Welcome to World Neighbours Canada

World Neighbours Canada Society was founded in Oliver, B.C. in 1989. Programs are currently active in three program areas: Nepal in Asia, Burkina Faso in Africa and Honduras and Guatemala, in Central America.

Hilidevi- An example of community partnerships

a short excerpt from, “Sustainable Community Development” written by Navjot Gill as a reflection of her 2016 field visits in Ramechhap, Nepal ]

img_4120I had the opportunity to accompany the TSS (Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti – our partner NGO in Nepal) team to the district of Hilidevi for an initial community-wide engagement visit. Here, TSS will support the construction of household toilets. This work will be funded by the Global Affairs Canada grant in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The community of Hilidevi faces many challenges in health care and development. First, it is extremely isolated. It is a 5-hour drive from Manthli and roads are often closed due to the weather. Second, the community lacks basic necessities. There is no access to electricity and most people have no access to water. Lastly, the village does not have accessible health care, though there is a health post in the district headquarters. With so many challenges, where does development even begin?

The community-wide meeting in Hilidevi gave individuals, families, and service providers an opportunity to discuss some of these challenges. In total, there were 8 TSS personnel and 55 community members, ranging from children, mothers, elders, teachers, health care workers, political leaders and female community health volunteers. TSS project coordinator and board member presented their invitation for collaboratively building household toilets in the district. This was followed by an invitation for community members to discuss their experiences of health care. Themes that circulated the room were access to healthcare services, lack of accessibility due to their geographical location, the need to include and provide for those who cannot afford to build their own toilets, and an agreement that ODF (open defecation free) was a priority for the community. This participatory process ensures community buy-in, allows dialogue and discussion, and further gives community members, like the health services providers, an opportunity to discuss the importance of topics like household toilets in relation to infectious disease.


WNC welcomes a new director


Board of Directors for WNC: (left to right) Judy Gray, Bruce Petch, Laurena Rehbein, Mary Doyle, Graem Nelson, Libby Denbigh, Dale Dodge and Nav Gill

The Annual General Meeting of WNC took place last weekend in Penticton B.C. As always, it was an intense, though very cordial meeting, with many items to cover. Much of the discussion centred on developments dealing with our Maternal Newborn Child Health grant from the federal government. Activities are underway in each of our three project countries; and our partner NGOs are very happy to know that funding will be secure for the next four years. Some Board members are experiencing a very sharp learning curve with respect to the documents required by the government!

We are also very happy to announce that Libby Denbigh has joined WNC Board. We’ll be profiling Libby soon on our website.

New water system installed in Nepal

Content and Photos provided by Suresh Shrestha, Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti        Compiled by Bruce Petch, World Neighbours Canada director

Photo 53_Finished Tap No. 5

Completed tap stand

A gravity-fed water system was constructed in the village of Lahachhewar in the district of Ramechhap in Nepal, from March to June 2016. The work was done by the residents of the village (on their own time), with technical support and guidance from Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti (TSS, a Nepali NGO based in Ramechhap). Funding was provided by World Neighbours Canada, which was supported by Global Affairs Canada, Kamloops West Rotary, Aldergrove Rotary and Oliver Rotary.World Neighbours Canada also continues to receive donations in Rachel Denbigh’s name for work in Nepal.This was the first water system installed under a new four-year project supported by Global Affairs Canada.

Photo 27_Reservoir tank construction

Reservoir construction

The Lahachhewar Water System will service 30 households with a population of 206 people – 120 female, 86 male, 81 children under 12. The water system consists of an intake at the source (a spring on the hillside, a concrete and stone storage tank below the source, a buried PVC water line running down the slope to the village, and 6 public tap stands.

The construction of gravity fed water systems requires that reservoirs be built at some point between the water source being accessed, and the water stand pipes in the villages being serviced.

The reservoirs are typically 5 cubic metres in size, and will hold 5000 litres of water. The reservoirs are always built in a location such that a break would not cause a flooding of any nearby residences. In the 27 years, including 2015 when there was a major earthquake in Ramechhap and nearly 90% of the homes in the district were damaged, a TSS built water reservoir has never failed. Only minor damage was sustained to a few water systems in the 2015 earthquake.

Community Participation, Technical Guidance and Summary of Environmental Impacts

Photo 65_Water User Committee members

Water User Committee members

The Water User Committee, with help from the TSS technical people, plan all aspects of the water system. They decide the location of the intake, the route of the pipe, the size and location of the water reservoir, and the location of the tap stands in the village.

Photo 12_Pipeline digging

Digging the trench for the waterline

The water users – the villagers – do all of the physical work. They transport materials, they dig and backfill the ditch for the pipe, they help build the water reservoir, they help construct the tap stands. This is all done with guidance of the TSS technicians. 

The cement work is done by people trained by TSS over the years. These people may still live in their original village, but will travel to nearby locations to do the cement work and to train others to do similar work. The Government Engineer is notified when the work is done and will do a final inspection. 

At all stages of the project, environmental considerations are identified and assessed. The water source is always fenced off so that animals cannot access the source. Ditches are always filled in such that there is no evidence of ground disturbance. Reservoirs are always placed in areas such that if they were to fail, there would not be any damage to structures below them. Tap stands are always made of cement, with cement catchment areas below to prevent erosion of the immediate area.

Photo 66_Traditional water source

traditional water source

Photo 69_Traditional water source

traditional means of obtaining water

Photo 54_Finished Tap No. 6

completed tap stand

The farthest tap stand from the water source is approximately 2 kilometres. It is estimated that the women using that tap stand will save 3-4 hours per day in carrying time. What an important change the completion of this water system must make in the lives of these women!

Taking steps to reduce child malnutrition in Burkina Faso

posted by Judy Gray, director, World Neighbours Canada


yellow indicates moderately malnourished

yellow indicates moderately malnourished

Peter and I returned, in early April, from a monitoring mission to Burkina Faso to touch base with our partner NGO (APDC) and to deepen our understanding of their activities. Rates of malnutrition among children are tragically high in the area. We were able to attend a training session for community health animators about the dépistage process (malnutrition screening), one of the activities that will be undertaken as part of our new Maternal Child Health Initiative supported by Global Affairs Canada. What might appear a simple procedure to us – measuring upper arm circumference and recording the results – is not easy for people who have never had formal schooling. In addition to training the community health workers, APDC must train a “secretary” – a member of the


recording names, ages and nutrition level

recording names, ages and nutrition level

village, who is literate. The following day, we visited the village of Kpartangou to witness the process “in action”. There were about 50 mothers gathered under the big tree, waiting to have their children screened. A number of children fell into the moderately or severely malnourished category – the goal is now to diagnose the cause and then provide training and support so mothers can begin to alleviate the situation. Mothers were keen to learn about the opportunity to have their child evaluated at the regional Health Centre. The visit to these remote villages in eastern Burkina Faso, made us realize, once again, how slowly change occurs in many parts of the world and the gravity of the problems that many people face. We are glad to be part of World Neighbours Canada – an organization that is 

waiting for the malnutrition screening

waiting for the malnutrition screening

willing to accept this rate of change, and remains in  project areas for the long haul!


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