UTTARAKHAND RELIEF UPDATE 2016

 

Sewa International inaugurated its first school in a remote village, Chhinka, in district Chamoli (Uttarakhand) on December 5, 2015. It is a co-ed school with 148 students receiving education till 8th class. The old school was badly damaged during Uttarakhand floods in 2013 and needed to be re-built. After inspection of the damaged site in 2013-2014, its new construction was sponsored by the benevolent donors of Sewa International UK .

 

Update

Nepal

A major earthquake struck Nepal on April 25 resulting in more than 8600 deaths and 18,000 injuries. 

The earthquake seriously affected more than 12 districts and 8 million people.

See the Year End report on the rehabilitation effort.

Further information:

 Read about our previous relief project, the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake

Cerebral Palsy

THE WORK OF THE SAMVEDANA REHABILITATION CENTRE

samvedana, latur, cerebral palsy, rehabilitation, jankalyan samiti, vivekanand medical foundation & research centreHandicapped children are a great cause of concern for parents. Such parents have to carry the piles of sorrow on their head throughout their life. Their heart breaks at every moment while witnessing the fact that their children cannot lead a normal life like the other ones. Samvedana rehabilitation centre has come to the rescue of such children that enables them lead a normal life by boosting their confidence. All parents have a dream that their child should excel in every walk of life. However, destiny plays a cruel game with some people. Suresh Patil is one such victim; his son was born with multiple physical disorders. However, instead of grieving over the issue, Mr and Mrs Patil began to discover the way through which their son can stand on his own feet. One thing they realized was that their son is not sick; he is disabled. Like various kinds of other disabilities, this can also be overcome and their son can also become self sufficient to a maximum extent. Mr and Mrs Patil initiated research in this direction and came to knew that their child has been hit by cerebral palsy; a disorder caused by injuries or abnormalities of the brain. While thinking about the needs of their own child, Patil  was moved by the plight of similar such affected children in the society. What can be done so that along with our own child, these children will also get an equal right to live like the other normal children in the society ? This question struck their mind and this gave birth to a unique rehabilitation centre in the name SAMVEDANA for cerebral palsy-hit children in Latur.

 At this school, these children get homely love; their passion for life is triggered and talents are rectified. The school that was started along with just three children has a strength of 25 at present. There are a number of government run schools for handicapped but the number of schools for children hit by cerebral palsy is quite low. Taking this fact into account, SAMVEDANA Rehabilitation Centre was opened. samvedana, latur, cerebral palsy, rehabilitation, jankalyan samiti, vivekanand medical foundation & research centre Along with the education, they get one more important thing here and that is self sufficiency to stand on own feet. For this, their self confidence is boosted and physical stamina is increased. Children love to stay here because of the affection. They are treated with utmost care and belongingness. Children come to school by a school van. After the prayer, Suryanamaskar and other physical exercises are taught. As per the requirement of the individual child, massage and physiotherapy are given. Efforts are made so that the child can maintain his balance and stand on his own feet. With the help of walker or with somebodies help, children become self sufficient to stand and walk slowly. A lot of feelings are hidden in their heart but due to the lack of speech, those cannot be expressed. Hence, in order to get them expressed, speech therapy is given and that too through the medium of games and entertainment. By playing small and simple games, they learn to speak and recognize letters and numbers. Their tongue is very stiff and its indeed a herculean task to make it flexible for utterance. However, with great patience, the teachers here accomplish this task and make these children earn the right to speak. Their thoughts are channelized so that they can easily express their feelings. By showing various objects, they are taught to recognize colours and move the fingers. Because of this, slowly, their fingers start moving on the keyboard. Food is fed by the teachers only. Teachers look after their meals with a great sense of belongingness. After the classroom session is over, children are given the work of their own choice. This includes gardening, cleaning the premises, planting the saplings, watering the plants, etc through which they derive utmost pleasure. Each child works as per his physical capacity. Teachers also render selfless service for the welfare of these kids. Earlier, the centre was run by the Patil duo alone but now there are 8 to 10 teachers here. In spite of having their own children, they devote their precious time for teaching at the centre. Along with school, training is also necessary for these kids at their homes. Hence the counseling of parents is also done by the centre. These children don’t want our sympathy or mercy; what they want is just our sensitivity towards them. SAMVEDANA has boosted the confidence of such children to touch the sky who earlier did not even know to move their fingers.

 source: newsbharati.com

Information on the Acu-Laser Therapy
Information on the costings of Acu-Laser Therapy

ABRAR (Specifications)

THE REVOLUTIONARY DEVICE ‘ABRAR’ (Audio Book Reader And Recorder) Developed by Samadrishti,Kshamata Vikas Evam Anusandhan Mandal (‘SAKSHAM’) for VISUALLY CHALLENGED

Visually impaired people in India face many problems during their studies when they use gadgets like cassette player, CD player, Computer, Digital player or any other text reading accessible system. Most of the devices available for visually impaired so far are English Text Readers and unaffordable to them hence are less suitable to Indian students learning in their vernacular language. Considering this SAKSHAM developed a special device ‘ABRAR’ to make their book reading comfortable, without the bar of any language, having quick and random access to any subject and lesson of their choice, and above all with recording facility. The ABRAR is first of its kind, designed in India.

Though abbreviation for ‘Audio Book Reader And Recorder’ the word ‘ABRAR’ also depicts the meaning ‘Devoted to God’, ‘Faithful’, ‘Right minded’ in Arabic and ‘Truthful people’, ‘Saint’ in Pashtun. As if a blessing from The God this pocket size special device for visually challenged makes their reading comfortable due to the following features–

  • ABRAR is the best replacement for all the gadgets mentioned above.
  • Dimensions – Length = 135 mm, Width = 70 mm, Thickness = 24 mm, Weight (without battery) = 122 gm
  • Provides random access to any book or chapter / customized track stored in the Multimedia Memory Card (MMC) with fast forward, backward,pause facility.
  • The audio file format supported includes MP3, WMA and WAV in Stereo channel.
  • With maximum Storage capacity up to 16 GB, may give 240 hours for highest bit rate to 4400 hours for lowest bit rate on MP3.
  • Voice prompts and Audio books for any curriculum, standard, can be recorded in any language.
  • Easy access to tracks with only 8 Braille embossed buttons and voice menu support.
  • Normally works on AC power. For alternate power source two pencil cell batteries (Alkaline, AA rechargeable NiMH, NiCd, etc.) can be used.
  • BOOK MARKING and CHAPTER MARKING facility available.
  • VOICE RECORDING with built-in or external mike.
  • Speed of reading can be raised to 2x X.
  • Library Setup Can be used by individual by attaching headphones/earplugs as personal setup, or by a group as a library setup, using amplispeakers or SAKSHAM created Audio Distributor with provision for 10 headphones.
  • For personal use the ABRAR is supplied with 2 GB SD memory card, mains adapter, a set of headphones, and a soft case.
  • For library (Group hearing) setup ABRAR is supplied with 4 GB SD memory card, an audio distributor with 10 headphone jacks and a plastic box in place of soft case is provided

 

Walkathon in Aid of Local Good Causes

Report by Rajendra Mistry

On Friday 9th June Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (Rugby & Coventry), in association with Sewa International UK held their 3rd annual SEWA-WALKATHON event at the picturesque setting of Draycote Waters reservoir near Rugby.

The event is growing and this year family members of all ages took part in an evening of walking the 5 mile perimeter walkway around the reservoir, followed by picnic and a sampling of home made Indian cuisine and then playing of various games to end the evening.

The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the event helped raise over £600 for the chosen local charity Walsgrave Hospital Kidney Patients’ Association (WHKPA) and also over £100 for the Coventry Sewa Shakti Project (a lunch club for Asian Elderly Men & Women).

In the picture, some of the participants who took part in the walk present a cheque for £655 to C. Meyrick (Treasurer of WHKPA) and Mahendra Patel (Fund-raiser for WHKPA) both of whom have received kidney transplants many years ago.

During the presentation they raised awareness of their work and more importantly encouraged more people amongst the ethnic communities to become Kidney donors.

We would like to thank all the participants for taking part in the Sewa Walkathon and raising money for a worthwhile cause.

Home2Rome

 An adventure, driving journey across Europe in a £100 car

Facts

  • Took place in September 2007 
  • £967 raised to date
  • Raising money for Sewa International

 


Report
On the 21st September 2007, Nayan Mistry, Kedar Shukla, Tejas Mistry and Ash Mohamed (aka the Sagdiyev Brothers – named after the Kazakhstani legend Borat Sagdiyev) embarked on the the road trip of a lifetime. We took part in the Home2Rome banger rally, a 1500 mile, four day drive from Calais in Northern France to Rome the capital of Italy. The catch was that our mode of transport was to be a car bought for no more than £100… They don’t call it a banger rally for nothing. Our aim was to make it to the finish line in one piece and to raise money for Sewa International UK. The fun started a day before the event as we drove our 1987 Mercedes 190 (198,000 miles on the clock, a little but of rust, but otherwise a fine example of German engineering) to Dover to catch our ferry to Calais. We registered by the midnight deadline in Calais, signed our away our rights to sue the organisors in the event of crashing/dying/hurting ourselves/ending up in jail etc and tried to get some sleep before the mammoth journey ahead!

 

Day One – Calais to Montelimar We arrived at the starting line to be met by an awe inspiring sight: 200 cars of varying levels of roadworthiness, revving up huge plumes of oil filled smoke. We were taken aback by the efforts of the other teams to decorate their cars – Volvo’s painted like New York taxi cabs, a Sierra painted like a cow, a BMW covered in laminate wood flooring and many others covered in graffiti and spray paint. Our effort was looking a little bland in comparison (i.e. nothing but the red paint it came with) but thanks to some last minute ingenuity and some strips of speed tape we managed to enhance our vehicle with go-faster stripes over the bonnet and boot-lid. We were ready to go! Day one was a long motorway slog through much of France. We headed initially towards Reims and then turned south towards Dijon. The organisers had set challenges for each day, the idea being to gain points, with a prize for the team with the most points at the end. Our first challenge was number plate scrabble, i.e. take pictures of French number plates and use the letters on a scrabble board to make words for points. We soon realised that the challenges were a great way to keep the boredom of non-stop driving at bay. Another less successful way was to take shortcuts – we tried some smaller roads through Champagne country towards Dijon, but ended up wasting time through small French villages. From Dijon we hit the motorway again towards Lyon but got stuck in a major traffic jam due to an accident which required a large detour off our route towards Grenoble and the edge of the Alps. Eventually we reached the first checkpoint in Montelimar at around 10pm, after 590 miles and 12 hours of driving!

Day Two – Montelimar to Villefranche-Sur-Mer and the Gorge du Verdon
Today was all about pure driving pleasure. We were heading off the beaten track and taking some of the best driving roads in Europe, culminating in the Gorge du Verdon – the mountain road you may have seen in Top Gear, where Jeremy Clarkson raced a mountain climber (unsuccessfully) in an Audi RS4. The challenge for today was simple – get your car to the end! Half of the challenge was to navigate successfully through the small winding roads, no small feat considering that our large scale maps didn’t show sufficient detail or name the smaller roads. We had decided against Sat Nav and had opted for the cheaper and more challenging Prat-Nav (i.e. us!). The initial going was good through the beautiful countryside, but it soon got tough as we started long, arduous climbs which were a real strain on the engine. However, the Merc just kept on going up without a hint of protest and we began to realise how lucky we were to get such a solid car. We got a little lost at one point, but a local French farmer with a sheep in the back of his car (don’t ask) helped us out and we eventually reached the Gorge. It had taken hours to cover barely a hundred miles but the fun had only just begun. The drive through the gorge was truly awesome. The road wound around the edge of the mountains with a sheer drop on the other side into a beautiful canyon filled with trees and rapids. Whilst going up was hard on the engine and clutch, we soon found that going down was even harder on the brakes which were starting to fade from overheating. Just when it seemed the winding mountain passes would go on forever, we eventually hit something resembling a main highway and picked up signs towards Nice and the famous Cote d’Azur. A quick cruise through the streets of Nice to show off our banger to the rich and famous and we headed along the coast to our stop for the night in Villefranche-Sur-Mer.

Day Three – Villefranche to Sottomarina
Today we were back onto the main motorways, but these were far more interesting than the M1 or M4, these wound around the south coast and through tunnels in the mountains. Before long we had crossed the border into Italy where sil vous plait’s and merci’s became prego’s and grazi’s. We headed east towards Genoa, then north to Brescia before heading east again to Venice. The challenge today was a little more interesting. We had to take the spare tyre of our car to a central square in Venice, Piazza St Marco, and take a picture with the whole team and the tyre. Venice is of course famous for its canals and we therefore needed to park the car and take the tyre by boat to the square. Today was also fancy dress day which this year was to dress up as St Triannians girls. Unfortunately we had found out about the fancy dress too late to get costumes – what a shame! We still did the challenge and were faced with dragging a heavy and dirty sapre tyre through the thousands of tourists in Venice. Its fair to say we caused quite a stir and the St Trinnians outfits of the other teams was a particular favourite of the Japanese tourists taking our photos. One piece of advice if you’re going to Venice – don’t take a spare tyre if you’re trying to get a meal at a restaurant, for some reason they won’t let you in! With the challenge complete, we rolled the tyre back to the boat for a romantic cruise through Venice by night and returned to the car. We headed south to our next stop point, Sottomarina.

Day Four – Sottomarina to Rome… the final day!!
The final day started with open warfare. We met up with the sister rally of Home2Rome, Staples2Naples, in Sottomarina where there was to be a water pistol fight on the beach between the two rally’s. The organisers had produced a list of rules for the fight (do not spray the organisers, no re-fills allowed, use tapwater only etc) and once underway, all the rules were duly ignored. After discovering the pain of saltwater in the eyes, we cleaned up and headed out for the final day of the rally. Despite being the final stretch we were soon reminded we could take nothing for granted. We passed a car just out of Sottomarina which had suffered a broken drive shaft and had to pull out of the rally. Worse still we came across a serious accident on the autostrada involving cars from the rally and a lorry. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it served a timely reminder of the dangers of driving on foreign roads. Italians have a reputation for their flamboyant driving style and we can confirm that this reputation is well deserved. Nevertheless, after 4 days, 1500 miles, a few minor arguments, a Frenchman and his sheep, the best views in Europe, one broken pipe in the engine, a few quarts of oil and lots and lots of laughs we finally made it to Rome. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring the car back so she has been sent to the big garage in the sky at a scrap yard in Rome, but we are forever grateful for the the great drive and realiability she gave us.

We would highly recommend this sort of event for any group looking to raise money for Sewa and for the adventure of a lifetime.

Ladakh Trek 2008

Sewa International organised a high altitude trek to Ladakh again for 2008 from 24th August to 13th September 2008.  

Satish Shah, Trek Co-ordinator Reports.

Facts:

  • This trek is graded D, similar to Mt Kilimanjaro, but Stok Kangri is graded E.
  • The group has raised £31,541, and the trip itself was self-financed.

Report

PART 1 – RISHIKESH
11 students and recent graduates arrived in Rishikesh and stayed at the Paramath Ashram. Voluntary work was undertaken in teaching and food serving. They spent two days at Divya Prem Sewa Mission, teaching and interacting with the youth.


PART 2 – SPECTULAR DRIVE FROM DELHI TO LEH

17 participants arrived in Manali, altitude 2000m, after a tiring 16 hour journey. We visited two ancient temples of Hidamba ( wife of Bhim ) and Vashistha Kund (Kul Guru of Raghu Dynasty in Ramayan ) which has a hot spring pool. Day 3 – Crossed over Rohtang Pass 3985m, to Jespa 2550m for the night.

Day 4 – Crossed Baralacha Pass 4650m to Sarchu 4300m. Sarchu was cold, having spent the night in tents.

Day 5 began with snow fall and poor visibility. We made a late start crossing Lachulung La Pass 5065m and Taglang La pass 5317m, arriving safely in Leh.

Day 6 – Met Sewa officials and visited a nursery school, a primary school, and a boarding school. We were fortunate to perform Sindhu Darshan on the Sindhu River (river Indus). Our Hindu name was given by foreigners based on the ancient civilisation in the Sindhu river valley. The temperature in Leh was cool at an altitude of 3500m. This part of the trip was also for essential altitude acclimatisation.


PART 3 – STOK KANGRI TREK 6125M

Day 7 – Commenced trek to Rambuk Village, 3500m, a gentle 6 hour walk. The village is entirely eco friendly. En route we met a large group of 35 trekkers from Scotland. Day 7 was a steep challenging 8 hour walk, crossing over Stok La pass 4900m and stopping at Lower Stok La range, 4200m, for the night.

Day 8 was relaxing with a gentle acclimatising walk to the near by hills. In the late afternoon it started to snow heavily and the students and our guides engaged in a lively snowball fight. A couple of our group members were feeling mild altitude sickness.

Day 9 – Made an early start to the Stok Kangri base camp 5000m. Unfortunately, 1 member of the group decided to return to Leh due to severe altitude sickness. In the late afternoon we walked up to 5250m.

Day 10 – arrived at Advanced Base Camp 5300m to witness a beautiful sunset. It was very cold and after some food we retired early to our sleeping bags. It was a success as all 16 spent the night at such a high altitude.

Day 11 – As this was the summit day, wake up call was at midnight and 15 of us set off at 01.00am, well wrapped up and slowly inching forward by torch light. The air was thin and at around 5600m 2 members retired due to extreme cold. The rest were pushing forward and Shane Parmar was first to summit just after 8.30am. He was followed by 9 others including pensioner Rati Shah at the young age of 66. Another 3 made it to 6030m. Everyone arrived safely back to the camp.

Day 12 – 7 hour walk to Stok village and drive to Leh. In the evening we met up with local Sewa volunteers for prayers and a celebration dinner.

Day 13 – Early flight to Delhi, followed by a visit to a local Sewa project, a multi purpose centre near a large slum. The centre has a medical dispensary, crèche, nursery, and classes in sewing, makeup, beauty, computers etc. Next we visited Matru Chhayaa, a centre where newly born abandoned babies are provided with loving care and attention and then adoption with families is organized under strict conditions and rules for the adoptee family. Next we visited another learning centre in a large slum by the railway line.

The whole trip was an eye opener to Sewa charity work and its dedicated volunteers, and an ultimate personal endurance challenge climbing Stok Kangri.

{becssg}Sewa Ladakh{/becssg}

Kilimanjaro Trek 2006

The Mount Kilimanjaro trek was organised for the very first time by Sewa International. 23 Participants completed the trek from 11 July to 18 July 2006 (12 were from Bradford and Leeds) with ages ranging from 16 to 58.

Sewa International have raised a phenomenal £61,858 in funds to date.
The organisers would wish to thank all donors.



Satish Shah, Trek Coordinator reports.

We chose the popular MARANGU ROUTE also known as the coca cola route.
Day 1 was registration followed by 4-5 hour walk through beautiful rain forest to Mandara Hut, 2077m. Day 2 started early for 7 hour walk to Harombo Hut, 3720m. The vegetation was changing to moorland. Day 3 was an acclimatisation walk up to the Zebra rocks, 4000m and back to Harombo.

Day 4 saw an 8 hour trek through alpine desert landscape up to Kibo Hut, 4700m. Few were feeling the altitude sickness. Early into the sleeping bag at sun set to be woken up at 11pm for a light snack. At 12.30 am we set off for the summit, the temperature was -20c and with the thin air progress was slow. Eventually 17 made it to Gilman Point, 5681m. The guides did a marvellous job of assisting few who had to give up due to mountain sickness.

Projects in Kenya currently being supported:

  • Jaipur food project with Rotary Club £5100
  • Water pump project with Young Jains £8100
  • Education aid project with Jamuri High School, Nairobi £13100 over four years.
  • Environment project with local community participation – tree planting £3100
  • Eye camps cataracts operations £5100

Comments from participants

“I have run lot of sponsored marathons for local charities over the years. The temptation to climb Kili was too great to miss.”
Kamlesh Patel

“After being cajoled into joining the trek and training in the Yorkshire dales, I thoroughly enjoyed the trek. Equally challenging was raising funds for worthwhile projects and new skills have been picked up.”
Ashwin Mistry 

 

The trek was a childhood dream come true, for many in the group.

{becssg}Sewa Kilimanjaro{/becssg}

Mount Kenya 2009

In August 2009, a group of 40+ from the UK tackled Mount Kenya.
Funds currently raised: £35,000

From the group of 54 from the UK, 49 completed the full rim walk of Mt Longonat which is 14 miles at 2776m.

40 of the group summitted Mt Kenya, to Pt Lenana 4985m. The age range of the group was from 14 to 69, 2 retired at Shiptons base camp 4200m.

We also attended a big charity presentation with local Hindu community, Rotary Club and local aid benefactors.

See reports and comments from participants below.

 

 


MT KENYA – Pt Lenana 4985m
Trek started on 20 August, going up on the Sirimon route and coming down from Naro Maro route.
The 5 day and 4 night trek gives a feel of high altitude and have enough time to enjoy the magnificent views.

All money raised will go East African charities.

Please log on mydonate.bt.com/charities/sewauk under Sewa International Charity and you will see individual fund raising pages and their profile. A Big Thank You to all that donated!

Reports by participants:
MOUNT KENYA TREK FOR SEWA INTERNATIONAL
15 August to 24 August 2009

On August 23rd I was 4895 meters above Africa… I did it! My journey began in Nairobi at the host’s home. My cousin, Minesh Lad and I instantly were made to feel welcome into this country we had never visited. The trek itself was still a few days away but our itinerary was packed from day one. The charity presentation was very memorable; where we got to see where money previously raised by Sewa International was going to. Having the beneficiaries there was also very rewarding, knowing that our donations were going to fantastic causes. After all, besides the personal achievement, this is why we were here.

Mt Longonot at 2776m & 14 miles was the next destination as a way of stretching our lungs and legs before the trek. This was a great experience as it was actually my first ‘climb’. I found this challenging to say the least and an overall good experience. This was a chance to meet the rest of the group and bond with my fellow trekkers. Reflecting on my trip, I feel that Mt Longonot did play a part in my success in getting me up Mt Kenya. The next few days were spent with visits to Lake Nakuru 1800m and Lake Bogoria, which were both enjoyable and relaxing.

The day of the trek had finally dawned upon us and the nerves were starting to kick in. The first day wasn’t too strenuous and not very demanding… surely it can’t be this easy?! We stopped over at the base camp at 3300 meters. Day two is one that Minesh, Gina, Gita, Hitesh, and I will never forget! “The Famous Five” had lost the rest of the group and were battling to reach the next base camp. Weather conditions were relentless as we experienced 5-6 hours of constant rain and hail. Gloves soaked, fingers frozen. We eventually made it to the base camp at around 7:30pm in total darkness, 2-3 hours after everybody else. The group had to send out guides to look for us as we pummeled along following our porter. Luckily, the third day was planned as a break and a chance to acclimatize at 4200 meters. On day four we set out at 5.30am to reach the summit. The whole group was buzzing and the thought alone of reaching the top was enough motivation to get up there! I was part of the first group to reach summit and it was an amazing feeling! A great sense of achievement – I had accomplished what I had set out to do! The team had been fantastic throughout the trek and supported each one and other through the toughest time. Sewa International had brought a great team with a wealth of experience to organize a fantastic trip!

The next few days were spent at the Maasai Mara and it was a great wind down. To see the animals in their natural habitat was an experience I will never forget.

The hotel was superb and everybody thoroughly enjoyed it! Overall, my experience with Sewa International and the trek in particular was very good. A great deal of time and effort had been put into this trip which has been greatly appreciated by all those who were involved. The fund raising had also been a success and the distribution of funds are going to very worthy causes.

By Chetan Mistry, Leicester

 

 


The climb to Mt Kenya can only be described as amazing! For someone like me who is definitely not an outdoors person and has never even been camping this experience was a first but definitely not the last. Being able to see the charity work that Sewa International undertakes beforehand gave me the strength to make it to the top.

The Jaipur Foot project was one which caught my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Seeing a woman being able to walk after 19 years or a man hold a bottle of water with a prosthetic hand was a very humbling experience. After visiting projects such as this, the Lions Eye Hospital and many more we set-off to climb Mount Kenya. All 42 of us!

The first day climb was fun with lots to see along the way and the energy to stop and admire it. We were joined by some people we had met in Nairobi who thought they would keep us company. The second day challenged us all with the crazy weather. It hailed and rained for most of the day and we soon found out that many of our waterproofs weren’t in fact water proof. With two people getting hyperthermia and 5 people getting lost on the mountain the morale wasn’t great that evening. However, Satish and Janesh kept us motivated. The morning of the summit it was quite daunting trekking in the dark with our head torches on but when we got to the top it was the most amazing feeling in the world. I still look at the pictures and think ‘did I really make it? There were times when I thought to myself ‘why am I doing this to myself’ but if you were to ask me now if I would climb another mountain, the answer would be yes, I will… one day!!!! It’s one of the most satisfying things I have ever done, getting to the top and raising money at the same time. The hardest part of this for me was staying at the camps. But the team was so happy and lively that there were times that I forgot where we were staying.

The Nairobi guys were amazing, those that climbed with (and rescued) us as well as those that home hosted us. The hospitality and welcome we had was overwhelming. To have people we had just met helping us so much was such a nice feeling and I hope we can offer them the same welcome one day. They dropped us off and picked us up without even knowing us to begin with. The entire group was brilliant. I only knew a handful of people at the beginning of this trip, by the end I felt I was with family.

Once again – thank you so much for this experience of a lifetime!

By Deena Yadav, London

 

 


This summer we participated in a trek to Point Lenana on Mount Kenya which at 4985m is the highest non-technical peak on Mount Kenya. The trek was organised by Sewa International to raise money for various projects in Kenya keeping in line with the tradition of Charity Through Adventure, a project of Sewa International, which involves raising money to be spent on projects in the region the trek is organised e.g. the previous year involved a trek to Stok Kangri in Ladakh and all money raised was donated to projects in Ladakh. On our first day in Nairobi we saw first hand the difference Sewa was making to the lives to Kenyans from money donated previously.

The big day finally arrived when we set off for Mount Kenya. It was a long drive through some dirt tracks to get to the Mount Kenya park gate entrance for the Sirimon route. The first part of the climb was through a well-defined path through the forest. There were 42 of us, all participating to raise money for Sewa International.

We woke up to the glorious sight of clear blue skies without a cloud in sight. We could see the peaks of Mount Kenya – although not Point Lenana and there was not a cloud in sight. Little did we know what was to come that day…

We set off at 8:30 AM and our aim was to get to Shipton’s camp located at an altitude of 4200m. By 10AM it had started to cloud over and by 11AM visibility was poor. By midday it started raining and this was followed by hail. At this point we encountered the “just around the corner” phenomenon. Every time we asked the guide how much further we had to go there was only one answer – just around the corner. I finally got to Shipton’s camp around 5PM.

It was just as well that the following day was scheduled for acclimatising. I, by this time, again had a high fever and I decided enough was enough. I went to bed and only got up to briefly have dinner before clambering back into the bed.
The following morning we set-off just before 6AM. I needed a rest every now and then – the fever for 2 days had taken a lot out of me. Finally I was within a few meters of the summit. I could hear my son and wife egging me on – at least they had made it to the top. The last few meters seemed really difficult but I clambered over a rock and I was on the summit! Finally after months of planning I had made it. After several practice treks – Snowdon, Yorkshire 3 peaks, Snowdon again, Ben Nevis – I was on Point Lenana.

Everyone had supported and helped each other and had a wonderful time. The trek has so far raised £33,000. It was an amazing experience.

By Mayank, Hena & Priyank Patel, London

 

 


Comments
We had a fantastic time. I was a bit nervous going out there as we had not really prepared ourselves and but had an outstanding experience. We did encounter tough times but overcame all difficulties as the guides and porters were good companions and made us feel comfortable about the challenge and looked after our needs well. The Group made a great team, we met great people, had amazing views, we surprised ourselves as to what we can actually achieve and we had a trip of a lifetime.
Urvashiben, Gayatri & Darshan Patel London

{becssg}Sewa Kenya 09{/becssg}