Nepal plea strikes a chord with Ron
Published on: 30 Jun 2015
A LETTER from a contact in Kathmandu has prompted a Downend musician to perform a gig to support children who have been left destitute following the devastating earthquake in Nepal.
Ron Coleman was so moved after hearing about the plight of children following the disaster in April, he is taking to the stage with his Bristol-based band Cadence to raise money to help.
The retired police officer first developed an interest in the country more than ten years ago when he performed a charity fundraiser for street children in Nepal with his previous band, the renowned Bristol Comets.
Not long after he found himself, quite unexpectedly, taking part in a charity trek across the Himalayas.
Ron said: “I joined a company and discovered that the director, Mike Carter, was also the trustee of The Street Children of Nepal Trust and that he, and a few others, were in the final stages of planning a fundraising trip to Nepal.
“This consisted of visiting charity projects in Nepal followed by a 24-day trek across the Himalayas and summiting Kala Pattar (5,545m), Gokyo Peak (5,483m), Gorek Shep (5,288m) and Everest Base Camp (5,364m) when the likes of Snowdon and Ben Nevis are 1500m!”
Never one to resist a challenge, Ron decided he would join them, embarking on an intense training mission in preparation.
“I have never been a trekker, walker or mountaineer and if anyone had suggested that I may be going to Everest Base Camp I’d have thought them mad but it was a huge test of physical ability and one I will never forget.
“It was estimated at that time that 27,000 children were living on the streets of Kathmandu, some as young as nursery age, which is why the trust chose to place funds into feeding some of those children.
“People talk about poverty in this country but it puts a different perspective on it when you go there and see what it’s like. Although they don’t have material things, the common factor was that they were all happy.”
Ron’s work for the street children will continue with a fundraising gig in July which he organised after receiving a recent letter from one of his charity contacts in Kathmandu.
The letter mentioned some of the medical relief and care being carried out to support child victims of the earthquake, including the work of the Children Protection Support Nepal (CPSN), a non-profit making organisation providing destitute and orphan street children with food, shelter, clothing, health care and education.
An extract of the heartbreaking letter read: “The need for donation and support is huge given the scale of physical and mental damage and destruction. CPSN is grateful for any donation received from friends in the UK during this difficult and agonising period faced by the people of Nepal. The money received will be given to credible partners of CPSN to support short and medium term initiatives on helping street and under-privileged children.”
Ron said all money raised from the gig will be forwarded to his contact in Kathmandu and directed where needed.
“The devastation has been huge. It is estimated that it will take 10 years to rebuild, long after the whole disaster has faded from most people’s memory,” he said.
Cadence, a collaboration of some of the most experienced musicians in the Bristol area, will perform a mix of pop, rock, reggae, soul and rock n roll from the 50s to the 80s when they perform at Virgin Active Health Club, Hunts Ground Road, Stoke Gifford on Saturday July 4 from 8pm.
Tickets are £5. To find out more about tickets call Virgin Active on 0117 974 9740.