Call to Alms ….Hitting The Trail
Twenty-three years ago in a remote village in Nepal a small pre-school and nursing post opened its doors to gongs, pipes and a lot of dancing. After the ceremony and hidden up to then, emerged a young mother holding a 10-day old baby who was all skin and bone, clearly dying. What to do?
It turned out the baby had dysphagia and couldn’t swallow let alone digest her mother’s milk. She was literally starving to death in her mother’s arms. The mother had walked 3 days to reach our new little school and health post in this remote village. Another 3 days walk and we arrived with mother and child at Pokhara and ended up in the only hospital in town. After a minor US$140 surgical procedure, the baby began to feed and blossom, much to the relief of the new young mother.
Sangeeta is now a 23-year-old healthy, vivacious, confident young woman who knows little of how close she came to dying in the hills of a remote village in Nepal.
Being part of that effort showed me just how much can be achieved with so little effort and how the lives of many can be saved and changed forever.
Douglas Maclagan, the founder of the Child Welfare Scheme (CWS), began his fund-raising efforts in 1996 and it has been my privilege to be part of CWS since 1998. Since those early days, we have been transforming the lives of disadvantaged children, young people and vulnerable individuals through the many services CWS offers.
Unfortunately, charities suffer when there is an economic downturn and CWS is no exception. Domestic violence, sexual assault and rape have been on the rise to a devastating effect on girls and women around the world who are trapped in their homes hit by the lockdowns COVID-19 has created.
All Nepal, towns as well as remote villages, have been hurt. Our previous efforts enabled us to raise funds for emergency shelters protecting these women and now we are back focusing on two major slum communities where our target groups are suffering. We will also be helping children that have been affected by COVID-19 get back into school, or into vocational training. We are also setting up 2 community centres. IT pop-up learning, social and counselling support.
It’s time that those who can, do, rather than just talk and over the years I have been raising funds for CWS by taking part in global ultramarathons in hot dry places. This August I’m dusting off the trainers, slipping once again into lycra and taking on this year’s 250km marathon in Georgia supporting the much-needed programmes CWS offers the vulnerable. Please donate to this long-standing charity that has brought relief health and education to so many.
– Gordon Oldham
For many years, both Douglas and Gordon have been actively participating in ultra races to raise funds for CWS project. We would like to thank them both for their dedication and invaluable support towards Nepalese children, youth and communities. Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 travel restrictions, Douglas is unable to fly out of Nepal to participate in this year’s event.
Racing The Planet Georgia 2021
In August 2021, the TWELFTH edition of the RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon will take place in the Caucasus of Georgia which marks the intersection of Europe and Asia. The host town is Tbilisi, the charming and colourful capital.
The course is located in the Javakheti region of the southwestern part of Georgia, in the Southern Caucasus Mountain Range. The course takes you through old forests, dormant volcanic valleys, breath-taking mountain passes, unique villages and traditional monasteries.
The Long March gets you through abandoned former Russian villages, on the way up Pa’Tara Abuli, towards the Abuli Fortress which is over 3000 years old. This mysterious fortress has only recently been discovered and is part of an archaeological expedition to understand more about the history and beginnings.
This 7-day stage race is approximately 250 kilometres with a total elevation gain of 5,642 meters. For more info visit www.racingtheplanet.com/georgia