members participated on this March and Celebration in an Honor of Marti Turnipseed ’65. Watch the video to see how it went, and see the video below to hear more from Marti’s brother, Spencer Turnipseed, about why her actions were important.