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A meaningful connection between Nepal and Canberra

Canberra I May 17, 2019

This magical photograph was taken during a trip to a remote and poor region of southern Nepal by students, parents and teachers at Canberra Grammar School.

The group of 17 rebuilt classrooms damaged in the 2015 earthquakes and constructed some steps to improve access to the school.

This was a guest house the group stayed in on the trip organised through the Reach for Nepal Foundation, run by Canberran Lou Nulley, and Lachhu Thapa, from The Hungry Buddha restaurant in Canberra, who has now relocated back to his homeland, Nepal.

The charity was set up in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes, giving Australians a chance to work on community projects in Nepal, in what is often a life-changing experience.

Mr Nulley said the foundation had now taken more than 120 people to Nepal, raised more than $100,000 and completed 15 classrooms, built water tanks, introduced water filtration systems and built other amenities.

Sue Donoghoe, head of outdoor education at Canberra Grammar, took the year 8 to year 12 students to Nepal in April.

They raised the money to rebuild the classrooms through school barbecues.

The students are also helping a young girl called Subina, who lived next to the school in remote southern Nepal.

Ms Donoghoe's sister Janet Manley, a nurse, was on the Nepal trip and noticed the four-year-old had a serious skin condition on her head which could eventually make her deaf. The little girl came from a family of nine.

Grammar is now supporting Subina's medical care, as well as outfitting the students with uniforms, all through their fundraising barbecues.

"It just shows how little effort it takes to make a difference," Ms Donoghoe said.

She said the students found the Nepal trip an eye-opener, not just because of the level of poverty they found but the fact the children they encountered were so happy with so very little.


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