Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) has awarded its biggest ever grant to the Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey (GWTJ) in recognition of the charity’s continued commitment to Gurkha veterans and the people of Nepal.
Over the next three years the GWTJ will receive a maximum of £300,000 to deliver water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects to eight rural communities as well as implementing a school rehabilitation project.
“We are delighted to be increasing the amount of funding we provide to the Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey as it will enable the charity to provide even greater assistance to Gurkha veterans, their families and their wider communities,’ said Deputy Carolyn Labey, Jersey’s Minister for International Development and Chair of the JOA Commission.
“As part of our commitment to the Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey we are also pledging our support over three years, as opposed to providing funding annually, which will mean the charity can plan projects with the confidence that guaranteed, long-term funding provides.
“We owe these incredibly brave veterans a debt of gratitude and it is humbling to be able to translate the generosity and compassion of islanders through this increased, long-term funding.”
The Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey was established in late 2014 as a Jersey charity to mark the 200th anniversary of Gurkha soldiers serving in the British Army.
The charity’s Patron, the Lieutenant Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, praised the work of the Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey in his Remembrance Sunday address: “Many of you will have heard of the vital and highly effective work that the Jersey branch of the Gurkha Welfare Trust has been doing to help the children and families severely impacted by natural disasters in Nepal. This work has been underpinned by the support of Jersey’s Overseas Aid funding and all of it has delivered tangible life-enhancing benefit to remote Nepalese communities. This is a prime example of how aid from a relatively small island community, working alongside a veterans-inspired charity, can have disproportionate benefit for a similarly small, but much less fortunate, community halfway across the world.”
The local charity is a partner to the Gurkha Welfare Trust, a UK charity which was established in 1969 to support veterans by paying them a welfare pension. The support that the Trust delivers to Gurkha veterans and their families has dramatically expanded over the last half century, providing health checks and medicine, grants in times of hardship and building earthquake resilient homes. The Trust also provides aid to the wider community, providing clean water to thousands of households every year and rebuilding much needed infrastructure including schools and community centres.
JOA has supported the work of the Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey since 2016, funding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects across rural Nepal, as well as rebuilding four schools and a community centre. Over the last decade, four JOA Community Work Projects teams have spent time in Nepal, building or rebuilding essential infrastructure in rural communities.
Lt Col John Pinel, Chairman of the Gurkha Welfare Trust Jersey, said that JOA’s commitment to providing long-term funding demonstrates the progression of the charity over the last seven years. “We are incredibly grateful to Jersey Overseas Aid and to the people of Jersey for their continued support.”
The main photo shows a young girl benefiting from the clean water projects delivered by GWT in rural Nepal (credit: The Gurkha Welfare Trust).