This October, local Beachmere residents, Eric & Karen Wallwork, will be hosting a “Thank-you” Luncheon (by invitation) at the Beachmere Activity Centre for those locals & “Brisbane-ites”, who have donated to the Nepali poor by making scarves & beanies.
Over their 2015 Christmas break, Eric & Karen headed off to Nepal with 75kg of luggage. Only 5% was personal, the rest bulging with crocheted squares, beanies & scarves that many of Karen’s massage clients (especially Leona - since passed) had made for the poor of Nepal. Getting the goods overseas & distributing them is always a challenge.
The massive Napali earthquake in April 2015 had hit many of the outlying districts hard & supplies of food and warm clothes was non-existent. Organised charities, and NGO’s, were stymied by “red tape” but travelling around as individuals was relatively easy.
Karen & Eric based themselves in a motel room in Kathmandu, dividing up beanies and other donated goods for distribution to a network of Nepalis that worked with Mike Hogan, a friend of theirs from Brisbane. Friends Sujata, Dikchhaya, Indra, Chandra & Januka would then get it out to those communities in need. The Kopan Monastery monks were also involved. Eric & Karen travelled to VSN School in Thimi & assembled the crochet squares into blankets over a few days.
Both Eric & Karen feel that it was a great honour to be able to make this trip. Karen’s clients were thrilled they could be involved and were so happy when, in October 2016, Januka & her daughter were granted a visa to visit Australia to personally thank them here in Beachmere. The gift of giving had gone full circle - the beanies meant so much to the poor and the thank-you meant so much to the ladies.
Eric & Karen have since retired, but the work has continued. Januka and family will again visit Australia to thank those who continue to donate their time and skill for the poor of Nepal. It is hoped to send Januka home with more beanies and donated goods. If you would like to contribute by supplying acrylic wool, knitting, sewing or crocheting please contact Karen on 0450980581, or if you know someone travelling to Nepal please get in touch and keep the giving going.