By Olivia Wong
Arupokhari-1 is a sleepy village in the Gorkha District of eastern Nepal. It is home to roughly 600 sustenance farmers, school-aged children, buffalo, goats and exotic plant species. Although it is currently a peaceful community of smiling families living with tin roofs, straw huts and chickens, it has been scarred by a bloody civil strife that took the lives of over 15,000 Nepalese people between 1996-2006.
Inspire a Child, a global initiative to improve the lives of those in post-conflict and developing regions, came to Arupokhari-1 to create a soccer field and conjoining classrooms for the 230+ war-affected children at the Sarswati Peace School.
Supporting these efforts in Nepal, Vapur generously donated Anti-Bottles to the Inspire a Child group and local staff. In remote areas, such as Arupokhari-1 where it’s a 16 hour walk to the closest paved road, water is a symbol of life. There is no electricity and all of the village’s water sources come from one outdoor tap in a centralized location. Everyday you can see villagers, mainly young women and girls (as young as the age of four), carrying tin canisters to and from the tap to wash clothes, bathe themselves and for everyday nourishment.
Having the Vapur Anti-Bottles allowed us to carry water with us where ever we went, whether it was from our mud huts to school (an hour’s walk) or to the neighboring village, a severe climb four hours north. The Vapur Anti-Bottle became one of the most powerful tools we owned. It could transport enough water to last each person long stretches through Nepal’s scorching summer, yet light enough that it did not compromise the load we carried on our backs. Also, the Vapur Anti-Bottles left behind a lasting statement. It was a reusable, environmentally protective bottle that would not end up in a trash pile in front of a villager’s hut.
The effort by Inspire a Child to construct the field and two classrooms at the Sarswati Peace School resulted in an increase in primary education in the village and successfully empowered children through sports. Vapur helped to keep the Inspire a Child group hydrated throughout this journey.