Nepal Appeal – 5 school target!

Its been 18 months since the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the Nepal Appeal Charity is still raising funds and supporting some of the most affected rural communities.

Our immediate response was to help those most needing support with the rebuild of homes and also to fund the building of new water wells to supply water to these villages and communities. 12 months ago we funded and rebuilt our first school at Kodari, then in the spring we completed our second school in Siranchour, where a group of volunteers from the UK came with me to put the final touches of paint and take resources for the teachers and children. (see previous blogs)

p1020563

Young and old from the village came to give us a helping hand.

This high foothill community had previously had very little western interaction and it became very clear to me the purpose of the charity and the importance of the work we are doing. It is not just about building brick walls and roofs to complete a school, but the hope and support that it gives these communities struggling to recover – and this became evident from our time there and you will see from the video link below.

International funds have started to be distributed for the rebuilding of homes, but the rural schools (of which 500 were destroyed in this region) get very little government support. Prior to the earthquake the schools were only partly supported by the government and in most cases, left to the communities to run and struggle to support in terms of resources and suitable teaching staff. It fair to say standards of education were and are poor because their is no structure or support in place for many communities.

p1020544

The community gratitude was overwhelming at Siranchour

Working alongside the Mandala Organisation, a Non Government Organisation (NGO) in Nepal, The Nepal Appeal have now identified a total of 5 rural schools that we are to not only going to build, but to support long term. School number three is currently being completed in Naubise, and in a few weeks time I will go to Nepal to hand this over to the community. Whilst I’m there I will also visit the further two communities were we will rebuild our final two schools. It takes time in Nepal, monsoon comes in late spring and ends around now, making it difficult to get materials to the locations and making work conditions poor. The reality from the start for the charity was that it was going to support the long term redevelopment in these communities, and thats exactly what we intend to do. Our aim is to concentrate on these 5 schools over the next few years, to improve not only the school itself, but its infrastructure in terms of resources, teaching staff and most importantly raise the level of education the children get at each of those schools. By giving the children the opportunity to a good level of education will not only help them, but the communities around them too.

20160330_151320

We are not just building structures, but developing long term educational support

It’s a big Plan  – way more than we anticipated or expected to do when we started the Charity when we set an intitial target of £25,000. We have now raised over £70,000 and the charity has been driven not only by the communities we have visited in Nepal but by the tremendous level of support back here at home in the UK. The international media have long gone, and its old news – but to those still trying to recover its still a reality, and the gratitude for all of you for such continued support I think is again shown in the video below, and overwhelming.

We had our annual Nepal Appeal Ball last Friday which was again another great success. Based at the wonderful Spring Grove House at the the West midland Safari Park, with 3 course meal, live music and charity auction we managed to raise nearly £4000 which will go along way to supporting these schools. It was great to have ‘Milan’, the General Secretary of the Mandala Organisation with us to thank everyone personally for all of the tremendous support you have given. He and his team have worked tirelessly for the last 18 months to support the affected communities and ensure our funds go directly into the projects we have identified to support.

img_2027

2016 Ball with Milan Tamang, the General Secretary of the Mandala Organisation, Nepal.

Each November and Easter Holiday period we will run trips to these schools and communities accompanied by Charity staff to support and interact with the school children and those that live in the surrounding villages. Why not join us for a life changing experience and come along too? We’re also just planning our fund-raising events for next year, including another bike ride and a Nepalese ‘cook off’ at Jojo lappas Nepalese restaurant in Birmingham – details to be posted soon.

The future is exciting for the Charity and the communities we are working in and we hope you will continue such great support, as it is truly making a difference to so many people. My next post will be from Nepal at the end of November with updates on the completed schools and those that are yet to be finished.

Below is  a Vimeo link to the footage of the last trip with volunteers in April, where we were welcomed and thanked at the first School at Kodari for a day, visited one of the homes we have funded, and the spent four days completing Siranchour school. I think it sums up what the Charity is truly about and the change from when we arrived to when we left, not just in the building itself, but those that live there.

Thanks again – amazing support!

Ant

https://vimeo.com/187501687

Check out our website for more details