In 2014, I volunteered on Himalayan Quests Foundation's second free health clinic in rural North West Nepal. Having known and worked alongside it's organisers since 2004, I was honoured to be included in the volunteer team, amongst local and international medical professionals.
Run over 8 days, in 2 camps, locals who would otherwise go untreated, were treated in the areas of general health, eyes, dental, women's health and physiotherapy. The clinic was held in a small local school whilst the 20+ volunteer team were billeted in local homes nearby.
News of the life-changing clinic was broadcasted in the traditional fashion; by town crier. Climbing to the highest hill, the town crier would bellow the information to all the villages below. On the morning of the first day, hoards of people of all ages were lined up patiently, some having walked, or even carried, for days to be there.
Over the first 3 years, the health clinics reached over 5,500 patients, performing in excess of 7,500 consultations.
Dozens of cataracts were diagnosed in each clinic. Cataract surgeries were organised for these patients in the nearest hospital in Pokhara, following each clinic. For many of these patients it was their first journey out of their district. Himalayan Quests assigned companions to accompany them on the journey and provide care whilst in hospital.
Restoring sight not only meant a better quality of life, for many it meant the ability to return to work and providing for their families.
In 2016 and 17 the health camps were suspended due to Himalayan Quests ongoing commitment to provide relief and rebuild following the devastating 2015 earthquakes. Half of the $7000+ raised by Kutumba went to their grassroots aid work.
In 2017 we began the 'CatarAct of Kindness' project in Kutumba, to fund those cataract surgeries. Pre-loved books are donated by generous locals and sold in store. 100% of the sales goes straight to Himalayan Quests Foundation. Currently, we have funded 30 surgeries!
27 of those surgeries were carried out in the latest Health Camp in May 2018. All patients were overjoyed to have their sight restored! Prior to being discharged, all patients and their carers were briefed about the important care to be taken once leaving the hospital. All patients were given dark sunglasses and eyedrops, as well as instructions about their follow up appointment to take place in a village closer to their homes.
WHAT A FANTASTIC RESULT!
To continue this support we welcome donations of clean, NON-FICTION books in good condition. Spirituality, travel, special interest and health are the best sellers. We have been overwhelmed by the quality of books donated and how chuffed customers are to find an amazing book for just a few dollars.
"Never underestimate that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead
Please check out Himalayan Quests Foundation -HERE- for more information.