In 2000 we noticed that many charities were organising fundraising treks to various parts of the world to raise money for their work in the UK. We organised our first ever fundraising trek to Nepal – a country famous for its majestic and mountainous landscape.
We started to wonder what life was like for D/deaf people in the developing world and particularly in Nepal. So we did some research and made contact with the National Deaf Federation Nepal. We discovered that thousands of D/deaf children and adults across Nepal are growing up unable to communicate beyond the most basic gestures. Born into hearing families, in poor and rural areas, they are never given the opportunity to learn a language or attend a school. It is language that defines us as being human; it is the most basic human right. Vital concepts such as numbers, time and choice are completely unnecessarily beyond their grasp.
Given this dire situation, we decided it would be unfair to use the beautiful natural resources of Nepal to raise money and not to share any of that money with Nepal’s Deaf population. With the agreement and encouragement of our Trustees we therefore divided the trek profits in two and began working on two projects, one with the National Deaf Federation Nepal – the first of our ‘8 Regions’ projects and the other with Gandaki Association of the Deaf – the first building of the Shreejana School.