‘A long time ago in Kiri Vongsa’ sings Bunthynn, the United World Schools Education Officer as we set off from Banlung – to the tune of the Bethlehem carol. A jolly start to an adventure! If you want to see a map of our journey click here for a link to Ross’s website. Continue reading
With hardly time to breathe we are off again, this time to Portugal. At the UWS Gala dinner I successfully bid for a weekend in the Douro Valley on one of the region’s oldest wine estates. As it is a holiday weekend in Switzerland we decide to go a day early and spend a night in Porto. Continue reading
Ross and I are visiting Nepal to see the progress of United World Schools in this remote eastern region of Sankhuwasabha. After our exhausting first 12.5 hour day, the next two days are marginally less long but no less rigorous as the roads are even worse. The schools at Wana and Nagi Dada are perched precipitously on ridges overlooking glorious terraces, with misty mountains dominating the distant horizon. When it’s clear you can see the snowy peaks of Makalu and Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world after Everest and K2. Truly majestic scenery. Continue reading
Ross and I are visiting Nepal on behalf of United World Schools to make the first Trustee visit to catch up on the progress here. In just under three years we have built 22 schools and have four more under construction with the aim of reaching 30 by the end of the year. We have also opened in a new and very remote area, Gulmi, to provide education for the Dalits, or untouchables. Continue reading
Sitting at Heathrow airport after a couple of months back in London. What should have been a joyous time of moving back into our old house, happily renovated and divided into two flats, has been a nightmare of gruelling proportion, admittedly interspersed with some high spots. Best of all was spending so much time with beloved Tommy. Continue reading
My November visit to the United World Schools we have built in NE Cambodia inspired me to do something tangible to make a difference to the children’s impoverished lives in these remote villages, where our schools are a beacon of hope for their future.
This blog is dedicated to the memory of our darling daughter Louise, who would have been 26 on 7 December. Her spirit guides us in the work we do for UWS
Six months ago I became involved with a charity United World Schools, whose strap line is ‘teaching the unreached’. We build schools and provide basic reading, writing and counting skills to the world’s poorest children in Cambodia (30 schools). Myanmar (5 schools) and Nepal (5 schools planned). We aim to have 50,000 children in school by the end of 2018. Continue reading
The grief will never go but I’m different — nicer [well, I like to think so!]
The pain was crushing when Vicky Unwin, like the musician Nick Cave, lost a child to drugs. But pouring energy into campaigning has helped heal her
‘Funny, vivacious’ Louise Cattell, pictured before going to hula-hoop at the Lovebox festival in 2010, died aged 21 when she drowned in the bath after taking the club drug ketamine
This week I have been rushing around preparing for the visit of our CEO, Tim Howarth, and our schools networking evening. The aim is to introduce affluent Singapore international schools to our school partnership scheme and encourage them to build a long-lasting relationship with one of our rural schools in Cambodia, Myanmar and, soon, Nepal. It only costs £16,000 (S$30,000) to build a school and £6000 (S$10,000) to maintain it annually, equivalent to US$1 per child per week. Talk about value for money! Continue reading
So here we are, four years on, and I need a new challenge.
Writing the book about my mother and her war (Love and War in the WRNS, to be published in June) – one of the best periods of her life of which she was justly extremely proud – provided solace and therapy after all the bereavements and stress we have suffered over the past few years: the deaths of my mother, father and Louise, plus both Ross and I being diagnosed with cancer. Continue reading