The Beginning of the Baseri Clinic
In 1984 Denise and Ric (CCF Board members and owners Ganesh Himal Trading) met Sita Gurung while they were trekking through her remote village of Baseri, Nepal. She was 14 at the time. Sita was an enthusiastic girl in the village and immediately they became fast friends. As a child, Sita had lost many friends and family member to easily curable diseases and illnesses, causing her to dream of someday building a clinic in her village where there had never been any healthcare before. Over the years, she shared this dream with Denise and Ric.
They agreed that they wanted this clinic to be available to anyone who needed help and that they would not turn anyone away. They designed a 4 room, one story building in the traditional architecture of the village and located a local water source. Trees were cut from their local community forest and milled by hand. Slate for the roof was cut from a nearby quarry (all by hand). In partnership with the Nepal Seattle Society, the Baseri community, and donors from around the world, Denise, Ric, Sita, and many others came together to make this dream a reality in February of 2010.
The grand opening ceremony was held on February 26, 2010 with all of the villagers turning out and much music and fanfare and a ribbon cutting ceremony! On February 28 the first 35 people came to receive care! By Sept 29, 2010 1600 patients (an average of 10 people a day) have been seen at the clinic for everything from maternal health care issues to burns, breaks and intestinal disorders. The clinic was then supplied with basic lab testing facilities for urine and blood tests an otoscope for ear infections, stethoscopes, a blood pressure cuff, thermometer, and saline IV drip system.
Why a Clinic?
Where there is a lack of access to basic healthcare treatment facilities, even the simplest issues can turn debilitating or even fatal. When the nearest treatment is a day’s walk or more away, a tooth ache can develop into life threatening disease. When such a facility is present, not only can these threats be assessed and addressed, but it can serve as a platform from which to educate a community about the prevention of such issues.
Then, on the 25th of April 2015 the clinic, along with the rest of Baseri and much of Central Nepal, was destroyed. What had taken years to build took only seconds to demolish. Yet from the first moment that this news was spread, it was clear that CCF and the villagers of Baseri would again partner to rebuild the clinic, and do so better than ever before. It had become a focal point of pride for the community of Baseri, and a vital need to those it served.
The Baseri Clinic 2.0
In July of 2016 the new clinic was completed! Having raised close to $60,000 for its reconstruction & continued operation, CCF and its partners were able to not only rebuild the clinic, but to do so better than ever before. Built with the most earthquake resistant techniques available, and made to last, it will have additional room specifically for maternal health issues, an adjoining exam room, dispensary, office, birthing center, and community room, as well as three full time staff. Better yet, thanks to the hard work and dedication of CCF Board Member Sita Gurung, the Nepalese Government has agreed to pay for the majority of the salaries of these three health workers, with the hope that the success shown by this clinic will serve as a model to others in the area.
Today the Baseri clinic is thriving under the direction of these three women: Maya Gurung, Basanti Ghale, and Sita Ghale Gurung who make up the staff and operations team.
While the Baseri clinic has been reincarnated in many different forms- from its initial one story, three room facility, to a small propped up shack in the months following the earthquake, and now to this newest vision- the same spirit has lived on, and we at CCF will do whatever is necessary to allow this spirit to flourish.