Garry's January update
Happy New Year all, let’s hope 2022 is better than the last two. Despite the traumatic times that we have been living through, Lincs2Nepal and Jeevan Jyoti school have continued to thrive and grow and I have big plans for 2022. I managed to get out there in December and enjoyed a very productive trip. Unfortunately, Nepal has now closed all schools for 3 weeks, imposed a partial lockdown in Kathmandu valley (which does not affect our communities) and introduced quarantine for all visitors due to rising cases of Omicron. Hopefully this will be short term and the belief seems to be that they will follow other countries and relax these measures soon.
Jeevan Jyoti School
Our older pupils are now 15 and the school has simply outgrown the current “sportsfield”, so we recently purchased land next to the school to create a new sporting arena. The whole ethos of the school is that every child will reach their full potential. This is not always going to be academically, some of our children may excel in sport, music, dance, drama etc and we need to give them the platform to perform and excel so the sportsfield is essential. My personal dream is to see the first Nepali professional footballer make the journey from JJ School to Lincoln City.
The sportsfield project will cost £21,000 and work is beginning this week. The land is currently “paddy”, meaning it is lower than the surrounding land and designed to flood. We now need to bring in 1,500 trucks of soil to raise the land and install drainage. The sportsfield, which will incorporate a full-sized football pitch, volleyball and badminton courts, will be surrounded by concrete terracing and will belong to the School, but will be available for hire, bringing income into the School. The facility will be called “Sincil Bank” (apologies to our many Grimsby sponsors) after the Lincoln City ground where I have been watching football for 55 years.
Lincs2Nepal currently have pre schools in the villages of Shantinagar, Rejhana, Akalgawar and Lokanwhar. These are lower caste villages, referred to as slum villages, and the majority of our scholarship children come from these four village pre schools. I employ two ladies from each village to teach the children who join at 2/3 years old. This gives them and their families an income and they are supported by Jeevan Jyoti staff.
The building at Shantinagar was built by Lincs2Nepal some years ago and the building we use in Rejhana was donated by the village and is okay. The other two buildings that we use are mud buildings and no longer really fit for purpose, so this year I planned to replace them with purpose built, rendered brick buildings incorporating a classroom, a storeroom and a toilet. Amazingly, a lovely couple have donated the money for these new buildings and work has now begun with the schools ready for use in April.
HCC Children's Home
This is the children’s home in Kathmandu that I have been supporting through 2021. Due to the pandemic, it has lost its sponsors and I am in the process of trying to both keep it open and sustain and improve it.
The plan is to call the home the 40FRIENDS childrens home, with 40 businesses and organisations donating £40 a month. This, along with finding 19 sponsors to sponsor the children’s education, would guarantee the future of the home for current and future children. If you or your friends have a business that would like to be a part of this, please contact me – it is just £1.33 a day; it will cover ALL running costs of the home, with every single penny donated reaching the home. It will also allow us to maintain and improve the very basic facilities that we have. All 40 sponsors will be listed on the 40FRIENDS social media page, the L2N website and will also receive regular updates and photos. This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a project that will impact massively on so many young lives.
The hope was that we would run two trips this year, one in April and one in October/November. Unfortunately, the April trip is now uncertain, after Nepal closed all schools, went into partial lockdown and introduced quarantine for all visitors due to the new variant. I am speaking to people in Nepal on a daily basis and will have to make a decision soon. The October/November trip, however, is 99% going to happen and will be the largest group I have taken over and one that I am really looking forward to. I will have a definite date by the end of the month, but it will be around 28th October to 11th November.
Over the next couple of months, I will be doing five Sponsors Evenings. The first one is at Market Harborough at an 80 seater Nepali restaurant on Monday 31st January. All tickets have been sold for this event. During March/April I will be hosting evenings in Lincoln, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Sleaford. These evenings are all about information and entertainment. Each evening has a different format and I will release details as soon as I have confirmed dates. They are essentially for you, our sponsors, and for you to bring along friends who may be potential sponsors. The evenings will consist of a presentation of Lincs2Nepal’s work and, depending on the venue, live entertainment and food. They are fundraising and awareness-raising evenings. Please let me know ASAP if you would be interested in attending.
All in all, it has been a very exciting, productive start to 2022. Please have a think and if you know of any business, large or small, who would like to be one of the 40FRIENDS , please let me know.
LOVE AND LIGHT