At Vigilance we are dedicated to looking beyond the walls of our own business and giving back to the wider community, both home and abroad. 2017 has been a hugely successful year in this regard and much of what we have achieved is through our partnership with The Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT).
This month we sat down with Adam Bentham, Marketing & Communication Manager at GWT to discuss the Trust’s achievements and how Vigilance has helped create an impact within Gurkha communities.
“I am very blessed to work in an office with many retired Gurkhas. It’s been a brilliant experience so far.” (Adam B.)
A short history of the The Gurkha Welfare Trust
The Gurkha Welfare Trust was founded in the late 1960s in Britain as a fundraising campaign to help Nepali Gurkha veterans who weren’t eligible for the Army pension. Many were struggling to get by as farmers or other professions in Nepal, which seemed to be a huge injustice given their service. The campaign successfully hit the target of raising one million pounds for the Gurkha veterans and lay the groundwork for what soon became the leading Gurkha charity in Nepal. GWT now offers financial, medical and community aid in Nepal as well as advice services in the UK.
From a financial standpoint the Trust is positively impacting thousands. Currently providing pensions to almost 6,000 Gurkha veterans and Gurkha widows, whilst also offering additional financial aid for things like extra fuel during the winter months. Beyond merely financial help, the Trust has also built up a comprehensive medical scheme which includes paying for treatments and providing free medical camps. Last year, they saw over 100,000 medical cases.
Currently, there are also several community projects running, including on-going work to build and repair schools across Nepal thus guaranteeing a greater number of children having access to education and in turn, a brighter future.
Finally, the Trust played a key role in the community after the Nepal Earthquake in 2015. After founding a rapid response team to deal with the incident on the ground, the Trust continued their work over the next two years, successfully rebuilding over 1,000 homes to an earthquake resistant standard for Gurkha veterans and their widows.
Together for better
Founded on a belief to bring an ethical approach to the security industry, Vigilance has partnered with GWT in their mission to: "Enable Gurkha veterans, their families and their wider communities to live their lives with dignity in Nepal"
The joint venture kicked off in 2014 with a project proposed by a Vigilance employee and former British Army Gurkha officer, to rebuild a school in Chiuribot, a village in western Nepal. The partnership has worked in a cohesive manner, working together to coordinate fundraising activities in order to raise funds for the GWT construction work.
Fundraising activities included Vigilance competing in the 100km Trailwalker 2015 race across the South Downs, an annual Vigilance organised 10K dash in Hyde Park first run in 2016 and numerous other regular fundraising and CSR activities.
This year we were proud to attend the Siddhartha School ceremonial opening. With construction finalising in May 2017 education has now been secured for up to 240 pupils in Chiuribot, Nepal.
New Year resolutions
Looking ahead, we are committed to carry on working together to ensure that the Gurkha veterans, widows and families living in developing communities will have with easier access to health and education services. We’re in the process of considering our next project, stay tuned for updates on our next community initiative!
We are grateful to partner with The Gurkha Welfare Trust. Gurkha veterans have fought in the British Army for over 200 years to protect so many lives and so it is only right we look after their widows and families. To read more about the Trust’s initiatives and offer your support go to: www.gwt.org.uk.
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