A Walk on the Wild Side !

Friday 2nd Aug 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side !


Rotary Reaches Out to a Community on The Roof of the World

The Story Of A Matching Grant Application.

his amazing story for Rotary began in 2011 when Duncan Hamlett became the Chair of the International Committee of the Rotary Club of Lunesdale. Previously Duncan had sponsored Lilian Barton, from Kirkby Lonsdale in 2010, when she climbed Helvellyn and crossed notorious Striding Edge. The sponsorship money went to help Lhakpa Sherpa, who lives for part of the year with his English wife in Barbon, raise money for a school in the village of Khiraule where he was born. The village is situated in an extremely remote part of the Everest region of Nepal. Duncan recognised an opportunity here for a Rotary Matching Grant Application whereby truly local links could make a connection with a remote Sherpa village in the foothills of the Himalayas. It was to be Duncan’s first international project.Time passed and Lilian made a trip to Nepal in March 2011 and trekked to Khiraule to see the school she was raising money for. After the trip, in May 2011, she did another sponsored climb with several other people up Snowdon. By this time Lhakpa had made presentations to Rotary Clubs which had generated interest in helping his cause. It was decided to have a meeting with four other interested Rotary Clubs, Kendal, Kendal South Westmorland, Grange-over-Sands and Church and Oswaldtwistle who together with Lunesdale were prepared to commit money to the project. The consensus at the meeting was to apply for the MGA and it was agreed that Kendal would be the lead Rotary Club and the nominated International Partner.


Philip Hoyle, then International Chair of Kendal RC, kindly agreed to compile the application, apply for and manage all that the MGA involved. This proved to be no easy task. His first priority was to establish with Lhakpa and his wife what they were striving to achieve for the school and the education of the children in the village. There is a school committee in the village which has considerable input into ascertaining what is required for the school.
From the very beginning it has always been necessary to keep within the parameters of the MGA and to keep precisely within those boundaries. Philip has demonstrated huge commitment, patience and determination throughout the complexities of this project. He has been required to maintain contact with RI in Evanston, USA and with the Rotary Club of Dulikhel(Host Partner in Kathmandu)which has entailed difficulties. Despite a series of unforeseen setbacks, entirely out of his control, Philip stayed on top of developments and persevered. Dulikhel RC agreed to administer and oversee all aspects of the project and maintain contacts when, where and how required as dictated in the terms of the MGA.
At last all Philip’s hard work has been rewarded. In July 2013 Philip was informed that the MGA has been accepted with an award of $24,706. What a fantastic result!

In addition to the MGA £5,000 was raised by the 5 Rotary Clubs. There is to be discussion between these clubs to decide how this additional money may be used to best serve the needs of the school as required. The combined sum of money translates into a huge number of rupees to benefit the school and the lives of the village children.
These benefits include the provision of a reliable water source ensuring good quality water, new toilets, ground levelling the playground and providing a retaining wall and enclosure walls, classroom equipment ie display boards, office furniture, text books plus health and hygiene education for all the children and staff plus basic hygiene kits. In addition the grant will fund the purchase and transport of essential, non-local building materials, furniture, text books and local labour costs.
Many congratulations to Philip and Duncan. They can both be proud of their achievement. At some time in the future it is Philip’s hope that he will trek to Khiruale to see the project for himself.

Finally Duncan spotted another opportunity within this story. Yes you’ve guessed it. He persuaded Lilian to join Rotary!
She was instantly given a job!

Lilian Barton.
Press and Publicity Officer for Lunesdale RC.

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