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Shrinking Horizons grew from a question asked during a trip along The Silk Road in 1977. “How could one contribute to enable others less fortunate to.

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Presentation on theme: "Shrinking Horizons grew from a question asked during a trip along The Silk Road in 1977. “How could one contribute to enable others less fortunate to."— Presentation transcript:


2 Shrinking Horizons grew from a question asked during a trip along The Silk Road in 1977. “How could one contribute to enable others less fortunate to utilize their own resources to improve their own life situation?” A small network of friends was established – under the name of Shrinking Horizons – who have been involved in over 50 grass root micro-projects in Nepal. Shrinking Horizons as an organization: - Independent - Non profit - Non political - Non religious - Cross cultural

3 In 1976-77 David Durkan travelled through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. He observed foreign aid projects he felt could be enhanced with more local involvement and ownership, and with a minimum of financial assistance. In Nepal he helped his trekking porter establish a small business. The business flourished, and two years later the porter paid back the loan. A lesson was learnt. In 1984, leading two trekking groups to the Norwegian Everest Base Camp he met Karma Gjelgin. Karma was building a small school – virtually on his own, and needed some help. David said: “Dig the stone out of the mountain, I will buy the roof material.” Six months later, a postcard arrived: “All stone dug out, when you come Nepal? Soon yes?”

4 Why was there a need for this school in Syangma-Tati? The nearest school was a 2-hour walk away, along poor and partly dangerous paths. Children could not start until they were 10 years of age, leaving them years behind in their education. Thirty years' later, the village children have a good basic education. Some have stayed in the village, working as farmers; some work in tourism, while others have taken higher education. Some emigrated to the USA, and in turn financed a new bridge - joining the two sides of the valley, and in 2007 the village installed electricity. Girls did not go to school, as they had to look after the small children, and children of poorer families had to work. With the establishment of the airfield on the other side of the valley, the increase in tourism and foreign aid led to the Syangma-Tati people falling behind in the development of rural Nepal. The first school was built, costing € 2000 – and a lot of work.

5 20 years' later David’s son, Fillip (15 years old), met Karma's son, Phurba, and Phurba said: “Our fathers did not build a very good school – it is dark, damp, and too small. The village needs a new one.” Phurba came with a design, Uttam Phuyal, President of The Lions Club Katmandu Sukunda, managed the project, and Master Builder Ram Magar employed 5 skilled carpenters, and a volunteer workforce of 20 villagers saw the school finished in 8 weeks. All was completed to budget, within the time frame, and the cost: under € 12.000.- Norwegian polar explorer Bjørge Ousland and Ragnar Lien held a slide show on their North Pole trip – contributing € 6.250 and Bergans of Norway added a further € 5000


7 WORKING PHILOSOPHY A project is proposed, and evaluated. Spiders Web. Each aspect of the project is placed in a "spider web"-format. On one side the “+” issues, on the other the “-” issues. Together with the local people each “+” and “–” issue is evaluated. A working plan, a realistic budget, and a control system is implemented. 50% - 50%. Shrinking Horizons contributes approx 50 % of the costs (cash/materials). The village contributes 50% in the form of land, work force, accommodation/food etc - and/or financially. Helping Hands Shrinking Horizons contributes a sum/material to a planned or to an established project, run/owned by another organization, to enable that project to be improved, enlarged or completed.

8 Traditional foreign aid is given to governments of developing countries, based on the belief that they would do the best for their own people. A 'filter down' principle: from the government to the base roots of society, has been the aim in foreign aid since the second world war. This system has not worked – warring governments, inefficiency and corruption have squandered the aid. Aid to governments is necessary, but aid can lead to dependency – and not sustainability. Historically: The poor stay poor, the rich get richer. Inverted Pyramid Funds contributed by Shrinking Horizons are introduced into the lower end of the Economy Pyramid, and not at a higher level (i.e. local, and not governmental).

9 We changed our name to: Mountain people Mountain people (of Norway) helping Mountain people (in Nepal).


11 With both parents working, poor families often cannot send their children to school. The older daughter looks after the house and younger children etc. If one child does go to school, a boy is usually chosen.

12 Our idea was simple: - Ask for a room in the present building to be designated: Pre-school. - We pay for a builder and for material. - The village provide workers to carry materials to the village, do the basic work of scraping, plastering, painting, as well as food and accommodation for our builder.


14 With a pre-school facility a school can apply for a wage for a pre-school teacher. Pre-school age children, from poor families can attend free of charge, while bigger sister goes to school.

15 Second phase: We ask the school: "What do you want?" - In this case 5 other class rooms upgraded. - Another school wants a play-ground area improved, another a simple wall in a large room to separate two classes, yet allowing one teacher to supervise both classes, another needed a toilet, another a watertap.


17 Or, upgrade a dormitory facility.

18 A visit by Norwegian photographer Matti Bernitz resulted in an agreement for three such dormitory rooms to be totally upgraded, for approx NOK 15.000,- - To be completed by autumn 2011.


20 At present we have 17 pre-school projects completed/under progress, with about 5 or 6 of them at phase 2. Our aim: 50 Pre-school facilities, half of them in phase 2, and some in phase 3 by 2015.

21 How do we function. Norway: - David / Hurrungane Turlag raises money - income from "Turer fra Turtagrø" book (NOK 80.000,-), income from lectures by Børge Ousland, Sir Chris Bonington, Leo Houlding, Tormod Granheim and Jarle Traa. - Contributions from friends / companies. Nepal: - One part time manager, receives NOK 500,- a month to run the organisation. - Free assistance / joint working with Lions Club, Leo Club, Room to Read, and friends.

22 Other projects: - Bhotia Education Scheme - Porter Passport. - See Other plans: - Spread to other mountain areas in the world - "How to do"-manual under progress.


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