Model Village

A little over a year after the 2015 earthquake had decimated- villages and towns across Nepal, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) issued a directive to halt the construction of transitional shelters and schools — causing organizations throughout Nepal, including Chaudhary Foundation, to shift from humanitarian relief to more permanent and self-sustaining strategies.

This project supports SDGs:

After several meetings with the NRA, Binod and Nirvana Chaudhary had an idea to design a prototype village that would integrate as many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the objectives of the model village project was to create a successful template that could be replicated across Nepal and throughout the world. The aim was to construct 70–100 households that would serve a community of over 350 residents. It would include all basic utilities — like clean drinking water, plumbing and a reliable energy source, along with a school, community and health centers.

After conducting assessments and visiting locations across several districts, Giranchaur, Sindhupalchowk, was identified for the model village. Giranchaur, which has nearly 400 residents, was destroyed during the earthquake. The community was ideal because though it had received no assistance, it had already self-organized to pool their land together and create a construction committee. Through this partnership, the first community in the world to try to incorporate all the UN SDGs was designed.

Apart from providing houses, several other projects were incorporated to create a more sustainable and healthy community — livelihood training, education, health, water and sanitation were deemed top priorities and need to be one hundred percent sustainable after construction is completed. Many of the projects also incorporate women’s empowerment, like women’s health education and micro-enterprise development training. Giranchaur’s school was fitted with a digital classroom that provides students access to modern technology and innovative multimedia learning tools.

Giranchaur started producing sustainable, earthquake-resilient bricks in 2018, which was the first major step towards completing construction. State-of-the-art machines, which use locally sourced soil mixed with cement, and training were provided by the foundation. The machines produce an interlocking brick that is dried in the sun for 21 days before being used for the houses.

Construction is expected to finish by mid-2019.