Donside hoteliers Darren and Sylvia Gimber have just returned from an emotional second charity trip to Nepal.
The couple, who run the Kildrummy Inn, visited the country with Kildrummy resident Ilja DeVries and friend Craig Mclure, from Falkirk.
The return trip, following on from their 2010 one, saw them once again visiting Namaste Childrens House (NCH) in Pokhara. Whilst with NCH, they visited new land outside Pokhara where it is proposed a new purpose built facility will be constructed.
Although the orphanage had obtained the land, it had been hit by the economic crisis. Whilst part of the project had been sponsored from Holland, it was difficult to secure further funds to complete the project, especially as a large sponsor pulled out last year after being hit by the financial downturn.
“Hopefully backers/sponsors can be found soon and construction can begin on the NCH village project,” said Darren. “Not only will it house the children currently under its care and more, but also a women’s empowerment project and a new health post, as well as seeing an upgrade of the existing primary school facility adjacent to the new land. The new village will be as self-sustainable as possible, growing its own fruit and vegetables, and will also have its own livestock.
“It was great to see the children again after two years, especially the younger ones! I found it a little more emotional than the previous visit, as this time we already knew the children. When the children saw we had returned to see them again it tugged at the heartstrings! We have seen them in pictures and newsletters over the past two years, but to see their smiling faces again and hear their voices, as well as being pulled from pillar to post to see this and that, was a very enjoyable and emotional experience.”
It was not only NCH that benefited from their charity fund (Darvia International Child Welfare Fund), the quartet also handed over the first ever computer equipment for a school in the mountain village of Sikles.
The Sikles Village Mothers’ School is a project providing early education, support and help for children of pre-school age, or also in some cases to children whose families are too poor for them to be able to go to primary school.
Sikles is a large Gurung village in the shadow of the mountains. The bottom of the village is 2,000 meters above sea level, has around 350 houses and a population of over 2200.
Darren said: “It takes around 3½ hours to drive there up a treacherous, newly-finished, mountain road carved out of the hill side where landslips and rock falls are a regular occurrence.”
Having also visited the village in 2010, when they made an initial donation to get the project up and running, the four returned to hand over the computer equipment and accessories and make a further donation towards the future running of the project.
Prior to the trip, Darren was informed about children being used for child labour in a hotel in the tourist area of Pokhara. Their circumstances had been investigated after their situation was highlighted to the authorities by concerned tourists. Darren and the group visited them and gave them new clothes.
“Once again we have been touched by the love and affection given to us by the Nepali people,” said Darren. “Be it a mountain village or big city, their hospitality, however poor they were, however little they had, was always plentiful.”
Darvia International Child Welfare Fund continues to raise money for the Nepali projects, as well ones in Kilimanjaro and Peru.
More details can be found by visiting the charity page on Kildrummy Inn’s website. www.kildrummyinn.co.uk
There will also be a presentation about the trip and work in the spring at Kildrummy Inn Volunteers Hall. A date and time will be announced in the near future. Anyone interested in finding out more, can call Darren or Sylvia at the Kildrummy Inn on (019755) 71227.