Robert Barron Gazette
Meaghan Mckechnie wants to do her part to help out in more troubled parts of the world.
The 16-year-old student from Lake Cowichan Secondary School is raising funds to help out the people of Kathmandu, Nepal, after the devastating earthquake that struck the region in 2015.
Mckechnie has joined the international organization Volunteer Abroad, one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world, which sends approximately 10,000 people abroad each year to help out in vulnerable areas around the world.
She is hoping to raise at least $2,500 to help pay for clothing and medicine that she plans to take with her on her trip to the region.
Mckechnie said she plans to help out in a local hospital during her stay in Nepal, and hopes to participate in some building projects, particularly ones involving schools.
With up to 9,000 dead, another 22,000 injured and approximately $10-billion worth of damage to Nepal’s infrastructure after the earthquake that jolted the small Asian nation in April, 2015, the people there need all the help they can get.
Mckechnie plans a two-week trip to the Nepal in late June and hopes to bring adequate supplies with her to help at least some people who have been impacted by the earthquake.
She said she has travelled to different parts of the world over the years with her family, seen a lot of poverty and need in her travels, and decided the time was right for her to do something to help.
“As someone who has always lived in a safe environment with plenty of food and shelter, I want nothing more than to give to those who have little, and to provide safety, health, shelter and education to young children and to anyone who is in need of my help,” Mckechnie said.
Mckechnie said she has already started fundraising in her community and has raised approximately $175 so far, mostly from family and friends.
She said she plans to work with her school and community to raise the rest of the money through hot-dog sales, bottle drives and other fundraisers.
She has also begun a gofundme campaign on the internet and invites people to visit her website, at gofundme.com/35kgyvs, to learn more and donate to the cause.
“Any help would be appreciated more than words can describe,” she said. “If anyone is moved enough to help me help young children in need, then it would be great if you could help me out with this campaign.”
Mckechnie said she hopes this is just the beginning of her work to help the disadvantaged around the world.
“I’d like to work with the United Nations in its efforts to help people worldwide, and I’m also considering going to medical school and join up with the Doctors Without Borders organization,” she said.
“But no matter where I go or what I do, I know that I will continue to love to help the world in any way possible.”