Maryse Kaiser has been with ES since the start, as our admin office manager she is the sun around which the ES universe revolves. Many years ago her affinity for the mountains took her to Nepal where she fell in love with both the country and the people. After witnessing the poverty affecting some parts of the country, and with the help of other members of the Verbier community, she set up a charity in aid of the disadvantaged children of the region. Here is her blog:
Already 10 years! The Association Annapurna was founded in 2007 when we set ourselves the goal of improving the situation of disadvantaged children in the city of Pokhara in Nepal.
We give priority to young girls in order to prepare them through education to the world that awaits them! We enrol them in a private school until the end of their studies. We are proud to say that one of the young girls has already completed her nursing studies and is working in a hospital in Pokhara. Others are about to finish and have achieved excellent results in school. The children speak fluent English and will be able to turn to the evolving tourist trades in Pokhara, starting point for many treks on the Annapurna side. School is not compulsory in Nepal and girls are often sold in India where they are forced into prostitution.
Nepal is a very poor country, bordered by China and India. An unstable economic situation coupled with numerous natural disasters, illnesses and lack of access to medical care have caused great distress and decimated families. Many orphaned children find themselves deprived, on the street and without hope of a future ……. 35% of the population lives below the poverty line and 70% of women are illiterate.
Our Association is made up of members and sponsors. We also organise many mountain film nights and we often have a stand in various events.
We have quite a few projects for 2017, the 10th year of the Association! We will be among others present at the Feast of August 15 on the Alpine de la Chaux in Verbier and we will also organise different events.
The first event will take place on 4 February at the Salle de la Combaz in Verbier, a magnificent film of the crossing on foot of the Himalayas 2500 km between Sikkim, Ladhak, India , Nepal. by Nicolas Bossard (Waldensian director), who also summited Everest in spring 2016, with the expedition of our guide friend Tendi Sherpa.
We are also proud to have realised another dream … .. the reconstruction of a school in the region of Gorka, a region largely destroyed after the earthquake of April 2015, thanks to all the generous donations we have received .
Our evening of mountain films at the Châble of April 24, 2015 has just drawn to a close when the violent earthquake hit Nepal causing thousands of deaths and injuries. We decided to give the all the proceeds for that evening for first aid. The next day dozens of people showed up on our Facebook site to make donations. We collected a nice sum and decided to rebuild a school in the hard-hit Gorka region. Today this school is operational and many students go there to study.
Dhan Adikari, founder of the Association, visited the site in November 2016 for the inauguration. He was received by the Gorka authorities, schoolmasters and children. We are very pleased to have been able to contribute, to the extent of our means, to the well-being of these children, who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to return to school for a prolonged period of time. We thank all generous donors.
For more information, visit the website : annapurna.ch