Samantha Goodburn / 5 min Read
A once in a lifetime destination is uniquely exciting for backpackers, but for the people who live there it’s home. These two stories from Nepal show this amazing country from both perspectives.
One covers the epic travel tale of Gandys pioneer John, the other finds out what’s been going on recently with the wonderful people at Chora Chori Nepal (CCN), an NGO supported by Gandys as part of our purpose to educate 1 million children across the world.
PIONEER JON – THE HIMALAYAS IN JUST A GANDYS BEANIE
Having always dreamed of taking in the awe-inspiring heights of mountain ranges and having a lust for adventure, my friends and I decided to torture ourselves during lockdown by making plans to experience the Himalayas and Everest.
This was the stuff of dreams and bucket lists. When lockdown ended, we wasted no time. Our route was to be the 3 Passes - slightly less trodden and more challenging than the typical 5-7 days Base Camp trek, and much less expensive and dangerous than the Summit.
We landed with a bump at Hillary and Tensing Airport (the world’s most perilous) and set off on a 21-day hike over 3 mountain passes and 100 miles, enjoying dramatic changes in scenery as we climbed from jungle to brush, to arid desert and glacial peaks.
One of the trip highlights was when my friend Dave decided to strip down to just his Gandy’s beanie in -5ºC and dive into a pool of snow. No doubt an exhilarating concept, but I could barely take a glove off without fear a finger might drop off… let alone anything else.
Along the way we bumped into a group of Sherpas that were part of a team taking on the summit with the Princess of Qatar and the one and only Nims Purja. It was truly inspiring to walk the same path as some of history’s most famous explorers.
Each of the passes provided a different perspective of the awe-inspiring mountain range. We constantly felt like we had been transported into the middle pages of a travel magazine. The locals were lovely and so was the food (our favourites being Momos and Dal Bhat).
This trip will stay with me for the rest of my life. A story to tell the grandkids. Thank you Gandys for providing us with a compass to help us find our way, and a beanie to keep Dave warm!
CHORA CHORI NEPAL – GIVING KIDS A HAND UP
One of the campuses we support is Chora Chori Nepal, the community-focused organisation that works directly in communities with vulnerable children and women. Here are just some of the incredible projects they have completed so far this year, with the help of our donations:
Helping with the finances
50 children from mostly poor marginalised communities of migrant workers and domestic help have received stationery and scholarships, covering fees for schooling and exams that will prevent them dropping out for financial reasons.
Providing bags and water bottles
What some kids see as everyday items can be seen as luxuries by others. In Nepal, it can be difficult to find reusable (Coke/Fanta/juice) bottles for water at school, let alone bags to carry books or stationery. CCN has provided essential kit such as this to 129 students from 5 schools.
Managing conflict, stress and the future
A conflict management workshop was held in Path Pardarshak School and attended by 19 teachers, while teachers and parents joined a conflict management session in Tulashadevi Basic School. CCN also conducted two awareness classes for grade 11 and 12 students on child marriage and its legal provisions.
Helping with the legals
CCN continues to provide legal support to ensure that children are receiving every cent of the compensation money they are due, and that their documentation is in order, from birth certificates to citizenship papers.
Bringing comfort and style to the classroom
Tulashadevi Basic School was rebuilt after being completely destroyed by the 2017 earthquake, but CCN added final comfort with financial aid for carpeting and painting. The children love their smart new classroom walls and warm floor!
Financial support for two special students thanks to CCN – and you
Bipana Yonjan is 10 years old and has two younger siblings. After the earthquake her parents lost their jobs at the brick kiln and started farming in a slum area by the Bagmati River. A lack of land ownership documents brings a constant threat of homelessness, and regular schooling is financially impossible. Monthly support has given Bipana regular schooling, as well as a school bag and stationery.
Bhagyashwori Singh is 4 years old, from a remote village nearly 700km from Kathmandu. After her father died she and her mother were thrown out of the house. They moved to Kathmandu where she was locked in her room while her mother worked as a cleaner. They both now live in St Anne’s Hostel and Bhagyashwori goes to the nursery in Kitini School.
These are just some of the projects that our donations help support. But with six campuses around the world, there’s always more we can do.