By Ingita Dangol, EH Sales Department
“When you leave the comfort of your home and home country to engage in volunteer project in Nepal where your help is greatly needed, it will have a deep impact on you as well as the local people life also. Sometimes we forget how privileged we really are. We complain about our daily lives, health, education, work but when you spend time in a local community of Nepal that has significantly less than you do and is struggling in different ways, you might realize that your problems aren’t all that bad.” – CKY Student Group, Helambu Circuit Trek
As previous year, Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure of Nepal in partnership with Travel Adviser (Hongkong) once again operated 6 nights/7 days Full Camping Trek of Helambu Circuit from 25th Nov to 01st Dec 2018. The trek which included 16 students and 3 teachers of CKY School of Hong Kong had the objective to explore the rural communities and discover the natural beauty of Nepal. The group had a whole week of fun and adventure. However, the students also wanted to make the trek purposeful. They donated medicine to the local health post and educational equipment to the local schools. At every donation point, the group was warmly welcomed and cheered by teachers, students, health practitioners and local people. The trek started their Helambu Circuit Trek from Sundarijal, north of Kathmandu valley and ended at Kiul.
A brief outlook on the group’s daily activities is as follows:
Day 1: Drive to Sundarijal and Trek to Chisapani (2054 m) – around 5 hours
At around 8:30 am, the group departed from Hotel Shangrila to Sundarijal. The groups reached Sundarijal, their trek starting point at 10 am. The first two hours was a bit strenuous due to a steep uphill path which looked like never ending. Everybody took lots of short rests during the first few hours. On the way, they passed through Shivapuri National Park. It took them around 5 hours to reach at Chisapani.
Day 2: Trek to Golfu Bhanjyang (2142m) – 6/7 hours
The trek continued through the refreshing forested area and beautiful settlements to Chipling village for lunch. After lunch, it continued to Golfu Bhanjyang for overnight camp.
Day 3: Trek to Manginggoth (3285m) – 8 hours
Early in the morning after breakfast, the trek started. Before lunch which they had at Khutumsang, there was a short program held at Khutumsang Health Post where the group donated medical supplies and had short briefing about health post. Later on, the group visited Himalayan Primary School where they conducted events like Hungry Hippo, football and paper airplane. During these event, the group got mixed with local students and enjoyed their moment together.
Day 4: Trek to Melamchi Gynag (3300m) via Tharepati (3685m) – 7 hours
Early morning, the group went for a 3 hours’ trek to Tharepati from where the magnificent mountain ranges could be seen. After lunch at Tharepati, they hiked down to Melamchi Gyang where they stayed for overnight.
Day 5: Trek to Malerepo – 4 hours
Before they moved towards Malerepo, the student group visited Melamchi Gyang Secondary School and donated stationery, sports materials and medicine to the Headmaster of the school. After lunch, they headed to Melerepo.
Day 6: Trek to Kiul – 5 hours
After breakfast, the group trekked to Kiul where they had a short program at Shree Bhumeshori Secondary School. They donated stationary and sports materials to the students and had a short briefing about their goals. Later on, the group spent some moments together with the local students by playing and dancing.
Day 7: Drive back to Kathmandu from Kiul – 4 hours and International Departure
After early morning breakfast, the group headed towards Kathmandu by bus. On reaching Kathmandu, the group had a sightseeing tour to Kathmandu Durbar Square. They also had refreshment and lunch program at Hotel Marshyangdi. After lunch the group explored Thamel Bazaar for shopping and hunting souvenir and gifts to their friends and family. Finally, a week of adventure was wrapped up with a candle light dinner at Hotel Shangrila, where the group had a short review session with the members and the staffs of Explore Himalaya. This was one of the best parts of their trip, where they got to share their words and daily experiences. All of them expressed their gratitude to Explore Himalaya for arranging such a meaningful trek for them and expressed their hope to get such opportunities in upcoming days.
Pabitra Samaaj Sewa Building Project Donors’ List so far:
[We are still raising fund for the completion of the project. Interested donors can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org]
The Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of Pabitra Samaaj Sewa building was held on 30 January 2018 at Budhanilkantha. The foundation stone was laid by respected Marcus Brown from Adelaide amidst the presence of Dikchhya Chapagain, President of Pabitra Samaaj Sewa and the Representatives of Explore Himalaya and Himalayan Pre-Fab. The pre-fab building will provide a permanent earthquake resistant shelter to 15-20 residents under the care of the organization.
The building project was jointly initiated by Explore Himalaya and Himalayan Pre-Fab, a subsidiary of Explore Himalaya; after the residents of Pabitra Samaaj Sewa were forcibly evacuated from their previous resident at Dhapasi. As it was not possible to complete this project without the collective efforts, Explore Himalaya and Himalaya Pre-Fab started the initiation by contributing half of the fund and appealed for the rest from the generous contributors. Mr. Brown, who honored the ceremony, was among the few to extend the hand of support by raising funds from Adelaide community. The project has given hopes and happiness to all the destitute sheltering in the organization. The building is expected to complete within 6 weeks. For the full story on the building project, please follow our earlier blog at https://www.explorehimalaya.com/2018/01/05/pabitra-samaj-sewa-charity-project/
[In addition to being a trailblazer in Himalayan adventure, Explore Himalaya is also one of the forerunners in Nepali tourism to incorporate community service in company’s regular activities.]
November 03, 2017 could be a normal day for many but for some it was the day when they lost everything. That day, the building of Pabitra Samaj Sewa at Dhapasi, Kathmandu, was evacuated forcibly by the local authorities. It had been sheltering more than 70 destitute and homeless people for last 10 years. The residents were not given chance to gather their belongings including the items of basic needs like food and clothes. All of the evacuees including elderly people, disabled and orphans were physically harassed and forced out of their shelter, and thrown right to the street from where they were rescued once. Furniture was broken and burnt, and the building was demolished by a dozer. They could do nothing than be the helpless spectators of the demolition of the house, which was once their home.
Pabitra Samaj Sewa Nepal http://www.pssnepal.org.np/, established in 2002, is a non- governmental social organization, working to ensure safe home and care to homeless, distressed, disabled and orphans. It provides shelter, food, healthcare, education, and, most importantly, love and care to the needy people. The organization is led by Dikshya Chapagain, a young and dynamic social activist, who has dedicated her life solely for the humanitarian cause. Most of the people under the care are the destitute rescued directly from streets in utterly dejected situations with very less hope of life. The rescue stories can be found at https://www.facebook.com/dikchhya.chapagai.
The organization has been having a nomadic provision for shelter since its establishment. Quite recently also, it has been sheltering in a government building given by a school at Dhapasi, Kathmandu for ten years. However, it has to move to the present makeshift shelter at Budhanilkantha because the School Management Committee, all of sudden, asked to evacuate the building. The Committee turned a complete blind eye to the organization’s request for time for emergency arrangement. On November 03, 2017, a group of people came and forcibly removed the people from the place.
Currently they are sheltering temporarily at a private house in Chapali, Budhanilkantha. There are altogether 72 people including 35 children, of both gender and all age group people. In their current shelter, due to lack of space, people including the sick and old, are eating and sleeping in open space and the situation is being more gruelling as winter has already started.
Now, the organization is building a permanent shelter with the support of some ad-hoc donations on a piece of land given by Budhanilkanta Municipality at Chandeswori. As Pabitra Samaj Sewa is run by the initiation of an individual with support from some kind-hearted people and it doesn’t have any regular form of support from any government, non-government and private organizations, the problem of rehabilitation is being more challenging. In addition to their effort to build a shelter as soon as possible, we are taking an initiative to donate an additional Pre-fabricated building that can accommodate a segment of the sheltering people comfortably with proper protection from elements of nature.
The building is a prefabricated house covering an area of 975 sq ft. This dormitory style building is earthquake resistant, cost and time effective, insulated, well ventilated and highly ideal for children and old age people. The building can accommodate about 15 people comfortably. The project is estimated to be completed within 6 weeks. The detail of the building is as follows:
Appeal for Donation:
The project aims to establish a pre-fab house for the homeless, distressed, disabled and orphan sheltered by Pabitra Samaj Sewa Nepal. This project wants to ensure that their basic need of a proper shelter is met. After they get the shelter, it is hoped that they will get a stable and safe life, which is sure to raise their quality of life in the long run. In this concern, we will contribute $8775 for Prefab Super Structure including the electrical works. And we are going to raise fund for the rest of the expense which includes Foundation plus flooring works and Sanitary works amounting to $5000. As it is not possible to complete this project without the collective efforts from generous contributors, we would really appreciate if you could help us by considering donation to this noble cause. Your help is really crucial to our efforts. Your support will provide the homeless and destitute with proper home that plays an important role in their physical and emotional well-being which finally leads them to be an asset, and not a liability, to the community.Appeal For Donation:
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
Continuing the back-to back success of “Eye Camp” in past two years, a team of 9 Danish opticians and nurses came to Nepal through our premier partner Kipling Travel Denmark to conduct a week long “Free Eye Camp” in three villages of Sidhupalchowk, the hardest hit district in earthquake 2015. The team includes 6 opticians (Ms. Iversen Ane, Mr Nielsen Bjoern, Mr. Dyre Rolf, Ms Roennenfelt Jette, Mr Stegmann Knud Erik and Ms. Honore Jette) and 3 nurses (Ms. Lindedam Lene Seest, Ms. Malherbe Hanne and Ms. Stegmann Vibeke Ryberg). The camp was stationed consecutively at Jalbire, Kattike and Aiselukharka for 6 days from 13 November to 18 November.
The Eye Camp was conducted mainly for diagnostic screening and eye examining. The villagers were provided with free glasses and counseling on preventive care concerning eye health. Altogether 1649 patients (1004 females and 645 males) and 600 students were benefited from the camp. At the end of the program, the Danish Team and Explore Himalaya team thanked the local clubs, police and volunteers from beneficiary villages, whose continuous effort made the success of the program possible. The village communities also expressed gratitude to the entire organizer team for the noble service that helped hundreds of villagers to cure and identify many vision related problems. At the end of the program, the Danish team was delighted to see their hard work paid off! After the great success of “Eye Camp” program for three consecutive years, Explore Himalaya looks forward to organizing similar programs in other remote regions of Nepal.
Location: Jalbire, Sindhupalchok (1215m), approx. 84km from Kathmandu.
Location: Jalbire, Sindhupalchok
Location: Kattike, Sindhupalchok
Transfer from Kattike to Aiselu Kharka by Bus (around 5 hours’ drive)
Location: Aiselu Kharka, Sindhupalchowk
Location: Aiselu Kharka, Sindhupalchowk
Nepal has always been an ideal destination for Trekkers and Adventure lover for decades. Since the rise of Tourism after the mid-twentieth century, Nepal has now been pushed to modernization with many political and social changes. Nepalese tourism sector has grown substantially blending according to time. In 2015, it contributed almost 4.0% GDP to the nation’s economy. Along with Cultural, Mountaineering, and Eco Tourism, Volunteering tourism in Nepal has always been present and equally contributing as a pull factor for tourists all the worlds.
Following the recent chain of events, Nepalese economy has suffered a significant amount of loss due to the mega earthquake and other disasters. In this time of despair, Volunteers from all over the world have been contributing to rebuilding this Himalayan nation. From Lower Terai region to the High Himalayas, volunteers are scattered all over the country participating in social awareness campaign, infrastructure rebuild program, health care camps and in the education sector.
The earthquake of 2015 took hundreds of lives and left thousands shelter less. People have been struggling to get back to their normal life while many have already overcome the disaster and started a normal life again. Over the period of 17 months, Nepalese people have been bouncing back better.
Now it is the best time to travel in Nepal- Travelling not just in the form of recreation but also with the mean to help other peoples. It is also an opportunity to blend with the local people and their culture. Your journey can make a difference in somebody’s life on a side while on the other side; you will also take great memories back from Nepal. You will also have the opportunity to witness the damages done by the earthquake firsthand. Volunteering Tourism in Nepal can be your small effort that will make a huge difference on the rebuilding of an entire nation.