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International push to construct Himalayan Park

A humanist work camp is scheduled to start October 10, 2011, organised in Panauti, Nepal, as the initial efforts to establish Nepal’s Park of Study & Reflection. This is a small town 32km south east of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. Panauti is renowned for its rich history, cultural activities, artistic buildings and year-round festivals.

This “International Work Camp for a Himalayan Park in Nepal” is a result of the concerted efforts of various Humanist Movement people and groups from as widely dispersed points of the planet as Europe, Australia and Asia.

*“Invitations have been sent out and there is great interest in this project, which is not surprising since the Himalayas has long been a romantic attraction for people of other hemisphere’s,”* says Tulsi Sigdel, a Nepalese veteran Humanist Movement member.

Typical of the style among the friends who rally around the universal humanism of Silo, no one is waiting to confirm who’s coming, as if that would delay anything! The camp is going ahead whatever. A date has been set – October 10 this year, a meeting place announced – Yomari Café, Panauti (next to entrance of Indreswor Temple), at 3PM. People can just turn up! There is no doubt the venture is firmly placed in the mindset of its proponents. This is going to happen. The place can be reached from Kathmandu in two hours by local bus.

The camp is organized by the Humanist Movement in cooperation with Partner Nepal. The work itself and the camp is to take place on the slopes of Lamadol, a hill in western Panauti, which is about 30 minutes walk from Panauti Bus Terminus.

The Himalayan Park of Study & Reflection will be constructed on the top of that hill on land donated by the village as agreed by the village elders. *“It is Nepal’s first Park,” continues Ms Sigdel, “aimed at promoting peace, humanity, and love of nature using the site’s natural beauty. We see it used as a picnic spot for everyone and we are building all the amenities for carrying out activities of a cultural character and community functions over the long term.”*

The campers will be assisting in the foundation works preparatory to building the various structures, first laying out the plan marking out the entire site. There is also renovation of existing community buildings, cleaning and painting. There is garden work to do and a joint study of the whole area to get ideas on Park development.

“The mix of people coming from different places and backgrounds working together is aimed at being part of the solution to today’s problems of cultural clashes as this works in a practical way as we built a centre for international peace building. We will use Silo’s Message as a tool as experience is proven to be the best guide to promote mutual understanding. This camp will develop short term, midterm and long term volunteer opportunities.”

The participants will be able to enjoy great views of Himalayan peaks to the north and of the beautiful Panauti Valley with magnificent sunrises every morning with vistas over other mountains lying to the south.

*“There will be familiarisation trips as part of the camp schedule of activities with daily assigned works, country presentations by participants, presentation of current issues, visits to local houses and villages, observation of local festivals, joining the cooking rota, cleaning with the allocated team, with one day off each week and short group weekend trips,”* she added.

Participants will have to bring warm clothes (Kathmandu is at 7,000 feet), sleeping bag, torch and all such accessories for personal comfort. The camp will provide basic camp accommodation, food, primary healthcare, airport pickup to Kathmandu bus park by local transport, assistance for hotel booking if needed before or after the work camp.

Registration Fee: Euro 200 or 5000 NPR (Nepalese rupees) for Asians (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan)

For further information:
Contact persons:

1. Costantino Colagrossi, International coordinator (Italy)
Tel: 39 0874411640
Cell: 39 338 6454992
kondembedded@yahoo.it

2. Suresh Sainju, National coordinator (local resident of Panauti, Nepal)
Tel: 977 11 440093
Cell: 977 9841 224940
Sureshshainju@hotmail.com
welcomepanauti@yahoo.com

3. Tulsi Sigdel, Humanist Movement (Kathmandu, Nepal)
Tel: 977 9741119844
tulsisigdel@gmail.com

About The Author

Tony Henderson is a freelance writer working in Hong Kong, since 1980, and previously Japan, for seven years following two years in Mauritius after a year in Libya. Long time participant in the Humanist Movement and spokesman for Universal Humanism in Hong Kong. Also, Pressenza Hong Kong Bureau Chief.

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