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Some of you will recall a post I wrote earlier this year about a scheme set up by Liesl Clark of Pioneering the Simple Life. Liesl is a documentary maker and she and her family have close ties to Nepal: they volunteered there after the devastating earthquake and have been involved in various schemes to help local people, including setting up children’s libraries.
Liesl’s family are returning to Nepal this summer and they are taking with them lots of used, new, discarded, odd and paired gardening gloves to give to the child rag pickers. These children and young people support themselves and their families by picking through rubbish tips for recyclable items which they sell to India. They suffer injuries and infections from this work, sorting through sharp rusty objects, glass, faeces, chemical containers and so on.
So often we read about the awful circumstances of people’s lives and feel helpless to change them. This was one instance where I decided this was something that was easily doable. Within minutes we had found 3 gloves in our house and shed.
We composed a letter to our neighbours, which my husband posted, telling them about the scheme and asking them to have a look around their homes and gardens, sheds, roadsides etc. I heard nothing for a long time and thought that was it. I’d failed miserably.
Then slowly, they began trickling in. We found a bag of gloves on our doorstep one morning, we still don’t know who left them, and a neighbour brought a bag of new ones in children’s sizes, then the lovely lady who eventually took our piano also brought some. Gradually, we built up quite a collection.
This was the pile that were new or unsoiled.
Then there were the very soiled ones that had to be washed and hung out to dry – a difficult task as it wouldn’t stop raining for more than an hour at a time!
Eventually, they did dry out and were parcelled up. Liesl has arranged for an archaeologist friend to take them out for us.
And off they went.
We wish Liesl, her family and Mark bon voyage and hope we have helped in a small way to improve the lives of some of the most economically deprived people. They have welcomed Liesl and her family and friends into their community, taken care of her children, taught them skills and customs, enabling them to experience a different culture and a new perspective on the world. Liesl has made a documentary about their lives after the earthquake. She continues to support them and to highlight their strengths and their needs.
This was the least we could do.
Copyright: Chris McGowan
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