Doshi Summits 7th Highest Peak, Funds Education for 42 Students Through CYF

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On June 12, 2017, Dhiren Doshi sat down with Channel News Asia to discuss his recent accomplishments in mountaineering and philanthropy. Three weeks earlier, on May 22, Doshi summited Mount Dhaulagiri, making him the first Singaporean to summit the mountain. At 8,167 meters tall, Dhaulagiri is the 7th highest mountain on the planet. While he dreamed of summiting Everest as a child, his plans changed in 2009 and 2010 due to scheduling conflicts. In the end, he was glad he was able to climb Dhaulagiri, which is located in Western Nepal. Because it is a less commercialized mountain and has fewer people on it, Doshi says Dhaulagiri provided him with more of an opportunity to enjoy nature and reflect during his climb. He spent a total of 38 days on the mountain, with 35 days to summit and 3 days to return to base camp.

Even though Doshi is not a professional mountaineer, he chose this expedition because of his love for taking risks, awakening his senses and ultimately, charity. In addition to helping bring the Singapore flag up and “do Singapore proud,” Doshi pledged his expedition to CYF Nepal, making it part of his mission to fund 42 children through six years of primary school.

For each of his expeditions, Doshi makes a pledge to a cause or charity. “I think many of us have the capacity and willingness to give back,” he says, “but sometimes we are just not sure if that particular cause is it or we’re cynical about where the money really goes.” He explains that he chose to partner with CYF because “it is an organization that I’ve researched, I’ve met the founder, and I really, sincerely believe they’re doing good work.” Doshi believes that education has the ability to change lives, and he hopes that access to primary school through CYF will give more children this opportunity.

Doshi’s motivation to partake in challenging adventures is his “fear of complacency, fear of stagnation and fear of routine.” Doshi constantly challenges himself, learns more about himself and pushes new boundaries. He believes that many people have a false perception of their constraints, but “if you look a bit deeper and if you try a bit harder, I think many of us can actually break out to do bigger, better things.” Since we all have a choice in how we spend their limited time on earth, Doshi urges listeners to devote their extra time to charity and to exploration. Regardless of age or fitness level, he believes people should choose whatever excites them and dedicate their time to seeing how far they can go with it. Doshi leaves viewers with two pieces of advice, whether you’re climbing a mountain like Dhaulagiri or taking on any other adventure: take necessary precautions to ensure your safety, but always push yourself when trying something new.

Listen in to Dhiren Doshi’s interview with Channel News Asia here

Thank you, Dhiren, for this enormous impact on children’s education in Nepal - and for inspiring us all to keep on climbing!

 

Our Three Oldest Students Excel at SLC Exams!

Our Three Oldest Students Excel at SLC Exams!

Congratulations to our three oldest students, who all received outstanding marks on their SLC exams! Radha, Rajkumari, and Anil were three of the original 14 students Haushala rescued from an abusive orphanage back in 2009, starting CYF as an organisation to support them through school. The three have now concluded their studies at Life Vision Academy, and these excellent SLC results are an impressive and exciting way for them to complete secondary school.

Our Students Go Trekking! "CYF Chasing the Himalayan Candy: Series 1"

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Trekking through the Himalayas, meditating by sacred lakes, trying new foods and meeting new friends: talk about an adventure! Our Life Vision Academy seniors had the field trip of a lifetime this April. Our 16 oldest students, accompanied by 5 of our staff members, made their way from our campus in Lalitpur to Pokhara, Marpha, Jomsom, Kagbeni and Muktinath! The kids designed the entire concept, naming the trip "CYF Chasing the Himalayan Candy: Series 1." Their goal was to collect the version of what candy is to kids they met on the way, while also collecting stories of all the places they visited to share with everyone in the CYF community. 

Our student Dilip wrote a journal about the trip, and we took a lot of photos to share with you. Keep reading to see our journey through his eyes!

Making this dream trip a reality was a collective effort all thanks to the sponsors who donated. Thank you - we are so grateful! The trip is named Series 1 because we are hoping to make this a tradition for LVA students for years to follow. To sponsor kids for an adventure next year, donate here

 

Our Adventure, as told by Dilip (Class 8)

First Day: Pokhara 

We woke up early in the morning at 5:30am. I was really excited because it was the first day of our trip. Being very happy, I brushed my teeth, washed my face and ate my breakfast. I changed my dress around 6:15am. Our van arrived at 6:45am. We went to pick up Haushala ma'am, Anurag dai, Matthew dai and Justin dai. We went and changed our vehicle in Kalanki. We all put our belongings in the tourist bus, then our journey began. We had a lot of fun singing and joking with one another. The bus stopped at Damauli to give us time to eat lunch. We ate our lunch, went to the toilet and climbed back in the bus.

We reached Pokhara around 3:30 PM. The bus took us a little farther than our hotel, so we had to carry our belongings to our hotel (Noor Hotel). We went to the lakeside and ate our snacks. After some time we went to Godfather's Pizzeria and ate our dinner. We ate pizza. After dinner we came back to the hotel and watched TV for a while. Then we slept.

Second Day: Marpha

We woke up at 6:00 AM. We got ready for our breakfast. We ate our breakfast. After that, three jeeps came to pick us up. We had to reach Marpha which was really far, so we left earlier from the hotel. We saw rivers, hills, hydropowers, caves, wild honey hives, etc. We saw Kali Gandaki River also. We stopped in a place to use the toilet. We bought snacks at the same time. After some time we stopped in Beni Bazaar to eat our lunch. I was feeling very bad because I was about to vomit so I didn't eat lunch. I ate chowmein and Sprite. Then we moved ahead. We stopped again in the Tatopani hot springs. We took a nice hot bath. It was really fun. In Tatopani there was Hotel Annapurna where we ate our lunch but only the students who didn't eat in Beni Bazaar.

We kept moving. We reached Marpha at 6:00 pm. We washed up, then we ate our dinner. We celebrated New Year and Meena's Birthday in Hotel Marpha Palace. After eating we played for a while and we went to sleep.

Third Day: Jomsom

We woke up at 8:00 AM because it was a short walk from Marpha to Jomsom, just 6 km. We ate our breakfast at 8:30. We also did meditation with Haushala ma'am.

Before we reached Jomsom, we visited the Sumtangling Monastery in Marpha which is 300years old. Monk Dhendup was very nice to share the history of this beautiful place.

We didn't go to Jomsom in the Jeep. We walked but the Jeeps would wait for us in Jomsom. When we walked we saw many things like rivers, mountains, jurlunge pool, fossils, gumba (monasteries), horses etc. Anurag dai bought me a Buddhist hand band which cost Rs 200. We took many pictures also. We saw a very big vulture just in front of us. We reached Jomsom early. We ate our lunch and rested for a bit. We were about to go for the trek but it rained so we stopped. After fifteen minutes we moved. We went to Bara Barse Mela in Thini. We danced there. After that we went to Dhumba Lake and meditated and journaled for a while.

Then we moved back. We ate noodles on the way. We returned to Xanadu and ate our dinner. Then we slept.

Fourth Day: Kagbeni

I was sleeping very well. But Anurag dai came and woke us up at 6:30 AM to show us a beautiful view of the mountains because it had rained last night. After that we packed our dress and ate our breakfast. After that we started to walk to Kagbeni. On the way we found many fossils.

We took a shortcut which was the river way. We reached another hotel in Kagbeni named Yac Donalds easily. We ate our lunch and rested for an hour. After rest we visited another gumba in Kagbeni which was 500 years old. We also saw a sculpture of Ganta Karna. We also took a short walk with Anurag dai.

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After that we returned to our hotel. We played a funny and interesting game with Anurag dai and Haushala Ma'am. Anurag dai told us we could reach Dolpa, Upper Mustang, Domangthang, Muktinath etc from Kagbeni. After that we ate our diner and went to sleep.

Fifth Day: Muktinath and Jomsom

We woke up at 6:00 AM. We packed our clothes and ate our breakfast by 7:00 AM. The weather was very cool. We moved at 7:00 AM from the hotel Yac Donalds.

It was fun walking but we got tired very fast because of lack of oxygen in higher altitude. But the views of the mountains and hills were so amazing that I didn't want to close or wink my eyes. We took many pictures on the way. We ate snacks in every break that we took. I was hoping to touch snow but it was in higher altitude. We reached Muktinath at 3:00 PM. 

We took baths in 108 taps and swam in two square ponds. We went inside after taking baths. Haushala ma'am put us tika and dora. After that we ate cooked noodles in the restaurant The Path of Dreams.

After that we came back to Jomsom in the Jeep. We reached Jomsom within 1 hour and 30 minutes. After reaching Hotel Xanadu we had tea and biscuits. We rested for a while then we ate our dinner. After dinner we played the same game that we played in Jomsom. It was really exciting moments that we were all having. After the game we slept.

Sixth Day: Pokhara

We woke up at 7:30 AM. We ate our breakfast and moved from Jomsom in the Jeeps. We all were having a Jeep race. It was fun encouraging the driver dai to increase the speed of the Jeep.

We didn't stop in many places because we had seem them before when we went there. We stopped in Hotel Annapurna and drank cold drinks. Then we moved ahead again. After some time we stopped in Beni Bazaar at Yak Hotel to eat lunch. We ate chowmein. After chowmein we ate ice cream also.

After that we again moved. We stopped at a waterfall. We played there for a while. We played with water and took pictures. 

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When we finished visiting we kept moving. We reached Hotel Prime at 5:00 PM. We took showers and watched TV for a while. We ate dinner in the hotel Tea Time. I ate a crunchy chicken burger. I also helped others to eat. After eating we came back to the hotel. We watched TV for a while then we all slept.

Seventh Day: Pokhara

We woke up at 8:00 AM in the morning. We packed our belongings and went to Hotel Iceland. Hotel Iceland was a very expensive and advanced hotel. The hotel had many facilities like: 1) Television 2) Air conditioner 3) Swimming pool 4) Room attached bathroom 5) Tea in room 6) Freeze 7) Cupboard, etc. 

We kept our clothes in the hotel. We went to PHAT KATH to eat our breakfast. It was Anurag dai's friend's restaurant. There was a snooker table also. We enjoyed playing with it. After some time we ate our breakfast. After breakfast we went boating. We went to the Peace Stupa, Haushala ma'am's house and a temple that was in the middle of Fewa Lake. 

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We did boat racing also. After boating we came back to Hotel Iceland. We went swimming for a long time. We ate snacks because we felt hungry so fast after swimming. After a while we went to a hotel and ate dinner. We also ate ice cream. After that we came back to the hotel and slept.

Eighth Day: CYF and LVA

We woke up at 6:30am. We packed our clothes and ate our breakfast. The bus was waiting for us so we reached there by 7:15 AM. We all kept our clothes inside the bus then we moved ahead. We were enjoying the jokes and memories that we had the last seven days. It was fun talking about funny things.

We stopped in a hotel to eat lunch. We ate non-veg lunch. After eating we climbed back on the bus. We caught a van in Swayambhu. The van brought us back to our hostel.

My Best Memories from the Trip are:

1) The jokes that everyone made

2) Happiness that I saw in everyone's face

3) The amazing beauty and creation of Mustang with hills, mountains, rivers etc

4) The suggestions that I got

5) The fun that we had

6) The achievements that we got when we made our way till Muktinath

7) The unity of our CYF family. Helping, caring and aways searching for one another.

8) Everyone's smiles also :)

For more photos from our trip, follow us on Instagram @cyfnepal!

This T-shirt Left on Everest is Transforming Life Vision Academy

Photo courtesy of Peter Ford.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ford.

In April of 2015, Peter Ford was on his way to Mt. Everest. His daughter Skyler turned 14 while he was trekking, and on her birthday, Peter left a t-shirt for her at the last teahouse before Everest Basecamp. Along with the birthday message he wrote on the shirt, he gave Skyler instructions for her to find it when she made her own trip up there one day.

Very fortunately, Peter returned home from Nepal right before the 7.8-magnitude earthquake sent a fatal avalanche down through the Basecamp and took thousands of lives across the country. Ever since seeing the news of the earthquake's devastation, Skyler has been determined to visit Nepal and leave a positive impact however she can.

Now, Skyler is fulfilling that goal, and CYF is thrilled to be a part of it. This summer, she will be coming to Nepal, retrieving the shirt her dad left for her two years ago, and volunteering at CYF's Life Vision Academy. Joined by Peter, her mom Rachel, her friend Catherine Torres, and Catherine's mom Sian, Skyler will first complete the challenging trek to Everest Basecamp, finding Peter's old teahouse along the way. After the trek, the group will spend a week with us at Life Vision Academy to paint our newly-constructed boarding school. By offering to fundraise for and physically paint our new classrooms, the Ford and Torres families are bringing us one huge step closer to opening a fully complete school for 200 students. 

Skyler and Catherine, who are both in 10th Grade at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, have set up an online crowdfunding campaign to buy the paint supplies for our school. In less than two weeks, they have already raised over $5,000! To support Skyler and Catherine's mission to make their trip to Nepal leave a lasting impact, please visit their fundraising page. They are also holding a book drive to fill up our school's new library. If you would like to contribute any storybooks or coloring books for them to bring to children in Nepal, please contact us at info@cyfnepal.org. 

Thank you to the Ford and Torres families for sharing your incredible and unique story, for your commitment to sustainably impacting Nepal, and for supporting the students of LVA! We are so excited to be a part of your inspiring adventure.