The British Charity Community Action Nepal (CAN) was set up by Doug Scott CBE and fellow mountaineers over 20 years ago and exists to improve the livelihoods and standard of living for people living in remote mountain areas of Nepal. In April 2015 a series of earthquakes shattered the lives of the Nepalese people with nearly 9,000 fatalities, the destruction of homes and community infrastructure. The majority of communities CAN supports were affected resulting in loss of life and the devastation of schools, health posts and porter shelters. In the last 3 years CAN has faced the triple challenge of supporting the delivery of emergency aid (food, medicine, tents, and temporary health facilities and classrooms), undertaking a massive reconstruction programme implementing earthquake resistant methods based on ‘Building Back Better’ principles andmaintaining essential health and educational services. Needless to say this has required a major fundraisingeffort with CAN having to raise around £3 million for this reconstruction and recovery programme, which is a significant achievement for a small charity!
One of the villages CAN has supported for many years isKutumsang (2,371 m) which is on the well trekked Helambu trail. 24 local people were killed in the earthquake and many homes and community buildings were destroyed, including the CAN supported health post and primary school. We set to work urgently on the rebuilding of the health post as key priority and werethen asked by the School Management Committee to support the full reconstruction of the Shree Himalayan Primary school. With the help of CAFOD and working alongside local people we completed the rebuilding of the primary school in June 2018. This is a tremendous relief as the pupils and teachers have had to be very stoical in the last three years using very basic temporary tin and wooden structures as classrooms and having to endure three winters and three monsoons! The school hasnow been officially re-opened and is in the process of being properly equipped with furniture, equipment and educational materials. As a result of CAN engaging with Wendy Tyndale at St Mary’s and John Eastwood (a CAN volunteer in Oxford), CAN was nominated as St Mary’s November Charity with a grant of £1,000 allocated to purchase a laptop and a printer at the new primary school. On behalf of the pupils and teachers of the school, CAN wishes to thanks parishioners at St Mary’s for this generous support which will help enable pupils to resume their schooling and reach their educational goals in a high quality learning environment.
Phil Powell (CAN Trustee) will be talking about the work of the charity on Sunday the 18th of November 11.30-12.15 at the Church Hall. Doug Scott CBE and Sir Chris Bonington (CAN’s Patron) will be delivering a CAN fundraising lecture entitled The Hard Way to Everest on 22nd of November at 7pm at the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History. For tickets please phone Phil Powell on 01865 778536.