Neal’s second Nepal school project opens

Neal's sister Cathy with some of the schoolchildren.
Neal's sister Cathy with some of the schoolchildren.

A second school extension has been officially opened in Nepal thanks to a project set up in memory of Portadown soldier Neal Turkington who was killed in Afghanistan.

The eight extra classrooms will provide more space and better facilities for the school’s 250 pupils, 16 of whom are profoundly blind and live within the complex.

The school is situated in a rural, mountainous part of the Phidim region.

It is the second major school expansion by The Neal Turkington Nepal Project (NTNP) which was formed after the 26-year-old officer died on service with the 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles on July 13, 2010.

Neal fell in love with Nepal and its people after doing volunteering work there in 2003.

The newest building, which was delayed due to the devastating earthquake in April 2015, was completed last June and officially opened by Neal’s sister Cathy earlier this month.

She said the highlight of her trip was spending time with the children. During her time there she witnessed a small seven-year-old girl setting off for home on foot, carrying her four year old brother on her back - a journey that would take one hour.

She said, “Nepal may not be rich in materialism but they are millionaires in their hearts and minds.”

Cathy and her family are now determined to build another school in memory of Neal. “The children of Nepal need us now more than ever,” she added.

The Turkington family have thanked the community and the schools Neal attended in Portadown for their help in fundraising. Donations may be made via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ntnp.