14th May 2018

The book that helped build a school in Nepal

At the spectacular site, almost 7,000 feet above sea level, the children of Shree Barbot Lower Secondary School welcomed Sophie by marking her forehead with Tika, a powder put on a person’s forehead as a blessing, whilst the school’s music department celebrated by playing the drums.

Sophie Maliphant was in Nepal on 25 April 2015 when the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit. Though she left the country shortly after the quake, the experience of sharing the country’s fear and pain stayed with her.

As she travelled from Nepal down to India, Sophie came up with a plan to help the country using her professional experience. A talented graphic designer, she decided to write and illustrate her own children’s book.

The book ‘The Country That Shook’ was the result, and she decided that funds raised through sales would be used by The Gurkha Welfare Trust to rebuild Shree Barbot Lower Secondary School, located in a Gurkha community, which was badly damaged by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. The school teaches 200 pupils from nursery through to year eight.

Sophie’s visit

On 20 April 2018 the school held an opening ceremony, and those present were delighted that Sophie was able to return to Nepal to celebrate with them.

The Headmaster Purna Bahadur Basnet delivered an emotional speech where he recalled the day the devastating Nepal earthquake hit the school:

“The school faced an uncertain future. Then, The Gurkha Welfare Trust agreed to rebuild four classrooms.

“When we found out that Sophie’s book funded 50% of this, we never dreamed that we would be able to thank her in person.”

The school’s Chairman Dhan Bahadur Karki thanked our team for their help:

“Once The Gurkha Welfare Trust says it will build, you know it will be delivered. That’s why we asked for their help as no other organisation reaches out to such remote communities”

The Head of the Parents’ Committee then spoke and, in a moving tribute to Sophie in particular, thanked her from the heart.  Sophie was then presented with a plaque, a token of their gratitude. On it was inscribed the following moving words:

“Your generous support in a time of great need will be remembered for many years to come and we – schoolteachers, school management team, parents and whole community – wish to express our heartfelt and sincere thanks to you”

Sophie also made a speech at the ceremony, and said how delighted she was to be able to visit the school which she had heard so much about. She then presented copies of her book, together with t-shirts and posters to the gathered children.

The Country That Shook

We were, and still are, delighted that Sophie decided to partner with us. All money raised supports our rebuilding projects.

You can purchase the book for £10 + P&P from Sophie’s website with all funds received going to the Trust. Also available are high quality prints and T shirts based on the book’s distinctive artwork.

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