Why is she doing this? Because the people of Nepal have been, in her words, unstintingly generous and kind to her on the visits she has made to this wonderful country in the past few years. She has made very dear and good friends there, many of whom gave her accommodation, guidance and a very warm welcome when she stayed with them. In September, she returned to Nepal again to see her friends and see what she could do for them after the destruction that hit the country. What she saw made her realise that quite apart from efforts to encourage tourists to return (which is what they need), the people need help to rebuild their lives.
As a result, Jo has undertaken a project to raise the funds to build a house for one family. As she has said, she can't help the whole country, or indeed everyone there, but she can and will help one family. So she's set up a GoFundMe page and is asking for contributors to help her raise the 1500 GBP to build the house. So far, she has received 620 GBP in donations. She is also writing an e-book about Nepal, the proceeds of which will be added to the funds too.
But she understands that some people might be concerned about where and how their contributions are being spent
In her blog this week, Jo explains:
I'm not going to give you any identifying information - because the family at the end of all this don't know I'm doing it. They don't need to know - all they need is a new house. It doesn't matter where the money comes from.
I am paying the money into a small charity, based in the UK, that pays for the health centre in the village and contributes to the school. Anyone in specific need in the village can ask for help. So if someone needs to get to hospital in Kathmandu, or a disabled child needs equipment, then the charity is there to help.
But someone has to administer that? There must be pockets that could be lined along the way?
The charity is founded by a woman I know - I met her on my first visit to Nepal. She has her own reasons to be grateful to the people who live here, and has been unstinting in her efforts to raise money for them, to get to know everyone in the village, and to help identify needs. She visits regularly - she loves them and they love her. I have no doubt that every penny donated in this country ends up in Nepal.
But she doesn't have the final say. There is a small committee, in Nepal, which oversees the distribution of the fund. Another pocket-lining opportunity? Well, it might be, if the faithful Tika weren't on that committee. But he is - and anyone who has read my little books, or recalls the way I've talked about him here on the blog, will know that he is totally trustworthy. If he tells me the money will go where we want it to go - then it will.
So there you have it. I hope those who needed reassurance are comforted. And if there is anyone who has no idea what I'm talking about, you can find the appeal page here.
I think this is such a wonderful scheme and Jo is exactly the person to be doing this. Her integrity shines through everything she writes whether it is her blog or her books If you need more convincing to help her, read her delightful e-book about her second visit to Nepal. Her great friend, Tika, mentioned above, figures large in this story about her Nepalese adventures. It's called Hidden Tiger, Raging Mountain, and you can find it on Amazon with this link