November 09, 2022 3 min read
I left Nepal not as the person who had arrived weeks before, and arrived home not as the person I was before, but as someone who had fulfilled her dream and found where she was ‘meant to be’. It was evident to me that I could help support children with their education and thus help them fulfil their own dreams and aspirations and thus, ‘The Charitable Foundation for the Education of
Nepalese Children’ became a reality. Although I couldn’t do anything to help the little boy in Tibet, I could help other children and upon arriving home, the next phase of my life began.
Having never really ran as an exercise, I had seen an advert for the New York Marathon that coming November (this was April). Whilst with the others in Tibet, I had mentioned this and as you do, we agreed that Pablo and I would enter the ballot - we were both successful and so the five of us met again in New York, staying with Rachel in her apartment. The day came; one of the hottest
November days on record! With nervous anticipation I set off and a few hours later I completed my marathon raising over £2,500 for CFENC. This was the first fundraising to take place.
The years have passed, initially on my own and then and now with Peter (we
were married in 2007), together we run our charity. Condensing the years of hard work to raise awareness, funds and support we have built our Primary / Junior school in Bittekharka, Solukhumbu; we support remote schools in Khotang and we sponsor nearly 50 children of all ages and backgrounds to attend school, working with 13 schools and colleges in Kathmandu and the valley.
Personally, I have a medical background; I worked in the NHS previously and for the last 25 years have operated my own business. I own a Podiatry Clinic and currently practice in Bath, Somerset. I focus on clinical issues, biomechanics and prescriptive orthotics. I take medical supplies each time I visit Nepal, also purchasing supplies locally and distributing them to medical posts in the locale of where we work.
We are also, though not strictly our remit, building a home for a Dalit family who still after the 2015 earthquakes are living in a tin shed. They lost everything. We sponsor one of their daughters and we were compelled to help the family too.
I had returned home 2 days before the first earthquake of 2015, my first response was to get straight back out to Nepal ‘to help’. I then considered my emotions and decided the best way to help was fundraising. Over the next 4 weeks, the donations received from all sources, from people we didn’t know was staggering. We were able to achieve so much and help so many people in Kathmandu and villages both West and East Nepal and I shall be eternally grateful to my dearest friends who volunteered to purchase locally and
distribute personally all relief items.
I went back in October of 2015 to see my friends and ‘Nepalese family’, to see our children and to calm my heart. I did not expect at all the experience I had, utterly humbling. I never went for gratitude or thanks, but just to be where my heart is. Visiting the remote villages we had helped and meeting the villagers was something I shall never forget. I had to truly hold back the tears, when one villager said 'the day we saw your aid coming, was the day we knew we would survive’. At that point, reality hit me.
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Welcome to Douée, Lisa & Peter