My beautiful artist and poet wife Maureen passed away on 30th October 2015 following a series of devastating strokes and cancer. She was just 71. We met on our first day at art school aged 16 and 17 and enjoyed 54 wonderful years together. Our last holiday was in Nepal in March 2015, just before the terrible earthquakes. We had been many times before and loved its vibrant culture and people, but were constantly reminded of the extreme poverty and obscene injustices that many suffer. We were particularly moved by the plight of the tens of thousands of trafficked, enslaved (debt bonded) and orphaned children, and we wondered how we might help lighten their burden in some small way on our return home.
One Golden Angel: Sadly, Maureen’s illness and premature death prevented the realization of this charitable venture during her lifetime. So I created a small independent Charity in her memory, One Golden Angel, initially to help rescue and rehabilitate trafficked and exploited women and children in Nepal. It has spread its wings since then, but its mission is always to seek out and deliver help directly to the most needy at source. The charity is run entirely on a voluntary basis by myself and is now mainly funded by the sale of our antique singing bowl collection, with a little help from a few friends. Your singing bowl purchase or donation will make a difference, perhaps transform or even save a life! I normally make 3 trips to Nepal annually, each lasting a month at my own expense, to administer the charity. Maureen would be heartened to know that her passing was productive of something that offered a lifeline to others.
Achievements: One Golden Angel’s humanitarian achievements to date include the creation of Nepal’s first Emergency Shelter for rescued trafficked and exploited children, which has saved around 50 children between the ages of 9 and 16. It has almost single-handedly sponsored the Humanitarian Care Centre for 20 orphans for 5 years, until a larger UK charity was found to take it on. It pays the university and school fees of destitute students, and the surgery and medical expenses of young accident victims. It provided emergency food aid to a hungry community in Budhanilkantha during Nepal’s Covid lockdown, and was the first to provide emergency relief to a village cut off by a landslide in Pokhara. It continues to provide vocational training and support for survivors of sexual exploitation, and supplies essential kitchen equipment to impoverished children’s homes and schools, as well as delivering random acts of kindness when funds permit.
Current Challenge: One Golden Angel is currently endeavoring to raise the living standards of an entire marginalized Chepang village of 282 adults and children in a remote part of Chitwan. It has delivered community oral and menstrual health programs, and workshops on making washable sanitary pads. It has provided every family with staples and basic household cooking utensils, and has just installed 2 new village water-pumps and 2 toilet blocks, with more to follow. I will return to Nepal soon to continue this important work.
Note: My charity’s website has been neglected and needs updating, so please visit my public Facebook account for pictures and up-to-date information about my humanitarian activities in Nepal. If you feel moved to support this life-changing work I promise that 100% of your donation will go to relieving exploitation, poverty, and suffering in Nepal. Thank you for your interest and support. Fred Wilkinson (October 2023).