Roy’s legacy to schoolchildren in Nepal
ROTARY members have visited a school which was rebuilt thanks to the legacy of a long-standing member.
Kingswood Rotary Club, which includes members from Downend, Frenchay, Longwell Green, Cadbury Heath, Hanham and Almondsbury, visited Nepal to celebrate the opening of the rebuilt Shree Amar Jyoti Basic School serving Arba village in the hills outside the city of Pokhara.
The primary school had been severely damaged in a massive earthquake in 2015.
Kingswood Rotary Club became a partner rebuilding the school with the Rotary Club of Pokhara Midtown, the Pahar Trust Nepal and Rotary International.
Funding came from a legacy from Roy Stone MBE, who was a member of Kingswood Rotary Club from 1993 until his death in 2013.
David Lewis of Kingswood Rotary Club said: “Roy had a passionate commitment to children, their education and schools and in his will he made a bequest to his Rotary club.
“It was his wish that it would support the education of children in the Third World.”
There are 46 pupils at the school. Some of them have to walk two hours each way to get to their classrooms.
A group of nine Kingswood Rotary Club members travelled to Nepal for the reopening of the school.
David said: “It was an emotional and unforgettable occasion when we arrived at the school. We were welcomed by children with smiles and flowers and enthusiastic music.
“Parents, teachers and villagers were there to celebrate the opening of the school and coincidentally its 44th birthday. There were garlands, singing, dancing and local music. The place was full of colour and cheerfulness.
“The school is clearly at the very heart of the community. We ceremoniously presented essential items the children – rucksacks, pencil cases, uniform, writing kit and lunch box; and for the school a Wi-Fi printer and paper to help its day-to-day work.”
Roy had been a pupil at Cadbury Heath Primary School and later became its chair of governors. The school’s pupils are working to set up a Friendship Link with Shree Amar Jyoti Basic School, which Kingswood Rotarians will help to sustain.
David said: “The nine travellers from Kingswood Rotary Club learnt so much about the life and culture of Nepal and grew to appreciate how cheerful and resilient the Nepalese are in the face of challenges.
“We hope that Roy Stone would have been proud of what has been done in his name at Shree Amar Jyoti School.”