Saturday, March 19, 2011

Book Review: Little Princes

Normally I limit my reviews on this blog to books, movies or products directly related to outdoor recreation or outdoor adventures. I have made an exception for Little Princes, a memoir by Conor Grennan.

The book slipped into my review list because it is about Nepal, a country so much a part of the hiking and climbing collective consciousness that I can't imagine the outdoors enthusiast who hasn't either visited the country, or put it on their bucket list. (Unfortunately I am still in the latter category.)

When Conor Grennan arrived in Nepal he volunteered at an orphanage thinking it would make his trip around the world sound less self-indulgent. In the end it became a life-changing experience.

This book is inspirational in many ways. When most visitors walk the streets of Kathmandu and see the poverty of the local children, the vast majority think "what a shame" and carry on with their lives. Conor Grennan learned about what was happening to children in Nepal, thought "what a shame" and then thought "I'm going to fix this!"

His efforts to protect trafficked children and reunite them with their families is a testament to what a few determined people can do if they set their minds to it. He had no training for this, no background in international charities, fundraising, politics, or any of the skills that you would think necessary for such an undertaking. His success is simply a story of willpower overcoming self-doubt. He set up a children's home, trekked through isolated valleys into remote villages to locate families, and stood up to powerful traffickers on behalf of those who could not.

So the next time readers of this book see something and think "what a shame", perhaps some of them will also think "I'm going to fix this!" because if Conor Grennan could do it - why not the rest of us!

Thanks Conor, for opening my eyes to the power of just getting on with it!

Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal is not just a memoir - it is also a fundraiser for the charity Conor Grennan created to support this work. So buying this book is one small thing you can do to help. Or you can cut straight to the chase and visit the website for his charity Next Generation Nepal, and make a donation there.