May 24, 2010
Craig's Trek and KELY Fundraiser
A group of ageing rapscallions (Martin Hills, Chris Coulcher, Roger Best and myself) are engaging in a venture which gives the adage that one should grow old gracefully a slap in the face. With limb and life at risk we intend to take on the lower reaches of the Himalayas reaching Everest Base Camp 1 in a breathtaking sprint of 2 weeks from leaving Kathmandu. We then intend to slide down more quickly to where we started trekking, Lukla, in about 7 days. The elevation of Base Camp 1 is 17,575 ft although in reaching it we might saunter to 19,216 ft (Gokyo Ri). This side trip is optional but the view is apparently breathtaking (both literally and figuratively!).
Whilst this exercise is being undertaken for personal reasons of endeavour and achievement it was felt amongst us that our friends might be interested in identifying with us, not through physical participation, but through a small but noble financial sacrifice. The activity that has bound this group of hikers together is an annual golf trip to Phuket each autumn. Consequently we felt it would be appropriate to consider including a Phuket charity with which we are familiar.
The Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation is its unusual name. It was formed in 2005 in recognition of a situation in Phuket that most holidaymakers and visitors would not be too familiar. In the space of a few years Phuket tourism has taken off, as well as becoming the home to many expatriates. Whilst this is good for the overall economy of Thailand it has placed particular stress on local families who find it increasingly difficult to earn sufficient to cope with the rising cost of living in Phuket. A large number of Thai children in Phuket are seriously disadvantaged. The need for an education which embraces the service industries together with language skills is obvious. Many students cannot reach the required standards, suffer, drop out and frequently move on to Bangkok with all the "attractions" that its bright lights offer.
This charity recognises the beauty of Phuket and what that now means to the newly arrived residents. It supports activities of one of the larger schools mainly through volunteer work undertaken by both local and expatriate residents together with imported volunteers. We have seen them in action and the enthusiasm of students and volunteers is very impressive. A real commitment is being made. Enough chat - look up the charity's website www.phukethasbeengoodtous.org and see for yourself.
The footsloggers considered that half the total raised from friends would be given to this worthwhile cause and the balance to a charity of each walker's choice.
My choice of second charity is The Kely Support Group (KELY). This Group is a not for profit charity that was established in Hong Kong 18 years ago by a young a person dealing with her own drug and alcohol issues. She found that by talking to her peers it helped her overcome these issues. As a self-help organization, the Group's mission is to empower all young people in Hong Kong to achieve their highest potential in their journey to adulthood.
KELY has since grown and has been focusing on 4 key issues affecting youths today: drug and alcohol addiction, suicide, chronic low-self-esteem / low-self confidence and negative body image. Their range of programmes and services include a suicide prevention / drug information hotline, harm reduction workshops, youth forums, multi-media art projects, circus skills training and peer support workshops.
For more information visit KELY's website at: www.kely.org.
Please dig deep and commit generously to these two worthwhile charities. Send me an email by reply letting me know how much you are happy to pledge (unless it is zero in which case I don't want to hear from you!).
With best wishes,
We have returned from our trek to the Himalayas safe and sound. (see above). A great trip with no injuries or altitude sickness. For those of you that would like to donate please either deposit Australian Dollars into my ANZ account in Australia or Hong Kong Dollars into my HSBC account in Hong Kong.
Please drop me an email - firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know .
Cheers and Thank You