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.
Today was a special day. I was invited by my wonderful friend Osman Karolia to Unity Grammar School to talk about my projects in Nepal and how we can all make a difference. It was and always is a real honour to visit my old stomping ground where I worked for a decade. The Islamic community will always have a place in my heart and I look forward to many more visits like this one. Such a beautiful day! ❤ #teachingresources #teachingideas #teacherlife #teacher #teaching #primary #preschool #primaryschool #primaryteacher #education #islam #muslim #school #charity #change #education #author #illustration
3 books done, 3 important lessons. Inclusion, kindness and friendship. Who could want fir anything better fir their children? #kids #illustration #childrensbooks #children #fathersday #picturebook #preschool #primaryschool #primaryteacher #teacher #teacherlife #teachingisfun #teachingideas #teachersofinstagram #school #education #author #children #childrensbooks
When I first met Gavin 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, and the rest is history. He spent his 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.
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 18,000$ that’s what I decided to step in and try to help him from Singapore.
After the success of his first project he received a donation from a local resident. A plot of land to build a school from scratch.
Every little counts and all donations are welcomed
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
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. On the news again Gav!
To raise awareness and funds fo Gavin and his project I will be approaching Yoga studios in Singapore and giving free yoga classes and sound meditation baths. Just dressed in my normal colorful yoga clothes though 😋.
How much no to donate?
I will ask you to please give a minimum of 10$ for an hours session, or to think how much will you pay for a Yoga class (20-15$) and donate that. If you want to give more it will always be welcomed. All the money I gather will go to his Fundme.org page. You can make your donation there too.
I will also be donating 20% of the profits of my weaves (available on Etsy and Carousell) to the cause.
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.