What A Time To Live In Bolton!

Bolton currently has the highest new Covid-19 infection rate in the whole country and there is much speculation that we Boltonians may all be put under local restrictions yet again whilst most of the rest of the country isrevelling in being able to regain most of its freedom.  (The story of Bolton’s life for much of the last 14 months!) 

Last weekend though, my children were able to receive their first Covid-19 vaccine because of where we live.  This means that every member of my family (and much of my extended family) has now received at least one vaccination – what a blessing and what a privilege.  After their vaccinations, we had a little treat visit to a local ice-cream parlour, before coming home to get food out of the freezer to eat after we got home from work/school the following day. 

We may be fed up of the restrictions and missing our family and friends but we have never been in the situation of wondering how we could possibly get enough food and other supplies to survive or whether we would be able to afford life-saving treatment if we could actually find a hospital with enough resources/space left to treat us. The following makes me really appreciate just how lucky I am to live and work where I do – yes, even Bolton 😉!! 

On Monday, we received an email from Devi Prasad.  Their village is in lockdown with markets (no popping to the fridge or freezer for more food for our Nepalese families), banks, schools, etc. shut.  Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly and they are beginning to experience some deaths.  Most of the community have lost their jobs and, unlike during the first Nepal lockdown, there is no support or supplies from the government nor NGOs, etc.  Only 7% of the population of Nepal has received a first vaccination and the programme has now been halted due to supplies of the vaccine drying up. 

Devi Prasad estimates that there are 100 families in the village who are in dire need of help and estimates the cost to be about NPR 3000 (£18) per month per family.  He has a plan to be able to distribute food to the families.  However, they will need financial help to be able to do this (and he is also delighted to report that our school community have made 2500 facemasks for the protection of others in the area). 

We are asking, therefore, that if you feel you want to send a donation, no matter how big or small (every penny helps), please send it to Maureen, the Chair of LEARN, as the charity was registered solely to support the school and this appeal falls outside that object.   Donations can be sent:

Directly into Maureen’s EC account:

Maureen Hawksworth 

Sort code: 60-60-06

Account number: 46256539

USING THE REFERENCE: C-19 HELP

or by post to:

Maureen Hawksworth, 9 Brockenhurst Drive, Bolton, BL2 4HP.

A HUGE THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT FINANCIAL OR OTHERWISE. PLEASE KEEP THEIR COMMUNITY IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.

Nepal Visit Update 2

Fabulous to hear from our ‘Nepal Trippers’ yesterday as they completed their visit to our school. One described it as “one of the best days of my life”, another spoke of the “impressive school”, “gentleness of the teachers, children and relatives” and the “underlying self-discipline”. She also talked of the “amazing, inspirational, yet modest mentor” that they have in Devi Prasad and the “determined, committed and far sighted” head teacher – so it seems that the school is in safe hands!

It was great for us to see the new science room that has just been added to the school. It is a wonderful addition but is still very short on equipment at this stage.  That will be one of LEARN’s next priorities – to provide the equipment that they will need but it is wonderful that, thanks to our supporters in Bamford, these children are able to learn the subject in a scientific environment.

Our ‘trippers’ were treated to some entertainment by the children and it was lovely to see the photos that the school had posted themselves on their Facebook page (some of which are included in this blog) along with the message “thank you to all helping hands”.


We look forward to our next trustees meeting when the ‘trippers’ have returned home.  To know and understand first hand what will be best for our school and to work towards providing that will be a real honour.

Our ‘trippers’ took with them a small plaque for the school.  We, at LEARN, can’t thank our supporters enough for providing the means by which these children are able to gain their “wings to fly”.  THANK YOU!

Nepal Visit Update 1!

A couple of our trustees are currently visiting Nepal along with a couple of our other supporters. We were delighted to hear that they had arrived safely in Kathmandu and that the weather is pleasant.  On Tuesday, they visited the UNCLE orphanages (in their role as UNCLE trustees) and it looks like they were all enjoying the party!

They have been doing lots of shopping to buy items to sell when they present their talks about the school and have now safely (although it was a very bumpy 8 hour bus ride!) transferred from Kathmandu to Pokhara where even more shopping awaits! 

Tomorrow they travel to Tansen from where they will visit the school. We, at home, are really looking forward to their update on the school – it’s the first visit there since completion of the science room. It’s also wonderful to see first hand how the school, staff and students are progressing thanks to all of LEARN’s fantastic supporters. 

Thanks for all the support you give and look out for the next blog sometime after the school visit! 

A Good Night Out

Just back from a sale/party at a friend’s house. She’d put on a few snacks and drinks and Maureen had set up her Emmanuel Crafts stall and her LEARN stall.

 


 

There was also another local artisan card maker selling her products.  The Emmanuel Crafts stall sold all kinds of bead work – predominantly jewellery but some surprising items such as coasters.  All come in attractive gift style packaging.

A range of genuine Nepali items were available on the LEARN stall including a range of bags, scarves, notebooks, blankets, etc.  The blankets deserve special mention – made from Yak’s wool, they are incredibly warm but very light, making them perfect for people who need the warmth but can’t tolerate the weight of a thick blanket.

It was lovely to catch up with other friends at the party and great to watch Maureen’s young granddaughter demonstrating her fabulous sales technique – she put The Apprentice candidates to shame!!