Project initiated by Ticu Lăcătușu, the first Romanian to have climbed Everest

This is a message very close to our hearts about the humanitarian campaign initiated by the Romanian Mountain Club to reconstruct a school in Nepal. It is not a request, not even an appeal.

I consider we have an extraordinary chance to help some people that really need us in a practical way. Very little from each of many of us can eventually mean a great deal for these children in whose eyes one can see the Everest.

You can be part of the WE LOVE NEPAL team, the team of Romanians everywhere who desire to build a symbolical bridge between the Carpathians and the Himalayas. We will be better and stronger if we manage to transfer some of our generosity to the country of Everest.

After almost 20 visits to Nepal I could be suspected of being subjective, of having a special bond with this country. The truth is Nepal is without a doubt a special country – highest peaks in the world and worthy, tolerant and hospitable people.

We have a lot in common with Nepal. We also have great potential, mountains and exceptional nature and wildlife; we have also cast away our king and brought communism to power; and we are also (according to many statistics) at the back of the line. We are at the end behind Europe; Nepal is behind the entire world – based on GDP and other indicators on development and well-being.

The people of Nepal, same as the Romanian people, have been waiting for too long for those inspired and just leaders – not for personal gain, but foremost for the community. In both countries, the chosen leaders sometimes instantaneously ‘suffer’ an inexplicable transformation and steer 180° from their initially declared interest – the people’s interest – toward a much smaller group of that people, for personal gain or a group or party interest.

Despite the unique but unexplored potential existing in both Romania and Nepal, there are still essential differences between the two countries. While Romania is slowly but steadily developing and modernizing, Nepal has a subsistence economy. Most of the population lives from their own rice or potato crop. The industry barely exists, except for a few local products which tourists can spot: souvenirs, carpets, biscuits, honey, and beer – one of the best in the world.

The little agriculture and tourism could not help the numbers to raise Nepal in statistics, making the life of the people rather archaic, an extra attraction for tourists.

Although situated between two colossi, China to the North and India to the South, Nepal has kept its independence and neutrality. Over the past years the Nordic influences have become stronger, resulting in abolishing the monarchy (with tardy regrets) and the construction of a few trans-Himalayan roads. The Chinese now also have a big hydro energy project.

Even before the devastating earthquakes from spring, foreign help was given in trying to change some things for the better, especially along the routes that are highly frequented by tourists. But besides for these limited areas, the lifestyle has not changed at all for centuries.

Many forward countries – Norway, Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Japan, Korea, China, etc. have brought a significant improvement for some of the luckier local communities: schools, water collection, medical clinics, small hydropower plants, water purification and distribution stations, roads.

I have travelled in many areas of Nepal and I have noticed what high importance the locals give to the education of their children in every of these places. The most important thing in a village is the school.

Most of the times children walk for miles on bad bumpy paths, in the rain and wind to get to school. It is not an accident that Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb the Everest, has built a school for the Sherpa’s children. He wanted to give something back to the people that helped him gain his fame. He chose the school and an airfield nearby, on a mountain top, to use for the transportation of the materials. Khumbu, the region where the Sherpa live at the bottom of Everest, has no roads fit for cars. Unfortunately Hillary’s wife and daughter’s lives were lost in a tragic accident on the first landing on that airfield.

The school - the most important thing in a village

I had a small humanitarian project in Nepal in 2004. We gave supplies to a school in Kathmandu. The students and teachers welcomed us with flowers and a lot of joy. It's hard to forget those unique moments. They were really just some notebooks, pencils and books, but I found that even this small support mattered greatly to them.

I was invited to speak to the students in each classroom. We talked about Everest, about the chance to have a planetary symbol at home, but also about Romania. Since then, the school has kept a small Romanian flag on display.

After the great earthquake of April I thought something must be done, something more substantial for those people who live hoping. The best choice was a punctual project, very concrete, with direct local effect. Easy to follow and verify, with long-term positive effects. The reconstruction of a school destroyed by the quake - somewhere in the Himalayas - seems an ideal project, feasible but also complex and difficult.

In the next 3 months we have to establish a budget and then act - in the fall - depending on it. Difficulties will surely arise in the field, primarily with material transportation. If our budget will not allow more, we will just make small repairs or we will support the community with a partial financial contribution. If the budget allows we would like to get involved in the reconstruction work almost entirely, from the first bricks to building completion and equipping the school with the teaching means necessary.

If we have all the resources we will set up near the school: 1) a first aid point and 2) a source of drinking water equipped with filters sent from Romania.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, regarding these goals please let us know and if you want to get directly involved, you are welcome. Together we can find the best solutions. I am determined to act to make sure all our contribution, all our joint effort will be directed correctly and with maximum efficiency.

The Romanian Mountain Club has opened two humanitarian accounts dedicated exclusively to this project, in lei and euro. Any amount will help, minimum 2 euros, minimum 10 lei. We also welcome businesses for a possible partnership.

Branch: Piatra Neamț, România
IBAN: RO37 RNCB 0196 0277 8256 0019 (Euro)
IBAN: RO64 RNCB 0196 0277 8256 0018 (Lei)
Beneficiary: The Romanian Mountain Club
Fiscal ID: RO 13848267


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