Welcome to Freewheeling across the Himalayas

Le voyage est un retour vers l'essentiel (proverbe tibetain)


My name is Celine Soulard and on July 2010 I will embark on a 7 month cycling journey from Tajikistan to Nepal. This adventure will take me to some of the most challenging and beautiful roads in the world. I am also undertaking this journey to raise funds for the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation in support of the Ladakh Project (Health inc). I encourage you to subscribe to my blog to follow me in this great adventure. I will share with you in this blog stories and photos on a regular basis and hope to inspire you to contribute to the Ladakh Project.

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December 12, 2010

Project Ladakh update - IMPORTANT

“Today, we are truly a global family. What happens in one part of the world, may affect us all”. Dalai Lama

Dear Friends,

When I left Canada last July 3 weeks after a knee surgery on a 40kg loaded bike my goal was to reach Kathmandu from Dushanbe on my bike through some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscape in the world. Most importantly I wanted to raise $5000 to support Health inc a small organization working in remote villages of Ladakh (India) since 1992 with some of their Projects for 2010. To achieve this goal I have created this Blog where I shared my experiences and photos with all of you over the last few months. Now my trip is coming to an end and I need your help.

On August 6th 2010, the mountainous desert region of Ladakh was hit by the worst flash floods in recorded history, destroying the centre of the capital Leh and dozens of remote villages. Hundreds were killed or injured and thousands have been left homeless with the consequence that moost of the 2010 projects were temporarily stopped as all efforts were needed in response to the tragedy.

Ladakh Reliefwas created by the Trustees of Health Inc as a direct consequence of the devastating floods. A lot of work has been done since August but financial help is still needed to continue the work through the VERY harsh winter in Ladakh (down to -20C) and to continue working on the reconstruction comes the spring.

I urge you to read the September Newsletter to have a better appreciation of the devastating effect of the flood in the area, the work done by the India Government, other NGOs and Health inc.

I am committed to do everything I can to reach my goal of $5000 and to do so I need your compassionate help. So far I raised $2,515 ($1,715 on the Canada Helps Giving Page and $800 at a fundraising event in Calgary in June). With another $2,500 (or more) together we can fund the following projects and help communities in Ladakh to rebuilt their lives. Remember $1 CDN dollar goes a long way in Ladakh (India). I hope my dream will come true before Christmas so that children going to school in tents or temporary shelters can have heat for the rest of the winter. I will also copy Santas on this email as I am sure he can help me :-)

Below is the link to my Canada Helps Giving Page where you can donate on-line (secure site). All the money is sent directly to the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation in Canmore, Alberta who also provide funding to Health Inc.


Relief Projects list and amount needed

1. School tent heating (URGENT)

Ladakh Relief bought LPG (gas) stoves and cylinders for all our schools that were washed away and the students are studying in tents or temporary shelters for the next year. The funds given to the schools to refill the cylinders only lasts through December. Heating is required until April.

$650 CDN is the amount required to provide heating for all schools until April.

2. Trauma counselling

A team of 3 Health inc former interns, and trained counsellors and health workers, are visiting every affected village and providing counselling services to any villagers with trauma symptoms, working with all the children in all village schools, and training the teachers to deal with issues related to trauma.
To date, the team visited 14 villages and saw over 600 patients but the project has stopped due to lack of funds.

$1000 CDN is what is needed to continue this important work and visit all the community affected by the flood.

3. Women Center at Hanu

Money from partner in the UK was donated for the reconstruction of the women center but this covers the cost of the building only. New Equipment (sewing, knitting machines, etc) is also required as most of it has been washed away with the flood.

$2000 CDN is the cost of buying some of the Equipment for the Women Center

4. Flood Movie

Rinchen and his team are making a short film about the science of the floods. People tend to blame themselves or their karma for the floods. Rinchen's film will also provide information of the science of how flash flood occur.

$500 CDN is the cost to complete the film (educational material)

5. Village of Achina Lumbe

“This is the worst hit village in our area. They are at the point that they don't know what they will do come spring as so many of their fields were washed away”. Cynthia will meet with them this winter and see what reconstruction projects they will prioritize and then she meets with the local government to request that they match the funds received from us. Greenhouses, community center, schools and field walls have been destroyed by the flood.

$2000 CDN would greatly help the people in this village to rebuilt what they have lost last summer.

Cynthia has confirmed to me the need for some accounting (budgeting/excel/etc) training. I plan on going to Ladakh in 2011 as a volunteer to provide the training and will be able to see the results of OUR contribution.

I want to thank all of you in advance for your help in MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE in the life of our Global Family in Ladakh.

I wish you all a peaceful Christmas. I will be now working on an update of my cycling in Nepal...the land of friendly people.

Bandipur, Nepal

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