Thumki Learning Grounds (TLG) Centre
A one hectare plot of land in Thumki village, owned by the local high school, is being developed into a demonstration and training centre for organic farming and sustainable architecture. It is being planned to house multiple structures to serve environmental educational puposes for the school and the larger community.
Medicinal And Aromatic Plants (MAP) Project
In conjunction with Karma Bhutia, Non-Timber Forest Products Officer from The Mountain Institute, and Temba Bhote, an interdisciplinary On-Site Specialist, a new project will begin Jan 2011. Their work will consist of field trainings, seed provision and working closely with local farmers to initiate cultivation of medicinal plants. The focus will be towards creating alternative livelihoods for farmers and connecting the production to their local markets. The project has a timeline of 5 years with an eventual goal of creating a local production center for different organic products within the village. Through the process, the project will expand from Thumki & Namje villages to the whole Bhedetar VDC. Find out more information on the larger Medicinal and Aromatic Plants project here.
[Pic by Travis Price Architects]
Public Spaces Initiatives
As communities are rapidly urbanizing, the increase of privatized land and loss of public spaces is evident even in rural villages. Since 2007 we've been fundraising to buy land for the government schools in an effort to conserve it as public spaces. An ongoing effort has been ocurring to meaningfully integrate the land as communal spaces for the local communities.
In 2010, we collaborated with architect Travis Price and Spirit of Place project through Catholic University to create a communal structure on one such space in Thumki hill. His students studied the sacred site of the village and built a memorial for the ancestral spirits to conserve the history and protect the site from commercial developments. With the help of local contractors, engineers and national architectural community the memorial was built in June 2011.
The project was funded by Ms. Sheila Chellgren, Mr. Shanti Kumar and other private donors.
Read Nepali Times article for more detail.