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Taiwanese students to climb peaks, construct classrooms in Nepal

2012/06/06 19:54:31

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) A group of university students is scheduled to climb two Nepalese peaks in July in the first such attempt by a Taiwanese team and help a school build new classrooms, the organizers said Wednesday.

A dozen students will participate in the project to climb Pisang and Thorang peaks in Nepal's Annapurna region in a trip slated for departure on July 25, said Hsu Shu-wei, a member of the team and graduate student at Taipei-based National Taiwan Sports University (NTSU), which organized both projects as part of an annual program.

"No Taiwanese climber has reached the top of the two peaks, both of which are over 6,000 meters. Our team will try its hardest to reach both summits," Hsu told CNA.

In addition to the expedition, other students from Tunghai University in Taichung and other volunteers have been joining forces to raise NT$600,000 (US$20,084) to build three classrooms for the Lighting the Life English School in the mountainous village of Akrang, Hsu said of the project that is scheduled for the end of July.

The group, which will also organize a summer camp for local children, has so far raised half of the amount required, Hsu said.

Lin Yi-chieh, one of the students in the climbing team, said the group began training in March.

The team does group fitness once a week and hikes up a mountain once a month, she said, adding that individuals do their own training, such as jogging and swimming.

Lin, a rookie climber, said she has been working part time as a swimming coach or lifeguard to save NT$100,000 for the trip, and is confident she can complete the challenge.

"Students from NTSU have been sending Taiwan's love and charity to the world since 2005 through this leadership program," said Hsieh Chih-mou, who is the director of the program and an associate professor in recreation and leisure industry management at NTSU.

Hsieh launched the program, which is part of the course, in 2005 and has taken the students to Alaska, Nepal, Tanzania, New Zealand and China.

(By Hsu Chih-wei and Kendra Lin)