A SCHOOL in Nepal to be named Lytham St Annes after it was funded by a St Annes restaurant and its customers is nearing completion.
Less than a year after the management of the Zen eaterie in Wood Street handed over a cheque for £5,000, the junior school in the remote village of Gaushwara in the Ramechhap district is almost ready for use – after a massive concerted effort by local villagers.
The school is the 14th to be built in Nepal by the St Annes based-charity Development of Children and Women Centre (DCWC) and the £5,000 raised covers building materials.
As our pictures here show, the labour has been carried by a small army of locals who are eager to see the school finished and in use.
The Ramechhap district is some 1,218 metres or 3,999 feet above sea level and the terrain is so mountainous that a special bridge had to be built to allow materials to be transported to the site of the school.
“The locals very much want to be involved,” said Gary Collier, founder of the DCWC charity.
“As well as ensuring that they continue to take care of the building after it is built, it substantially saves on labour costs and means we can established a much-needed school for as little as £5,000,”
Gary is going out to Nepal for two weeks from this weekend and hopes that the school can be opened when he is there.
“It is wonderful when a company or organisation comes forward with the offer of funds or to help raise funds for a school and the Zen restaurant and its customers can be very proud of what has been achieved,” added Gary.
Andy Goh, a partner at the Zen Restaurant, said: “We are so happy to see the pictures of the school being built and we look forward very much to it being in operation very soon.”
Within days of the appeal being launched at the restaurant, with a contribution box sited prominently in the reception area, customers had donated hundreds of pounds.
The appeal was given a massive boost when the restaurant dedicated its first anniversary celebration banquet to the cause and it raised over £3,000 and the remainder of the total was raised soon afterwards.
The DCWC Nepal charity, which has built a hospital in Nepal along with 14 schools so far, with a 15th in the pipeline, was founded 10 years ago by Gary. Patrons include singer Joe Longthorne and former Coronation Stret actor Sean Wilson.