Orphans forced to sleep outside by Nepalese earthquakes focus of Grantham fund-raiser

The orphans from The Surya Children Welfare Service Center in Jawalakhel, with their 'mother' Namita, centre.

The orphans from The Surya Children Welfare Service Center in Jawalakhel, with their 'mother' Namita, centre.

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Orphans aged between eight months and 15 years old are again sleeping under a makeshift shelter after another major earthquake in Nepal.

The 18 children are from The Surya Children Welfare Service Center in Jawalakhel, which has close ties to Nepali-born owner of Grantham’s New Era Restaurant, Geeta Gest.

The orphans are currently sleeping under a makeshift shelter.

The orphans are currently sleeping under a makeshift shelter.

When the first 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on April 25, the orphanage’s ‘mother’ Namita had to move the children out of the damaged building she had been renting to a makeshift shelter in nearby school grounds.

She then managed to find two rooms, only for Tuesday’s 7.3 magnitude earthquake to make these unsafe and once again force them outside.

Geeta said: “I have a close connection to the centre and have been supporting them since 2007. When I heard about it I was very scared for them. At first I couldn’t get hold of anyone there. When I did get through to Namita she told me it wasn’t safe to stay in the building and that they were all sleeping outside.”

In order to secure a long-term future for the orphanage, its supporters are now hoping to buy a piece of land to build a new dedicated house.

Geeta is keen to give back to the place that helped her, and is therefore holding a fund-raising dinner at New Era on Westgate on Thursday, June 11.

The dinner is a three course set menu with glass of prosecco on arrival, costing £22.95 per head with 100 per cent of the ticket price donated directly to the centre.

They also plan to hold a raffle and auction, and ask anyone able to offer prizes to get in touch.

The charity event is being supported by Grantham Business Club’s Stuart Pigram and his wife Sharon, from whom tickets can be bought by calling 01476 434050 or emailing Stuartpigram@thetrustgroup.co.uk