Kirriemuir Rotarians have extended the promise of further support to communities in Nepal after successfully leading an appeal to rebuild a school in the earthquake-ravaged nation.
At a special meeting of the club in the Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church, Kirrie club president George Aitken welcomed Rotarians from Blairgowrie, Carnoustie, Cupar, Forfar and Laurencekirk.
The Rotarians were particularly pleased to greet president Yuba Durung and secretary Siri Durung from the Rotary Club of the Himalayan Gurkhas.
The club are Kirrie Rotary’s managing partners in Nepal overseeing a nominated project to rebuild and refurbish a secondary school serving a wide area in a remote district of the country.
Rotarian Siri Durung gave an illustrated talk and answered questions about Rotary in Nepal and the devastation caused by the two earthquakes in April and May last year which were the worst experienced in the last 80 years.
In response to the humanitarian disaster the Kirrie club’s then international convener Barbara Lovegrove contacted the Rotary Club of the Himalayan Gurkhas to find out what the Angus group could do to help.
A number of carefully detailed and costed options were presented, with all projects undertaken by the Gurkhas connected to community needs such as clean water supplies, community centres and schools in remote areas.
Kirrie Rotary president George Aitken said: “Although now living in Kathmandu, the Gurkhas originate from the remote areas in the foothill of the Himalayas and each has gone back to his home area to asses the needs of their community.
“As in the case of our project, the Gurkhas identify a need and prepare plans and estimate the materials required and cost the project to satisfy government standards for these earthquake regions.
“The money we send will be used entirely on preparation works materials and rebuilding cost, there will be no administration costs as these are covered by the Gurkha’s voluntary commitment to their home areas.
With just over 30 members, the dynamic Himalayan club has planned and overseen 24 projects in the past year, and have many more in the pipeline.
Mr Aitken added: “The estimated cost of the school rebuild and refurbishment is £17,000 and this sum has now been raised through the generous contributions from local people, the Rotary clubs of Cupar, Pitlochry, Carse of Stirling and Orkney, plus a Rotary District grant and a further grant from the Rotary Donations Trust.
He continued: “This year’s International convenor, Elaine Whittet is keen to expand this project and undertake the funding of another school rebuild and refurbishment.”
The first step on the fundraising journey will be a coffee morning which takes place this Saturday in the Town Hall, followed by an evening concert of song and dance featuring young people who are studying music and dance in London and are rising stars of the future.
A race night and the club’s annual Easter Sunday duck race will further boost the effort, with other fundraising activities also to be announced.