Welcome to the Ride High Foundation!
NEPAL NEWS: KODARI AND GHUMTHANG
On 19 and 20 February Wolfgang and Andrew visited Kodari and Ghumthang respectively. The object of visiting Kodari was to view the damage caused by the earthquake in April 2015 and subsequent flooding during the monsoon of August 2016. Very little has been done to repair damaged housing and facilities at this once teeming border crossing with Tibet. Kodari itself is a ghost town. It is understood that a section of the Highway on the Tibetan side of the border between Kodari and the adjacent town of Khasa is still to be repaired and damage to the Customs and Immigration facilities is delaying the re-opening of the official border crossing. Roadworks witnessed on the Nepalese side of the border are now reported to be complete, but were on-going during the visit. The residents of Kodari who were assisted with temporary shelter, clothes, food and medical care by RHF are now settled in tin shacks above the town of Tatopani, a couple of kilometers south of Kodari. They have requested help to build a community centre. This is not felt to be a priority at present, but may be an area in which RHF can help in future.
In Ghumthang three schools that had requested assistance with post earthquake reconstruction were visited. One, the Shree Panchakanya basic School in Ward number 8 received $7000 from RHF last year. It was encouraging to see that the school Principal had kept meticulous records of expenditure and presented detailed accounts for inspection. The money has been used to build a kitchen, two more classrooms, and toilets in addition to purchasing a small piece of land adjoining the school for future expansion and repairs to a retaining wall incorporating a flight of stone steps leading to the school, improving access. The Principal has submitted a further request for furniture. This is not seen as a priority at present, but may be revisited in future.
The Shree Bhadrakali Primary School in Ward 3 has requested help to rebuild classrooms damaged in the earthquake. The school caters to 43 children in classes 1 through 5. Currently there are only 3 usable classrooms which means that classes have to double up. The existing classrooms also leak when it rains and the corrugated iron roofs rattle in high wind scaring the younger children who panic, believing that another earthquake is happening. This school has received no assistance from any outside source to date and the Principal’s frustration at not being able to do more for the children was evident. It was agreed to provide a grant of $7,000 to match that already given to Shree Panchakanya School last year.
The Shree Balkalyan Lower Secondary School in Ward 1 is currently rebuilding 6 classrooms with help from the District Education Office, UNICEF and Helping Hands International. They have requested help to build 2 more classrooms and to provide furniture (desks and benches). They also hope to be able to purchase computers in future. This School was not seen as a high priority, given that it is receiving assistance from other sources. However a grant of $1,000 towards furniture was felt to be appropriate.
Fundraiser September 23, 2016
Thank you all for joining us for our fundraising event. Thanks also to all of you who made a online contribution. In February we will be distributing the funds in Nepal. We still have a few positions available for our Rishikesh to Kathmandu motorcycle tour. If you would like to join us a donation of $500 or more will give you a couple free bonus days to ride up to Kodari and meet the people who will receive your donations.
The Ride High Foundation (RHF) was created by friends long associated with adventure travel in the Himalaya and SE Asia, following the two major earthquakes in April of this year that has left much of Nepal in ruins, many in dire need of assistance, and a reconstruction period projected of 10 years.
Himalayan Roadrunners Motorcycle Tours, along with Dubbelju Motorcycle Rentals of San Francisco have teamed resources to help relief efforts in Nepal via the Ride High Foundation. The Foundation aims are to raise tax deductible donations from friends and clients of both companies and personally deliver needed raw materials and services to people who need it. This effort is ongoing. With offices on the East and West Coasts of the United States, and a base of operations and specialists in Kathmandu, relief materials are being sourced and delivered in Nepal to people who need it most.
Our Challenge: Getting relief materials into remote villages. The Foundation is currently raising donations to purchase reconstruction housing materials such as tarps, tents, corrugated metal roofing, and as well as food items and medical supplies.