Pharmacies join together to support kids’ education

Girl from Basa Khali.

Pharmacy Catalyst Group members have helped build a new school in an earthquake-affected area of Nepal

Pharmacy Catalyst, a banner group of independent pharmacies formed by instigo, has partnered with the Australian Himalayan Foundation to build a new Catalyst School in Nepal, and provide equipment and classroom amenities in the community of Basa Khali.

Basa Khali was ravaged in an earthquake in 2017 which devastated a number of mountain villages in the region and damaged many of their buildings, including the Basa Khali Secondary School.

This left the students to study in classrooms that were structurally unsound and unsafe, with the only other option a secondary school in the district capital of Salleri – a 10-hour trek away.

Through various donations and fundraising initiatives such as sausage sizzles, raffles and donation tins, instigo and its Catalyst Members have raised funds to help rebuild a school building, four toilet blocks and several water tanks, aiming for a total of $50,000.

“An initiative like this shows that community pharmacy is all about communities, wherever they may be,” said Pharmacy Catalyst Manager, Nicole Hooley.

School children from Basa Khali
School children from Basa Khali.

“We are so proud of the effort all of our pharmacies have put in to make this new school happen.”

Co-owner of one of the participating pharmacies, Guild Pharmacy of the Year Southcity Pharmacy in Wagga Wagga, Luke van der Rijt told the AJP that the store had a “fantastic” amount of donations from customers.

“Like with all our promotions, Southcity Pharmacy match them dollar for dollar,” he said.

“Basa Khali was one of the areas ravaged by the earthquake in 2017, and it devastated a number of buildings, including their secondary school. There were also some other amenities damaged as well, like the toilet and water facilities, so we were looking to rebuild the school and fix the facilities.

“It was a fantastic effort by all the Pharmacy Catalyst members and it went to a great cause.”

He said that one Australian dollar “goes a long way” in regions like Nepal, and that many people are still affected by the 2017 disaster.

He encouraged other pharmacists around the country to learn more or to make a donation by contacting

Work is now well underway on the new buildings.

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1 Comment

  1. Daniel Hackett

    How lovely, and they only named the school Catalyst after themselves, so not a marketing gimmick at all.

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