Sponsored Walk 2009

Loch Kinord ~ Sunday 5 July

Each year we organise a sponsored walk to support aid-projects for Tibetans. The proceeds go to Tibet Foundation, and the Free Tibet Campaign. This year, for a change from the more usual hill routes,  we chose a forest walk around Burn O' Vat and Loch Kinord, just west of Dinnet.

News has just come-in (September 22) that the sponsorship raised for the 2009 Walk came to a total of £775.  We have decided to round this up to £800 from campaign reserves.

The money raised is, as always, split equally between Free Tibet Campaign and the Tibet Foundation: for political campaigning with FTC and a charity project with the Tibet Foundation.

The Tibet Foundation support several schools in remote, and very poor, areas of Eastern Tibet, where they also run a 'Free School Meals' scheme for as many children as possible. We have contributed to this for the last three years, but it requires ongoing funding and remains one of the Tibet Foundation’s most worthwhile projects So we have again decided to support this project.

To underline the the benefits provided by donations of this kind to Tibetans living on meagre resources, Tibet Foundation director Karma Hardy comments:

"Meals provided to school children in Tibet... Yes, we continue to support this project. This is one of the most successful and most practical projects the Foundation is helping with in Tibet. Children are the future hope for Tibet.Their education is going to be the key factor that determines their future prospect. Without a good education Tibetans will not be able to compete with rest of the people from mainland China.

Providing meals for the school children help in some specific areas. Firstly, the school attendance has increased since we started providing meals in the school. Most of the Tibetan schools are in rural areas. They are either farmers or nomads with low income. Many families cannot afford to send their children to schools. Providing a decent meal helps to relieve, to some extent, the burden on the family, and thus encourages them to send their children to school. Secondly, we noticed that children studied better when they were fed well. We are told they are much "happier" with a decent meal.

Currently for example, at Gyalten School (a day-school) have 320 students. From this winter the school is becoming partly a boarding school. That means we need to find provision for dinner and breakfast in addition to lunch we already provide."

In the days preceding the walk, the weather here had been very hot and humid, so 'close' that any kind of strenuous outdoor activity would have been unwelcome, if not out of the question. We were therefore concerned that not many people would join us if the weather continued in that trend. Thankfully the dawn of the Sunday saw some clouds in the sky and cooler temperatures, in fact the conditions were perfect  for  an expedition such as ours.  The turnout was reasonable  at about eighteen, although we had been hoping for more. A key factor here may have been the tennis matches, and Portsoy Boat Festival on the same weekend.

The walk took slightly  longer than we had allowed-for, and with walkers having a wide range of paces,  the group became fragmented over the course of the distance. To make-up for this we selected two possible routes, the longer of the two being for the more-experienced walkers. 

Towards the latter stages there was some light rain, and those of us who'd brought waterproofs recounted our wisdom of never trusting the Scottish weather, not even in midsummer! Back at the start point, we set out to the Crannach tearoom  for  the customary refreshments.

More pictures of the walk here

Other Walks: Forest of Birse ~ Clachnaben ~ Forvie ~ Pressendye ~ Baudy Meg ~ Scolty Hill ~ Pannanich Hill ~ Linn of Dee ~ Glenbuchat

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