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Marg Stocker (left) and Colleen Winnington (right) will return to Nepal next month to assist people in and around the village of Damar. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

By Alexia Johnston

Marg Stocker and Colleen Winnington are on another Nepalese mission.

As Mrs Stocker puts it, they will return to their “second homeland”, Nepal, on April 7, where projects are under way, supported by the Forgotten Sherpas of Nepal Trust.

The Geraldine Tramping Group initiated the project in the village of Damar in 2010, initially setting out to improve health care and education, while also installing stoves, chimneys and solar panels in villagers’ homes.

A mobile health service has since been established, which involves a group of health workers walking between villages to assist those in need of medical care.

Mrs Stocker and Mrs Winnington will leave for Nepal on April 4, with the aim of focusing on the medical aspect, which will include a visit to the district health office.

“We’re hoping to get some advice and support and, also, we’ll see the deputy director of the social welfare council [who] works with non-government organisations,” Mrs Stocker said.

“Also, we’re going to look at extending the area we work [in] a bit further north [because] we’ve identified a need up in a village called Goli.”

Mrs Stocker said various basic medicines were meant to be provided by the Nepalese Government for the health service project, but that was not happening.

“So we need to sort that out.

“At the moment the trust is paying for [them], along with supplies like bandages.”

Various fundraising projects had helped build up the trust’s coffers over recent times, but more money was needed.

Members hosted a stall at last week’s Winchester Swap Meet, raising $1300.

Mrs Stocker said they were thrilled with the amount they had raised.

A further $900 had been raised from two garage sales held recently.

The trip would also focus on the stove and chimney project.

“We’re going to be visiting houses where they were installed. We’ve had further requests for stoves and chimneys,” Mrs Stocker said.

“We are just checking they are working OK,” Mrs Winnington said.

To find out more visit: forgottensherpas.org