A Nepalese man who is based in Stokenchurch is trying to do his bit to help impoverished children in his homeland, by raising funds and encouraging people to visit the country.

Navin Gurung, who runs and owns the very popular Royal Oak pub in the village, exclusively spoke to the Bucks Free Press about how that despite his successes in England, he wants to do everything he can to benefit people in Nepal.

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This includes children and teenagers who are growing up in poverty in the Far East.

Navin Singh is the founder of the charity, Support Nepal UK

Navin Gurung is the founder of the charity, Support Nepal UK

He also hopes to improve relations between the country and Buckinghamshire, and plans to organise trips for residents in the county to Nepal, to help those living in destitute areas.

Mr Gurung, whose family were Gurkhas (soldiers native to South Asia that were recruited for the British Army), said: “I started my first restaurant in Farnborough, Hampshire, back in 2004 called Gurkha Palace, before the Royal Oak in Stokenchurch in 2006.

“The Royal Oak gave me a great opportunity to build up my network in Buckinghamshire and I managed to make few good friends.

“I started my Nepal charity trip in 1996 and since my son was diagnosed with autism, I have devoted myself more to charity.

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“Also, Since Joanna Lumley fought for Gurkha back in 2004, I manage to meet lots of long-lost cousins from my great grandfather’s village, Dandaswara, in Syanja.

The charity does lots of good for those in Nepal

The charity does lots of good for those in Nepal

“I also helped in opening up an underprivileged children's football academy in Pokhara, which is west of Nepal with the help of British friends and ex Gurkhas residing in the UK back in 2012.”

Mr Gurung's connections to England began in the 1800s as his great grandfather, Birsing Gurung, joined the British army in 1895 and served in India during the British Raj.

His grandfather, Captain Dhansing Gurung, and father Captain Pritamsing Gurung, also were Gurkhas and followed suit, before Mr Gurung was born in 1963 in Andover, Hampshire, due to the town’s RAF base.

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However, not wanting to join his father, grandfather, and great grandfather in battle, Mr Gurung opted for a career in hospitality.

He continued: “Through the Royal Oak and the Stokenchurch community, together, we did lots of charity events helping Nepal during earthquakes and other natural disasters.

One of the football teams in Nepal

One of the football teams in Nepal

“So many of my family and friends from Buckinghamshire have since visited Nepal with me, where I end up establishing our own charity called ‘Support Nepal UK’ in 2019.

“We are in the process of building our own welfare centre in my great grandfather’s village in Dandaswara, Syanja, and the whole idea behind this project is to build strong bonds and friendships between Buckinghamshire in England and Syanja in Nepal.”

Mr Gurung also revealed that he hopes to twin the village of Dandaswara in Syanja, with an area of Buckinghamshire, and also be part of the Duke of Edinburgh Trust.

One of the areas of Nepal

One of the areas of Nepal

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Ideas such as sending students, scouts, and professionals such as doctors and teachers to the country as part of planned trips are also on the list, whilst also hoping to spread the word of his charity across Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Some of the charity’s trustees include Mrs Polly Scott, Mr Michael Adamson, Mrs Blanch Morrisey, Mr Jim Casper, and Mrs Sarah Hurd, who are all from Buckinghamshire.

One of the groups in Nepal

One of the groups in Nepal

The charity also works with the Bourne End, Marlow, and Cookham Bridge Rotarians.

For more information, visit www.supportnepaluk.org.