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Nepal, Stories, Travel
Dharmanagar is a village and Village Development Committee in Bara District in the Narayani Zone of south-eastern Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 2,934 persons living in 478 individual households. Its about 160km south of Kathmandu and  right on the border between Nepal and India. The village is a mainly rural village with people generating income from agriculture. Our connection with this village is Action Aid and its child sponsor program. The child were are sponsoring, Sujit live here with his family and when we decided to visit, we also requested to stay with the family – a request which they kindly granted. Sujit and his extended family action aid-92 The journey down from Kathmandu – a mere 16
0km took us nearly 8 hours. The road down was a bit like Bolivia’s famed road of death. This wound its way through the mountains, at times properly paved and at times no more that dirt and rubble. The road was fairly badly damaged by the earthquake action aid-7 action aid-8 Despite this, the  journey down was enthralling, made better by our young driver who was extremely careful.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking action aid-9
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Nepal, Photography, Stories, Travel

My wife and I have been sponsoring children via the Action Aid charity for over 30 years.  Our current sponsored child lives in the village of Dharamanger on the Nepal-India border. This is an area of Nepal that has suffered the ravages of war over the centuries and is economically extremely deprived up to this day. We planned our holiday this year to include a visit to our sponsored child. Our plan was to stay with the family in the village and that’s exactly what we did! Over the course of 3 days, we were granted a unique opportunity to meet with our sponsor child, his family and wider friends and community. To say that we were made welcome is an understatement We have seen first-hand the impact that Action Aid is having on the ground to people’s lives – not just the children. We met a young man who was destined to work in the fields and is now qualifying as a teacher. The village has several challenges and we want to be able to help. The costs of all the projects will be €25,000  Most of the fund-raising will go to a school extension and child care facilities to allow young women earn a small income in the fields. What we are planning to do is organise a walk in Glendalough. (see Maps) The main walk will be the white route which is 9 km and should take around 3 hours to complete. We can also organise a subset of that for those who cannot manage the white walk. The date for the walk is Saturday April 8th. More details will follow as we get closer. What we are looking for is participation and/or  sponsorship. Anyone wishing to participate, please contact us via the email addresses below and anyone wishing to donate can do so via iDonate on this link: https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11362026_nepal-schools-project.html or contact me via gerry.kerr@gmail.com or trish via kerrtrish1@gmail.com Details of what the funding is to be used for is outlined in this document from ActionAid http://www.gerrykerr.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/School-Project-Nepal.pdf Thank you    Gerry & Trish

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Nepal, Photography, Stories, Travel
Kathmandu was our first destination this year and  given that we intended to travel last year, we were concerned about how much damage had been done to the city From what we’ve seen, typically, the newer part of the city is relatively intact, however, the older parts of the city have significant damage – in particular, the main Darbar Square has been devastated.


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Nepal, News, Stories, Travel
We visited Nepal this year and the highlight of the visit was a side trip  to an Action Aid project in Dharamanger, about 160km south of  Kathmandu. The village is where our sponsored child lives and it was something that we had planned  with Action Aid Ireland well in advance. It was an amazing, humbling experience and we were treated like royalty. This is a collection of images from the village and the journey down.  It was an amazing experience and we met some extraordinary people. I hope to come back to this in a later post and talk about some of the people who most impressed us.  Action Aid are doing amazing work here and deserve every support. For more information, please see http:/www.actionaid.org



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Photography, Stories, Travel, Uganda
As part of this series of articles, its worth taking a few moments to talk about Plan International.  They are one of the oldest childrens charities in existance and work in 50 countries all across the world.  The started originally during the Spanish Civil war by a British journalist, John Langdon-Davies and an aid worker, Eric Muggeridge. I was very impressed with the operation, in Uganda – all local employees with minimal overheads. We travelled to a number of plan projects over the course of a few days and the obvious rapport and connection with the local people was intense and incredible.


I pulled out this image for particular mention –
c97-planuganda-1Each of these files represent a child waiting for a sponsor. And this was just one container of  many at this one site in one corner of Uganda. For more informmation on the excellent work by Plan International, see their website www.plan.ie
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Photography, Stories, Travel, Uganda
Note:- This is a post that was on an old blog that is now offline. I went looking for the images and realised I had not transferred them. One of the more fascinating visits was to a micro finance project in the form of a community run credit union. Plan again are involved and help train and set up the credit union. Because of the limitations on the ledger system they use, they limit themselves to 20 odd members. The setup is very simple, with a weekly meeting, held under a tree in the village. A committee is elected to run the credit union and all the members contribute by savings and repayments of loans. It was incredible to listen to the stories of the members of what they borrowed money for
  • One woman borrowed to buy some chickens. She now sells the eggs to other in the village and surrounding areas
  • A man used the money to buy goats. He sells goats milk and cheese as a result.
  • One enterprising man, bought a bicycle. He uses it to run errands for people to other villages
The really interesting thing was to see people pay back the loan and then borrow again to add to their ability to generate wealth for themselves.




For more informmation on the excellent work by Plan International, see their website www.plan.ie
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