What an amazing and inspiring lady, Maxine, our wonderful team member who has just come back from Nepal in the Himalayas after visiting the community of people where the opening of their new children’s Semjong Primary School took place.

Maxine runs the charity called ‘Helping Hands for Nepal, raising awareness and funds to support access to education.  Maxine has spearheaded the project to rebuild the school, which she first visited after the devastating earthquakes in the Spring of 2015 and has supported ever since.  The building erected in the aftermath of the earthquake was, unfortunately, lost to a landslide a few years later. Visiting the village in 2022 Maxine was disappointed to see the conditions the children were learning in, there were several holes in the classroom roofs, windows were missing, age groups were sharing classes, and the walls were bereft of any learning resources. Back in the UK a plan was made, and with a small team of volunteers several fundraising events were organised.  Events such as an Artisan Market, Dog Show, Open Gardens and more raised much needed funds and, together with a very generous donation, Helping Hands were able to instruct local builders to finish the two-storey building, providing four new classrooms.

Wanting to put their own stamp on the building Maxine and a small team travelled to Nepal to paint the school, arrange carpets, and provide learning resources, clothes and toys.  In return the local community organised an opening celebration and the children, parents and representatives from the School Council and local Government were treated to a morning of dancing, speeches and music.

The team at Helping Hands for Nepal also sponsor Jamuna and Ganga, two young, orphaned girls aged 9 who are being taken care of by a rural community in another part of the Himalayas.

From this:

To this:

With the help and organisation of ‘Helping Hands for Nepal’ partners in Nepal – Real Himalaya Nepal and the support and encouragement of Maxine’s friends and family, they have been able to vastly improve the learning environment for young children and their teachers in the Himalayas.  Studies have shown that children who are in school on a regular basis are much less likely to be trafficked, a real threat in the remote parts of Nepal.

New desks for the classrooms were out of reach of the team, and the idea was formed to ask businesses and family and friends to “Sponsor a Desk”.  Virtual Administration were thrilled to sponsor two desks and become a part of this story.  A plaque has been engraved for each desk showing the sponsor.

It is humbling, delightful, powerful and truly positive, to hear about this small community finally getting its own primary school, with the hard work, tenacity, and dedication from Maxine and her colleagues at Helping Hands for Nepal in making it happen.  We are so proud of Maxine!