My climbing has enabled me to travel through some of the most spectacular scenery this planet has to offer but it has also allowed me to experience in a small way life in the developing world.

It was that first trip to the Ecuadorian Andes that inspired me to sponsor my first child, a young girl in Bolivia.

I was in the Otovalan markets. My red hair and Akubra were quite a hit. I walked around to the cry of “Pelirroja take your hat off”. They wanted to touch my hair and inspect the hat. Try explaining in limited Spanish and really bad charades that it’s made out of bunny rabbit! Anyway this brought me in closer contact with the locals over the next couple of days. No hiding in the crowd! One experience stuck with me. An elderly lady begging  in the streets gave me the biggest hug, with the most beautiful smile, when we met again the next day. It struck me, no social welfare and nursing homes here and those kids that were running around the market with my hat the day before, this was potentially their future if they lived into old age.

Back in Australia I did my research. Plan was my Sponsor organisation of choice. Their long history and no political or religious agenda was important to me.

Later that year I lost a climbing friend in Nepal and in his memory I sponsored a young man in Nepal.

  • Founded more than 70 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world and has no political or religious agenda.
  • They work at the grassroots in more than 49 developing countries to empower communities to overcome poverty so that children have the opportunity to reach their full potential – and children are encouraged to be actively involved in the process.
  • They unite, empower and inspire people around the globe to champion every child’s right to survival, develop to the fullest, be protected and participate fully in family, cultural and social life. “Together with our supporters we can transform the world for children.”

I’ve included some information on that campaign that prompted me to make a phone call!    Because I am a Girl campaign

And the  work that Plan is doing in Nepal (of which I will have the opportunity to witness first hand in March) Plan in Nepal

Plan have allowed us to read Dhan Kumari’s story . I’m not sure that we’ll ever look at our humble dual flush toilet in quite the same way again.

To learn more about the wonderful work Plan does around the world please visit
Country Facts:

Country Nepal Australia
Flag Nepal Flag Australian Flag
Population 26.5 Million 21 Million
Language Nepali (Official) – Tibetan widely spoken English
Capital Kathmandu Canberra
GDP per capita
252 $37,300
Life expectancy 62.1 81.5
Access to safe
drinking water
90% 100%
Literacy 48.6% 100%
Source: United Nations: Millennium Development Goals Report 2006