‘I’ve never been to Kathmandu, but thanks to NLT’s fundraising exhibition “Borders: from Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond”, two of my photographs have. I didn’t see the whole exhibition until it came to the Arthouse in Co Laois, by which time it had hung in Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in Nepal and in Cill Rialaig Arts Centre on the coast of Kerry. Almost, you could see the journey the works had made.
All the works exhibited were roughly of the same size and hung in two rows, one above the other. Walking along the white walls of the Arthouse gallery and corridor felt nearly like looking through a series of windows, at landscapes and people and colours from the private worlds of each of the contributing artists. On one side of the gallery, through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Arthouse itself, green grass and Irish weather told us where we physically were; but opposite them, through the window of each small art-piece, we could take imaginative journeys to Himalayan mountains, Irish country sides, children on glinting seashores, dancing women against sunsets, watery flowers, vibrant colour-splashes and black & white silhouettes. It was a joyous and joyful celebration of difference and unity: playful artists from differing backgrounds hanging side-by-side in order to raise money for one serious disease: leprosy.
I’m told that as little as four euro is all it costs to make a pair of bespoke shoes for people whose feet no longer feel the earth due to the nerve damage leprosy can cause, that six euro can sponsor an overnight bed for someone who has travelled many miles to receive hospital treatment; that a well and a pump can be built for 250 euro and a two-roomed village school can be built from just 1,000 euro. Thanks to the generosity of people who bought our work at the various exhibitions, it’s possible that close to 450 pairs of shoes might have been made and distributed, or that 600 people slept in hospital beds before journeying home after treatment, or that perhaps 15 wells were built, or at least three village schools. It’s deeply satisfying. I make a piece of work; someone likes it and welcomes it into their home somewhere in Ireland; and someone in Nepal who is living with leprosy has a night’s rest, puts on their shoes and goes home to their village where water flows and their children go to school. It’s that simple. It’s that direct.
The theme of the exhibition was “Borders”. Sometimes it feels as if there are no such things’.
My friends and I love the chance to dress us, so Nepal Leprosy Trust’s (NLT’s) Vintage Afternoon Tea Party at the Celbridge Manor Hotel was the perfect opportunity. We thought we were doing well with our 1960s flowery outfits and hairbands but the Irish Historical Costumers stole the show in their hand-made Victorian costumes. They wore bonnets, bodices, corsets and all. The tables were as colourful as the clothes. Éclairs, iced cakes, scones and biscuits stood on tiered stands and hotel staff, also in vintage dress, served endless cups of tea.
We enjoyed ourselves so much, chatting to people about their costumes and walking in the beautiful hotel grounds. The Nepali Handicraft stand and raffle were a great way to raise interest in Nepal. Vera’s speech reminded us of the cause and encouraged people to support NLT, especially in the aftermath of the earthquakes. We all had a brilliant time and would gladly come to another fundraiser. By Emily Thomas, age 16.
The pupils of St. Nessan’s National School, Mungret, Limerick creatively raised €1,320 for the Nepal earthquake relief fund on their recent colours day.
A cheque was donated to Mike Winterburn of Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT) on 9th June 2015. Mike has lived in Nepal for a number of years and was discussing Nepalese life and the trusts work there with the 6th classes. The money raised by the pupils was donated to NLT’s earthquake relief fund. It will be used in the Sindhupalchowk area of Nepal where families urgently need, shelter, clothing, food and in some cases medicine.
For a cost of approximately €90 a family of five can be provided with sufficient clothes, food, medicine, blankets and temporary shelter for a month.
The Nepalese people are a very resilient race and are getting back to their feet after the earthquakes and the many many aftershocks. Thank you so much for all the donations that are going directly to those most in need in the rural area of Sindhuli District.
Watch this brief video of this truly stunning country:
Images below of Kapilakot Village. Delivery of emergency aid on 17th May 2015. Images: Dr. Graeme Clugston of Nepal Leprosy Trust.
Thanks for all thoughts and prayers for Nepal. We’ve heard all Nepal Leprosy Trust staff, their families and all patients are fine. Please pray for the thousands who aren’t – those who’ve lost children, parents and friends, those without water or homes – and especially that those still trapped will be rescued.
If you can please donate: €6 can provide a nights hospital care in Nepal. To make a one-off donation:
Text NLT6 to 50300 to donate €6
Terms and conditions €6 donation: 100% of the text cost goes to Nepal Leprosy Trust Ireland (NLT) across most phone network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €4.89 will go to NLT. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 01 443 3890.
Our inaugural touring art exhibition and fundraising event is now in full swing, with 42 participating national and international artists. Hopefully you can join in the celebrations, meet the artists and view the exciting range or artworks for sale. The three locations are:
– Cill Rialaig, Kerry. Opening on the 3rd May at 12 noon and will run until the 8th May 2015.
– Laois Arthouse, Stradbally. Opening on 11th June at 1.30pm and will run until 26th June 2015.
– The Kathmandu exhibition took place on the 1st April 2015. Scroll down to see images of the show. For more information contact Vera at email@example.com.