Thursday, November 26, 2015

Birchwood fire cadet helps create school for Nepal students after devastating earthquake

Poppy Noden in Nepal

By David Morgan:

A BIRCHWOOD fire cadet is back from a life-changing trip to Nepal where she spent time working on a new school and experiencing what life was like living in a mountain village.

Poppy Noden met the children who will now benefit from the newly built school in the village of Thulodhunga in the Basa region and was there for the opening ceremony.

The 16-year-old was among 15 cadets and nine leaders who raised all the money themselves to fund the trip which cost more than £75,000.

The brick-built school will make a huge difference as students previously had lessons in tents following the devastating earthquake six months ago.

Poppy flew from Manchester to Kathmandu and trekked on foot through the Himalayas, to get to the village of Thulodhunga.

Working with charity, Classrooms in the Clouds, the cadets spent two weeks in Nepal where they set to painting walls, making steps, cleaning windows and floors and putting up notice boards before designing and painting a mural on the side of the building, with their names on it.

During their time in Nepal the group spent time with the villagers and learnt about their culture.

They ate Yak meat and cheese with the locals and also visited a 'stupa' which is a Buddhist religious monument where people go to meditate.

Poppy, a Culcheth High School pupil, said: "This was a life-changing opportunity for us all but more importantly we got to help children in Nepal to achieve a better life and get an education.

"Trekking up and down a mountain to get to the village and sleeping in a tent for a week in freezing cold temperatures wasn’t too good, but seeing the children’s faces when we handed over the new school made it all worthwhile.

"I'm going on holiday to India soon and I have already asked my mum if we can go and visit the village again."

Nick Evans, head of fire prevention, added: I have never been more proud. The Cheshire fire cadets conquered fears and walked until they couldn’t walk any more to get to this village.

"The sheer determination they had from start to finish to fulfil this project has amazed me. More importantly it has given children of Nepal a much brighter future through education."

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