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.

Same-same, but different…

Written by Declan on June 18th, 2015 Categories: Fund-raising, General, Latest, Our Work, Poverty, Their Stories, Your Chance | no comments so far. write your own »

Much of what just-one has done over the last 10 years has involved closely working with the children and families we support here to help them in creating solutions for problematic aspects of their lives, and our efforts since the devastating earthquake on April 25th last have, in many respects, been carried out along very similar lines. As the earth shook and buildings crumbled, so many of those spared death and serious injury found themselves nonetheless exposed, vulnerable and facing a formidable struggle to return to normal life. ‘Normal life’ for many of those we work with was even at the best of times already a struggle – post-earthquake though, it’s hardly surprising that it’s now become an even more difficult challenge.

Our earliest response saw us providing what immediate support we could for the communities in which we work – both within the city itself, as well as a couple of affected villages in the neighbouring districts of Sindhulpalchowk and Nuwakot. Food supplies, clean water and tarpaulins shelters for some of those whose accommodation was rendered uninhabitable by the initial quake and the countless aftershocks which followed. With the initial paralysing fear and sense of panic now long subsided, efforts have already turned to doing all we can to ensure these families we’ve reached out to will remain safe and secure over the monsoon season which is currently sweeping westward across the Himalayas.

With a few temporary shelters already constructed for the families of children whose education we support, we’re currently approaching the final stages of what’s been a frustratingly long process of renting a plot of land to the north-west of the city, on which we’ll be building shelter for up 10 families who are still managing in tented accommodation. We’ve ensured the plot’s big enough to allow us comfortably and safely accommodate these needy families, while also having enough land remaining to allow us help them to set up a small vegetable farming project through which they’ll be able to generate additional income. Our accountant is with the landowner and a lawyer as I type, finalising the lease agreement, so hopefully it’ll signed and sealed before the end of the day.

I think it’s only fair to mention here in closing that absolutely none of this additional work that’s landed on our plate since the first earthquake nearly two months ago would have been even remotely possible was it not for the most incredible and humbling outpouring of generosity that I’ve ever experienced in all my years working with just-one – particularly from my native Clonakilty and the surrounding West Cork area. Each and every one of the numerous individuals, families, schools, companies, organisations, groups, etc. who’ve kindly made contributions, be they large or small, in support of our ongoing work here can rest assured that we will continue to make it our top priority to ensure that every single rupee received will be spend to the best effect for the benefit of those we support.

Know too that your kind support, be it past, present or future, is hugely appreciated by all here. Now, more than every before, we need continued and, if at all possible, regular support to help better ensure the medium to longer term sustainability of our newly added responsibilities. Please, if you haven’t done so already, do take a look at the variety of options we’ve listed here on our ‘Make a Donation’ page and consider if you’re perhaps in a position to kindly lend us some much needed support.

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Destruction on a Himalayan scale…

Written by Declan on April 26th, 2015 Categories: Blogroll, Fund-raising, General, Latest, Our Work, Poverty, Your Chance | no comments so far. write your own »

It’s not yet 24 hours since a massive earthquake rattled the Himalayas and brought destruction upon the entire region. With the epicentre of this 7.8 quake laying roughly mid-way between the city’s of Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal certainly seems to have been the country which was hardest hit by this truly catastrophic event that’s still unfolding as I type these lines.

First off, I should say I’m incredibly relieved to report that, from what news and details I’ve been able to gather so far, the children supported by just-one and our team of staff have all survived relatively unscathed and are currently safe and well – albeit camped outside for safety and still frequently contending with the significant aftershocks which are expected to continue throughout the day ahead.

While I’m currently back in Ireland dealing with family matters, during what’s been a very surreal and emotional day, I’m happy to say I’ve had skype contact with both our Program Manager and our Chairman, as well as contact with one of our social workers, as well as a number of friends, on various social media channels and, as useless and all as I feel from here on the other side of the planet, I’m as confident as I can be that all those we work to support in Kathmandu will remain safe and well through whatever lies ahead.

As this first day-after starts to dawn across Nepal right now, I’ve got no doubt that there are some scary and uncertain days ahead with this tragedy continuing to unfold. Electricity and clean water will almost certainly be in short supply. Emergency medical services will be stretched to the absolute limit and most probably beyond. The number of dead and injured will only rise further – not just in the Kathmandu Valley, but throughout rural Nepal too and perhaps in Tibet, India and Bangladesh too where deaths have also been reported – as the true depth of this terrible destruction becomes more apparent over the days ahead.

Photo of a collapsed building in Kathmandu.

Buildings reduced to rubble just a mere 5 minute walk from our centre

Destruction that is so far beyond the scope and capacity of just-one that it would be completely disingenuous of me to even try suggesting that you could donate to us if you’d like to make a meaningful contribution towards the emergency relief work that’ll be desperately needed over the days, weeks and indeed months ahead right across the Himalayas… There are far larger, better equipped and more well-known global organisations which I’m sure have already started looking for the financial support they’ll need in that regard.

What I can and will say here though is that just-one does need urgent help to keep more than 70 children safe and well while we continue to support them and their families during this period of uncertainty… We’ll need support to help them and their families to start getting their lives back on track again… This is over 30 families who were already struggling against the chronic poverty which saw their respective children come to our attention in the first place… Long after Nepal’s current trauma has faded from the global news headlines and the wider public conscience,  just-one will need continued support to keep doing all we do for the ever-growing family of children we work with and for…

So, while we can’t offer to help heal the immediate and massive trauma which hundreds and indeed thousands in Nepal are suffering right now, we do nevertheless provide a very real and meaningful channel for anyone who’d like to see their donation having an equally real and meaningful impact upon the lives of grass-roots beneficiaries desperately in need of and so totally deserving of support at this tragic time. Whether it’s a once off donation or a preferred monthly contribution in support of just-one‘s work, you’ll find all the required details here and can rest assured too that it’ll be put to the very best use in support of the incredibly brave and resilient gang of kids we’re so privileged to work with in Nepal.

a photo of a recent gathering of children at just-one's centre in Kathmandu

Half of the children we support pictured here at our centre last month.

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Fancy the trip of a lifetime?

Written by Declan on February 10th, 2015 Categories: Fund-raising, General, Latest, Our Work, Your Chance | no comments so far. write your own »

After more than 10 years writing about the work just-one undertakes in Nepal, helping some of the poorest children there access educational opportunities they’d otherwise be denied, I’m absolutely delighted to now share our plans to welcome a group of Irish supporters to Kathmandu where they’ll have the chance to witness this work first-hand, learning more about it, while also experiencing the incredibly beautiful country in which it’s undertaken. If you think you or someone you know might be interested in being part of this group then please read on…

These holiday snaps could be yours...

Wouldn’t you love if holiday snaps just like these belonged to you?

Thanks to the wonderfully generous support of Etihad Airways and Himalayan Encounters, we’re very happy to be able to offer up to 18 people an unbelievably good deal on a fantastic two-week trip to Nepal next November (5th – 20th) in return for kindly engaging in some much-needed fundraising in aid of the continued success of our important work there.

This is a fund-raising trek with a difference, where each confirmed participant is being asked to raise a minimum of €1,500 for just-one and, in return for providing such a valuable contribution, the entire trip will then be made available for a shade over €1,100* (including return flights, accommodation, trek, etc.). Having secured this exceptionally low price as a way of saying ‘thanks’ to each participant, it must also be stressed that fund-raised money can not be used to pay for the cost of participating in this trip.

just-one has always been adamant that all our valuable funds are spent on the core cause for which they’ve been raised and we’re confident here that any of our supporters choosing to participate in this trip will share this value too and happily pay the knock-down price of the trip we’ve managed to secure for them from their own pockets.

In addition to making a couple of visits to our humble HQ in Kathmandu to actually see our work, meet the staff and beneficiaries, the planned itinerary also includes a range of other activities – not least a five-day trek through the Himalayas that will have those participating reach an altitude of over 3,000m and enjoy some of the most stunning panoramic scenery the world has to offer!

With places on what many would describe as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime adventure’ limited to the first 18 people signed-up, we’re expecting the trip to be booked out fairly quickly and would suggest that anyone potentially interested in taking part should act fast! The full 14-day itinerary is embedded below for your convenience and you can request further information (including the required registration form) by email (trip2nepal@just-one.org).

I’m obviously more than somewhat biased with regard to the work of just-one, as well as the merits of Nepal as a destination worth visiting, but would nonetheless strongly recommend this unique opportunity to come see what the endless generosity of the people of West Cork and beyond has enabled us to achieve over the years. If you still need some convincing though, then maybe try taking a look at Google image search results for terms like ‘Bhaktapur’, ‘Poon Hill’, ‘Kathmandu Monkey Temple’ and/or ‘Jhinu Danda hot springs’ and they’ll help give you a hint of the incredible adventure that awaits those willing to kindly lend us some much needed support.


2015 Trip Itinerary

* The individual costs (flight, trek, etc.) associated with this trip have actually been quoted to us in US Dollars, so it’s important to note that the €uro amount mentioned above is simply based on current exchange rates. At the time of booking, the $1,255 total may convert into more or less than the €1,109 it currently does.

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