Dubai res­i­dent help­ing kids of Nepal

Build­ing for a bet­ter fu­ture in Nepal

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - cait­ See amoreguest­

It’s not un­usual for hol­i­day­mak­ers to dream about a per­ma­nent move to the coun­try they have just vis­ited. But the vast ma­jor­ity will never get past the talk­ing and dream­ing stage. That plan for the guest­house or cafe slowly fades once we get home and back into work. But not for Fiona Day.

The Dubai res­i­dent and life coach is open­ing a guest­house in Kath­mandu, Nepal to help fund a school she’s build­ing for Nepalese chil­dren.

Three months ago, the mother-of-two de­cided she wanted to open the guest­house, and her plans have come to fruition as it is open­ing on the Fri­day, Novem­ber 11.

She has self-funded the en­tire project, and says she hopes it can help give back to the lo­cal com­mu­nity while ed­u­cat­ing Dubai res­i­dents.

Fiona ex­plains: "I’ve wit­nessed first-hand the poverty in Nepal. It’s very dif­fer­ent to the world we live in here. It’s good to do some­thing to ed­u­cate the chil­dren here, and the peo­ple - liv­ing here is not re­al­ity in some ways. I mean it’s our re­al­ity but it helps to see more of what’s out there." The six-bed­room guest­house will pro­vide vis­i­tors with ‘home com­forts’, and the price will be com­pa­ra­ble to other op­tions in the area, at ap­prox­i­mately Dhs140 per night. While the guest­house is al­most ready, Fiona is still on the hunt for ap­pro­pri­ate school prop­erty.

She’s hop­ing to ed­u­cate about 60 chil­dren, and their moth­ers, us­ing lo­cal teach­ers.

English lan­guage is one of the sub­jects on the syl­labus, and one way the chil­dren will learn is through a pen pal link up with stu­dents at Dubai Bri­tish School.

Fiona says: "Dubai Bri­tish School has agreed. The principal has said he would love to have the chil­dren there in­ter­act with Nepalese chil­dren so they can do the pen-pal thing and in­ter­act with each other.

“Even­tu­ally, when I’m more es­tab­lished, I’d like to take groups out to the guest­house and then the kids from here can in­ter­act with the chil­dren there and visit the school."

The stu­dents will ex­change let­ters, pic­tures and art in a bid to ed­u­cate them, she says: "My son, he’s 17, and he went to Nepal and it trans­formed him. He came back a dif­fer­ent per­son. He had per­spec­tive and had seen a dif­fer­ent life to his own. I want other Dubai stu­dents to have that op­por­tu­nity."

Though the project is en­tirely self-funded by Fiona, she says all the money will go back into the school. When asked why, she says: "I’m a great be­liever in giv­ing back, we’ve got to help - the world is a bit messed up. I love Nepal, it feels like home for me."

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