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Mareeba businesswoman helping Nepalese in need

NEPAL is a country filled with immense natural beauty, wonderful people and a particularly unique culture, however unfortunately it is also a nation which battles extreme poverty.

One such organisation that has been helping combat Nepal’s poverty rate and absence of opportunity is Queensland charity Nepali Family Incorporated.

Nepali Family Incorporated founders, Dr Digby and Anne Hoyal lived and worked in Western Nepal for five years as a doctor-nurse team from 1999-2004, and it was there the inspiration for the charity was born. They now spend about three months a year in that country where a group of dedicated local people support the educational and charitable work.

The charity organisation, which has been operating since 2002, has directly assisted more than 200 children and their families through providing poor, blind, disabled, low caste, and other disadvantaged children across the Nepalese community access to education, training and purpose-built group homes.

As stated by UNESCO, education is the way out of poverty for those discriminated against.

Past students return to offer help to the organisation and form a locally based group to ensure community contact is seen as relevant and local.

The cost of supporting four residential homes and well over a hundred children and families with no financial support from either the Nepalese or Australian government is high – roughly $200,000 a year is needed.

Dr and Mrs Hoyal’s organisation has garnered deep admiration from many members of the community, one of whom is fellow Yungaburra local and Mareeba business owner Janice De Lai.

Mrs De Lai will be joining Dr and Mrs Hoyal on their visit to Nepal next month, and it is an experience she is eagerly looking forward to.

“I jumped at the opportunity to visit Nepal and help wherever I can,” Mrs De Lai said.

“I retire in a couple of months and I’ve started to slow down with work, so this was the perfect chance to provide the less-fortunate with important life-skills so that they can become independent.”

Mrs De Lai said falling ill last year provided her with a new perspective on life and gave her further inspiration to take part in the upcoming trip.

“It made me realise how short life really is,” she said.

“I’ve been blessed enough to never have to worry about food and shelter, so if I can do even one small thing to improve their quality of life, the trip will have been a resounding success.”

“We will be taking some clothes and laptops over for the children, and if anyone has a reusable laptop they would like to donate, they can do so by dropping it off at Leading Edge Electronics,” she said.

“There will be no breach of information or confidentiality as they will be completely reformatted.”

Mrs De Lai will leave for Nepal on March 3, to join the Hoyals, and she is calling on the Tablelands community to help with financial support for these children to give them a future.

For those who would like to make cash donations or find out more about Nepali Family Incorporated,  you can visit www.nepalifamily.org.au or like their Facebook page.

Caption: Mareeba businesswoman Janice De Lai will leave for Nepal next month to provide the less-fortunate basic life-skills. The trip is courtesy of the Nepali Family Incorporated charity organisation.

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