Victims still recovering from last year’s earthquake in Nepal are receiving vital aid from a charity set up by a woman from the Isle.
Postlady Clare Mounter went walking in Nepal and had been back at her home in West Butterwick for just a week when the tragedy happened.
She had been trekking for two weeks on the Annapurna circuit in the Himalayas and had struck up a strong rapport with the welcoming Nepalese people.
Her party was in the region when an avalanche struck the mountain range but although they heard the roar, the trekkers were fortunately not affected.
It was Clare’s first visit to Nepal, and she trekked to altitudes of over 5,400 metres, in temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees.
Stunned by the harrowing reports of the quake in April last year, she immediately got back in touch with her mountain guide, Bharat KC.
She set about fundraising, sending money across to the country and ultimately setting up a trekking business with Bharat.
Twenty per cent of the earnings will go in to their charity, the Prakriti Foundation, to provide lasting help for those living in the stricken country.
Clare said the charity process wasn’t easy as rules are strict and 15 trustees are required to set up a charity in Nepal, as opposed to just three in the UK.
The 48-year-old said: “Initially we provided food then materials to help build temporary homes and school items plus warm clothing and bedding to help families survive the winter.
“I returned to Nepal last October but a fuel embargo meant travelling was virtually impossible then.
“Recently I went back and took 60 gift bags containing essentials and small toys for children in a fishing village, Kavre, that was decimated.
“They all still live in shacks with no toilets. We have now started building new toilets for them. A German organisation is helping to rebuild the school.”
“The situation is heartwrenching when you see it,” said Clare.
“You want to help in so many ways but we will concentrate on funding children’s education, healthcare and supporting the disabled and disadvantaged.
“People in the region around Kathmandu, who have been most affected by the earthquake, have nothing but are so resilient and good natured,” she added.
“We can also help any volunteers who want to work or teach out there through our charity.”
When she is at home in the Isle, where she has lived for 14 years, Clare has another initiative underway, called Walking for Nepali Children.
Twice monthly organised walks take place in the Isle and all around Lincolnshire, of varied lengths, and anyone is welcome to go along.
All Clare asks for is a donation to aid the charity’s work.
The money raised will all go directly to Nepal, to further reparation work and support those in need.
The next walk is on September 13, and is of nine miles’ duration, at Tealby in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
On September 25 there will be a seven-mile amble around Haxey and a five-mile walk takes place in October around Misterton.
For more details about the walks or Clare’s charity email Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org