For all of us who love the mountains and whose lives have been touched by the charming people who inhabit high places, we have some great news to report along with a huge thank you. Ten new schools have just been completed and 1,200 children are now embarking on a life of hope following the ‘Rebuilding Nepal’ earthquake appeal which raised an astonishing amount in the aftermath of the massive shocks which devastated some of the poorest areas of Nepal last spring.
A 7.8 magnitude tremor on 25 April 2015, followed by a 7.3 aftershock two weeks later on 12 May, killed almost 9,000 people in Nepal. More than 740,000 homes were damaged or destroyed throughout Nepal but nowhere was worse hit than the steep, crowded and poor mountainside dwellings close to the epicenter in the Sindhupalchok District and the villages between Jiri and Lukla.
Now, just 15 months later, Nepal is returning to normal but there is still much to do. The joint fundraising effort between KE Adventure Travel and Juniper Trust has so far raised 220,000 dollars (£165,000) to rebuild the 10 new schools in areas most affected. We chose villages in the poorest parts as they were unlikely to receive any other help. The fundraising also provided for the delivery of new uniforms, winter coats, shoes, bags, books and pencils to over 1,200 children.
After an initial period of planning followed by a unique collaboration between the villagers and our well-connected agents, all ten schools are finished, save the odd coat of paint. The difficulty of sourcing and delivering materials into a remote region, the complexity of permission, new earthquake regulations and the vagaries of the weather, has occasionally been daunting but with the invaluable help of our local team, the work was fast-tracked and JT delivered quickly, ahead of the bulk of international aid, by getting money and supplies direct to the people.
Our thanks go to the individuals in the field who made all this possible, the voluntary help of KE agents and staff on the ground and, most of all, to the generous donations from everyone who contributed to the schools project.
JT will continue to raise additional funds to help more villages still in need. The reputation of Juniper Trust has spread to other villages and we already have several requests of help from other schools.
The Schools: Balakanya 80 Children Cost:$21,000 ; Budha Kinja 140 Children Cost:$16,500 ; Janassewa 220 Children Cost:$22,000 ; Juving 240 Children Cost:$46,200 ; Jyamire 100 Children Cost:$7,250 ;Sagarmatha 20 Children Cost:$14,500 ; Satkanya 90 Children Cost:$32,503 ; Seti Devi 130 Children Cost:$32,046 ; Uma Kunda 120 Children, Cost:$15,420 ; Yuwa Barsa 60 Children, Cost:$6,731
In December The Juniper Trust also launched the‘Sponsor a child in Nepal’ appeal to sponsor 1200 children, providing them with school uniforms, winter coat, shoes, bag, books and pencils. A single donation of just £20 will help Juniper Trust reach this goal.
Every penny donated has gone to the school projects as Juniper Trust is run entirely by volunteers - JT has no overheads, expenses or salaried staff.