At Northland Wealth Management we work with a diverse range of clients who contribute to society through charitable work and fundraising. In this edition of The Artisan we are proud to share Inger Lauritsen’s exceptional photographs and story as she has contributed her time and money over the past 3 years to help orphan children in Kathmandu, Nepal. More adventures and photos may be found at Inger’s blog www.inger-in-kathmandu.blogspot.ca.
Ever since I can remember I have always been drawn to wanting to go help kids in less fortunate countries. I guess my initial choice was like most others a country in Africa. (As a kid I was always fascinated by the stories of missionaries when they returned back to Denmark from their stays, except I am the furthest from a missionary, in not believing in changing another person’s belief system.)
Getting married and having kids at a young age I put all those thoughts on the back burner until 3 years ago when I read an article about an Orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal which is one of the poorest countries in the world. Right away I knew this is where I want to go and make a difference. I contacted the lady in charge of the orphanage and was thinking I could spend a couple of weeks there, but the orphanage required a 2 month commitment plus 10 days of trekking in the Himalayan Mountains first.
While I was reluctant to stay that long in a poverty stricken and political disturbed country at an age of 50, I accepted the challenge.I raised a small amount of money and traveled to Nepal for the first time in February 2010. Driving from the airport in Kathmandu, the sights were so disturbing that I didn't think I was going to survive the week. Although the country seemed primitive and dirty, I kept an open mind and this trip became some of the best 3 months in my life.
While volunteering at the orphanage, I decided to help build a new school in the mountain village where the kids lived, to help all the children have the chance of a better education, that is so lacking in Nepal.
In April of this year I returned to the village, a tough task in 30˚C when the last part of getting there was by walking, six hours over and around the mountain. Not sure how I survived, and that wasn't the hardest part.
Currently the school that I am involved with is tiny with mud floors, cracked walls from the last earthquake and leaking roofs, that only goes up to grade 6. My plan is to build a new school that goes up to grade 8. I have been matching contributions that I receive in order to meet my goal of $ 60,000 sooner. I am looking forward to seeing all the kids smiling faces when the new school is completed. It will be a very rewarding job once I get to the finish line.