Norwich photographer on raising money to build specialist school in Nepal
PUBLISHED: 10:47 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:28 03 April 2018
These are the faces which have inspired a former Evening News journalist to raise money to build a new specialist school for autistic children in Nepal.
Rob Garratt, of Norwich, recently spent a month volunteering at a school in the Asian country and captured his time on camera.
He is now hoping that sharing portraits of the smiling faces he encountered will help boost a campaign to fund a new building for the school in Kathmandu.
Mr Garratt, 33, said: “Working with these children every day was one of the most moving, character-forming experiences of my life.
“The strength, resilience and spirit of these young lives was a constant source of inspiration - as was the basic conditions they are forced to live with.”
Mr Garratt, a former reporter for this newspaper, has shared his photographs to illustrate just how much of an impact the school has on the lives of the young people who attend it, in the hope those who see them will be moved to dig deep.
He said: “The school is very, very basic – dirty brick structures with corrugated iron roofs, toy blocks so old and chewed-on they no longer fit together, a dozen students crammed in classrooms barely bigger than a cupboard – and 60 students and staff sharing a single toilet.”
Mr Garratt made the trip to Nepal along with his partner Sanna Kontinen, an autism behaviour analysis therapist, who said: “The new school building will make a huge difference to the health, wellbeing and future of so many of these disadvantaged students’ lives – any contribution, however small, will help more than you could ever imagine.”
Mr Garratt is hoping to raise £6,500 in total, which would be enough to fund the construction of two new classrooms for the school, as well as making it possible for the school to purchase the land on which it current sits.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to support the appeal.
Mr Garratt has also set up a separate website providing more information about the school appeal.
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