Constituents praised by Stephen Gethins for lending support to one of the world’s poorest countries
A North East Fife-based charity which has transformed the lives of some of the poorest people in the world thanks to local support, is to be taken under the wing of a larger charity to ensure it can go on with vital projects.
The Palpa Trust, run by Kemback couple Jackie and Mike Taylor and supported by St Andrews business woman Sophie Butler, has raised over £72,000 since 2010 for water projects and improvements to schools in Nepal’s remote Palpa region.
Nearly £30,000 of this sum has been donated by the Rotary Club of Cupar which has taken an active interest in the Palpa Trust over the years, completing four successful water projects allowing 110 households access to clean and safe drinking water. Cupar Rotary’s first water project with the Palpa Trust was in the village of Aarkhala in 2007 and as well as contributing to the maintenance of the project, members have also continued with a yearly payment for the local teacher without which the small school may not be able to operate.
The Rotarians’ support also includes £8000 towards the cost of a drinking water supply to the hill village of Maulathar. The only access to this remote settlement is via a steep, muddy dirt track where until recently water had to be carried up, mostly by women and boys, along steep and slippery pathways. The new installation which involves a tank at supply level pumping water up to a second tank and distributing it to homes along stand pipes, has now transformed the lives of around 200 people.
The Palpa Trust has also helped seven schools over the years, improving infrastructure, helping with school uniforms – including some from Castlehill Primary School in Cupar – and enabling many children from less well-off families to have an education.
Commenting on the success of the Palpa Trust, Jackie Taylor said: “It has been fantastic to be involved in these life changing projects and I am very glad that the Scotland-based Nepal Trust will be taking it under its wing. I am very grateful for the support given by the Rotary Club of Cupar over the years and I’m pleased they have pledged to go on supporting Aarkhala school by funding the teacher there. Other businesses and individuals have also been very supportive and without their help we could not have had so much success. I am also grateful to Gentle Dental in St Andrews for their support. When I went to Nepal with my trekking business, I did not expect to end up setting up a charity and getting so involved but the Nepali people are so generous and kind and it has been a pleasure to help make practical improvements to their lives, their access to education and all the good things that come with access to clean drinking water.”
North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins, who visited Kathmandu earlier this year on behalf of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), said the Palpa Trust had made a huge difference to some of the poorest people in one of the world’s poorest countries.
“What Jackie and Mike have done, with the help of Cupar Rotary and individuals including Sophie Butler, has been immense. As well as taking practical steps to improve people’s lives, they have also shone a light on this fantastic country and the work needed to allow it to develop. I know the Nepal Trust works in another area of Nepal and it is great to see it take the remote Palpa region under its wing as well.”
For more information on the Nepal Trust visit https://www.nepaltrust.org/