Working with Unity In Health

ChoraChori is very proud to work with another small UK-registered charity, Unity in Health, in its management of child trauma in Nepal.

“Why don’t small charities pool their resources rather than having a situation of lots of them doing their own thing? Couldn’t cooperation, even merger, lead to economy of scale?” This is a commonly heard challenge and one that ChoraChori accepts up to a point. Whilst the identities and heritage of small grassroots charities can be a source of strength in themselves (engendering a family spirit within the team and its supporters), collaboration can certainly lead to reduction of waste and a tremendous synergy.

A case in point is our partnership with Unity In Health, which works alongside us in managing child trauma and mental health issues at our Children’s Refuge and Rehabilitation Centre (CRRC) in Kathmandu. Unity in Health has a central role in clinical support to our team at the child trauma management centre by Skype and through visits. Indeed, the Founder of Unity In Health, Joao Marcal-Grilo is in Nepal at the time of writing. His charity also covers the salary costs of one of the key staff members at the centre who will be heading up a Unity In Health inspired follow-up programme in the coming time. And last month, following a successful fundraiser in Singapore, Unity In Health was able to buy a jeep that has become a shared asset, with ChoraChori able to use it for field visits and to transport beneficiaries between their homes and our centre.

To read more about Unity In Health, see this very well-written article that has just been published. Partnerships are the way ahead in 2019. In a previous post we described the forthcoming collaboration with The Soroptimist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland and we are working on a further exciting partnership at the time of writing (watch this space!).

Before you leave this page please visit our Christmas Appeal and be prepared to be amazed at how we’re getting along. Then leave a little gift and share!

Remembering ChoraChori in your Will

Remembering ChoraChori in your will is a low cost way of making a major difference to our future work in Nepal, transforming the lives of vulnerable girls for years to come. Here’s some advice.

A will is not something that we like to think about much, but any reputable Financial Advisor will tell you that it’s the first step in drawing up a watertight personal financial plan. Dying intestate passes on an administrative and emotional burden to loved ones that can take months or even years to resolve and result in an outcome that can be substantially to the benefit of the taxman. So, above all, please do write a will and take proper professional advice (i.e. a solicitor) to ensure that your final wishes are implemented properly and that there can be no disputes.

From a charity point of view, leaving a part or your entire estate to ChoraChori can reduce, and in some situations, eliminate your Inheritance Tax liability. If you leave something towards our work in your will, then it won’t count towards the total taxable value of your estate. This is called leaving a ‘charitable legacy’. You can also cut the Inheritance Tax rate on the rest of your estate from 40% to 36%, if you leave at least 10% of your ‘net estate’ to us.

To illustrate how this would work, let’s say that when you died:

  • your net estate was worth £425,000
  • in your will, you left it all to your partner who lives with you
  • you have your full Inheritance Tax allowance (currently £325,000 for the 2018/19 tax year)
  • you weren’t married or in a civil partnership (the spouse exemption is not available if you are not married)
  • thus, the ‘net estate’ is £100,000 (i.e. £425,000 minus £325,000). And there is Inheritance Tax to pay on £100,000 at a rate of 40%
  • so, your estate’s would have to pay a tax bill of £40,000 (i.e. 40% of £100,000).

But if you wanted to reduce the tax bill by making a charitable gift:

  • you’d leave your partner £415,000, and
  • £10,000 to ChoraChori in your will (which is 10% of your ‘net value’ of £100,000)
  • the estate would then pay 36% on £90,000 worth of assets instead. This means that your estate would pay £32,400 in Inheritance Tax.

While this would mean your partner receives less when you die, in this example making a charitable legacy would shave off £7,600 from the Inheritance Tax bill. This is worth considering if you’re keen to support us even after your death.

There’s of course nothing to stop you from giving to ChoraChori right away and any donation won’t be counted as part of your estate when you die. Again, this could cut or even eliminate any Inheritance Tax there is to pay upon death with of course associated Gift Aid benefits while you are still alive.

If you want to leave us a gift in your will, you can leave it either as:

  • a fixed amount of money, known as a ‘pecuniary legacy’
  • a share of what’s left of your estate once all costs and other legacies are paid out, known as a ‘residuary legacy’.

The former can of course effectively decrease in value between the time of the will being written and its being proved, so the latter may give a better reflection of your original charitable intentions.

When you are writing the will make sure that you, or the person writing your will, includes all the information your executor will need to understand what you want to happen. This should include:

  • our name “ChoraChori”, spelled correctly (so there are no arguments!)
  • our registered number – 1159770 – and address – Three Ways, Ledstone, Kingsbridge TQ7 2HQ UK
  • a receipt clause so that our treasurer can accept the bequest
  • a merger clause so if we have merged or ceased to exist, your executor can pay the legacy to the new charity or a charity with similar charitable values.

At the moment we would like to build a fund that will be primarily for the education of vulnerable girls in Nepal, including child rape victims, but of course programmes and priorities can change. So, it would help if interests are stated while leaving the final decisions to the discretion of the Trustees.

If you would like to discuss specific wishes or have any further confidential guidance please contact ChoraChori Founder Philip Holmes using this link.

 

The Big Give 2018

For the third successive year ChoraChori is taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, our major annual fundraising drive.

At ChoraChori we began thinking about Christmas in June, searching for Trusts, corporates and individuals who’d be willing to make matching pledges towards this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge. And we were very successful, building a “pot” of £30,000 ready to match online donations from supporters this week. The Challenge started today at noon and runs until noon on the 4th December during which time we hope to meet our overall target of £60,000 through the powerful incentive of gifts automatically doubling in value. These are funds that we so badly need to continue our child rescue and rehabilitation work in 2019, including providing support to child rape victims and their families.

This year the charity is benefiting from an online appeal by Nepalese-Ukrainian actress Amrita Acharia. Amrita, has Amrita Acharia, Nepal, ChoraChoriacted in HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, UK TV series “The Good Karma Hospital”, the Norwegian TV series “Acquitted” and in the forthcoming animation “The Missing Link”. She has been very ready to provide her support to a charity and a cause that are very close to her heart. Amrita says “One of the biggest things that gave me the chance to pursue my career was the fact my father was educated, and he made sure we were educated and taught self-respect. When we moved away from Nepal, it was the fruit of the education that gave us stability and the chance to follow our dreams in less stable careers. I love it that ChoraChori works on empowering young girls after these experiences and gives them tools rather than just rescuing and dumping them in an orphanage”.

Amrita was born in Kathmandu but her family moved to England when she was six years old. She spent some of her early life in the Ukraine and attended High School in Norway where her father is an Obstetrician. Amrita is now looking forward to a long overdue return visit to Nepal at Christmas – her first in 16 years. In Kathmandu she’ll be joined by ChoraChori’s Founder, Lt Col Philip Holmes, for a New Year visit to ChoraChori’s facilities in Thaukel.

To see Amrita’s appeal and double your money in a gift to ChoraChori just click on the image!

 

Community-based care in Nepal?

ChoraChori’s field team has rescued a child rape victim who was failed by family and community in east Nepal.

The 12 year old girl pictured left is from Phidim, the principal town of Panchthar District. Her miserable life stands in stark contrast to the dramatic natural beauty of Nepal’s most eastern District. She is homeless because, although her mother is alive and well, she is unwelcome at her step-father’s home. Therefore she has been wandering around the community, surviving by taking on domestic chores in return for food and shelter, her overnight accommodation being often nothing more than cow-sheds.

Panchthar lies within Nepal’s Province No 1, the Province with the highest rates of reported rape at 8.5 per 100,000 of population in the period July 17 to June 18. ChoraChori is currently analysing why this should be so, but in the meantime we are dealing with the consequences.

Tragically, this little girl became one of the statistics from last year. Her rapist has already been convicted and we will fight for him to remain in jail should this come to an appeal. But meantime we are working with the village authority to allow her transfer into our care in Kathmandu. She is of course severely traumatised by her experiences and we will need to manage the trauma as well as offer her a place of safety at our refuge.

So often we hear from respected authorities that children belong with families and communities. It’s not as easy as that in remote parts of Nepal and clearly in this case that arrangement has failed with such dire consequences; it is time for us to intervene and protect this child properly.

Next week you have an opportunity to do something to help this girl and the many others that ChoraChori has rescued. You can join me in making a donation towards our work through The Big Give Christmas Challenge through which all online donations will automatically be doubled in value. Please don’t donate now. If you leave us your e mail address here we will send you a reminder when the Appeal goes live.

Thank you.

“She was this small”

The ChoraChori-Nepal field team is intervening in support of an impoverished Nepalese family whose 8 year old daughter, Chanda, was raped and murdered.

Her face wet with tears, a Nepalese mother holds her hand up for our field team. “She was this small” she said.

Last month the woman and her husband went out to a festival as part of the Dashain celebrations, the highlight of the Hindu calendar. While they were out, two men lured their daughter away with the promise of noodles and ten rupees. When the parents returned home they could only hope that their missing daughter had gone to visit relatives. But next morning Chanda’s body was found in a nearby paddy field.

The rapists were quickly identified as neighbours had seen the men returning home, muddied and drunk. The police arrested them and ChoraChori was notified of the family’s plight. They are from the historically downtrodden Madhesi community and live in a very dilapidated house (see cover picture) in the south of the country, not far from Janakpur. The father is a labourer, whose paltry earnings have to feed his wife, two surviving daughters and two sons, the youngest of whom is two. They are very poor, owning only a buffalo and one item of “furniture”, the bed pictured left. The family is in no financial position to engage in a legal battle to get justice for their daughter. That is often the way of it in Nepal’s southern plains where rape victims are frequently from low caste, very poor families. Rapists can be from higher castes and can buy their way off the hook.

ChoraChori acted quickly with our legal team attending court to ensure that the rapists’ application for bail was refused. They remain in judicial custody and we will support the case all the way to conviction. In this regard the local community is fully behind us as the assailants were already notorious for their criminal behaviour. Meanwhile we will fund the education of Chanda’s siblings, none of whom attend school, doing what we can to empower them in this way.

You can help too. Next week our Christmas Appeal begins with The Big Give which launches at noon on the 27th November. For one week all online donations towards our vital work in Nepal will double in value. But please don’t donate now! If you would like a reminder when the Appeal goes live just take a moment to register here.

Thank you.

The 2018 Big Give Christmas Challenge – we need your help!

The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018ChoraChori is fundraising for the 2019 operational costs of our Children’s Refuge and Rehabilitation Centre in Kathmandu through The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018. We need your help!

Christmas thoughts in May

At ChoraChori preparations for The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018 started in May as we began searching for individuals and organisations who would be willing to make pledges. Those pledges make up a matching fund that can allow doubling of all online donations that we receive during the public phase of the Challenge. This runs for one week from noon on the 27th November to noon on the 4th December. This year we’ve managed to find a staggering £20,000 in pledges from our own network and £10,000 from an anonymous “Champion” that the Big Give provided from its resources. Therefore our total fundraising, if successful, could raise £60,000 towards the operation of our Children’s Refuge and Rehabilitation Centre in Kathmandu. You can read the project outline through this link.

How you can help

We need your help if we are to make a success of this Appeal. First of all – and most importantly – don’t donate now! Online gifts won’t be doubled until the start of the Challenge on the 27th November. Instead, please visit the microsite we have set up specially for the Challenge. This tells you everything you need to know and gives an overview of our work. There’s also an appeal on behalf of child rape victims from actress Amrita Acharia who has acted in Game of Thrones and starred in The Good Karma Hospital. The idea is that at this stage visitors to the microsite can sign up to be given a reminder on the day that the Appeal starts.

Please share the microsite with friends and family. Think also about any organisation, school, place of worship, business or club that you might be able to introduce us to and that might wish to make their Christmas donations through us. If you have any ideas, just drop me a line.

 

Success at the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland conference

Soroptimist conference

Delegates at the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Federation annual conference have chosen ChoraChori’s project “Empowering girls in Nepal” as the new Federation project for 2019 – 2022.

Yesterday Philip Holmes, CEO/Founder of ChoraChori, gave a joint presentation on our work with the President of Bridgend and District Soroptimist International Club, Helen Murdoch. They were going head to head with three other charities, including the excellent Rosie May Foundation and Act4Africa charities and the Women into Stem project in competition to be the chosen Federation charity for 2019-2022. Each presentation had to be for three minutes (at which point the microphone would cut out) followed by 4 minutes of questions. For Philip it felt rather like speed-dating with the 1200 attendees at the ACC conference centre in Liverpool!

Our presentation is outlined in this link, with our pitch being for £105,000 over three years towards giving girls a combination of skills and schooling towards gainful employment and the operation of a half-way house where girls can be safe during rehabilitation and training. The beneficiaries would be a combination of child rape survivors and vulnerable girls from the tea plantations of Jhapa, a follow on from the pilot project we began in July.

Being well-rehearsed, we completed our presentation on time and without any problems. But the nerve-wracking part was the vote that followed. Delegates were able to record their votes using key pads the outcome of which was shown on the big screen behind the stage. At the first count we came in second place behind Women into STEM. However the rules stated that the winning charity had to have at least 51% of the vote so the third and fourth place charities were eliminated and we had a second vote to endure. We almost felt like watching the ten second countdown on the screen through our fingers! The final score was 53% for ChoraChori and 47% for Women into Stem. We’d won and it was hugs all round.

We are of course thrilled by this outcome and feel privileged to work with our friends at SIGBI Federation in the coming time. For this is not a grant; rather it is a collaboration that will be fulfilling for all of us and life-changing for the girls. We will have to fundraise together which should be huge fun while we at ChoraChori will still need to find the funds elsewhere for the other elements of our Nepal programmes, including child trauma management.

For now though, it’s time for a little celebration. Huge thanks must go to Helen Murdoch and Rayner Rees and their fellow club members at Bridgend who have been awesome in the build up to this success. And a wee thank you to New Zealand Soroptimists Sarah Lucas-Broughton and Valda McBeth who gave us the introduction to the wonderful world of Soroptimists in the first place!

Some scenes from yesterday:

Guest speaker Terry Waite who presented just before us.

 

It didn’t seem to matter that I forgot to do up my tie!

Bridgend President, Helen Murdoch, keeping me in order

 

Fingers on pads for the vote….

A handshake of congratulations from Mary Storrie, Founder of the Rosie May Foundation

And a well-deserved hug to Rayner Rees! 

 

London Marathon 2019

We’re inviting participants in next year’s London Marathon to join ChoraChori Founder Philip Holmes and run in support of our work in Nepal.

This week Philip Holmes was shocked to secure a place in the 2019 London Marathon through the public ballot. After failing to do so for the past three years and with Father Time catching up on him he’d resigned himself to settling for his three previous medals – 2011, 2012 and 2015. But no, it’s time to stock up on the Lucozade Sport – that ceases to be enjoyable after the first bottle – and the various other bits and pieces that will (hopefully) ensure his survival.

With 414,000 applicants in the London Marathon public ballot there are an awful lot of disappointed aspiring runners out there and we wish we could help but unfortunately we never have an allocation of guaranteed places. Those are restricted to the older charities that were there at the ground floor when the London Marathon was first set up. However, if you are one of the lucky ones, perhaps you’d consider joining Philip in crossing the start line on the 28th April 2019? We don’t offer any fancy support packages – we’re not that sort of charity; instead we hope that a bit of mutual moral support during training and the knowledge that you’re running for such a worthwhile charity is enough to encourage you to join us.

If you’d like to become part of the team then drop Philip a line through this link.

Amrita Acharia

Game of Thrones” and “The Good Karma Hospital” actress Amrita Acharia will be supporting ChoraChori in this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Amrita Acharia, Nepal, ChoraChoriSorry to mention Christmas in mid-September, but we are excited to announce that Amrita Acharia will be supporting us in this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge. Through the Challenge we are aiming to raise £80,000 towards our Child Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Kathmandu. In the week beginning 27th November all online donations will be automatically doubled in value through matching pledges we have been securing throughout the summer. On the 27th evening we will be launching the Appeal with a special fundraising dinner night to be held at The Victory Services Club, near Marble Arch in London. Diners will have the chance to meet not only Amrita herself but also the Trustees and some of the wonderful volunteers who’ve supported us this year. If you would like to join us for what will be a very special evening then please drop me a line.

Amrita has a Nepalese father and a Ukrainian mother. She grew up in Ukraine, Kathmandu and England before moving with her family to Norway at the age of 13. Amrita is probably best known for her role as “Irri” in the award-winning HBO series “Game of Thrones” and Norwegian crime drama “Acquitted”. She is also the leading character “Dr Ruby Walker” in the ITV’s primetime medical drama “The Good Karma Hospital” (centre of title picture). It is currently filming its third series that is due for release in early 2019. Amrita’s film credits include Norway ‘s critically acclaimed “I am Yours”, cult classic “Dead Snow 2”, the new Sci-Fi saga “Genesis” alongside Olivia Grant and John Hannah, and British indie “White Chamber” directed by Paul Raschid. Her first animated feature “Missing Link“, from Lionsgate featuring an all-star voice cast including Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, and Stephen Fry, is due to be out early next year.

Amrita will be making a long-overdue visit to Nepal over Christmas and New Year when she can expect the warmest of welcomes from our wonderful team and some very excited children at our refuge.

#ChristmasChallenge18

 

Computers for Shree Ganesh School!

This week ChoraChori-UK visitor to Nepal, Caroline Milne, saw for herself the impact of fundraising that she has supported when she accompanied a special delivery of computers to a terribly under-resourced government school in Kathmandu valley.

How can a school teach computer science when it doesn’t have any computers?

This is not an unusual challenge in under-resourced government schools in Nepal. And it’s often girls that ultimately lose out as parents frequently choose to send their sons to private schools while their daughters make-do at the local government school. This is gender discrimination within families.

One such school has been Shree Ganesh School which is in a village on the edge of Kathmandu valley. It is attended by 147 students, 85 of them girls and 62 boys. Most of the children are from the low caste “Danuwar” community. The Danuwars once earned their living through fishing but the local river became polluted and these days they undertake unskilled labour work. It gets worse. Danuwars are generally considered “matwalli” a derogatory term for the caste that abuse alcohol. The principal of the school tells us that the parents drink all day and often give it to their children too.

This week ChoraChori has done what it can to level the educational playing field for Danuwar children of both sexes by delivering ten computers to the school. These will benefit around 70 children in Grades 6-8. Inspired by the delivery, the school committee is now planning to extend the curriculum to include Grades 9 and 10. This is a great result and we’re most thankful to Nexus International School in Singapore and to a UK Trust that has provided the funding.

To find out more click on the image!

CONTACT US!

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