HUNDREDS of children and teenagers in Nepal will be given the gift of education after Kathmandu Kids raised more than $50,000 at its ninth annual fundraiser at Fraser’s Kings Park this month.
Guests got a special treat with Emma Taylor, the founder of the fundraiser’s beneficiary the Sunrise Children’s Association, making a special appearance.
Ms Taylor was in Perth for the second time. She had flown in from Fiji where she recently married Arnaud Gallent, who works for the international committee of the Red Cross.
The Nepal-based former marketing professional said money from this year’s event would help expand the association’s education scholarship program in the Nuwakot district, which is recognised as an area that needs education and development support.
Scholarships range from|$5-$70 to cover education materials to $200 to cover medical and household items for the students’ family.
Ms Taylor, who is originally from Adelaide, said education often came second when a family member was sick or there was not enough money for basic household items, so there were three levels of scholarship available.
Kathmandu Kids co-founders Paul Cumming and Graham Dwyer have raised more than $400,000 for the association over the past nine years.
Mr Cumming said Ms Taylor’s visit gave their charity “legitimacy”.
“She has received an OAM and we are proud to support her,” he said.
“It’s great for people to see where their money goes.”
Last Monday night, Ms Taylor shared two of many success stories where students who had received education scholarships were now funding their own bachelor degrees.
Ms Taylor started the Sunrise Children’s Association in July 2005 a year after volunteering in a Nepalese orphanage through a local organisation.
She discovered that the children, who were living in bad conditions, were not actually orphans and found they were locking a mentally and physically disabled 13-year-old boy in a closet.
She protested to authorities and human rights groups but the boy sadly died.
With help from Kathmandu Kids, Ms Taylor helps educate 500 children who are living with their families and has trained more than 650 adults in the not-for-profit’s Community Training Centres.
“We devote time to Kathmandu Kids, Emma’s devoted her life to Sunrise,” Mr Dwyer said.