Courtenay man helping in Nepal

Courtenay resident Ron Quilter and a group of volunteers from IWEN are heading to Nepal in November.

Courtenay soccer player Ron Quilter is packing a bunch of equipment to share with people in Nepal

Courtenay resident Ron Quilter and a group of 14 volunteers from the Intercultural Women’s Education Network (IWEN) are heading to Nepal in November where they will undertake several projects — and have some fun on the soccer pitch.

The main focus of the “build trip” is to work on a classroom in Gorkha, which was the epicentre of last year’s earthquake that killed thousands of people in the country. The Gorkha region continues to suffer from its devastating effects.

After eight days in Gorkha, Quilter’s group will bus to Gadhawa in Dang Province, one of the most rural and impoverished regions of Nepal. The volunteers will spend six days working with community mothers at Unako House — a women’s centre IWEN constructed over the last three years — and installing a septic field. They will also host soccer camps for school children.

Quilter — a long-time player and coach of ‘the beautiful game’ — is taking about 150 pounds of gear donated by the Comox Valley soccer community to share with impoverished youth in Nepal.

“I have taken gear on many of my travels in Tanzania, Mexico, Cuba and Nepal, and have had many spirited games with teams that have been outfitted with local team jerseys,” Quilter said. “Soccer is an international language and provides a compelling way to enrich young people’s lives.

“Last time in Nepal, I outfitted a girls’ team in Gadhawa with a full set of jerseys, and our IWEN team played a game with them in front of hundreds of locals on a sand and dirt field.”

This time, along with hosting the camps, his group will be building permanent goal posts for the school.

“We have enough gear this time to outfit about 10 teams with jerseys and leave many children with a ball,” Quilter said.

When the work is complete, half the group will come home while the other half will trek a portion of the Annapurna Circuit with a climb of Chulu West, standing at over 21,000 feet. Quilter is trying to collect mountaineering gear to leave with Sherpa guides and porters who work in the Himalayan mountains.

The mission of the Kelowna-based, non-profit IWEN is to provide education and relief from poverty for marginalized individuals in Canada and abroad, with a focus on girls and women.

Its Empowerment Through Education program in Nepal ensures that Tharu girls receive an education. There are 167 girls in school, and more than 700 mothers in micro-credit programs.

Those wishing to help IWEN can buy a brick for $100 and have it installed on the walls of a primary school. The brick can contain a family name or the name of a loved one, if so desired. Make a request in the comments box so Quilter can install it. He will be sure to take a picture of it. www.canadahelps.org/dn/20056

A $300 donation — or $25 per month — will sponsor a scholarship for a girl for one year including school fees, supplies, shoes and other basics.

For more information, contact IWEN at iwencanada.com or info@iwencanada.com

Just Posted

Comox Strathcona Waste Management compares landfill costs in region

Staff report shows economies of scale mean waste costs less in the Comox Valley

Busy as a bee in a lavender field

Bees are in abundance at Shamrock Farm off Anderton Road flocking to… Continue reading

Market Day crowds flock to downtown Courtenay

Fifth Street in downtown Courtenay was packed Saturday morning as people flocked… Continue reading

Marine tourism a driving force for Vancouver Island’s economy

State of the Island Economic Summit takes place Oct. 23-24

19 Wing Comox welcomes new wing commander

Col. Dany Poitras assumed command of 19 Wing Comox

Jets host peewee baseball tourney

The Comox Valley peewee A Jets baseball team is hosting a 10-team… Continue reading

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read