Following the announcement that philanthropist and supermodel Petra Nemcova would be U by Uniworld’s ‘Guardian Angel’, the cruise company has donated US$50,000 to her charity, All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response, to help rebuild a school in Nepal which was badly damaged after the 2015 earthquake.

After 11 weeks of relief efforts, two buildings have been refitted, providing four disaster resilient classrooms, four toilets, the installation of a water filtration system and a newly built playground. The school serves ECD (Early Childhood Development), between the ages of four to 11.

Nemcova and some of the volunteers from the project recently went to reopen Nibugaun School. Students, who were ecstatic as the ribbon was cut for the opening of their classrooms, treated guests to a traditional dance and sung a poem they wrote themselves – “Svagata (welcome) to our school, thanks for helping us and being part of our community…” They were each gifted Ma-Powered solar lights to help them continue their education at home and read at night.

Nemcova commented: “Today, during the school re-opening ceremony, we could feel the power of meaningful connections which has resulted in the creation of a new disaster resilient school and also new beginnings for the whole community. When our volunteers, staff, committee members and our supporters come together, far away dreams can be made into reality. Living youthfully, fully and connecting with others in a meaningful way, for me, is the essence of U by Uniworld too – we have so much in common, and now also this purposeful partnership.”

Ellen Betttridge, president & CEO of the river cruise brand, added: “We are proud to have the beautifully spirited Petra as our Guardian Angel, what she stands for is a true representation of our values. To be partnered with her organisation that’s making a difference in the world by giving back to communities, and helping thousands of children by bringing education and joy back into their lives – truly makes her an ‘angel’ to many.”

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