Dubai: Intrepid hiker twins Shaivi and Sharvi Kalwani, 13, are at it again.
This time, they’re hiking for a cause, demonstrating that charity knows no age — while promoting a healthy lifestyle at the same time.
Born and brought up in Dubai, the Year 8 students of Dubai College have hiked several trails in the UAE — including Wadi Shawka in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Al Rabi Mountain Khorfakkan, Jebel Jais Mountain in RAK, Wadi Tayyibah Fujairah and Hatta Dubai — to raise money for The Shree Jagdishwor School (SJS) in Bimal Nagar, Nepal.
Their fundraiser for 2023 titled, “Hike for Shree Jagdishwor School Nepal” have collected Dh11,145 through YallaGive.
“The school is in desperate need of repair,” said Shaivi. “Located on the main Kathmandu-Pokhara highway, this primary school — with 123 students of which 69 are girls, 54 boys — has been seeking support from local government and NGOs for more than 10 years. My twin sister and I are happy we could be of help to the school, its students and staff.”
Sharvi added: “The existing two-storey building of the school has four dark and damp rooms. The focal concern is, however, a crumbly brick staircase. The building is more than 25 years old and simply is not earthquake proof. The Dubai College Foundation with Pahar Trust Nepal aims to demolish this building and replace it with a six-room, two-storey building,” she said.
Hiking for a cause
The twins’ parents — Reetika Rajpal, a professional artist, and Deepak Kalwani, a businessman, support their girls’ initiative.
“The twins have been fundraising for Emirates Red Crescent, Al Jalila Foundation, Smile Train Dubai, Harmony House India and Dubai College Foundation (SJ School Nepal), said Deepak.
Hiking for a cause is not new for the twins.
In February 2018, the girls’ participated in their first fundraising event at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park where they sold hand-made cards, the father said.
Shaivi said: “We continued taking orders and making cards to sell them even after the event to raise more funds. In the beginning of 2019 we had our second fundraiser at school and we were sold out once again. We raised Dh9,332 for Emirates Red Crescent selling handmade greeting cards.”
Sharvi added that the next time the goal was bigger. “The aim was to think of raising an equal or more amount of money in double the time. Hand made cards took a long time to make and so we looked for an idea that would be cost effective and be easier to handle.”
She and her twin came up with the idea to look for a machine-made 3D pop up cards.
“The twins found a sponsor to pay for the machine. And so 100 per cent of the proceeds from the cards sale went to charity.”
Working with Al Jalila Foundation
The twins mother, Reetika said Al Jalila Foundation and their “Farah” programme proved a right fit for the girls.
The Farah programme helps children with chronic illnesses. This gave ample motivation for the twins.
“Al Jalila Foundation was very supportive and helped with all the necessary permissions needed and really encouraged Sharvi and Shaivi from the word go.”
Charity a way of life
Sharvi and Shaivi are passionate about charity. When the pandemic hit, Sharvi and Shaivi decided to cycle for a cause. “They bi-cycled around their cluster roundabout outside their home in Jumeirah Islands raising funds.
They decided to cycle 100 kms each in May 2020 and targeted raising Dh15,000 for the Al Jalila Foundations’ “Farah” programme — and once again they offered full support with the relevant permissions and encouragement.”
“With the kindness and generosity of family, friends and others, they managed to raise their target and cycled 100 kms in 15 days,” said the mother.
In 2021, when COVID-19 was at its peak specially in India, Harmony House India, which houses underprivileged children, was running out of food supplies.
Sharvi and Shaivi decided to fundraise for them to keep the children and their families fed and safe.
Last year, Smile Train Dubai approached the twin to help them raise money for children born with cleft lip and palate.
They then raised over Dh20,000 for Smile Train Dubai — by walking around the city of Dubai.