We would like to provide an update on the progress of our project. We debriefed with our partner NTF who is already working on the site. In the last two weeks, we have been running surveys and conducting interviews with the locals to solicit feedback on how to best use the community center. We learned that the local community would greatly benefit from getting computer education, bamboo basket training, and a childcare center at the community center. Therefore, we are currently brainstorming ideas to incorporate the needs of the community in our project. Our tentative plans are outlined below:
- Computer Education – We will purchase 4 laptops and station them in one of the rooms at the center. We are planning on a long-term training program (1-2 months in duration), which will be led by a representative from NTF. The goal of the program is to help youth and small businesses to be computer literate. This will help produce a skilled youth force and improve efficiency of running small businesses using computers.
- Bamboo Basket Training – This training was particularly desired by the locals due to proximity to Kanchenjunga Tea Estate (KTE), which has high demand for bamboo related packaging. We will run a 3-day training program that will provide hands-on training on weaving bamboo baskets from scratch. We are currently in talks with the expert at KTE to lead the training program.
- Child Care Center – A majority of the people residing in the area generate income working as tea pluckers, who are unable to take care of their children during a busy harvesting season. We plan to open a daytime childcare center which provides an interactive and safe space for children. We plan on working with the local government to find a full-time teacher/caretaker.