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Posted by: In: Raising awareness, Trips 11 Aug 2009 0 comments

Chris and Sally received a visit from Nara Pandey and his wife Sue. Nara, a Nepali, was the raft guide on the trip back in 1990 that Chris organised to the Karnali River in Nepal. It was on that trip that Chris first met Mukunda, who at that time was a 19 year old assistant raft guide. Sue was also on that trip and that was when she first met Nara and he later came to England where they were married. They have three beautiful young girls.

Even more interesting, is the fact that for 10 years Sue and Nara have been running a small charity in England, very similar to ours, and helping schools in the same general region. Nara’s family comes from the next village district east of Pragatinagar. Their charity is called Children of Nepal and they have been involved mainly in helping schools finish building projects. www.children-of-nepal.org.uk

It was very useful and interesting to make contact with Sue and Nara and I feel sure that they will be able to help us with some of our initial questions regarding applying funds to projects in Pragatinagar.

Posted by: In: Fundraising 08 Aug 2009 0 comments

Chris and Sally hosted a mountain biking weekend at Spean Bridge for “old” friend Alan Picken, seen here second from right, with some of proceeds going to Nepal Schools Trust.

Chris, Trust Chairman, joined some of the lads for a trip around the Aonach Mor world championship XC course on the Friday.

Saturday, the group, seen here setting off, made a long and arduous circumnavigation of the Grey Corries/Aonachs and Ben Nevis ranges. Their trip was eventful with Alan taking a tumble in Steall Gorge. On Sunday most headed out for one last blast at Aonach Mor biking trails.

Posted by: In: Volunteers 08 Aug 2009 0 comments
Alice Thomson, designer of our A4 Nepal Schools Trust brochure, Jackie Thomson, Trustee, Chris Dickinson, Chairman of Trustees and Mukunda Raj Shrestha, Honorary Trustee in Norwich, England.


July saw a Trustees Meeting in Norwich at Jackie Thomson’s home. All trustees were present. It was also an opportunity to see Mukunda, who was visiting from Nepal, and meet volunteer Rebecca Vaughn who designed our corporate image and website for us. At same time, Alice Thomson worked on an A4 flyer for the Trust. Thanks Alice for that.

The meeting reported on early fund raising efforts and progress to date. We should particularly like to thank Mrs Joyce Dickinson who recently made a very generous donation to the Trust. This was a landmark meeting for the Trust. For the first time we were able to discuss making grants to schools. At this time the following grants have been awarded.

Sally is greeted by a Surya Kiran pupil, with proud parents looking on


Shree Surya Kiran Primary School has been awarded a grant of £1000 to be used to assist in furnishing class rooms for the school as some classes still have pupils sitting on the floor!

Mukunda will request timber from the village district forest committee and the funds will be used to employ some tradesmen to make the furniture up. The schools will also use some of the funds to have electricity installed and to purchase and install fans in classrooms

Shree Dibyajoti Lower Secondary School has been awarded a grant of £1000 towards the building of a new section in the school. This large school of over 700 pupils has an urgent need for more accommodation and has been working on the new section for around two years now. Government funding is meeting part of the cost. We hope our grant will help the project move towards completion. The photograph shows the building works earlier this year. We are informed that currently the building has risen to the window tops! The school has grown considerably in recent years as both more pupils attend and additional secondary years have been added. This building is being designed so that in future when needs dictate, it will be possible to add a second storey of classrooms.

Shree Virkuti Boarding School was awarded a grant of £1200. The girls in the photo are standing against the wall of an unfinished improvement that is desperately needed. This grant will hopefully be sufficient to allow that building project to be completed and brought into use and also to address the issues of a clean water supply and toilet improvements.

It was also decided that if any further funds come in from our 2009 appeals, then we would like to support the Shree Nawal Nepal Primary School, where teaching staff have helped the school get established by working without compensation for two years. Watch this space for an update on this. We hope to be in a position to grant funds towards teacher salaries in September. Update: In September we made a grant to this school of £450 that will be split into 9 payments to each of 9 volunteer part time staff at the school, in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to getting this school established from scratch.

Posted by: In: Fundraising 14 Jul 2009 0 comments

On July 5th Andrea and Laura from Norwich, Norfolk, came out for a guided kayaking trip into the lower part of the Spean Gorge. All proceeds from the outing went to Nepal Schools Trust
Laura meets some moving water for the first time in the lower gorge
Andrea trying out some manouevres.

Posted by: In: Fundraising 14 Jul 2009 0 comments

On the weekend of 15-17th May 2009, Chris and Sally hosted friends at their land at Leavenworth. Folks came to the land at Icicle Creek on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains to paddle and enjoy a themed evening with nepali meal, a film of the Humla Karnali kayak expedition, photos from Kevin from his treks in Nepal with Mukunda and apresentation about the Trust. Many people gave generously and the event raised over $1,700 for the charity.
A special thanks to Kevin Kaiser and Jackie Tomlinson who helped enormously with the food and to everyone for coming to support such a good cause.

Posted by: In: Fundraising 14 Jul 2009 0 comments

The club from Dunoon came to stay at Bla Bheinn, Spean Bridge for a weekend and a nepali meal was laid on for the visitors. A percentage of the funds for the weekend went to nepal Schools Trust and there were also a couple of very generous private donations made.

Above you can see a typical nepali daal bhat meal and below our version, with a chicken curry, rice, daal, and gujerati style stir fried vegetables.

Members enjoyed a great weekend on the mountains and rock faces locally.

Posted by: In: Fundraising 14 Jul 2009 0 comments

Mick Hennessey and friends made a winter ascent of the Ben with Chris as guide and a percentage of the guiding fees went to Nepal Schools Trust along with a generous tip.
A pleasant day turned quite wild, windy and icy by the time we all reached the summit of the Ben.

Posted by: In: Raising awareness 14 May 2009 0 comments

I’ve added some fundraising photos to flickr, so we can link to the set when we talk about the trips on the website.

Flickr

With the help of Rebecca Vaughan, Nepal Schools Trust has a live blog now. Supporters and friends of the Trust can keep in touch with Trust progress and news and developments from our schools and district, by looking in here from time to time. Rebecca has volunteered to help the Trust establish its website, for which we express our gratitude.

Mukunda Raj Shreshta

Chris Dickinson

Nepal Schools Trust, is a charity registered in Scotland. It was set up because of a friendship over two decades between Chris Dickinson and Mukunda Raj Shreshta, born in the village of Pragtinagar, the district that the Trust intends to help. They met through Chris’s kayak expeditioning in Nepal for which Mukunda has acted as a guide on a number of occasions.
Chris’s sister Jacqueline and his wife Sally joined with him in setting up the Trust in late 2008

The enthusiastic and optimistic faces of Pragatinagar children

Committed teachers, some working as volunteers in Pragatinagar schools. These are the people we really need to help, as they are the providers of education to the youth of the district.

A view of a classroom in a primary age school. A temporary website is currently hosted at www.chrisdickinson.com but shortly will appear as a dedicated Nepal Schools Trust site.
www.nepalschoolstrust.org.uk