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Motherland Nepal Cultural center Proposal for Grant

Abstract:

Motherland Nepal is a California licensed non-profit (501c) organization in the San Francisco-East Bay Area. Established in 2002, our organization is dedicated to helping facilitate the integration of Nepali immigrants, refugees, students and scholars, as well as enhancing social and cultural ties between Nepalese Americans and other microcosms of American culture.  In this grant proposal, we humbly request assistance from the government of California in providing any kind of financial or land support to establish a Nepalese Cultural Center in the Bay Area. We would like to call this “The Motherland Nepal Cultural Center.”

We determined that a cultural center would be extremely useful to our organization’s goals based on a survey generated through structured questioners among a sample population. In establishing the Motherland Nepal Cultural Center, we hope to facilitate various activities like exchanging cultural values and norms between Nepalese-Americans and non-Nepalese Americans. One way we intend to do this is an awareness campaign and soup-kitchen service for the benefit of the people residing in the Bay Area (again, Nepalese-Americans and non-Nepalese Americans).  We also provide a place for grieving in the center, which is an important aspect of identifying Nepali cultural practice.

  1. Introduction

With the goal of establishing social and cultural exchange, and facilitating cultural immersion (as well as expansion) through media advocacy, education, and community development activities, Motherland Nepal is connecting with people around the Bay Area and worldwide through broadcasting up-to-date news on our activities in our You Tube news channel, website, and frequently hosting meeting and cultural events in the San Francisco and Bay Area.  

This grant proposal is aimed to overcome the linguistic, cultural, traditional and technological vulnerability of Nepali migrants, students and scholars living and in the Bay Area, California, United States. It is estimated that more than 15,000 Nepali origin people - including families and individuals from neighboring countries such as Bhutan and Tibet that share the same culture and language -  are residing in the Bay Area. The culture and tradition is the identity of these people. We will only be able to transfer the cultural and traditional identity to an upcoming generation if we can preserve it within the new community.

We are focusing on establishing The Motherland Nepal Cultural Center with the purpose of education, food distribution, and cultural preservation. These facilitate the preservation of every aspect our culture including language, customs and tradition, religion and arts and literature for upcoming generation of Nepali origin people in Bay Area. Therefore, Motherland Nepal has developed this grant proposal in order to address the issue of promoting and preserving Nepali culture and tradition in Bay Area and its surroundings.

  1. Goals /Objective

We have both long-term and short-term objectives for this organization. Our goal is to establish a cultural center for the Nepali Bay Area population to perform fundamental cultural and religious activities. Further, The Motherland Nepal Cultural Center will serve to facilitate the above mentioned activities.   

2.1. Goal: To establish a Nepal Resource Center in the Greater Bay Area of  California.

2.2. Objectives:

1. Installation of one Nepali Cultural Center with all software and hardware facilities.

2. Establish one Grief Center with two rooms for cultural practice and counseling. This will be the first formal outreach service which we will seek to provide from this cultural center. This will be in addition to our to-be “soup kitchen” program.

3. Provide educational support to 150 rural Nepalese students.

4. Conduct our “50 Awareness Campaign” in USA to promote Nepalese culture and tradition, in an effort to help facilitate assimilation and understanding.

5. Establish 3 Cultural Exchange Programs for high school students between Nepal and the USA.

2.3. Evaluative Reports:

1. Conduct quarterly monitoring by staffs, half yearly by staffs and executives, yearly by stakeholders and final monitoring by staffs, executives with concerned authorities of city and county level.

2. Submit 2 formative and 1 summative evaluation reports.

3. Need Assessment

The need for a Nepalese cultural center was identified through various focus group discussions and peer reviews on particular case studies. Furthermore, our organization designed a very simple research questionnaire to explore the needs of Nepali people in the Bay Area. The objectives and activities framework of this proposal were developed on the basis of a real time need of the target community.

 

4. Research Design

The survey consisted of a structured questionnaire, consisting of both open and closed end research questions in respondents’ native language. (Refer Annex...). We sent respondents a survey questionnaire, household survey, and further email and telephone surveying was undertaken to a sample population by volunteers.  

5. Activities

The following activities were designed to facilitate achieving the comprehensive outcome via the goal and objectives of the grant

5.1. Instaling a Nepali Community Center:

Nepal, a mountainous, land locked country situated in South Asia, is sandwiched between China and India. With an area of 147,181 Sq.KM, it has population of 2,642,799. Along with geographical diversity of land elevation ranges from 60 meter above sea level to 8,848 meter (Mount Everest, the highest peak of the world), 125 cast/ethnic group of Nepal speaks 123 different languages including official language, Nepali. Likewise, practiced religion is also diversified in Nepal; there are 81.3% Hindu, 9% Buddhists, 4.4% Muslims, 1.4% Christians and 3.3% others. Diversified people have diversified cultures and as more Nepalese people immigrate to the Bay Area, the need for The Motherland Nepal Cultural Center intends to establish a Nepali Community Center where Nepali can practice and preserve our cultural norms and rituals – in all their manifestations. All the hardware and software facilities will be installed in the community center with facilities of modern information and communication technology.

5.2. Establishment of Grief Center:


Approximately 15,000 people living Bay Area critically need a Grief Center to practice our cultural and religious norms and values. The grief center is basically focused on the center for the family and relatives whose family member passes away. As per Hindu culture, the deceased body is cremated with the presence of the priest, and family members of the deceased must stay inside to grieve for thirteen days. During this period, sons of the demised person must shave their heads. Further, they can wear only a piece of white cloth,  andcan have only one meal without salt per day for thirteen days. The person in grief can't touch any one outsiders.

All the rules also apply to wife of demised person except shaving of the head. There are certain procedures of worship as well as offering water and food to the soul of the dead person for thirteen days, which is facilitated by the priest, as Hinduism believes that salvation for the demised soul takes thirteen days.

As per above grounds, the grief center is critically needed for the Nepali community residing in Bay Area and surroundings. On the other hand, a person who follows the Buddhism have their own grief practice. The priest decides whether the dead body is cremated or buried. The group of priests, along with family members of the deceased, worship for the salvation of their deceased relative for seven days. We understand these grief procedures seem strange for rest of the world, but this procedure is a fundamental part of our religion and culture. The grief center will have multiple purposes. We can use for cultural practices - for example, the naming ceremony of infants, feeding ceremonies of the children, and different kinds of worships and festival celebration can be observed in the same place when there are not grief cases.



5.3. Educational Facilities Support:

During the project period, we aim to provide educational facilities to at least 150 of the neediest among the needy children in the remotest part of Nepal – in particular the Mid and Far Western Region of Nepal. The facilities will include, among other necessary items, stationeries, clothing, hygiene material and home condition improvement support materials.

5.4. Conduct Awareness Campaign:

During the project period, our organization would conduct an awareness campaign to promote Nepali culture and tradition among the Nepali and non Nepali people of USA. The campaign can be conducted inside the state or outside the state in collaboration and cooperation with other organization. This will include Youtube videos, Facebook, a local magazine targeted to the Nepali community, and other methods that become available to our team.

5.5. Cultural Exchange Program:

With the aim of cultural promotion, we will conduct a cultural exchange program for high school students with the cooperation and coordination of Education Board of Nepal and USA. In this program, a selected group of students, and possibly their coordinators if need be, will visit the selected school of Nepal and USA where they will exchange culture and experience with each other.

5.6. Monitoring and Evaluation:

We will conduct quarterly monitoring by staffs, half yearly by staffs and executives, yearly by stakeholders and final monitoring by staffs, executives with concerned authorities of the city and county level. Further, we will submit formative and summative evaluation reports to the concerned authorities. We will further undertake any additional monitoring efforts that may become necessary.

6. Management Plan

Motherland Nepal, a California licensed non-profit (501c) organization based in the East Bay Area of San Francisco, will execute the intended activities in this grant in cooperation with concerned stakeholders, partners, and volunteers. For the smooth management of the activities there will be Project Advisory Committee (PAC) constituting five members from concerning Government officials, community leaders, members of Motherland Nepal and an external advisor. The PAC will navigate the execution of the activities of the project by developing guidelines and policies for the smooth operation towards the goal achievement of the project. Furthermore, our PAC will have rights to change the management positions of the project in case of unsatisfactory performance of the project staffs. The PAC also involves itself in monitoring and evaluation of the activities.

On the other hand, there will be User Groups for infrastructure related activities. There will be five members in the User Groups from the concerning communities, as well as a representative of Motherland Nepal in each User Group. The user group will participate in every step of the activities - they can perform monitoring and provide suggestion from their perspective. The Project Coordinator will call monthly meetings with the users group following a monthly achievement and plan and take suggestions and feedback. The management organogram of the project will be as follows:

 

7. Budget

  • Item

  • Motherland Nepal

Funding Agency

Total

Remarks

  • A. Activities/Operation

  • Infrastructure

       
  • Educational Services

       
  • Advocacy and Campaign

       
  • Cultural Exchange

       
  • Monitoring

       
  • Staffing

       
  • Sub Total (A)

       
  • B. Administrative/Management

  • Staffing

  •  
     
  • Supplies

  •  
     
  • Utilities

  •  
     
  • Travel

  •  
     
  • Sub Total (B)

  •  
     
  • Total (A+B)

  •  
     


8. Evaluation Plan

Objective

Method of Measurement

Source of Data

Timeline

Installation of Nepali Community Center

  • Staffs hired and assigned

  • Construction work Completed

  • Software and hardware facilities supplied

  • Organogram

  • Workflow chart

  • Pay stuffs

  • Monthly Report

  • Audio Visual Aids

  • Half Yearly

  • Second Year

Establishment of Grief Center

  • Construction work completed

  • Staffs assigned

  • Written procedures exist

  • Workflow chart

  • Pay stuffs

  • Audio Visual Aids

  • Middle of second year

  • End of Third Year

Educational Facilities Support

  • Provide Educational supports

  • List of the schools

  • List of materials

  • Budget breakdown

  • Meeting minutes

  • Received list

  • Audio visual aids

  • End of second year

  • End of third year

Awareness Campaign

  • Conduct Awareness Campaign

  • Provide IEC materials  on Nepalese Culture

  • Reports

  • Audio Visual Aids

  • IEC Materials

  • Middle of second year

  • End of third year

Cultural Exchange Program

  • Execute cultural exchange program

  • Volunteer assigned

  • Annual Report

  • Student list

  • Finance and Activity Report

  • Audio Visual Aids

  • Middle of first year

  • Middle of second year

  • End of third year

 

                                                  

This is the initial work for the grant; there may be some further research necessary about the grief center:

1. Is the grief center consider one component of the community center, or do we need to develop a separate proposal for grief center only?

2. Under Nepali tradition, do we need to mention both Buddhist and Hindu traditional ritual of the grief.

3. For the research design (which can cover chapter 4 of proposal), do we need to provide more hard facts and figures of the Nepali population in Bay area?

4. What is the exit period of the project? As of now, we believe it can be three years project for initial phase later on it can be extended since this is a community center related project.

5. What is the tentative forecasted budget for the project.

6. What will be the contribution from Motherland Nepal (monetary or non-monetary) to assure the sustainability of the project?