Our families were first introduced to Partnership for Sustainable Developments (PSD) by Mrs Gillian McAuliffe in her capacity as founding principal of Bold Park Community School (BPCS).
In April 2008, Gillian McAuliffe, founder of Bold Park Community School (BPCS), returned from the International Nature Forum, where she had been speaking with Bishnu Bhatta, founder of Partnerships for Sustainable Developments.
They had been discussing the children they engaged with, Gill, the children at BPCS, Bishnu, the children of the orphanages and local villages of Nepal. Their discussion, focused around nature, became, ‘why don’t children play in mud? The children in Nepal are surrounded by rich muddy grounds to play in?’ But Bishnu advised, they are unable to play in the mud, as they cannot afford a second change of clothes, and a hearty meal after exerting themselves.
Gillian returned to the classroom after her presentation at this international conference and her news for the students at BPCS was the idea of what was to evolve into International Mud Day (IMD), a day of connecting with children in Panchkhal, Nepal, through simultaneously playing in the mud.
When Gill proposed this scenario to 6 & 7 year olds at BPCS, they suggested sewing and sending clothes, perhaps soap, treats, but decided that sending money so that the children could buy a second set of clothes for the mud, and enjoy a nutritious meal after a day of play – International Mud Day (IMD) was born.
Each year the community of BPCS sent money to PSD to enable International Mud Day to take place, meaning up to 100 disadvantaged children could enjoy mud play and games on 29 June annually.
Now schools in the USA, New Zealand, the orphanages in Nepal, and our BPCS play in mud together, connected through the earth, on 29 June each year.
From the inception of IMD, Bishnu had requested that we introduce the children face to face to celebrate together.
In 2013, after linking mud day experiences digitally, we decided to meet Bishnu Bhatta and 8 families from BPCS feverishly fundraised, taking the children to visit Bishnu, PSD & the children in Nepal.