“We can all be human on this earth again.” -Maggie Doyne
Together, we have built an amazing place here in Nepal. Kopila Valley is home to a special community where everyone lives with a deep sense of love, acceptance and respect. That respect extends to our environment. We know that if we don’t care for the world around us, we won’t be able to keep living in the world around us. It’s really that simple.
WHY SUSTAINABILITY IS SO IMPORTANT AT KOPILA VALLEY
Nepal can often be a harsh place. Like many impoverished nations trying to catch up with the rest of the world, the environment often takes a backseat to development and the need to grow faster. In Kopila Valley, we think being pro-Earth works hand-in-hand with making progress. Sustainability is a primary part of our mission and a key element of our growth. We strive to create a healthy, beautiful and enduring environment for our children and community today – and in the future.
WE BELIEVE THAT A BEAUTIFUL, ENDURING ENVIRONMENT WILL CREATE A MORE SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY
A COMMUNITY COMMITTED TO THE FUTURE
Is it a challenge to stay green with so many kids running around and so many moving parts? Absolutely. But we work as one big family to develop a sustainable community for all of us. Here’s how:
- We maintain a large garden that supplies healthy, organic fruits and vegetables to our school lunch program, which serves over 400 hot meals each day, and we compost what isn’t used.
- We source rice – we cook A LOT of rice every day – from nearby farms.
- We use solar panels and biogas to keep the Children’s Home and Kopila Valley School’s carbon footprint low.
- We teach our children and students how to live sustainably and share knowledge around important environmental issues.
When we first started this community, we felt strongly that we must build from within rather than lean too much on outside help. That philosophy continues today. We are bringing in local stakeholders in the design, planning and development of our new Kopila Valley School. We are sourcing local and recycled materials, as well as hiring local labor for our construction team. We are seeking sustainable solutions to build a high performing, energy efficient school for our students and teachers.
OPENING SOON: NEPAL’S MOST GREEN SCHOOL
The new home of Kopila Valley School has given us the opportunity to unleash our creativity and apply the latest innovations in green development. We believe that, together, we can create something truly unique by combining local resources – surveyors, civil engineers, architects and construction teams – with sustainable design. Structurally, we envision a holistic school using local materials that naturally fit in with the local aesthetic and culture. On that note, our school property touches the ground of the oldest and most original Hindu temple in the valley. As with everything we do, we will be respectful of local traditions.
We want to build this school to last a lifetime so are focused on durability, conservation, and longevity, and on making sure the structures are sound enough to handle earthquakes and monsoons. To achieve this goal, our team is utilizing a natural building method called rammed earth construction to build strong walls without the need for heavy machinery. We will also continue to utilize solar energy on the new campus.
Choosing the best construction materials – while staying mindful of cost, environmental considerations, and local availability – also requires creativity. We’ve explored a range of options, including:
- Bamboo – of course!
- Stone, clay, mud, grass, and other earth elements according to local tradition – as long as they don’t compromise structural integrity or maintenance needs.
- Plastics, recycled materials, old tires, tin, and other metals.
To further our sustainability mission, we want to make sure our students feel like they are one with nature. So we want to bring the outdoors in and the indoors out by using plenty of natural light inside and building outdoor classrooms with grasses and wood. After all, a breath of fresh air is good for everyone.