A Little Over Halfway There – #30for30 Half Marathon Challenge

The Pahar Trust Nepal team along with teachers and pupils at Sita Ram school in Nepal, where they’ve already been undertaking a number of #30for30 activities since January.

I wanted to write this last week, between my 15th and 16th half marathons for the Pahar Trust Nepal’s #30for30 fundraising campaign, but events got the better of me. So here we are, with sixteen runs down and another fourteen to go and I have to say that – for the most part – I’ve been really enjoying these weekly long runs. 

One of the main reasons has been the company. On most of the runs I have been joined by my good friend Jim for at least some of the way, and I’ve also run a half marathon with Neil and Charlotte. Unfortunately, the restrictions here in Berlin have limited me to only being able to run with one person per week, but I am hopeful that by the time we get into the twenties it might be possible to run with a slightly larger gang. 

But the support I’ve had over the past sixteen weeks has not only been from these three out on the streets with me, but also from everyone who has donated via my Justgiving page and sent me words of encouragement and support, and especially Alan and Tim from the Pahar Trust Nepal who have sent me supportive emails and a lovely fundraisers medal to mark the halfway point of the campaign. I have medals from running that include a full marathon in the forests of Brandenburg, the Mauerweglauf along the Berlin Wall Trail, and numerous half marathons and 10km runs in Berlin, Liverpool, Dresden and Leipzig, but I think this is the one that I will treasure the most.

Right now the Pahar Trust Nepal is well on the way to their #30for30 target of £50,000 and our little community that has supported me in my half marathon efforts have already donated (at the time of writing) £1,785. When I started the fundraising back in December I set an aim of £200 – my target now is ten times that (and secretly I’m aiming for more – see below). Thanks so much to everyone who has supported so far, and if you feel like encouraging me for the runs to come, you can do so here on my Justgiving page.

The Important Bit:

But what’s the money going to be used for? I thought I would use the halfway report to go into a little more detail on the Pahar Trust Nepal’s work and in particular their early years education projects, as this is the main focus of the #30for30 campaign. On their website, there is an overview of the importance of early years education by Sue Green, the Pahar Trust Nepal President:

“A child’s brain develops more than at any other time during the first five years of life and the experiences that a child has during this time shapes their brain development. The basis of a child’s social behaviour, capacity to learn, ability to problem solve, communication skills and motivation skills develop during these early years. Without appropriate age related stimuli and loving care development will be inhibited…” (Read the rest of Sue’s post here)

On the website they also present a couple of case studies, to give anyone who supports the Pahar Trust Nepal the chance to understand how the funds raised via the #30for30 campaign and through their other activities will be used. This includes a story from the Thaprek School in Tanahun, where volunteers visited in 2019 to support the refurbishment of the school to provide an improved Early Childhood Development classroom, a new kitchen and dining area, and a safe, reliable water supply.

The team repainted the classroom to make it brighter and more engaging, installed new furniture and learning resources, and constructed a new toilet so that children did not need to go outside – especially beneficial during the monsoon season. The improvement works cost around £4,200, and the impact for the children was clear to the teacher, Muniraj Gurung, who said: 

“The new room has provided much more space for the children to play and they have lots of learning materials to use now. We are also able to provide snacks to the children which is good.  We have seen an increase in attendance and we are almost full which is good for the children. They can play with each other and learn many things while playing. They are improving their habit of helping each other also. I would like to thank the donors for their support because before there was a very narrow room; there weren’t many things to read and play with. Now we have a room and resources which makes the children happy and their learning becomes even more meaningful.”

Each penny that we raise for the #30for30 campaign will go towards projects like the Thrapek School, and even modest amounts make a massive difference. For example…

£20 could provide a bag and educational materials for a student
£100 could repaint a classroom
£500 could provide new resources such as stationery & toys
£1,200 could provide new flooring, a whiteboard & furniture
£3,000 could provide the complete refurbishment of an existing room

I don’t know how realistic it is, but if by the end of the thirty weeks and the thirty half marathons we can get close to the £3,000 needed to complete refurbish an Early Child Development classroom then it would certainly make every one of 632.7 kilometres worth it, and all the aching muscles that come with them!

One more for luck: 30 Half Marathons in 30 Weeks Fundraising Page

You can find out more about the Pahar Trust Nepal, sign up for regular newsletter updates and discover more details about the various projects they’ve undertaken and supported over the last thirty years on their website: Pahar Trust Nepal.

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