Strawberry Vale resident James Bardy recently returned from Nepal where he’s dedicated a part of his life to teaching rehabilitation.
The occupational therapist and artist has given a good part of the last 10 years of his life to NepalAbility, a Canadian non-profit that provides funding and education to the neuro-rehabilitation programs at Nepal’s Tansen Hospital.
Thursday is the opening for his latest show, held at the Arts Centre at Cedar Hill, from May 26 to June 7, called Wood, Wind and Water. The show will feature Bardy’s paintings, which are bold, abstract style works inspired by Vancouver Island nature. It will also feature his photography, which tells the story of the daily life in Nepal.
“The show is a fundraiser for NepalAbility, all of the proceeds from any sales go to the non-profit,” Bardy said. “It funds the medical supplies and salaries of rehabilitation assistants there, not to the travel and accommodation of the volunteers. We pay that ourselves.”
It’s a little over a year since the debilitating earthquake in Nepal and the people still desperately need help to rebuild, Bardy said.
“We work with people who’ve had strokes, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, to help them receive extended rehab treatment. Over there, the idea of followup treatment is not a priority following the recover from a traumatic injury.”
NepalAbility is celebrating its 10th year. Before volunteering with them Bardy worked in Guatemala, but with a family, he was scared off by the growing dangers of the drug cartels. He was also set to volunteer in Uganda when a bomb blew off near his destination. It led him to NepalAbility, which was a great fit from the start.
“It’s all about relationships and teaching the therapists that are there in Nepal,” Bardy said. “The visits are twice a year but we stay in touch, the people we work with in Nepal love Facebook and we are in contact.”
Visit nepalability.org for more information.