Cheshire Fire Cadets determined to help Nepalese school children
A determined group of Cheshire Fire Cadets who raised over £50,000 before lockdown have vowed to continue their quest to secure enough money to finish building classrooms for village children in Nepal.
The team of 13 fire cadets and six leaders had spent nearly two years fundraising and were on track to make a trip out to Nepal this year to meet the schoolchildren using the classrooms, before it was unfortunately postponed due to coronavirus restrictions.
Firstly lockdown halted their fundraising activities and caused the price of the building to go up and then monsoons in the area hampered the construction progress.
Despite the setbacks, the team is determined to plough on with the project which is in Kanku, a remote village in the Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of north-eastern Nepal. They hope to still be able to raise the remainder of the money and fly out towards the end of 2021 so see the completed build and finally see the school being used by village children.
Nick Evans, Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our cadets were scheduled to head out to Nepal in October this year, once they had each raised £3,600 but all that changed due to the pandemic.
“What was initially a whole school built project has now become several classrooms on the side of an existing school. This is due to everything costing so much more but the cadets aren’t fazed and they have my full support to do whatever is needed to make the project happen.
“Prior to lockdown the cadets were busy doing supermarket bag packs and sponsored events. They carried Christmas trees to people’s cars and even washed people and their dogs down after they had competed in charity muddy events for donations. They were well on target to raise all the money needed to employ local Nepalese craftsmen to do the building work and pay for their flights to Nepal.
“Sadly due to Covid-19 many fundraising events they were planning were cancelled and their target is now estimated to be around £90,000.
“I really thought they would have been put off by all the set-backs but they seem more determined than ever to finish what they started. I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of these young people and I know they will achieve their goal.”
The project is being co-ordinated by UK charity Classrooms in the Clouds and Dawa Geljen Sherpa, who lives in Nepal and is in regular contact with the cadets. He said: “We are not yet in the situation to say that the virus is under control in our country.
“On top of the issues with the virus, the monsoon flood and landslide has also been affecting Nepalese life. Actually the death toll due to flood and landslide is five times more than that of the virus. It is predicted that the rainfall will last until the end of September so I am worried that there might be more destruction. The construction work at Kanku had also been hit by both monsoon and the virus. Just a day ago one of the tractors carrying construction materials went down in the muddy road but thankfully no one got hurt.”
To find out more about the project please visit Nepal School Project. If you would like to donate please email firstname.lastname@example.org