Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh

21 Nov 2019
Meeting the Gurkhas

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During our trip to Nepal in October we had the opportunity to spend a day at the Gurkha Welfare Trust in Pokhara. In the morning, we went to the Gurkha headquarters where we were very warmly welcomed by John and the rest of the team. We heard all about the amazing work that the Gurkha Trust do and how the money that they raise in the UK is used in Nepal. We learnt about their work on building schools for kids, predominantly in rural areas of Nepal, allowing them to help provide education to many more children.

They also explained their clean water and sanitation scheme to us. They have been able to supply clean drinking water to more than 350,000 people across Nepal. They undergo a complicated process to ensure that every household in the area that they are working in has their own tap. This ensures that they have safe and clean water which means that children who traditionally used to have to walk for up to two hours each way to collect water from unsafe places using potentially contaminated containers are now able to go to school and learn. We learned that the installation of the water systems was a community project and that the Trust handed over all power and responsibility to the community which got everyone involved. We all found this very inspiring because as well as supplying safe drinking water they were also aiding and enriching the community.

Another very inspiring thing that we learnt about was the Trust’s work to teach and promote good sanitation. They aspire to stop period poverty in Nepal and hope to change the stigma around periods. Our morning at the Gurkha Welfare Trust was extremely interesting and really inspired us to start fundraising here at St George’s to support their work.

The afternoon was a definite highlight of the trip for the whole group. We visited the Gurkha residential home for retired veterans and their wives. The residential home was in Pokhara and was very peaceful and beautiful. We were shown around the beautiful home and we saw the garden with pretty flowers and lovely places for the residents to sit in the sun. There was also a gardening patch where the residents grew vegetables and fruit. There was also a small house in the garden built in the style of the veterans’ old homes so that they could be reminded of their childhood.

During our visit to the home we also had the opportunity to talk to and play cards with some of the residents. Although our Nepali was extremely limited and their English much the same, it was really fun to be able to play cards with them. Even though they were all massive cheats and spent more time looking at our cards than their own, we really loved being able to spend time with them. It reminded me of playing cards with my granny at home and it also really showed us how by smiling and laughing we were able to communicate with them.

To end our visit at the home, we performed ‘Oh flower of Scotland’ for them and although it was a bit out of tune it was a lovely way to finish off a wonderful day.

 

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