Trekkers are returning to Nepal to help school

How the school is now, in desperate need of help to rebuild
How the school is now, in desperate need of help to rebuild

A STEYNING couple who enjoyed trekking in Nepal last year are preparing to return to help with rebuilding following April’s devastating earthquake.

Terry and Caroline Kelly, of Maudlyn Parkway, were on holiday exactly a year before the earthquake – and at the same spot.

Before the devastating earthquake in April 2015

Before the devastating earthquake in April 2015

“We were in villages that don’t exist any more,” said Terry.

“We were just sitting discussing it and said we have to do something to help. We did send some money at first but there was talk in the press about how much money was actually getting through to people.”

The couple agreed they would rather return to the country in person and use their skills, Terry as a builder and Caroline as a teacher, to help.

Terry explained: “One of the concepts behind what we were going to do was to raise as much money as possible and actually take it over there, to make sure it didn’t disappear in to expense funds.”

Terry and Caroline Kelly on their trekking holiday

Terry and Caroline Kelly on their trekking holiday

They have formed a link with the headmistress at a school that was at the epicentre of the earthquake, Shree Bijaya Bhawani Higher Secondary School in a village in the Gorkha region, and plan to help with the rebuilding project there.

The headmistress has since put them in touch with a Ghurka in Aldershot, who will act as a link person due to the language barrier and help plan the priority job for when they arrive for their six-week visit in March.

Terry said: “They are in a terrible state. The Red Cross has helped build two temporary rooms but they are not getting any more help now. We said let’s try to take as much help and money as we possibly can.”

Caroline added: “They are so poor, they have got nothing.

“We want to do something that is sustainable and are looking at the idea of a scholarship or a reading programme. We want to revisit and may go back every year.”

They are in the process of setting up a charity, called IAFN (It’s All For Nepal), and now have two friends from Shoreham joining them on the trip, engineer Brian Robinson and his wife Diane, another teacher.

Terry said: “There are millions of needy people but you can’t get more needy than these children. They are the lowest caste so they are at the bottom of a very long ladder.

“This is our way to try to redress the balance and do what we can.”

Money was raised during the Adur Arts Trail and there is a fundraising quiz night in Shoreham on Saturday, which is being supported by Arun Divers as both Terry and Caroline were members.

The Sussex Produce Company in High Street, Steyning, has adopted the project as its the charity of the money and a fundraising event will be held there on January 21.

The couple do not have a target amount but Caroline said they thought £5,000 was achievable and they hoped to be able to take at least that. They also want to be hands-on with the work while they are there, helping the school in any way they can.

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