Over the last seven years Get Wines Direct has supported many charities, from local school fundraisers to national causes like
- The Australian Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal
- The Australian Red Cross Tsunami Appeal
- Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Foundation
- Camp Quality
- Australian Childhood Foundation
- PCYC Youth Centres
- Care Outreach
Just to name a few.
In the last two years our most significant project has been international - supporting the people of the Tsum Valley in Nepal. We have contributed over $200,000 and led three relief expeditions to this
remote village, bringing much needed food, water and medical supplies to these inspiring people.
Located on the Nepalese Tibetan border the Tsum Valley is one of the most significant Buddhist sacred sites popularly known as Beyuls or The Hidden Valleys. People in these remote parts of the Trans-Himalaya are of Tibetan origin and are generally referred to as Tsumba and speak the Tibetan language.
The Tsum Valley has a long history of flourishing Buddhist religion and culture and still today you can see the ancient remains of mani walls and chhortens and religious caves spreading throughout the valley.
Over the last 50 years since the Chinese occupation of Tibet the Tsumba have not been able to trade or travel over the border as they have traditionally done for over 1000 years. Due to the inaccessibility, remoteness and out migration, this sacred valley and its people have been suppressed and suffering from major setback, thus becoming impoverished and a minority race. Their art, culture, tradition and religion have almost come to extinction. It was Tonys first visit to Tsum that inspired him to help bring basic care to the poor and underprivileged in the region and in the years since, he has strived to provide these communities with support with not only health related issues, but also in the sectors of education, sanitation, water and food supplies. This however proves quite challenging given there are no transportation facilities or power in this remote corner of the Himalayas. The nearest roadway is a five day trek to Arughat in the Gorkha District of West Nepal. The difficulties experienced in accessing these areas are alleviated by the Tsum Welfare Committee who have been a key player in establishing our reach to these remote communities. The most recent project (carried out in March of this year) was a Remote Health Camp and Food Distribution Program in the Tsum Valley.
In March of this year Tony personally funded the expedition which included a team of doctors and nurses from Kathmandu, several friends from Australia, a team of members from the Tsum Welfare Committee based in Kathmandu, over 20 porters and Sherpas and 120 donkeys carrying 7 tonne of food for the people of Tsum. The trek took 6 days and they passed some of the most majestic but dangerous passes of the Himalayan region.
"The joy and privilege of helping the people of Tsum is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I have given a lifelong commitment to the Tsumba people that together we will improve their living conditions and assist in their wants and needs."
Tony’s Vision for the Tsum People and Their Village
I have several major projects that, with the Tsum Welfare Committee, we will be implementing over the next few years including water supply, sanitation and a remote education program as well as basic medical assistance. All these things obviously come at a cost and so far We have funded over $200,000 towards our past projects. I am looking at setting up some major fundraisers over the next year as well as putting together a documentary with footage that we have shot of our past trips.
This beautiful valley of no more than 4000 people is one of the last areas in the region that still have religious freedom without being
persecuted and vilified. I am proud and honoured that I have made many new friends in Tsum and am excited at the future prospects of helping these truly beautiful people.
Tsum comes from the Tibetan word, "Tsombo" which means Vivid. A sacred, virgin Himalayan pilgrimage valley, situated north east of Nepal, Gorkha district. Together with the majestic backdrops of the famous Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal and Buddha Himal, this serene valley carries a history of ancient Tibetan and Himalayan civilization styles; culture, art, tradition, religion, customs and thinking.