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Chronic sickness in rural Nepal causes unnecessary pain and suffering, and a huge burden of care on young girls. Poor access to quality care and essential medicine forces young carers to drop out of school to care for family members. The cost of care and missed education drives families further into poverty.
On November 20, 2020, national charity EMMS International launched its Every Girl Matters appeal to improve access to healthcare in rural Nepal, lifting the burden of care from hundreds of young girls and allowing them to return to school.
Donations are being matched, pound for pound, by the UK government until February 19, 2021, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has added its support, helping the charity to make the most of this great opportunity.
Now the charity is asking people to join its Go the Distance challenge in a bid to help the cause.
A spokesperson for EMMS said: ‘While our local landscapes don’t match the scale of Everest and the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal, they are nonetheless full of beauty and adventure. While we can’t board a plane for our big fundraising challenge this year, we can still get out there and raise money to show that every girl matters while ensuring we comply with current local Covid-19 restrictions.
‘In this virtual challenge, we’re asking people to take on the height of Everest or the distance of the Annapurna Circuit to raise vital funds to improve palliative care in rural Nepal. On a bike or on a treadmill, indoors or in your local countryside, alone or as a group – this is your challenge to do your way.
‘In what has been a hugely challenging year, getting outdoors is so important for health and wellbeing regardless of the Scottish weather.’
Mountaineer and Adventurer, Mollie Hughes, who has scaled Everest twice is also backing the campaign. She said: ‘Go the Distance is a brilliant reason to get outdoors this winter. Being outside is the best thing for my mental and physical health. This challenge is also good for girls in Nepal – it’s a fantastic opportunity for you to make a difference to their hopes and aspirations by taking on a virtual Everest or Annapurna challenge.’
Participation in the challenge could be life-changing not only for those taking part, but also for a family in Nepal. It costs just £418 to train a healthcare worker in the skills needed to provide quality palliative and end-of-life care in someone’s home. With their loved ones well cared for, young girls are able to return to school and build a brighter future. No family should have to choose between healthcare today and education for the next generation.
EMMS International has information packs to help you through your challenge and fundraising. And remember, complete the challenge before February 19, 2020 to have your fundraising doubled by the UK government.
Find out more and register your challenge participation at www.emms.org/GTD