just-one strives to actively promote and facilitate educational opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized children in Nepal by working at a grass-roots level with the children, their families and their communities to implement a range of carefully developed, culturally sensitive, sustainable initiatives.Our Work Their Stories Your Help
Just over a week ago now, my 2 Nepali colleagues and I had completed the final leg of the generously sponsored journey we’d gratefully received from the kind folks at Etihad Airways and were back to the charming chaos of Kathmandu’s airport. With more than 5 weeks of an almost non-stop whirlwind tour along the highways and byways of my native Ireland behind them, and the festival of a Diwali to look forward to over the days ahead, it was clear that they were both absolutely delighted to be home. While I could certainly have done with an extra week or so myself to have spent some time with family and friends back in Clonakilty, I must admit I was fairly excited to be back in Nepal too.
My excitement was based mainly on the overwhelming success of this year’s fundraising trip that we’d just completed. Successful not necessarily in terms of financial gain alone - but more the almost coming-of-age experience that resulted from having Sati, our teacher of over 7 years, and Bimal, the most recent addition to our dedicated team of local staff, come visit the community which has so generously empowered just-one and enabled our work to evolve and develop in the way that it has over the last decade.
I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t at least a few teary-eyed and lump-in-the-throat moments during the 100+ presentations we gave in over 50 schools throughout West Cork and far beyond, while Bimal explained to the hundreds we spoke with that, as well as being our newest member of staff, he was also one of the first children in Nepal to benefit from the organisation’s fledgling work ‘way back in 2005. Particularly poignant were those instances where the students he was speaking with were only a few years younger than him at most: young adults with childhood memories of helping children from faraway – children such as the now young man standing in front of them, smiling and sharing clearly sincere words of thanks!
It was a wonderful opportunity too for both Sati and Bimal themselves to witness first-hand the incredible local support for just-one that’s helped to shape our important work in Nepal. Their initial astonishment was, I suppose, understandable when you consider that other than a few fills of petrol, the entire trip cost the organisation very, very little indeed! In addition to the 3 return flights kindly sponsored by Etihad Airways, arriving in Ireland a few weeks before my colleagues, I was incredibly fortunate to have been able to use my Clonakilty connections to arrange the complimentary use of a car courtesy of Pat Joe O’Donovan Car Sales, to have it comprehensively insured kind compliments of William Murphy & Sons Insurance and covered in free stickers by our generous friends at Walsh Printers.
There were a whole host of other local contributors too (like Clona Holiday Homes who generously provided a spacious 2-bedroomed apartment for the duration of their stay and O’Donovan’s Hotel who’ve always provided us with free-of-cost venues for countless meetings and events) which you’ll find mentioned on our facebook page - all of whom very kindly support our ongoing efforts to ensure that as close to 100% as possible of our locally-raised funding goes directly to the core of our work here in Nepal. It’s valuable contributions and provision of services such as these that allow us to fulfil our long-standing promise to equally valued donors like the lads at Ardagh Boys’ National School in Rosscarbery that the loose change they so diligently collect throughout the year will be spent directly on helping provide kids like them with opportunities they simple don’t have.
I’ve no doubt that it’ll take some time yet for Bimal and Sati to fully process the entire experience they’ve just had in Ireland, but I’m pretty sure too it’ll be recorded as a largely positive one. One that almost certainly bodes well for just-one‘s future work – both in terms of our valuable supporters’ improved perceptions of that work, as well as our staff and beneficiaries’ increased understanding of where much of our support actually comes from. I want to finish up here now by saying that I know that they, and the rest of just-one‘s growing family here in Kathmandu, will want to join me in extending a huge and heartfelt thank you to all our supporters – past and present – who’ve helped us get this far. And like me, they’ll be hugely appreciative too of whatever support – big or small – we continue to receive over the months and years ahead. Maybe you’d like to go here right now and see how you could support our work today… Go on - you know you want to!! ;o)
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On Saturday last (Sept 20th) our good friend Mr. Jimi Oostrum very kindly ran the Kathmandu Marathon in support of our ongoing work in Nepal and has, so far raised almost €700. The fun photos below were to go live before the run but, Murphy’s Law being a relatively constant factor in my life, we’re only managing to share the smiles with you now. Enjoy! And don’t forget that you can still support Jimi’s very welcome fund-raising initiative by donating as generously as you can on his page linked below.
Jimi’s marathon may be done and dusted (very dusty ;o) by now, but you can still support his fundraiser for just-one here:
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It’s long past midnight now in Kathmandu but I write from the transfer lounge in Abu Dhabi and will most probably have landed in Dublin by the time you read these lines. Who knows – I may even have reached my final destination of my hometown of Clonaklity where this year’s annual fund-raising trip is soon to kick-off.
It promises to be significantly different to my trips over previous years thanks mainly to the generous support of Etihad Airways who have very kindly provided us with complimentary flights this year – the one I’m currently mid-journey on right now and those two of my Nepali colleagues will be taking next month to join me on this year’s school visits and fundraising presentations.
Needless to say, Etihad’s incredible support is of immense value to the proudly low-budget grassroots organisation just-one continues to be and it’s central to helping ensure that the valuable funds raised over the next couple of months can be applied directly to the very core of our work in Nepal, rather than on secondary expenses.
I’m confident too that the presence of Sati and Bimal this year will prove invaluable in helping our slowly growing army of loyal supporters back in my native West Cork to gain a better and first-hand experience of the important work they’ve been so kindly empowering just-one to engage in over the last 10 years.
More about all that over the weeks ahead I’m sure but, for now, I’ve got a connecting flight to Dublin to catch so I’d best wrap this up lest I miss it! Huge thanks again to Etihad for coming on board and supporting our work in such a meaningful and valuable way by sponsoring our flight requirements like this. It goes without saying too that I also echo equally huge thanks to all those who’ve supported our ongoing efforts to date.
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