A cleaner from a Farnborough school benefitted from an exhibition of his artworks in the hope that it funds a trip home to Nepal.

Ananda Kumar Shrestha, who works as a cleaner at The Wavell School in Lynchford Road, left his home in Nepal to move to England four years ago to find work, and has not seen his family since.

He sends his wages home to support his wife and son, who is eight years old.

In his spare time, Mr Shrestha enjoys painting and Phil Branch, director of expressive arts at The Wavell School, was so impressed by his artwork that he organised an exhibition for Mr Shrestha to sell some of his work to raise funds for him to travel home and see his family.


The art exhibition, entitled Faces of Nepal, took place at the Holiday Inn on May 30 and was attended by staff at the school as well as friends of Mr Shrestha.

It showcased around 30 paintings of Nepalese people and landscapes.

Mr Shrestha said: “It was really exciting as it was the first exhibition I’ve ever done in my life. It was fantastic, it felt great. I have been painting a long time but the paintings at the exhibition were done over the last two years.”

Mr Shrestha will need around £600 to get a ticket to Nepal and the exhibition raised around £300 towards it.

Mr Branch said: “As far as raising enough money goes, after paying for outlays, we probably made about half of what Ananda needed to get home.

“But the great thing is that everyone was really impressed with the quality of the work on display.

“He also has the offer of attending a couple of Nepalese festivals, where he could sell his work, so I’d have to say it was a great success in that Ananda could find himself moving into a new career.

“This was not something we thought about before, but with the impression his work made on people, Friday night could easily become more than just an exhibition to raise money.”

The Holiday Inn sponsored the event and allowed the school to use the space for the exhibition for free.

Jane Standing, general manager of the Holiday Inn Farnborough, said she was delighted to help with a worthwhile cause.