A woman who spent more than a week in Nepal helping to rebuild homes after a devastating earthquake says she was humbled by both the support she received from people in the UK and the response she got abroad.
Shirin Fenn, 45, who lives in Essendine, travelled to a remote village, north of Kathmandu, last month as part of a group of 19 volunteers.
Shirin, the practice manager at J F Hawkins Dental Surgery in Stamford, raised more than £1,500 to fund the trip in the hope of building a home for a family after the devastating earthquake which hit the country in April 2015. It measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.
But while they were there, the group managed to build two homes and Shirin also managed to part-fund the rebuilding of a school and while she was there got the chance to visit the classrooms and meet the children. The group also distributed donations of toys, clothes, shoes and stationery.
Shirin said of her experience: “It was a strange dynamic being with a group of people that I didn’t really know but everyone was really excited and we all worked well together.”
She said a highlight of the trip was being able to lead the 88-year-old head of the family into the new home.
She said: “It was just an amazing experience. When I took the man into the completed home, it was so emotional - I cried my eyes out.”
During the trip, the group stayed on a makeshift campsite but Shirin described the area as a “beautiful part of the Himalayas”.
Two weeks before leaving the UK, the group were also asked if they would help with a scheme to provide sanitary kits to women and girls living in the village, which Shirin described as “giving them their dignity”.
Shirin was overwhelmed at the support she received locally for the trip. She is hoping to return to Nepal to see the school completed and help again and said it had changed her perspective on life.
She said: “This amazing trip and being able to make a tangible difference was only possible thanks to the generosity of my family and friends but also the people of Stamford who donated after seeing my story in the Mercury. Even patients at my practice were giving me money and Stamford Rotary Club were very generous
“The support has just been so humbling and I am so grateful.”