#kora18 | THE CAUSE(s)

For the first time after seven years, the Kathmandu Kora this year made a call for Proposals. Nine worthy proposals came in from equally worthy organisations, and spanned causes related to health, education, reconstruction, promotion of cycling and youth training.

We did a process of selecting a Jury, doing a detailed study of the proposals, set up a point rating system for the jury to do a quantitative assessment, and then sat down to a qualitative assessment of the proposals. Eventually we shortlisted three proposals, and then sent out questionnaires with the jury’s questions for clarifications, and finally came to a judgement.

We also decided this year to support two causes, and allow the riders to decide which one they want to support.

The two winning causes we have selected (in no particular order) this year finally are:-

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#Ladies Mountain League

Target Amount: Rs. 1,200,000

The Ladies Mountain Bike League aims to empower women in Nepal through outdoor sports, including mountain biking, climbing, hiking, trail running, swimming, rafting/kayaking and other adventure sports. It aims to help women gain social freedom and link up with other women sharing this experiences. The specific cause the Kora is supporting will maintain the gear library for climbing, mountain biking and camping; organise skills courses; and offer subsidies to women who cannot afford to join courses.

Details at www.ladiesmountainleague.com

Answers to the final questions asked by the Jury are published here

How will the LML ensure that underprivileged but deserving candidates are benefited by the fund?

We will ensure that the fund benefits the under privileged candidates by monitor the people that ride with us and prioritizing those that come from poor back grounds. Ladies Mountain League requires its remembers to apply for club membership which disclose details about their back grounds. They must be members before apply for finical subsidies for the training programs..etc .

How will the LML ensure the women they trained are actually involved in biking?

Our idea is not specifically to limit our training to women already involved in biking. We have a two phase plan.

Firstly we want to encourage new women and members to ride bikes, give them the basic skills and confidence to ride regularly. By forming this group of women who ride regularly we get to know them and their abilities. From this group of women we can identify the ones who have the skills and desire to go and be guides, be involved in biking and biking related industries. Thus we can insure we are training the right women.

What after the fund dries out ?

After the fund dries up we have other means of funding, we have links with Women’s Empowerment sports groups and also from female specific tours company’s that give us a profit of the percentage. We are working to make LML a sustainable and long lasting project. Hopefully we can also form a long lasting relationship with Kathmandu Kora also 🙂

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#Survivors | Fostering Community Resilience

Target Amount : Rs. 500,000

This cause has an incentive driven rebuilding scheme which is supporting a cash incentive for 50 earthquake resistant government complaint houses in Thokarpa VDC, Ward 1, in Sunkoshi Rural Municipality of Sindupalchowk. In this scheme, the houses that are complaint receive a flat incentive of Rs. 12,000 to buy colour coded corrugated zinc sheets.

Details at www.the-survivors.org

Answers to the final questions asked by the Jury are published here

While the government is also providing people with the money to build houses, why do Survivors Nepal need funding to do the same work?

Our experiences suggest that the Government provided scheme covers about 30% of the construction costs (for structurally compliant design). Survivors’ top-up is an incentive-driven scheme based on the development principle that ‘People react to incentives’ better than to education. The cost of NRs 12000 as a cash incentive for roofing is provided to comply with government’s time and structural requirements. It is not necessarily a handout to build homes. Out of pocket expenses continues to be the burden and this scheme is not going to drastically change that as the incentive is still less than 1% of the total costs to build an average size home.

What it would do is to encourage people to re-build their homes in a safe and timely manner. Out of 682 houses that have received the first installment in Thokarpa about 330 houses are now built. That is 50% success rate compared to the national average of 1%. Cost and innovation are central to what we do, that is why a scheme with such a low-level input is producing a good result. The local leadership in Thokarpa is committed to make it the first village to be fully rebuilt by the end of 2076.

Will just buying corrugated sheets ensure that the houses will be completed?

There are two other parallel inputs. Build up Nepal provides training and machine for interlocking bricks while, Caritas Nepal is providing 60,000 per household support to fund the construction materials and most importantly the local government has created a use group and provided seed money to procure construction materials in bulk and thus reducing costs.

However, it is not going to ensure that everyone would be able to build their homes. The scheme is expected to motivate people to 1) comply with safety standards and 2) remain in the government scheme.

The NRA privately admits that these schemes are political declarations and not a fully funded plan. So, the government of Nepal has no money to provide all 3 installments for all the 700,0000 houses that need support. We are trying to stay ahead of government’s plan by complying with time requirements (which are set for people to fail) and help communities receive as much of full scheme money as possible.

How do you make sure that money directly given to people will be used in buying the sheets?

The rebate would be paid for the house who present the VAT bill of procurement of the Sheets. There is no leakage as each of the households will hold a logo (Survivors and the funders) that confirms that the funds were received for the roof. This is an automated social audit.

There is of course monitoring and documentation requirements, including a legally binding contract with the household leaders.

Why Thokarpa village? Can you share some of the work you have done in pics?

With our means and pockets, we can’t change the whole country. We are committed to start at one village and do as many things are possible so that we can build a model, cost it and share our experience for others to use.

Aside from that we have worked there for 3 years and have invested time and efforts to build trust and relationships. That in our rural setting now becomes a deal breaker. NGOs have a poor reputation for being dollars digestors. We have over the years worked hard to change that perception about us.

Along with the 87 households who have received the roofing incentives, Survivors has built 6 schools, equipped 3 health posts, trained 13 schools in mental health, invested in water lifting projects and contributed in developing a master plan for the economic development of the village in Thokarpa. We have covered the whole village with relief supplies in 11 days and phased out our relief work within 3 weeks of the 2015 earthquake. We are attaching the photos in this email of some of our works. We still suggest using our website and Facebook for publicly verified claims of our work.