Fundraising ‘Doko Challenge’ by Gurkhas in South Atlantic

Think “Gurkha” and thoughts immediately turn to the tough men from Nepal who are some of the most respected soldiers in the world – and have served, fought, and died for the Crown for more than 200 years.

Think “The Falkland Islands” and images of a hilly, remote archipelago noted for the bloody battles to liberate them in 1982 are conjured up.

Put modern-day Gurkhas in that environment and it becomes the perfect location for a fundraiser for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Not any old fundraiser, but a South-Atlantic “Doko Challenge”, which is the brainchild of Corporal Ambu Lingden – born in Taplejung – of the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, currently deployed to the Falkland Islands, but based in Aldershot.

A doko is a traditional Nepali woven bamboo basket carried on the back, and the doko race – an uphill sprint in the Himalayan foothills carrying one weighted with 25 kilogrammes of rock or stone – is a critical element of selection to join the prestigious Brigade of Gurkhas.

Potential recruits are expected to complete the five-kilometre course in under 46 minutes.

Cpl Lingden’s variation on this theme for SSAFA – which has specialist services for Gurkhas – is a little different, and not for the faint of heart.

On September 22, in memory of those who liberated the Falkland Islands and especially those who died, 16 volunteers from British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) will complete the 40-kilometre route from the Mount Pleasant Complex to the Gurkha Memorial at Stanley, the Falkland Islands’ capital.

The 16 – including Cpl Lingden’s team comprising Lance Corporal Sanjip Rai, Cpl Ashkrit Gurung, LCpl Henangsu Limbu, LCpl Sumit Thapa, and Private Bishalbabu Khadka – will run in a relay in which each member will carry 10kg and cover 2.5km.

The Falkland Islands might be 13,000km from the UK and 16,000km from Nepal, but Cpl Lingden hopes donations will come in from all parts of the globe.

Ahead of the Doko Challenge, he says:

Please join us in raising vital funds to support serving men and women, veterans and families who will call on SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity for help in time of need, because we – and the military family helped by SSAFA – will be incredibly grateful for any contributions given to this very worthwhile charity.”

To help SSAFA carry on its work – everything from a friendly face and a cuppa at a branch to a dedicated helpline – visit to donate.

For more information, visit

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 55 years ago

Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here