GOODWILL VILLAGE is a grass roots aid organisation, which was founded by Moyalia Tokmak and a group of passionate likeminded people in the local community to provide assistance to remote areas in Nepal after the devastation caused by the earthquake of 25th April 2015 .
Our organisation is committed to the belief that we can contribute something of true worth, to show vulnerable people that we care about them and their future.
Our Mission is to provide children with a safe, caring and educational environment; allowing them to learn and expand their opportunities, empowering them to unite with their community to lead happy, healthy and productive lives.
Since the earthquake life has become a day-to-day struggle for so many of these families in Nepal. GOODWILL VILLAGE IS committed to standing with Nepal during this crisis time to help restore their dignity and independence.
On April 25th, a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu, the worst of its kind in more than 80 years. More than 9,000 people were killed, a further 23,000 were injured and the mass destruction to infrastructure and homes was vast. Aftershocks continued to shake the country in the weeks that followed causing further fear for those who left homeless and vulnerable by the initial earthquake. Basic necessities of livelihood continue to be at risk, including access to food, clean water and sanitation. The government of Nepal declared a state of emergency and asked for international agencies to lend support.
Within days of the destructive earthquake we found a handwritten prayer outside our restaurant, Sofra Turkish Cuisine - and it represented the strength , support and love of our local community for our Nepali staff.
We employ 10 Nepali staff and each of them were devastated by the news of the natural catastrophe in their home country. We called an emergency meeting with members of the Nepali community and immediately started fundraising efforts to assist their families back home.
"They are our family. You can see why the world is affected by this tragedy, once you know the heart of the Nepali people ; you fall in love with them."
Our immediate humanitarian response was to provide much needed sleeping bags, blankets, tents and tarpaulins to the families of the earthquake ravaged area of Satyadevi Dhading NEPAL.
Now that the urgent need for staples such as rice, oil, soap, and tents has passed, the GOODWILL VILLAGE team is directing their efforts toward rebuilding and reopening schools and helping their students process the tragedy commencing with the Shree Bachchhala Devi Highschool in Satyadevi Dhading NEPAL.
Education, more than any other factor, can provide hope, opportunities and job security to future generations of Nepali children. Children living in the remote rural areas are disadvantaged, as they very often don’t have the opportunities afforded to those who live in the cities. Nepal needs leaders and those young people living in rural areas, need the opportunity to be empowered and have a voice.
The Shree Bachchhala Devi Highschool in Satyadevi sustained severe damage to the buildings and surrounding areas rendering the school unsafe.
GOODWILL VILLAGE is raising money to rebuild the only high school in the area for over 600 children . Most of the school buildings were reduced to rubble , everything was lost including the books that the students use each day.
Education in Nepal was not available to everyone; it was rather restricted to the ruling families. Since 1951 things have changed radically and to this day the Nepalese government is continually committed to the improvement, development and expansion of education in Nepal. However, there are severe problems in how education is delivered in Nepal.
In 1990, there was change of government in Nepal. A fair and democratic system was supposed to take root. But people in power were listening to all the foreign countries who give aid and loan to Nepal and they were not listening to the people of Nepal. Foreign countries asked Nepal to privatize everything end Nepal did it. They introduced private education from kindergarten to university level. Suddenly, rich had good education but poor had education even worse than before. This created big social problem in Nepal and a decade long war was ensued starting at 1996. The main cause of this war is a feeling of injustice towards the poor and rural people. Children born in poor families in Nepal still do not have access to proper education and almost two-thirds of the adult population in Nepal cannot read or write.
"Educating a child is proven to be the most effective action in supporting a family climb out of poverty"
Due to caste discrimination, gender bias, economic circumstance or lack of facilities the poor lack formal education. This condemns them to a life on the edge of society, battling every day to survive. If the main earner falls sick or there is a natural disaster effecting opportunity , there is no medical insurance or financial safety net, and the impact on the family is quite literally critical. The poor have no option but to send their children out to work.
In Nepal ,800,000 children do not go to school. These children, like their parents miss out on a education and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. Educating girls and women is widely acknowledged as the most powerful and effective way to address poverty. Women who finish secondary school earn more money, have smaller, healthier families, and are more likely to educate their own children - breaking the cycle of illiteracy in one generation.
With the establishment of a new earth quake proof school in Satyadevi we will ensure that the school embraces present child centred education as a genuine alternative to labour and a critical,
effective tool in the fight against extreme poverty in rural communities.
With your support and hard work on the ground, we are replacing the cycle of poverty with a cycle of hope.
Many of you have been with us every step of the journey and others have joined along the way, but we have all borne witness to the power of a shared ambition and a strong commitment to change our world for the better.
Without tourists in Nepal there is no economy to create jobs to generate wealth to rebuild. The GOODWILL VILLAGE team are concerned about the children who have been traumatised by the earthquakes but we believe that by helping them to return to school it will help to rebuild the communities.
Reopening schools may instinctively feel low down on a priority list that begins with clean water, sanitation and shelter, but research shows that it is vital in providing a sense of normality, structure and routine after disasters, restoring hope and supporting psychological healing. It is also recognised that the longer children remain out of the classroom, the less likely they are ever to return.
Our board shares a common love and vision for connecting those who want to help with those who need help.
One fateful day many years ago as synchronicity weaves her magical way I was handed a flyer that was calling for help in an orphanage in Nepal. As my journey unfolded each step was directing me closer toward visiting the city of Kathmandu.
Some years later I arrived in this beautiful ancient city and immediately sensed there was a powerful energy of goodwill emanating from the smiles of every person I would pass. It was here that my life took on a different meaning - a new calling.
As my friend drove me further out of the bustling city I felt a tremendous sense of clarity, an awareness that I was in a moment of divine intervention; an unaccountable, quiet excitement started coursing through me that suggested something pretty remarkable was taking place in my life.
“Namaste!” my friend called out, and in moments we were engulfed by the kind and cheerful children , some eager, some shy, as they welcomed us into the house . The spirit that came like a cloud around us was thick with love. That was my first memory and deep knowing that I felt called to work with the beautiful people of Nepal.
Years later as I reflect on this moment I felt that all of my life's work has been in preparing me for this moment, and I am ready.
As a child growing up, certain events sparked a humanitarian interest for me and GOODWILL VILLAGE evolved from a dream I had always had to help underprivileged women and children of the world.
After the 2015 earthquake I was deeply moved by the images of the extreme poverty and desperate circumstances many of the people in some of the remote areas encountered . The warmth, gentleness and empathy of the Nepali people gets into your soul and you are forever changed.
I believe that Education, more than any other factor, can provide hope, opportunities and job security to future generations of Nepali children. Nepal needs leaders and those disadvantaged young people need the opportunity to be empowered and have a voice.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
In 1998 Irfan moved to the beautiful garden City of Toowoomba to pursue a business venture. Irfan had previously worked as a chef in London, Canada and New Zealand before residing in Sydney where he was a successful business owner.
Irfan Tokmak was born in Kayseri Turkey but his heritage is Circassian. Growing up in a very simple humble home Irfan learnt from a very early age the value of survival and close family ties. " it takes a village to raise a child" is indicative of Irfans early upbringing. He can relate to the hardship being endured by many of the Nepali families and is keen to help in the restoration of their beloved country. He is the proud father of one beautiful daughter Yeliz and one granddaughter Ruby Lola.
Irfan travelled to Toowoomba during Spring amid the Carnival of Flowers celebrations and was immediately captivated by the beautiful garden city. His business partner at the time purchased the Karingal Chambers located in the Bell Street Mall . Together they created one of Toowoomba's culinary icons the National Award Winning Cafe Karingal.
It was during his successful ownership of Cafe Karingal that Irfan with his creative mind, huge reserves of energy and a vision for something unique opened one of Toowoomba's first Indian restaurants .
The Bindi Spot very quickly became known for its colourful and lavish decor and delicious Indian Cuisine. After 7 highly successful years Irfan watched as Indian restaurants seemed to mushroom overnight.
A new idea was being born. This was the opportunity for Irfan to embrace his very own culture with the opening of Sofra Turkish Cuisine.
SOFRA TURKISH CUISINE is the first Turkish restaurant to have ever opened in the Darling Downs and since its opening in 2011 has been fully booked every night with guests travelling from afar.
Irfan has a deep love for the people of Nepal and has always helped those young people arriving from Nepal to find work within his restaurant. He currently employs 10 Nepali staff as chefs and kitchen hands .
Irfan visited Nepal and fell in love with the country − its stunning landscape and generous people. When he learnt of the devastation of April 25th 2015 he knew he had to help.
"I'm incredibly grateful to all those who've helped out along the way and have supported us to rebuild the school in Satyadevi."
With an adventurous spirit and a love of trekking Irfan says " there is a lot of empathy for how the Nepalese have coped and the images of determination and resilience that were broadcast around the world may have led to much admiration, and encouraged people around the world to give generously.
Thankyou for helping us build the Shree Bachchhala Devi Higher School Dhading Nepal.
My history is born to lebanese immigrants who settled in australia in the mid fifties. I have an awareness of importance of maintaining cultural background and blending of the best of both worlds...for the here ..now..and tomorrow. My career path has been in nursing ..specialising in neonatal care. I believe that we can make a difference through the rebuilding of the school. Through the provision of resources we can help the young people of this spiritual country to rebuild in their communities.
My name is Mohamed ‘Michael’ Tabikh, I was born in Lebanon, came to Australia in 1970 at the age of 21. Married in 1974 and I am the father of four adult sons and nine beautiful grandchildren.
For as long as I can remember I have been very interested in humanitarian issues around the world. My earliest recollection is of the plight of the Algerian people against the French occupation in 1955. I worked towards a career in Medicine because of my passion to help the most vulnerable people, but unfortunately, I had to leave Lebanon in 1970 and sadly, also had to abandon my medical studies in my third year at University.
Since my arrival in Australia, I’ve worked in the Personnel Office of a large car manufacturer in Sydney. I obtained this, my first job because I speak several languages. I then work in computers for about 4 years until I decided to return to study. After finishing my Accounting studies I have worked in that field till my retirement last year. I now enjoy doing volunteer work.
My heart and my thoughts has always been with those who are in need and those who do not have a voice. My wish is for a world where our wealth is shared amongst all, when education and medical care is not limited to those who can afford to pay for it. I look forward to a time when everyone comes to recognise that we are all part of one big human family.
Mangal Gurung is one of the chefs of Sofra Turkish Cuisine, who moved to Australia 7 years ago. He was born and raised in Satyadevi Village, Dhading, Nepal. The earthquake in April 25, 2015 devastated Mangal as everyone, especially when his village turned into rubble and now is alive in memories only. Mangal is very passionate, hardworking and >endeavoured to help Goodwill Village Project to be successful to help his village and country to rise again. With his compassion combined with knowledge of Satyadevi local people and their culture, Mangal is a valuable member of Goodwill Village.Mangal is very excited and looks forward to long and happy association with Goodwill Village..
I am delighted to be involved in a small way with the inspiring group of people working on the Goodwill Village project. It has been wonderful to get to know Moyalia and Irfan and to understand their personal passion for making a positive change to the local community of Satyadevi, Dhading in Nepal. To think that a small group of passionate and committed people in Toowoomba can partner with a like-minded non-profit organisation on the ground in Nepal to bring about positive change is a wonderful thing. Such a unique project to contribute to and a sincere privilege. I am very happy to do whatever I can to assist with the goal of rebuilding the local secondary school and additional local projects. I have never had the opportunity to visit Nepal but I have a strong community commitment which started many years ago. More recently I have also had the opportunity to be involved for many years as a board member of Huntingtons Victoria (a specialist service in Victoria to support and assist people affected by Huntington's Disease).
These roles have hopefully equipped me in some way to contribute to the work of the Goodwill Village and I am very much looking forward to assisting where I can.
Hello everyone,I came to Australia to do my Hotel management course,after fininshing my study i started working in my profession and settled here.Even though I am living here I have always wanted to do something for Nepal.Today,I feel really honoured to be the part of Goodwill Village,as our objective is to help the local communities living in remote areas of Nepal.So,we will be working together on the areas of health,education and livelihood of these people.A little effort can make a big difference in their life,so lets work together.
The Shed the Light PeaceMakers operates as a non-profit social organisation and has as one of its prime objectives: to provide support to disadvantaged people from different parts of Nepal e.g. those who live in poverty, are affected by natural disasters or civil unrest, are disabled, single women or those with social, economic, cultural or psychological problems.
The mission of Shed the Light PeaceMakers it to play an integral role in bringing peace to individuals, families and communities. The organisation was initiated in early 2015 and operates as a non-profit social organisation.
The idea of forming Shed the Light PeaceMakers began incubation during a trip to USA in the first half of 2013 by Sarin Shrestha (Chairperson Shed the Light Nepal). Sarin was invited to visit the US as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), an honour bestowed on very few people. The program centred on youth and community conflict resolution training, with visits to, and meetings with staff from different United States Government Departments, World Bank, Foundation Centre and other relevant government and non-government agencies and organisations.
Sarin gained extensive knowledge of different aspects of conflict and its resolution, including how to work with youth from violent conflict regions, civil society development, capacity building in transitional societies, conflict sensitivity, the connection between trauma and conflict, and the role of the private sector in peace building.
Thus, Shed the Light PeaceMakers was born.
The Shed the Light PeaceMakers are on the frontlines, making our communities, schools and homes conflict-free and safer places for everyone, especially children and young people.
Sarin Shrestha is our Supervisor and Assessment Team Leader and is working on the ground from in Kathmandu when the first earthquake struck. His knowledge of Nepal and familiarity with communities affected made him key in setting up our project in Satyadevi , where with a highly valuable team now uses his intrepid spirit and tenacity to accomplish