Dubai resident helping kids of Nepal
Building for a better future in Nepal
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."