My friend Gavin McCormack is a Montessori teacher in Sydney, he writes books for children (3 published so far) and he’s a lecturer that offers training to other fellow teachers. Now he’s also become a philanthropist, helping build schools in Nepal, and I’m not surprised.
When I first met Gavin (who’s is originally from Sheffield in the UK) he was on his way to Myanmar and there’s two things from that encounter I will not forget.
The first one is that his boots were so old that one even had a hole in the sole. Your could see through it. That’s how much importance he gives material possessions. It shocked me that he didn’t think it was urgent to get a new pair of boots.
The second thing was that instead of the sights or the food in Myanmar, after the trip his stories were mostly about encounters and interactions with the local people. That’s what really mattered to him, the golden temples or pagodas he didn’t even mention.That’s Gav. I think it paints the picture.
A year later he stopped over in Singapore again, on his first trip to Nepal. He was going as a volunteer to train a group of teachers. Weeks before he had received a message on Facebook from an person he didn’t know, asking for help to give Montessori training to a community of teachers in Kathmandu. That was enough to get him there.
I remember him mentioning with deep emotion that he soon realized all the teachers were women, and most of them became teachers as a way to escape a situation of loss or abuse. These ladies had an incredible passion for the job, which he shared with them. He spent his entire holiday training them. For free.
One day they took him to visit the Newalperassi district of Nepal, near the Indian border. There he saw the horrible state of the schools in the area. The lingering effects of civil war and the devastating earthquake of 2015 were very present, with children even studying under tin roofs, and with no proper materials available. It broke his heart, and he decided to do something about it.
He returned to Nepal 7 weeks later, with 7,000$ of donations he collected from all over the world and 100Kgs of school materials. Here’s the before and after of the school renovation. It was all the work of a group of volunteers. You can find all the details of this project on his blog page.
After the success of his first project he received a donation from a local resident. A plot of land to build another school, this time from scratch.
With the support of the local authorities Gavin will be spending this Christmas building the new school. He needs 100,000$ to make it happen and at the moment he has only raised 22,400$ that’s what I decided to step in and try to help him from Singapore.
Every little counts and all donations are welcomed
He’s not part of any organization, he’s just a person that lives a pretty simple life and has a passion for helping others. He loves the outdoors, has a great sense of humor and that kind of larger than life personality he makes things happen, that’s why I trust he will go far in this mission. Like when he gathered 50,000 people (via Facebook events) in Bronte beach to see the super moon. Don’t miss Gav on the news!
Gavin loves fitness and to raise funds and awareness for the cause he likes to run marathons in his granny dress. At 2m tall you can’t really miss him with this outfit. He even made it to the cover of the Sydney Morning Herald
To want to raise funds fo Gavin and his project organising Charity Family Yoga sessions.
A Family Yoga class is a fun filled event for couples, fathers mothers and children all ages. Check out how much fun and bonding time we had in Cliveden @ Grange. Meddy Teddy was there too!
The session @ Tanglin Park was packed filled with cute moments from the little ones.
We managed to raise 950$ for the cause with both the construction of the school, but he’s encountered many problems on the way and more funds will be needed after Christmas so more sessions will be coming up!
How much no to donate? – Ask yourself, how much will you pay for a drop in Yoga class? 20-30$? That’s a good indicator. I ask you to kindly donate at least 10$ per person, and if you want to give more it will always be welcomed! All the money I gather will go to Gavin’s Fundme.org page. You can see my donations there, and you can also make your.
I have no doubt on how transparently Gavin manages the project and how committed he is to helping others. I’m commited to keep it the same way. I really hope the Singapore Yoga community welcomes us and this initiative. I will also be donating 20% of the profits of my weaves (available on Etsy and Carousell) to the cause, for the Christmas holiday.
I hope to see you in class soon!