YOUTHS FROM FINLAND

Trip For A Cause<br>DEBESH ADHIKARI

Sept. 10, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 06 No. -07 Sept. 07-2012 (Bhadra 22, 2069)<br>

Three young men from Finland have shown if people want to do something good, distances don’t matter and neither does age. The three youths in their early 20’s embarked on a cross country road trip to raise funds for schools in Nepal. They not only made the trip successful but also managed to raise some NRs 10 million seed money for the school project.

 

Juho Leppanen 23, Mikael Hautala 22, and Rico Pirklen 22 travelled all the way from Tampere, Finland to Kathmandu in a 10 year old delivery van. They started the journey on 2nd August, 2012 as they travelled some 8,500 kilometers on road before arriving in Kathmandu on 26th August.

 


“I was in Nepal some 2 years back where I saw bad condition of children in schools. Then, it became my dream to help children of Nepal. I felt that I need to do something for my dream, after that we decided for the journey and my friends also joined hands,” said Juho Leppanen. “After the journey, we believe we can bring a little change in the world,” he added.

 


The cross country journey spanned through eight countries. According to Juho, they braved through various challenges, especially in the Karakorum highway where they had to carry their van in a small boat for some 27 kilometers due to floods.

 


They travelled through eight counties — Helsinki in Finland, St Petersburg, Moscow and Kazan in Russia, Astana in Kazakhstan, Bishkek in Kirgizstan, Kashgar in China and Gilgit in Pakistan.

 

The school project will be carried out under Fida International, one of 23 Finnish NGOs supporting development projects in Nepal. They collected funds mainly by providing advertising spaces in their delivery vans to the sponsors.

 

The youths also expect to raise some more funds while driving back to Finland. Among three, Mikael Hautala will be flying back home and Misa Jokisalo who arrived on Kathmandu by air will join the other two in their road trip back to their home.

 


Ncell has also extended support to this innovative initiative. According to Autollanepaliin Facebook page, Ncell along with supporting this initiative will also start selecting schools through FIDA for 2013.

 


The Nepal-Finland cooperation amounts this year to NRs 2.2 billion.

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