A group of students, parents, chaperones and adults, from School District #72, will be traveling from Campbell River to Nepal to work and volunteer on many projects to assist communities and individuals on March 22.
Each member of the group has donated money to support projects in consultation with Innovative Communities, a non-profit organization. Also, a significant number of dentists and local businesses have donated items that will be welcomed in Nepal. Dr. Chris Dennis from Discovery Passage Dental, Dr. Mike Finn at Compass Dental, Dr. Wagner, Cumberland Dental, Dogwood Dental and Dr. Cory Seebach have donated toothbrushes and toothpaste.
In addition, Campbell River Youth Soccer has donated a significant number of used soccer balls and soccer uniforms which will, undoubtedly, be appreciated by students in the many schools they will visit on the trip. Campbell River Staples has donated 60 boxes of crayons for the students’ visits to various classrooms, and a Cut Above has donated chocolate for Easter Egg hunts for fun and as a treat rarely available to the children. Yvonne Pelletier of Vision Travel has helped prepare the tour in China. Also Timberline art teacher Avi Goldberg has designed their T-shirt logo and notary D’Arcy Frankland volunteered her services. School District #72 has approved and extended its educational support for the trip.
As a group, they will visit Rainbow Children’s Home which is an orphanage in Pokhara. This home aims to provide free education, shelter and health care to orphaned, abandoned and needy children. They presently have 45 children 2-14 years old in the home and another 45 children receive support in their own home villages as well. There will definitely be an Easter Hunt here.
The group will also be trekking for six days in the Annapurna Mountains. This is a new community hike and each night their group will be staying in villages or community eco-lodges. They will spend a day volunteering in Tikot with local school children.
The group is excited to travel to Ropa Lake School, which is being rebuilt after the earthquake a few years ago and subsequent mud slide that destroyed the school. The Campbell River group will be donating enough for half of the school benches for classrooms. They also will have donations and supplies, possibly another Easter Egg hunt here.
Traveling from Pokhara to the village of Lahochowk, they will be volunteering on the community irrigation building project. Their last day in the region will see them visiting Rivan to support villagers whose homes were washed away in a flood.
They travel to Kathmandu to volunteer at the Rehabilitation Hospital in Banepa, and the group has organized games and activities for the children who have undergone surgeries. These young children endure lengthy rehab, often without family support, as their families struggle to make a living in rural Nepal.
Their final three days in Asia will be in Guangzhou, China, exploring Baiyun Mountain, museums, historical sites, etc. They will return home April 9, likely with stories, adventures and hopefully being more appreciative and humble as they evaluate the opportunities they take for granted in Canada.