A belated Happy New Year to all our friends around the world, and a huge THANK YOU for all your support and generous donations for the Warmth For Winter campaign which we started in November of last year and is still ongoing. We have received donations big and small, from children, families, schools and groups; all have been invaluable and have brought a little warmth and comfort to more than 500 children and at-risk adults in poor, earthquake-affected areas. As those delivering the clothing observed from the welcomes and huge smiles they received wherever they went, hearts as well as bodies were warmed by these gestures of kindness and compassion. Below is a summary of what has been achieved so far with your generous donations.
- Kanya Girls School in Pokhara. We distributed sweaters, leggings, socks and shoes to 22 students. We were privileged the following week to be invited to attend, and take part in the start of the school’s programme of events to celebrate its 25th year of teaching young female students. The first event we attended was a celebratory parade through the local streets of Pokhara. It was lovely to see lots of people, of all ages, line the streets to greet and support the event. Once the parade returned to the school a blood donor event commenced – what a practical and generous way to start a year of celebrations! The following day we attended a celebratory assembly and student award ceremony which included a colourful cultural programme of music and dancing. The SSN team would like to thank local businessman and SSN supporter Madan Sharma (manager of the Vardan Resort) for all his help, especially with our transport needs (essential during the current fuel crisis). Madan was also the first to kick off the blood donor event!
- Gauri School, Pokhara. This school is high up in the hills overlooking Pokhara. It has an amazing view, but with a crumbling, earthquake-damaged school building and winter upon them, the community, teachers and students were pleased to receive sweaters, leggings and shoes for the 22 children. We were grateful again to work in conjunction with local Nepalese supporters. Our combined efforts ensured that our transport costs were kept to a minimum. A bonus was the kind invitation to attend the nearby home of the school’s president which was extended to SSN team members and local supporters, where we were treated to a hearty meal of dal bhat!
- Saraswati Government School in the village of Bharat Pokhari, Begnas Municipality, Kaski District. In a joint venture with Rotary International Pokhara, 80 sweaters and pairs of leggings have been distributed, with an additional 20 children also due to receive shoes. This school also supports and teaches 30 children with learning disabilities so we were particularly pleased to make sure they all received warm clothing.
- Sushil Kalyan Primary School. In collaboration with Rotary International Pokhara, this is the second school in Bharat Pokhari which has benefited from SSN’s Warmth for Winter campaign. 30 children now have sweaters and socks, with leggings on the way as well!! This school includes 19 street children presently in a social enterprise-run hostel who walk 1.5 hours each way to attend the school.
- Maya Foundation Nepal children. SSN has supported a further 10 children to receive sweaters, leggings and socks. These students attend a school in Dhikiri Pokhari. They are earthquake orphans from the Gorkha region. After hearing about their situation from SSN friend Rene Voss, we were happy to help out. (For further information, visit www.mayafoundationnepal.com)
- Bom Bahadur Ghale School, Thuli Gau Ghalel village, 70 kms from Pokhara (44 off road!). Sansar Nepal was able to provide warm sweaters, leggings and socks to 30 of the poorest and most needy children. Leela (Roshan), our fearless leader, accompanied the delivery on motorbike with SSN friend Dinesh Maharajan, and they were warmed by the grateful smiles of the children receiving the clothing!
- Navgarita School, Huwas Parbat District. In another joint venture with Rotary club, Pokhara, we provided school uniforms for 77 children.
- Kyamune Bhanjang Secondary School, Huwas Parbat. 57 needy children received warm sweaters and leggings from SSN.
- Sri Buwan School, Chettrae Durali, Dhading District. Sweaters, leggings and shoes were supplied to 73 children. With the support of Ivy Collegiate School, Taiwan, we are also helping with the rebuilding of 3 classrooms which were badly damaged during the earthquakes.
- Displaced Persons tin-sheet camp, outskirts of Kathmandu. Warm clothing and shoes were provided for 21 children, blankets for 29 households and warm winter clothing (sweaters, jackets, scarves, hats, socks, thermal underwear etc.) for 30 at-risk adults including the old, the sick, the disabled and nursing mothers.
Photos to follow…