Our first project which started in 2017 is still ongoing and continues to be very successful. On Borneo we have developed a working relationship with a small local non-governmental organisation (Ransel Buku) and with their help we have built a children’s library on the banks of the Ruanga river in Central Kalimantan. This is much more than just a simple library: it is an “educational after school club”, in the form of an afternoon school. It not only offers children in impoverished villages access to books but also teaches diverse subjects such as traditional local dance and music, environmental protection and provides health education, as well as giving supplementary teaching on topics covered by the standard school curriculum. This programme helps to shield children from the (often harmful) temptations of the everyday world and gives them unrivalled opportunities.
In another project, also on Borneo, we have provided two villages, each of 400 people, each with water filters. As a result, there has been a 50% reduction in the frequency of diarrhoeal illness in both areas. This initiative was accompanied by educational events focussing not only on how to operate the filters but also on more general health and well-being issues such as hand and food hygiene and methods of disease transmission.
As well as the clear health benefits of the water filters, their introduction brought financial and environmental benefits: villagers no longer need to buy bottled water thereby reducing yearly household expenditure by at least 120$ and the volume of single use plastic.
In a separate project we funded the purchase of traditional shepherds’ instruments for a mountaineer’s music school in Poland. They were commissioned from local artisans and are replicas of historically important instruments that time has almost forgotten, found in museums and in private ownership of local families. There are only a few people left who know how to play them and the idea behind this project was to revive these forgotten skills amongst the next generations. Children in the mountain area of Zakopane have been able to attend individual classes and group music sessions over the last three years which allowed them to master the new instruments with a high level of confidence. The instruments have gained increasing popularity amongst the students resulting in growing number of national and international awards.
The aims of our Foundation would not be fulfilled without a further medical project. In 2019 we managed to set up a medical clinic at an altitude of 3500m in a remote part of the Himalayas, in Nepal. Despite many challenges the clinic has been effectively providing medical care to the population of the Nar Phu Valle,y reducing significantly morbidity and mortality in the area. An additional part of this project occurred in November 2022, involving population testing for Helicobacter Pylori, a stomach infection responsible for symptoms of gastritis, which is very prevalent locally. We were able to offer eradication treatment to a large part of the population and impart knowledge about long term management of the condition to the medical staff in the health posts. This hopefully will make a significant lasting impact.
Finally, we started cooperation with a Cultural Museum in Kyrgyzstan initially providing display cabinets for valuable requisites in order to protect them from exposure to the elements and gradual damage. In the long run however we hope to develop a more specific programme which will support artisans in their endeavours to impart knowledge and skills to the next generation and which will ensure protection of Kyrgyz culture.