How it all began…
“It’s about self empowerment by giving practical help. That’s it! Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment – PHASE.”
2005 – the seminal moment when the name of our charity was decided took place in the Marie and Nick Cragg’s kitchen, where they and Dr. Gerda Pohl had spent many an hour discussing what to do with their ideas for work in Nepal.
This moment was the result of several years involvement with projects in Nepal. Gerda had been working there full time, while Nick and Marie and many other friends had supported her work with visits and fundraising from the UK.
In reality, it all began in 1997 when Nick and a fellow Civil Engineer trekked to Lungtung in the Eastern region of Nepal as part of a Duke of Edinburgh award project. Nick fell in love with the country and its people. This led to the Craggs being part of a group of people who raised money and awareness for much needed health and education projects in remote mountainous villages.
In 2000, after listening to Marie enthusing about the wonder of Nepal, Penny Fisher, a nurse at Rotherham Hospital (one of our donors), decided to organise a trek to Nepal with a group of friends. Dr Gerda’s spontaneous reaction of, “Can I come?” proved to be a life changing moment. Less than two years later she found herself in a tiny village, embarking on a new career in Nepal.
For the next three years Gerda worked firstly with Social Welfare Association of Nepal (another of our donors) and then Community Action Nepal (CAN). When her time with CAN came to an end, the possibility of starting a new charity was looking more hopeful. The turning point came when Jiban Karki, a Nepalese Civil Engineer who once managed projects for CAN (before studying for his Masters Degree in Rural Development at Norwich) agreed to head any operation in Nepal.
The time had come to turn a dream into a reality and that meant utilising the knowledge and skills of an ever growing circle of people interested in making a difference. Clare Bennett, who had met Jiban and Gerda whilst also working in Nepal, took on the mammoth task of getting charitable status, John Clough designed the logo, Charlotte Kenny (age 12) asked if she could start a children-led fundraising group.
PHASE Worldwide was born.
In eight years PHASE has gone from strength to strength. We have six trustees, a full time UK Director, three part-time UK staff, over 50 staff members in Nepal working across 17 communities, and a circle of ever increasing fundraisers and supporters globally.
Thanks to all those who have previously served as PHASE Trustees including Rafiat Adekunle, Marie Cragg, and David and Janet Fenton – and a very special thank you to all our committed volunteers.