January 2016: Monthly Achievement Report: Expanding Home Base!
Being a popular project, GVI Chiang Mai often has a lot of volunteers on project at any one time; this can sometimes be a slight problem when trying to find somewhere to sit on base. With the capacity of our project set to be raised, in April, by adding 2-3 more volunteer places we have been looking at trying to maximise the useable space as much as possible, especially around base hut.
We have recently liaised with several of the villagers to try and rectify this issue, and have come up with a couple of solutions. The first being to concrete the floor under base, this would provide an area which volunteers are more likely to use; providing a stable floor which is much easier to clean. In the rainy season the possibility of flooding, underneath base, is a real issue. With the concrete floor now in place, the removal of any water due to flooding will be a doddle, and won’t leave puddles of mud all over the place. So as well as essentially doubling the amount of useable room, the area around base should generally be a bit cleaner, which is always a good thing.
Secondly, we have decided to make use of old base: we moved to new base hut nearly a year ago, and since then, the site at which old base stands has not been used for much, except for a place to put rubbish bags and the occasional slack line. The old base structure itself is still strong, the only problem is that is doesn’t have a floor! With help from local villagers, old base is to be remade; placing a new bamboo floor on the structure, as well as some walls here and there. This will provide a lot more floor space, space which our community coordinator is already looking to utilise; she wants to set up a mock classroom in order to be able to train interns and volunteers teaching techniques, before they set foot into the local village school. So as well as providing extra space to relax and socialise, the new floor on old base will help to train volunteers and interns; providing them with extra skills which will, in turn, help them teach English more effectively to the local children.
As well as giving us extra space, the improvement of new and old base has provided a small cash injection into the community. Local villagers do the majority of our building on project, and this provides them with some extra income, especially since the harvest has finished and they are no longer tending their fields. Providing extra/alternative incomes for the village is one of the main goals of GVI Chiang Mai.
Also, not forgetting the other extra bit that we’re getting…a second toilet! This will hopefully alleviate the formation of queues and volunteers doing the “toilet dance” as they wait in line. The toilet in question is also a western style toilet; so for people who aren’t a fan of squatting, this is a godsend.
With these improvements to the project’s infrastructure we hope that, in the future, even more volunteers could be accommodated; helping to grow the project as a whole, as well as providing more funding for the village and its goals.
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