Pop-up bar in Melbourne raising funds for Nepalese kids

Emma McDonald
Emma McDonald I Photo: Supplied

12 November 2016: Melbourne-based charity Echo International Aid is holding a pop-up bar this Friday to raise funds for the construction of an earthquake-proof school building for a bunch of underprivileged children of Kathmandu.

To be held at the Brunswick Town Hall on November 18, proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the EDUC school in the Basundhara squatters’ area of Kathmandu. EDUC, which stands for Education and Development of the Underprivileged Children, provides a free education for these impoverished children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to go to school. EDUC is run by two sisters and their brother (Keshari, Beena and Bishnu) who gave up their government teaching jobs to start the institution.

Each day students are given a hot lunch, clean drinking water, uniforms, health checks and school supplies. With around 70 students already enrolled at EDUC, they are in desperate need of new facilities after being hit by last year’s earthquake.

EDUC came in contact with the Melbourne charity organisation Echo through Emma McDonald, a young philanthropist from Brunswick. She happened to teach at the school in 2014 when she was visiting Nepal. Impressed by “the incredible sibling team” that ran the school, she wanted to do more to help. The university student began fundraising and working with a team of architects pro bono in Sydney through Architects Without Frontiers, before the project was taken on by Echo International.

“We are working with a team of amazing architects from HDR Rice Daubney in Sydney, through the support of Architects Without Frontiers, to design and build a new, earthquake-safe school building,” says Ms McDonald, who is a Project Manager and now a Board Member of Echo International Aid.

EDUC Nepal
Emma McDonald at EDUC I Photo: Supplied

“EDUC is a game-changer for the Basundhara community because it breaks the cycle of illiteracy by providing impoverished children with the opportunity for an education. I teach at EDUC and have seen firsthand the remarkable impact the school has on the community as it skills little people to write their own futures,” she further added.

All southasia.com readers living in Melbourne are invited to come down to the Brunswick Town Hall on Friday. The night will be electric with DJs, live music, dance-floor, a pop-up burger bar from Big Smoke BBQ along with beer, wine, bubbles and a mystery cocktail.

Tickets for the fun-filled philanthropic night are on sale on echointernational.org.au/nepal for $15 or $20 on the door. It’s an 18+ event and hence, organisers are requesting contributors to “remember your photo ID”. All funds raised from this event will be directed to EDUC and the construction of new school buildings.

Echo International Aid was formed by a group of young Melbournians, whose experiences with mainstream charities left them feeling like more could be done. Their innovative social enterprise events are typically held in historic Melbourne landmarks and open after dark, where attendees get to party for a cause with 100% of funds raised on the night going towards meaningful international aid projects.

Performers for the night

JACKSON MUIR (Mosman Alder, Milk Buttons) was one of the singer/songwriters in his previous band ‘Mosman Alder’ and has played festivals such as Splendour in the grass and Falls festival. He has also shared the stage with acts such as Kimbra, Bernard Fanning, Father John Misty and Big Scary. Playing new songs from his upcoming EP with duo ‘Milk Buttons’ set for release late 2016.

The COLLINS STREET COLLECTIVE DUO are a vocal and guitar duo with a vast and versatile repertoire, specialising in a soulful vibe. Jac & Tim have been performing together in the Melbourne area since 2014. They will be playing hits from Soul stars like Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, pop artists from Bruno Mars to Michael Jackson and a wide range of Jazz classics.

LUKE J. EVANS (Peter Sonic and the Temple Builders) is a Melbourne-based singer/songwriter, often found performing with his band Peter Sonic and the Temple Builders. Luke’s influences are the Black Keys, Glen Hansard, Jamiroquai and Angus Stone.

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