Rural Maharashtrian Women and UWC students embark on Ladakh Expedition to Help Rebuild Nepal
04 May, 2015, Pune: After the recent earthquake struck Nepal, 15 young economically and socially disadvantaged women from villages near Pune, alongside 25 international students, who had been preparing to ascend one of the country’s highest peaks, decided to give an additional meaning to their challenging four-week expedition by raising funds for earthquake-stricken Nepal. Ladakh’s peaks regularly attract some of the most experienced mountaineers from around the world, but scarcely are they surmounted by rural young women from Maharashtra.
These pioneering women are a part of Kriyā – a student-led initiative at UWC Mahindra College that works with disadvantaged youth on physical fitness, confidence building, and overcoming societal and self-imposed limitations in the outdoors.
Malaika Vaz, the student team leader of this programme, explained, “Kriyā gives rural women the opportunity to understand and unleash the potential they have. Through this expedition, the aim is for them to see the power of their individual agency in not only pushing themselves to the limit both physically and mentally, but also in positively impacting the lives of people in Nepal, who have been devastated by the earthquake.”
The funds raised will go toward the Alex Lowe Charitable trust, a foundation with a decade of experience and expertise in grassroots work involving community building projects. Our campaign will contribute specifically to the Sherpa Widows Relief Fund and the Earthquake Relief Fund. The Sherpa community forms the backbone of Nepal’s climbing industry and takes great risks to provide for their families. The community has been hit hard for two years in a row, with an avalanche last April and now this earthquake. The Widows Relief Fund provides for the families when people in the Sherpa community suffer loss of life and damage under unfortunate circumstances. The Earthquake Relief Fund will be disbursed to support the families in the affected areas and contribute to their long term recovery.
With the belief that women all around the world should be able to support themselves and that physical activity is always transformational, the women from Kriyā reach out to these widows.
“It’s only in difficult times that we are remembered that there is Manushiyat (humanity) in the world and I think that this is the time for us to do all that we possibly can for Nepal (as a Kriyā team),” says Kiran, a member of Kriyā from the Mulshi Valley.
With summit objectives that include Stok Kangri (6150m) and Lungser Kangri (6667m) in Ladakh, they will surely be getting a new perspective on life, while helping ease the difficult lives of women living thousands of kilometers away, in a country devastated by an earthquake.
After the expedition, these women will continue receiving support from Akshara – a local impact initiative of UWC Mahindra College, which aims to empower individuals living in rural areas, by providing them access to educational opportunities and personal support. To date, more than 500 individuals ranging from children and women to adults in the tribal community are taking part in its various programmes.
Individuals who are interested in supporting this programme are asked to please get in touch with the college and write to [email protected]. To donate directly, please visit the fundraising campaign online.
Stay updated by liking Kriyā’s Facebook Page.
About UWC Mahindra College
UWC Mahindra College delivers a unique educational experience to highly motivated youth from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds, strengthening them through need-based scholarships. Founded in India in 1997, the 175-acre campus is a residential school to 250 students aged 16 to 19 representing more than 80 countries and with 28 faculty members from around the world. The award-winning architecture is located in a biodiversity reserve about 150 km from Mumbai and rests within the greater Western Ghats – one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
Education at UWC Mahindra College follows the UWC example of inspiring action through intellectual engagement with global issues combined with project-based experiential learning in the local community. Akshara, UWC Mahindra College’s impact initiative, provides educational support, vocational training and livelihood opportunities to the wider community and empowers more than 500 students in seven villages in rural Maharashtra. Fostering an enduring sense of commitment to social justice, the college enriches students with powerful, life-defining experiences to lead change in the world. In an increasingly urbanising India, UWC Mahindra College nurtures and celebrates true diversity in tandem with local communities to make a lasting positive difference.
For further enquiries, please contact:
Jahnvi Pananchikal, Communications Officer
UWC Mahindra College
Tel: +91 97644 42751/52/53/54
Email: [email protected]
About the UWC Movement
UWC makes education a force to unite peoples, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. Founded in 1962 at the height of the Cold War, the UWC movement has changed along with the needs of the world. UWC now has 15 schools and colleges on five continents, the majority of which are residential two-year colleges following the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a qualification that UWC’s founding college, UWC Atlantic College, played a major part in developing.
Selection for UWC is carried out by volunteer-led committees in more than 140 countries to ensure a local context. UWC deliberately selects students of different ethnicities, religions, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds. It believes in experiential learning where students learn by doing and bring their home culture to the classroom.
UWC also has a network of short programmes around the world which deliver aspects of the experience and extend the movement’s reach.
The UWC movement aims to inspire in its students a lifelong commitment to delivering its mission and to create a global fellowship among its alumni, now numbering more than 50,000.
For further enquiries please contact:
Peter Verhille, Director of Development
Tel: +44 20 7269 7800
Email: [email protected]