A KIND-HEARTED Wirral man set his sights on transforming the fortunes of a Nepalese village after a chance visit during a round-the-world trip.
Philip Fluck, from Bromborough, decided to set up the Child Education Nepal UK (CENUK) charity after being struck by the extreme poverty he witnessed in Ashrang, in the country’s Gorkha district.
Five years after his first visit, Ashrang now has electricity, running water and five schools have been refurbished.
Mr Fluck, 56 – with help from wife Joanne and friends James “Arnie” Steele and Cindy Steele – has also raised funds for new toilet blocks, classroom wings, computers and books.
Mr Fluck, who served in the British Army for more than 28 years, said: “Our long-term aim is to provide education for as many children in Nepal as we can.
“I first visited when I was travelling and I just could not believe that in this day and age people were living without water and electricity.
“We take over every single penny we receive and the villagers sit down and work out their priorities.”
Two trustees from the charity travel to Nepal twice a year – funding their own travel – to hand over welcome donations to the district council.
The council is made up of local villagers who decide how to use the money.
Projects for the next year include supplying running water to all school premises and more than 1,000 homes – although indoor toilets must be installed for houses to have access to water supplies.
With some year groups of more than 100 students, another priority is to build external classrooms to reduce class sizes.
The charity also hopes to build a new primary school on the outskirts of Ashrang for children who currently have an hour-long walk to school.
Mr Steele said: “If you educate the children, you educate the village.”
Mr Fluck, who also funds an orphanage in Kathmandu, added: “They live on 500 US dollars a year but are more than happy with their lot – certain things are not important to them.
“It is the attitude of the people. It does not matter what religion you are – they celebrate it all.”
CENUK is holding a gala dinner at Liverpool FC in Anfield, Liverpool, on Friday, November 9.
There will also be an auction conducted by TV auctioneer Charles Hanson. Tickets are £60 per person. Call 327 6385.
A donation from the event will also be given to the Soldiers Charity.