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Hoddesdon to Himalaya

British Rotary Club and Students

help a school in Nepal

 

When a deadly earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Kathmandu was all but destroyed. As a result a close working relationship has developed with a British Rotary club and local schools in Nepal.

 

The outcome of the Rotary Club of Hoddesdon in working to rebuild a school in Nepal hit by the earthquake of 2015 has been a close working relationship with two local schools. Students from The John Warner School and Robert Barclay Academy (formerly Sheredes School) were enlisted to help with the ambitious project. The students have under taken a project, named H2H (Hoddesdon to Himalaya) with the Rotary Club to visit Janasewa Higher Secondary School near Kathmandu and help with the rebuild. It’s been a long haul, however with a fair amount of networking taking place across Rotary clubs around the world, from the Rotary Club of Kathmandu Mid Town to the Rotary Club of Landshut Germany, contributing funds along with a few philanthropic contributors, the project had been ongoing over a number of years but reached crisis when blocks were damaged in the earthquake.

 

 

The devastating earthquake killed nearly 8,000 people, and the Janasewa Higher Secondary School, based in Kathmandu, was badly affected with one teaching block ruled unsafe for classes by government inspection officers. Yet despite the damage done to much of the school, the grounds still provided refuge and shelter for many of those who were rendered homeless by the earthquake, with over 40 families still residing in relief camps on the school’s football fields today.

 

The Hoddesdon Club heard from a member of their partner club in Nepal Dr Chandra Lekha Tuladhar, “A portion of the school was damaged by the earthquake which was recently retrofitted and made safe. Since the day of the quake till now the school provided relief to the community as many wards were badly affected.  Bringing the school back to normality is a long drawn task. Painting of furniture or classrooms when the time draws near is what we thought would be suitable to get all the volunteers involved.”

 

Some of the fund-raising events run by the Club with keen support by the students include a Rotary vs. Hoddesdon Town football match, a quiz, a local dragon boat race, a virtual horse racing night and even a joke book that sold well last Christmas. Sponsorship was forthcoming from several businesses. Hoddesdon Rotarian David Johnston is leading this project from the front. David commented, “It supports Rotary’s focus on education and helping local communities worldwide after disaster. The results will be sustained in Nepal and in the local  Hoddesdon community.”

 

The 10 young people taking part on the trip led by Rotarians from Hoddesdon Rotary Club will spend almost 3 weeks in Nepal undertaking a work programme at the school followed by a trek to Everest base camp. All participants have been in training with treks locally and there is a big test trek taking place shortly in the Welsh mountains.



Reprinted from The Rotary magazine of Great Britain and Ireland, October 2016



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