Lisa’s poverty fight in Chit­wan, Nepal

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - BRIAR HUB­BARD

Help­ing peo­ple who live in poverty has been Lisa McKen­zie’s dream since she was eight-years-old.

That dream came to fruition when she be­gan the Hope and Joy Min­istries Chari­tiable Trust a year ago. Since then she and her vol­un­teers have helped build homes, con­struct class­rooms and pro­vide dis­as­ter re­lief for peo­ple in Nepal.

The Pukekohe woman is or­gan­is­ing a trip to Chit­wan, Nepal in Fe­bru­ary to build a school and also hopes to in­stall struc­tures to pro­vide wa­ter for Chep­ang peo­ple, who are among Nepal’s poor­est. She said by build­ing schools and pro­vid­ing ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties for it, the char­ity can help break the cy­cle of poverty.

‘‘If we can get them ed­u­cated, they can get out of poverty and get their fam­i­lies out of poverty. If we can get them to the point where they can grow their own stuff so they aren’t starv­ing, that would be ideal.’’

Wa­ter qual­ity is also an is­sue McKen­zie hopes to com­bat, by in­stalling three wa­ter projects, which will make it eas­ier for lo­cals to ac­cess fil­tered wa­ter, as well as be­ing able to wa­ter crops, so they can grow their own food.

She is ask­ing for do­na­tions to help fund the project, to en­sure the char­ity can help as much as pos­si­ble.

‘‘The to­tal cost of the school build and the three wa­ter projects is $20,000. Any sur­plus will go to other projects.’’

She added the Chep­ang peo­ple are ex­tremely ap­pre­cia­tive for any help.

‘‘They are so joy­ful and ap­pre­cia­tive of ev­ery­thing. We have so much nice stuff and if we don’t get some­thing we don’t want, we sort of sulk. We of­ten feel that we are the nor­mal ones, but we are the mi­nor­ity - we live the rich way. A small amount of money can do mas­sive things. $10 would feed a fam­ily for a week, and we wouldn’t miss that $10.’’

McKen­zie is also ask­ing for peo­ple to do­nate their un­used Lego toys, so they can be used as ed­u­ca­tional tools, and for the younger chil­dren to play with.

‘‘Lego is good for all ages from four up and it’s durable - it lasts for­ever. Over there, rub­bish is a prob­lem, so we don’t want to give them cheap things that will break.’’

If you would like to help or do­nate, con­tact Lisa on lisa@ho­pe­and­joymin­istries.org. Lewis’ for Fash­ion on King St is the drop off point for Lego toys.

Lisa McKen­zie is or­gan­is­ing a trip to Nepal to help break the cy­cle of poverty.

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