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 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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Of Bears at Fridges, drinking Planes and Cinderella’s Shoe” is Jordis Trumby’s first children’s book. Photo supplied.
Courtenay author writes, illustrates first children’s book

When is a collaboration not a collaboration? At first glance, Courtenay author… Continue reading

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is hoping to see more bike lines in the Cumberland area. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cycling coalition wants better bike links for Cumberland

Group says members want more connections with Comox Valley

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

Most Read