Gurkha Welfare Trust

What does the Trust do?

The Gurkha Welfare Trust supports Gurkha veterans, their families and communities in Nepal.

Established in 1969, the Trust provides financial, medical and development aid in the Himalayan foothills. Following the Nepal earthquake in 2015, its network and experience were vital in helping the ex-Gurkha community to get through the disaster.

 

Damage to schools

One of the small blessings of the earthquake was that it occurred on a Saturday, when children weren’t at school. With an estimated 32,000 classrooms destroyed across the country, the loss could have been unthinkable.

However, hundreds of thousands of children were left without a safe place to learn. They’ve spent the winter months studying in makeshift shacks, often at freezing high altitudes. To make things worse, the monsoon is now approaching.

This is why, as part of their earthquake response, the Trust will be building or repairing over 200 schools. Fortunately, its field team has extensive experience in this area – see the video below for an overview of their school projects.

video: Our school projects

 

Progress so far

Despite the challenges of working in Nepal, the Trust has made strong headway with its response.
 
With support from the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, the charity has already provided 8 temporary school projects in affected areas. 9 permanent schools are currently under construction and should be completed by August 2016 while a further 13 schools will begin construction following the monsoon.

 

Voltrek1000’s mission

Having served alongside the Gurkhas and forged many friendships in Nepal, Mark Sutton was a great supporter of the Trust’s work.

Funds raised during Voltrek1000 will go towards one of the Trust’s essential school projects. In this way, we hope to leave an indelible legacy for Mark and Tim on the Himalayan slopes, helping a cause they both admired.

 

Trust in the Trust!

You can support Voltrek1000 and The Gurkha Welfare Trust with the utmost confidence that your funds will go straight to where they’re needed.

The charity has worked in Nepal since 1969 and has its own bank accounts in the country, so donated funds don’t pass through external agencies or government departments. Its work is audited thoroughly each year.

Importantly, much of its senior staff in Nepal is made up of ex-members of the Brigade of Gurkhas who work with the greatest of integrity, headed up by senior members of the British Army.

 

Background to the earthquake response

The series of earthquakes that began in April 2015 devastated the Gurkha homeland. Over 30,000 people were killed or injured and millions lost their homes, including nearly 1,200 Gurkha veterans and widows.

With support from the Brigade of Gurkhas, the Trust responded immediately to provide medical aid and give out emergency supplies in isolated rural areas. It also provided victims with vital temporary shelter from the monsoon rains.

Today, the charity is pushing ahead with its long-term response. There are two key aspects:

 

Nepal is the Trust’s home and it will be there for many years to come. It estimates that £17.5 million will be needed over the coming years to help rebuild the lives of Gurkha veterans, their families and communities.

video: Our earthquake response

"I cannot think of a more generous and glorious way of remembering Tim and Mark than this ambitious and insanely energetic bike ride.

As a Vice Patron of the GWT I want to say how hugely appreciative we are; the money raised will support our old Gurkha soldiers and their communities in Nepal, who need our help now more than ever: so many were affected by the recent earthquakes and this will help them to recover and rebuild.
I send a million thanks, and encourage everyone who reads this to send something, to honour the memory of Mark and Tim, to help the Gurkha veterans and their communities and to encourage our saddled heroes who undertake the challenge ahead."

Shabash! Well done!! and much love from Joanna Lumley

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School children at one of GWT's previous projects
Pupils help to clear the rubble of their devastated school in Lamjung, west Nepal.
GWT building a school project in Sindbuli, east Nepal