Community Papers

WEB EXTRA: Plight of Nepalese burn patients shared Feb. 22

The BURN Foundation will put on an information evening on Saturday, Feb. 22 to highlight the conditions of the Burn Unit at Bir Hospital in Kathmandu.

It will also outline the plans that a local family has to improve the conditions for burn victims there.

The BURN Foundation started in 2000, after Sarah Henckel returned from 10 months of volunteering at the Bir Hospital as a physical therapist.

She was deeply moved by the dedication of the medical staff who worked to treat extensive skin burns caused by house fires, live electrical wires, and exploding propane stoves, despite the fact that people had very little money to pay for treatment.

Since her return to Canada, Sarah has committed herself to raising awareness, and together with her husband, Berend, they created the BURN (Burn Unit Relief Nepal) Foundation.

"When we were married, we realized that we didn't need any gifts from family or friends as we felt that our lives were already so blessed, so instead we asked our guests to donate to our newly formed BURN Foundation," she says. "For the past 13 years, we have also been patiently fundraising with the sale of greeting cards of beautiful Nepali scenes at craft fairs across Alberta and B.C."

In 2014, it is all coming together for the Henckel family as they prepare to return to Nepal in May with their two children, Annelies, 12, and Hugo, 10, to deliver the money they have gathered, to Bir Hospital.

The family will stay as intern volunteers at Child Haven orphanage in Kathmandu for three months where they will help the children with English homework and conversational English. Child Haven has a strong support base in the Comox Valley, and Sarah learned about it when her father, Hugo, volunteered there.

If you have an interest in Nepal, Child Haven orphanages, or the work of treating burn patients, mark your calendar for Feb. 22 from  6:30 to 9 p.m. at Comox United Church.

There will be tasty Nepali snacks provided by Go Mango, a powerful PowerPoint presentation, a video of Child Haven, and musical entertainment by Helen Austin.

— Comox United Church


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