Hello from Kathmandu!

Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2008 by greeni in misc

This email goes out to a wide variety of community bike programs and other community organizations working with marginalized and disempowered youth. Now firmly off the ground, Wrench Nepal is looking for new volunteers!

Wrench Nepal (www.wrenchnepal.org) teaches bike repair to some of the most disadvantaged kids in the Kathmandu Valley, by partnering with local, Nepali-run NGOs.  Of our current partners, one NGO rehabilitates former child laborers, mostly from the carpet industry, and girls who are the victims of trafficking; the other provides schooling and opportunity for the children of the incarcerated, who (in true Dickensian fashion) would otherwise be in prison with their parents, despite committing no crime.

For a variety of reasons, these kids are caught in a trap of poverty that we are trying to free them from. And you can be part, however large you choose to make it, of that change.

You’ll be arriving at a really exciting time for the program–a time when we embark on extending and expanding on the basic bike repair skills that the kids have learned in the trainings we’ve taught so far. This can be in the old, retail repair shop, might be making bike-machines a la Mayapedal, or something else–anything else–that you’re excited about. Or even all three!

We’re hoping to get at least one person out here as soon as possible, and at least two within the next two months. In addition, anyone who comes before September can stay at my apartment until then for free–bed and all. Yeah, it’s a bribe, but we’re not above that.

You should have:

– Working knowledge of basic bike mechanics
– Good communication and organizing skills
– Willingness to live in a foreign environment and work with people
from a very different culture

Wrench Nepal continues as an all-volunteer program, but the cost of living is very low here, with rent in a comfortable place at times as little as $50 per month–my own rent is about $68, about $74 with utilities, and I didn’t look very hard. Volunteers can also pursue part-time paid work to support themselves while here.

We have an application available online at www.wrenchnepal.org/wrench_test2. If you prefer, you can also send a brief resume to me at mario [a] wrenchnepal.org. (No penalisation for either, of course!) Make sure to highlight your experience working with bicycles and working in community organizing positions.

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you very soon! I encourage you to forward or re-post this message anywhere you feel is appropriate.

Mario Bruzzone
Wrench Nepal
mario [a] wrenchnepal.org


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