Thomas Drew and Anne Drew came to Nepal in September 2013, to volunteer with the Lalitpur District Milk Producers Cooperative Union (LDMPCU), as Milk Quality Advisor and Animal Health Advisor. Anne is a veterinarian with 20 years experience in practice, and both have over 35 years experience keeping dairy goats and producing milk, yogurt and cheese. They both have international experiences in value adding tomilk working in Malawi, Laos, Haiti and in Nigeria as Animal Health Advisor.
What they said….
The LDMPCU comprises of 45 active dairy cooperatives in the hill villages of the Lalitpur District. After our arrival we spent our first few months reviewing documents produced by previous volunteers, met with the District Livestock Services Office and the Central Veterinary Laboratory, and made a few field trips to the hill villages, to acquaint ourselves with local milk production, challenges, and opportunities for intervention. We produced presentations and a 64-page booklet: More Milk from Healthy Animals and Improving Milk Quality, and produced a poster on Clean Milk Production. We also sourced a video on Hygienic Milk Production out of Kenya, revised the script, and had all the materials translated into Nepali. With the assistance of the LDMPCU and two national volunteers: Santosh Pandey and Dr. Surya Laxmi Bajracharya, we conducted seven two-day training sessions. Feeding dairy animals, improved animal housing, and reproduction were some of the topics covered. We implemented an approach of improving animal welfare, biosecurity, and preserving human health and trained 250 farmers which were conducted at 22 milk collection centers. We also visited several schools and trained nearly 400 students about personal hygiene and animal healt.
Working in the hill villages presented numerous challenges, however rewards were tremendous, in terms of the numbers of people reached, personal satisfaction,and feedback from participants. At every session we were treated to various forms of entertainment and shared delicious meals with the participants. We were received into village homes and were privileged to observe the rituals of village life. Throughout our visits, we were impressed with the hard work and integrated farming system that provides a living for the hill families.
In our last month we focused on connecting with other groups, particularly animal health workers. We had a meeting with Village Animal Health Workers, and trainings with government licensed Livestock Technicians. In cooperation with DLSO, one session on Improving Milk Quality was held for 30 private milk shop owners. Our sincere thanks go out to all who have made our efforts possible: CECI Uniterra in Canada and Nepal, the LDMPCU executive and members, and particularly our training team.
Derai derai dhanyabad !!!