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Pakistan: The Children of Askole

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

By traveling around the world we discover not only other cultures and beautiful landscapes, we also are confronted with the harsh reality that some people are not as fortunate as in our western world. During climbing expeditions we come in contact with people who live far from urban prosperity, so that education, energy and healthcare are not obvious but rather a luxury.

Askole is the gateway to the most beautiful and highest mountains of the Himalayas in Pakistan. This village can only be reached by 7-hour drive from the nearest town true a treacherous mountain path that is repeatedly cut off from the outside world by landslides. In this village live 307 children with only 1 school and 9 teachers.

During our winter ski-expedition end 2020 we worked together with 7 people from Askole and discovered that winters in Pakistan are very harsh. Houses are heated by wood stoves, animals have barely food to survive, children run around on bare feet when it's freezing and for the (man) porters, these expeditions are their only source of income.

With every mountain we climb, we always respect nature and care about the people that live here. It's because of their effort, that these expeditions are possible, so it would be selfish not to care about the circumstances in which they work and live.

We visit the school of Askole, the only school that provide education until the 4 grade. This is home to 320 children from 6 villages and what these children need are ordinary items, from winter clothes to school supplies such as pens, notebooks or blackboard markers.

When we returned home we started to talk about these circumstances and started to raise money with crowdfunding until we collected 8000 euro. Returning to Pakistan in the summer of 2021 we bought learning tools/toys for the youngest class, 310 inktpen's but also

down jackets, school-uniforms, leather shoes and winter socks for all the children.

As people still donate money for this project, we use it to buy essential items for the children and the school. It's a small gesture that hopefully can create a lot of joy int the children’s harts, that's why we do it. Alex Gavan, a famous climber from Romania who climbed several mountains above 8000m, helped me a great deal to make this project successful and still supports the teachers in this school with his AlexGavanFoundation. I'm very grateful for the work and effort done by the school principal Muhammad Ali and all the people who donated. Thank you so much 🙏

You can make a difference: Education = the future!

All donations are welcome on this bankaccount for further support of their education

BE79 9734 1112 4733 BIC/Swift-code ARSPBE22

registered on my name Sofie Lenaerts with reference Children Askole

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