A Message of Thankfulness

We are truly thankful and blessed. Together with our village communities, Visions for Villages would like to extend our deepest gratitude and thanks to all of you who have supported our projects in 2014.

Because of your generosity and your compassion for others in need, you have made a significant and positive difference to the lives of so many families.

Additionally, we would like to thank the following people from the Government of Meghalaya for their critical role in helping Visions for Villages with the successful implementation of our projects.

  1. Mr. Pochister Kharkongor – IAS Officer and Principal Secretary, Govt of Meghalaya
  2. Mr. Clement Kharkongor – Joint Director of Agriculture
  3. Mr. W. Narry – Officer and Civil Engineer, Dept of Agriculture
  4. Ms. D. Sohtun – Officer. Dept of Agriculture
  5. Ms. Daai Diengdoh – Officer, Dept of Agriculture

Please enjoy the updates and pictures of the projects we were involved in below…

Jan – Feb 2014 – Bathrooms for Lumkyntung School

The village community has been busy building urgently needed bathrooms for their village school.

Four bathrooms have been completed, with a brand new, properly designed, septic tank. Now both the girls and boys each have two long-term, functional and sanitary bathrooms.

Consolidated Bathroom3March 2014 – A Fence for Safety

A fence has been completed between the school premises and the organic fish ponds which are near the school – this was a concern and safety issue for the children.

April 2014 – Bamboo Farm

Visions for Villages initiated a pilot program of bamboo farming for four families, to help them on the road to self-sustainability.

Funds were provided for bamboo seedlings to be planted on one acre of land per family.

It takes three years before the first bamboo crop can be harvested. This bamboo will be used in making essential items that are sold in the local markets for these families.

Below are some products that are currently being made with bamboo by these families to help support themselves. Our long term plan is to help bring some of their products to the international market.

Bamboo

May 2014 – A new cottage

Upon the recommendation of Mr. Clement Kharkongor, our government liaison helping us with our projects in Meghalaya, it was determined that the first house should be built for the village headman and his family.

Old House

A new home, scheduled for completion by Nov 2014, will provide him and his family shelter from the massive rains that this area gets every year.

Labor for this house will be provided by the village community under the guidance of Mr. Narry.

June 2014 – Visitors from the USA

In June 2014, some of our donors and family members were able to visit both the Lumkyntung and Mawthawtieng communities as we wrapped up the old projects and initiated the new.

Our first stop was Mawthawtieng Village

This was an exciting adventure as we all set out in a convoy of 4-wheel jeeps on narrow mountain roads and hair-splitting curves to the beautiful, remote location of Mawthawtieng, aptly translated as “Rocks which create fear”.

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Because it was the monsoon season, the road to Mawthawtieng was foggy for much of the 45 min drive (a blessing as this prevented us from seeing how deep these ravines really dipped down from our tiny little paved road).

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When we got to Mawthawtieng, we met with the village folks in their tiny little schoolhouse that was precariously built on the edge of a mountain, to discuss the progress of our projects.

Foggy Schoolhouse

We were also able to see the beginning stages of the cottage that was being built for this family (below).

Family

Next we went to Lumkyntung School to wrap up our work there and to celebrate the projects we have completed together within the last three years (summarized below):

1. Building first floor of Lumkyntung School (Completed 2011)

Year12. Building second floor of Lumkyntung School (Completed 2012)

Year23. Salary for additional teacher for growing student body (Completed 2012)

4. Sustainability program (fish seedlings for organic fishponds) to support future teacher salaries. This is an ongoing revenue growth via organic fishponds (Completed 2013)

5. Four bathrooms for the school (Completed 2014)

6. Fencing around the perimeter of the school (Completed 2014)

During or work here, we were also able to provide warm clothing, school supplies, sports equipment and indoor board games for the school. We also provided gift bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and many other items that we felt would be appreciated and used by the children. 

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We are really sad to say goodbye to Lumkyntung as we have grown to love both the adults and the children in this lovely little community. They will always hold a special place in our hearts as this was the first village we worked with in this region.

Collage

Our last visit of the day was to Grace Orphanage on the outskirts of the town of Shillong with approx 20 orphans ranging in age from 6 years to 14 years of age. These kids were so sweet and precious and we really enjoyed hearing the lovely songs they sang for us.

They were so appreciative of the small gifts we gave them. Wish we could have done more…

Stuft Animals

 

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One of the local ladies who went with us was very touched by this little place and these children and mentioned that she wanted to be involved and help them in the future. We are so glad that she was able to join us on that visit that day. Who knows how many lives she will be making a positive difference to. God is truly amazing in how He connects people. 

July – Aug 2014 – Cottage walls go up

While Visions for Villages is providing the funds for the materials, the village residents work together as a team and provide free labor to help this family build a new home.

Wet and Rainy Construction

Sept – Oct 2014 – Heavy Monsoons

Cottage is almost done. The months of May through Sept are heavy monsoon months of torrential rain, so the work gets done when the weather permits.

Nov – Dec 2014 – Family gets a new home

With the exception of final touches of paint and cleanup, the cottage for this family is done.

Our thanks to the engineer Mr. Narry, for his planning and supervision of this construction, to Ms. Daai for her visits and status updates to us, and to the village residents for working together to help build this home.

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In Conclusion:

Paying it Forward is a concept we feel very strongly about and we teach and promote it with all our projects. We believe it has the potential for a wonderful ripple effect that can change many lives for the better.  

We have been providing these cards with this message to all the people in the communities we have been working with.

In English…

Front

And in the back of the card, in the local Khasi language…

Back

Once again, thank you for making a difference to the people in these villages.

In alignment with our vision and mission, we will continue to collaborate with, and empower these communities, so they can live a thriving and more abundant life.

Thank you and God Bless You from all of us at Visions for Villages, Inc.


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