Sustainable Community Development


Dipendra community meeting 02

The Community Development process is the underlying principle on which all Namlo projects are designed and implemented, and consist of building the capacity of community leaders so that they can create their own long-term vision of their community, and acquire the skills to achieve it.

Namlo’s approach to community development includes:

Conducting Baseline surveys
Asset and Needs Assessments
Participatory Rural Appraisals
Capacity building and Leadership Development
Skills training in community organizing
Project identification and prioritization
Market assessments

Women’s group in Dhuskun, Nepal, after signing a contract to donate 20% of their proceeds to the local school.

How you can help with these programs:

Volunteer: Namlo seeks expert volunteers willing to consult or work directly with villages in need of community building.

We need volunteers with expertise in small business operations, fair trade, and crafts. An interest in agriculture, weaving, or other handicrafts would match current projects. Contact us for a list of income generating projects needing support.

Donate: To our community development grant fund to help jumpstart income generating projects.

Volunteer or Partner: Namlo seeks volunteers and NGO’s with expertise in potable water, engineering, renewable energy, and healthcare. Contact us for a list of needs.

Be a Travel Volunteer. Travel to villages and work directly with community members on any of our community development projects. Contact us for current projects, and for dates and costs of travel.


Income generating projects.

Graduates of Namlo’s adult literacy classes are able to take the next step toward empowerment and self-sufficiency, through their participation in income generating projects. Namlo has helped train dozens of women in skills such as Dhaka-weaving and sewing, alternative agricultural programs, paper making and goat raising. Namlo also provides assistance with the business training needed to set up successful small businesses. Women who were once illiterate are now able to create and market a product, calculate profits, and then use those profits to improve their own lives as well as their overall community.

Two of the women weavers from Sabhung working hard to create beautiful traditional Nepali dhakas.

Infrastructure and Health.

One of the biggest challenges in remote villages is lack of access to water. Namlo believes in partnerships with other organizations to address this crucial need. In 2010 Namlo partnered with Rotary to bring water and sanitation to 64 families in Los Pinares, Nicaragua and is currently working with Rotary on a water and sanitation project in Barrio Nuevo, Nicaragua. Engineers Without Borders will be partnering with Namlo to assess current water and sanitation needs in Sabhung, Nepal, and craft a plan to bring much-needed clean water into the village. Health clinics have also been conducted to address general health, vision and dental health issues faced by the children in our schools.

 The new water system in Los Pinares, Nicaragua.

Yarmasing, Nepal.

As our longest running collaboration, the Yarmasing community reached self-sufficiency in 2009. Namlo’s first community carried out several economic development projects, including greeting cards, made by the Youth Group using handmade paper and local materials (dried flowers), and a Women’s Unity Group raising medicinal herbs and goats. The profits from these efforts have been shared by the school, individuals, and community.

Los Pinares, Nicaragua.

Namlo trained women in sewing and cutting and they learn to make basic clothing and school uniforms. Namlo set them up with sewing machines and a large cutting table. They sell their products in nearby communities and get orders from the local people. With proceeds from this income generating program they support the needs of their school.

With the support of three very motivated youngsters from Colorado who travelled with their families to volunteer in Nicaragua, Namlo helped the community of Los Pinares build a school kitchen and lunch room. Mothers take turns preparing school lunch and used to carry the food to the school. Now they can prepare it on site and the children can have a hot meal.

How you can help with these programs:

Donate: Larger organizations (clubs, businesses, …) sometimes help us by taking on the challenge of fundraising for the entire cost of a school. Contact us if your group is interested and to find out location and costs of our next school.

Volunteer: Travel to a construction site and help build a school. Contact us for exact dates and costs of travel.


Report on existing school construction projects

Nepal: Namlo has helped three communities build schools in rural Nepal.

Yarmasing: Inaugurated on January 12, 1999, the Shree Broomachaur Primary School of Yarmasing is located in the mountains of Nepal, near the Tibetan border. This school was constructed entirely from local stone by community labor with Namlo’s help and in collaboation with Building with Books, an organization from Connecticut that constructs schools worldwide. The school houses grades Kindergarten through 5th grade.

Dhuskun: The Mahendra Pratap Secondary School is situated in the village of Dhuskun, above Barhabise. Classes run from grade 1 through grade 10. With Namlo’s help, the community constructed a new five-classroom building in 2002 which now has over 450 students.

Sabung: Namlo’s largest school has about 900 children in the community of Sabung. It is located in the Tanahu district about half way between Kathmandu and Pokara.

Nicaragua: Namlo has helped four communities build schools in rural Nicaragua.

Los Pinares:Namlo built a school in this remote mountain community in collaboration with Building with Books and the people of the community. The school was inaugurated on Feb. 5, 2005. The event was attended by the entire community as well as the Mayor of Telpaneca and a representative from the Ministry of Education. The teachers brought a tape player and someone from the community played the guitar. It was indeed a festive, happy day.

Barrio Nuevo: Rains, difficult roads, and a truck that kept breaking down presented challenges during the construction of the 3-room school in Barrio Nuevo, built in cooperation with the community and Building with Books. The school was completed in Dec. 2005. There was a going away party for Magda and Hugh in the house of Don Lupe, the leader of the community where they stayed.

In spite of the rain most of the community was present and several children delivered letters for the sister schools. The evening ended with a beautiful song composed for them by one of the community members, a moving story about two doves arriving in Barrio Nuevo, one from Spain and one from the USA, to help their children get a better future. As Magda wrote in her diary, “I listened to the song, I realized that I had tears in my eyes and for once, I was glad there was no electric light in Barrio Nuevo.”

Miraflor: The school in Miraflor was inaugurated in February, 2008. It is a two room school for grades one through 6.

El Salmeron: Thanks to the generous support of the Block and Rehl families, Namlo’s newest school was inaugurated in 2009. You can follow its progress here.