Almost £8,000 raised at LED’s 2019 Fundraising Challenge

Our LED Blencathra Fundraising Challenge 2019 page on JustGiving closed earlier this week and the donations total is £5,904.90 plus £1,315.38 gift aid from 96 supporters!

In addition, we have some direct donations of £616 giving a grand total of:

£7836.28

Huge thanks to everyone who participated – walking, feeding, ferrying, donating! It was a great day.

LED’s Blencathra Fundraising Weekend 2019

LED’s Blencathra Fundraising Weekend 2019

To give you an idea of some of the things that this money enables us to do

Our solar lights cost around $55 each for Nepal (which is $45 plus approx $10 import duties) and $25-$38 in Peru (import duty can take the per light cost up to $38).

We try to supply a number of villages per year. Villages can range from 10 lights to well over 25 depending on size. Val mainly focuses on a specific valley or valleys each season in both Nepal and Peru and we’re getting to the stage now where are needing to start re-supplying as some original lights need mending or replacing.

For school supplies, the cost depends on the number of children and what they need, and again the cost varies in Peru and Nepal as we buy the supplies in Huaraz or Kathmandu to help the local economy.

In Quisuar it costs about £450 a year for the primary school and £70 for the secondary school as they generally only need pens and notebooks. When we supply the school in Jancopampa the cost is around £700 as it’s a bigger school. We try to fund supplies for both schools every year.

After the Trustees next Board meeting we’ll have a more detailed list of specific projects in mind for next year. Watch this space!

For updates on our projects, fundraising, treks and other activities, follow LED on Facebook/LEDCharity and Twitter/LEDCharity.

Donations always welcome via our LED JustGiving page.

Over £6,000 raised at this year’s LED Fundraising Weekend

Our Dufton Pike and High Cup Nick fundraising weekend raised well over £6,000, which will be a huge help to LED’s projects in Nepal and Peru, purchasing and distributing new solar lights as well as helping our health centres and local schools.

Thank you to all who supported and/ or came along for a great weekend on 12/13 May and an amazing fundraising effort. We were blessed with great weather and a brilliant time was had by all on the hike over Dufton Pike and High Cup Nick, and at the evening festivities.

Special thanks go to Liam and Sue at www.fellsidecottages.uk in Dufton for hosting the event and all of their organisational support, and wonderful puddings after dinner!

Also a huge shout out for the food and drink in the evening, provided by Helen and Mark Hunt, Denise Brown and the trustees of LED. Jan at the Wakemans House Cafe in Ripon made some excellent scones which we all enjoyed after the walk, and Reunion Ales from Twickenham, West London provided some exceptional ale for the evening.

Thanks again from Val and the LED team for the support through sponsorship, buying raffle tickets, lending organisational help, coming along and making the event so special.

For updates on our projects, fundraising, treks and other activities, follow LED on Facebook/LEDCharity and Twitter/LEDCharity.

Donations always welcome via our LED JustGiving page.

 

LED Nepal 2018 Report by Ross Gillespie

Leeds University medical student Ross Gillespie has recently returned from spending a month in Nepal, during which he distributed over 40 of LED’s solar powered lights, carried out eye tests and prescribed more than 50 pairs of reading glasses (kindly donated by Dave and Pat Booth) and conducted research interviews with healthcare workers about the primary healthcare system in the rural areas.

Here’s what he has to say about the experience….

Having worked with LED before in the Cordillera Blanca mountains of Peru, I was fortunate to have a second opportunity to work with the organisation, this time heading to the Himalayan foothills of Nepal in April. A combined project (alongside some research with University of Leeds) was the perfect chance to explore some of the more remote villages of the Dolakha region, north east of Kathmandu, as well as trekking through the stunning Gaurishankar Conservation Area.

Myself, Jenny (friend at University), Nima (guide) and Budi (porter) headed to the mountains on a 10 hour bus journey – public buses only for this route which is an experience worth having – and arrived in Singati, raring to go. After storing some extra kit with Nima’s family, we began our trek in the afternoon at Chyotchyot, with a solid two hours of uphill steps, to lead us to Simigaun. From here (approx. 2000masl), we ascended through Dongang, Beding, and Na, along the ‘Classic Rolwaling Valley’ trek through forests, fields and surrounded by brightly coloured flora. Accommodation consisted of small but comfortable guest houses, all hosted by the welcoming locals. The highlight of this first trek would have to be the day-visit to Tsho-rolpa lake and beyond (to approx. 5000masl) and after a little more exploring for another day we headed back down the trail. (In October season there is a pass that can be reached to complete a circuit but this is snowed over in April/May).

IMG_0795

With some extra time on our hands before Jenny moved on to her next destination, we explore more of the spectacular region – and although mostly dry, the heat (up to 30 degrees Celsius) made uphill stretches particularly challenging at times. Another highlight was visiting the women’s monastery in Bigu (great place to stop for your first hot shower in a fortnight) followed by the Hindu temple in Kallnchowk – both with far reaching views of snow peaks and rolling mountain valleys.

After two weeks of dedicated trekking, the real work began. Jenny left for Burma and Nima and I touched base at his parent’s house to draw up a plan. We spent 4-5 days distributing over 40 solar powered lights and prescribing more than 50 pairs of reading glasses (kindly donated by Dave and Pat Booth), in and around the Khare region. I also took the opportunity to teach some English in the local school. Following this, Nima and I took to the trails, walking from village to village to conduct interviews with healthcare workers about the primary healthcare system in the rural areas. Locals were very receptive to our work and appreciated the contribution made by our efforts. Whilst mobile, we did further eye tests though eventually ran out of glasses as we could only carry a limited supply. Whilst unfortunate, it means there is still much to be done.

Another two weeks passed in total before Nima and I headed back to Kathmandu. In addition to the trekking I managed to visit Pokhara, a fantastic tourist town with great food, some western comforts and a great mix of locals and travellers (especially at Busy Bee on a Friday/Saturday night). I also spent three days in Chitwan in and around the national park. At a muggy 38 degrees Celsius it’s a very different climate to the crisp mountain air, but there is lots to see and do. In particular I would recommend staying near Sauraha, and in low-season you can get great deals on Jungle safari tours, motorbike hire, and more.

All in all this was a fantastic trip with a great balance of charitable work, difficult trekking and touristy bits in between. As my first time in Nepal, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent here and will look forward to my next trip to the region. I would like to thank Val Pitkethly for organising and coordinating the trip, to Pat and Dave booth for their advice with prescribing reading glasses, to Nima for his hospitality and commitment as a guide, as well as Jenny, Samay and all the other travellers who made this a memorable experience. Finally, thanks to the kind people of Nepal – their kind, easy-going and positive attitude makes you feel very much included and welcome in this incredible country.

Namaste.

Ross Gillespie
Medical Student at University of Leeds

Photos from Ross of the two weeks he spent in Khare are available in this LED Facebook album.

Interested in volunteering with us in Peru or Nepal? Use the Contact LED form on the website (www.lighteducationdevelopment.org), or message us on facebook.com/LEDCharity, to find out about opportunities this year and next.

Fundraising for LED: The LED & NYF Yorkshire 3 Peaks (& 1 Peak!) Challenge

Looking for a challenge in 2017?

Together with Nepal Youth Foundation UK we are organising a Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge to climb Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingelborough, covering 24.5 miles in under 12 hours.

For those who would prefer to take it a bit easier, we are also running a Yorkshire 1 Peak Challenge, which is around 7.5 miles.

The Challenges will take place on Saturday 20 May 2017, starting and finishing at Horton-in-Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire (Google map).

If you want to take part in one of the Challenges to raise money for LED, visit our NYF & LED Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge page. You’ll need to register there, and you’ll also find more information about timings, essential kit and more.

We are asking participants to fundraise at least £100 and we’ve set up a dedicated LED Yorkshire 3 Peaks (and 1 Peak!) Challenge campaign on our JustGiving page for this. Ask your supporters to donate here in advance of the Challenge or to settle up sponsorship after the event – and remember to tell them to mention your name!

NYF-LED Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge