Big-hearted Milngavie two aid kids in Nepal

Two young Milngavie 
fundraisers proudly show off their letters of congratulations from a former UK Prime Minister for their impressive efforts to help children 
devastated by an earthquake.

The brother and sister have raised £800 for a project run by the University of Strathclyde to rebuild a school in Nepal that was destroyed by the disaster back in 2015.

Milngavie Primary pupils Callum (9) and Eilidh Dolan (7) cycled more than 50 miles for the Nepal 2020 challenge, a project led by local resident, Christine Donald.

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She is Director of Strathclyde Engineering for Development, which is raising money to rebuild the school in Nuwakot, Nepal, razed to rubble five years ago.

Callum and Eilidh each received letters from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

He is now a UN special envoy for global education, and he praised them for their fundraising efforts.

Callum said: “I find it unfair that some people in life have nothing and all they want is a school – whereas we have lots.

“I feel really happy that we are raising money as I feel they should have more.”

The youngsters’ parents, Mike and Anna Dolan, said: “We are so proud that our kids accepted this challenge and have embarked upon it with huge enthusiasm to help the kids in Nepal.

“This is all invaluable learning for both of them – understanding the impact that natural disasters can have on people like them, how to make positive contributions and the importance of access to education.

“They are looking forward to the day the Nepalese kids can return to education in a fit for purpose environment that this challenge is helping to facilitate.”

Christine Donald, of the Faculty of Engineering, is leading the Strathclyde Engineering for Development project to build a new, seismic-proof school near Kathmandu.

They are using the combined expertise of the university’s architecture and engineering staff and students.

She said: “Getting children into school is the most effective way to transform their lives.

“Since 8,000 schools were destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes many thousands of children are currently being taught in unsuitable temporary classrooms.

“Prior to the earthquake the school at Nuwakot had a roll of 350.

“The damage to the school means that the older children have to go to a school an hour and a half away.

“Sadly many do not and simply drop out of education at that stage.

“We’re very grateful for the money raised through the brilliant efforts of Callum and Eilidh.”

The mission is to complete two blocks of sustainably built, earthquake proof classrooms using local materials and labour.

Once the buildings are complete a small sustainable local enterprise providing employment and affordable materials for constructing houses will be established.

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) killed nearly 9,000 people and injured almost 22,000.

Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese people were also made homeless with entire villages flattened by the horrendous natural disaster.