A Kirriemuir woman is heading to Nepal this summer to help one of the areas worst affected by last year’s earthquake to rebuild its economy.
Claire Richardson will head up a team of seven young people from the UK who will be in the Gorkha region under the auspices of Raleigh ICS to help people in the area develop new businesses.
Raleigh ICS (International Citizen Service) is led by VSO and funded by the UK Government and concentrates on promoting sustainable development in developing countries.
Claire will take unpaid leave from her job as a solicitor with Angus Council to work in the country between June and September.
She said: “This is the first year that Raleigh has been in Nepal and they have teams there at the moment. My team will be going out to work in the area of sustainable business set-ups with rural communities and less advantaged groups.
“The idea is that we get paired up with Nepalese volunteers and set up a partnership, with a Nepalese funding partner, for businesses that are being established in badly hit areas.”
The earthqake that hit the Gorkha region last April killed more than 8000 people and injured more than 21,000. Hundreds of thousands were also left homeless and entire villages were levelled by the force of the quake.
Claire continued: “Raleigh is a charity I’ve been involved with previously, I’ve done fund-raising for them, and my daughter has been abroad with them. The opportunity came up to apply for a volunteer team leader post and that’s how I’ve come to be making this trip.
“I’ll go initially to Kathmandu a couple of weeks ahead of the volunteers who will join me there before we go to our field base, which is pretty remote - there’s no mains electricity or running water, so it’ll be very basic.
“I’m excited about that, however, and about meeting the volunteers.”
As part of the project Claire has to raise funds for the charity, and to that end has organised a ceilidh in Kirriemuir Golf Club on Saturday, April 9 and has also arranged some top-notch prizes for the raffle.
Tickets cost £12 and are available by telephoning Claire on 01575 573576.