The Coldfeet Foundation is run by an incredible couple with a remarkable story. Gopi and Ranju run Coldfeet Adventure from their small, charming office in the heart of the Thamel district in Kathmandu, Nepal. The company offers climbing, trekking and cultural experiences throughout Nepal, parts of India and Tibet. I have fond memories of my exhilarating experiences on Coldfeet’s climbs, treks and cultural experiences, and I am looking forward to an attempt on Lobutse East in 2018.
What makes Gopi’s story remarkable is the journey he took from an orphaned young boy in a rural Nepalese village, to living on the streets of Kathmandu, becoming an assistant then trekking guide for reputable company in the city, and on to setting up his own trekking company nearly ten years ago. Gopi’s smile, warm heart and drive are infectious, and he is all about giving to others; trying his utmost to make a difference.
The Foundation Gopi and Ranju set up now supports educational rebuilding programmes, health clinics and resourcing projects, awareness raising with visitors sharing cultural experiences with the local villagers, and a multitude of volunteer programme opportunities.
Gopi’s childhood village was affected by the earthquake in 2015, and the schools many village buildings are still inhabitable. My recent visit to one of the primary schools, deep in the Dhading region, allowed me first hand to see that the children are still being taught outside the school buildings, not permitted to go inside due to the unstable foundations and crooked walls.
Venture higher up into the hills and corrugated iron shelters provide some of the classrooms for the secondary school pupils, with a hole in the ground, in a time n whack, still the only toilet facility for nearly 300 children.
We are looking at ways at how we can work with UK schools to take part in 3-5 year programmes where longevity and purpose of cultural exchanges and overseas expeditions can make a real difference.
In the meantime, chatting with the local teachers at the school back in December highlighted to me their need for better literacy facilities, resources and support. We want to start by helping the school restock their library, provide a resource fit for purpose, and support the delivery of a library service to both teachers ad students. Your money goes far when you realise that the cost of a very good librarian in a school can be $100-$150 dollars per month. Imagine the difference we can make.
If you can, please donate as little as you like or as much as you can at www.tgbac.co.uk – then click ‘Donate’ and choose your number.
Coldfeet Adventure: www.coldfeetadventure.com
Foundation website coming soon.