Karma’s Food Packages
Delivering meals to poor and vulnerable people in Kathmandu
The tourism industry was hit hard in Nepal, which resulted in a huge rise in the number of unemployed, homeless, and hungry in Kathmandu. Many businesses that depend fully or partly on the travel industry collapsed and there was little to- no government schemes in Nepal to support those left without jobs. Thousands were left without income and unable to pay rent or buy food, and, although the situation is different from the devastating earthquake in 2015, the country – especially Kathmandu – was on its knees once again.
Karma, one of our Exodus team in Nepal, owns a small bakery there. When tourism halted, he was baking more than he sells and giving the surplus to those in need on the streets nearby. Our Community Kickstart Project supported him to expand his inspiring efforts and to employ our local tour leaders in distributing packed meals. Each day, Karma and his family are baked bread and packed 50 food parcels, distributed by Exodus’ tour leaders to the needy and vulnerable across Kathmandu. By distributing dry food (bread, eggs, fruit) rather than a hot meal, these parcels were taken by the recipients to be shared with others or eaten later.
“The food packages have given me and my family a purpose. I can keep busy knowing I am helping some of the poorest sections of society. I am proud I can help in a small way, especially helping feed the garbage workers who tirelessly throughout the pandemic have been keeping our streets clean for us. It has kept me in touch with Exodus and some of my local leaders as we have organised the logistics of the food packages. My children have helped making the paper bags so my whole family has been involved of which I am very proud.”– Karma Sherpa Lama, Exodus Operator in Nepal
“There are many thousands of people in Nepal who rely on the tourism industry to earn the money to feed their families. With Coronavirus causing an almost total collapse in visitor numbers very few have any income or indeed savings to feed hungry mouths. Whether they were porters, guides, tea shop or lodge staff, through our friends and colleagues in Kathmandu we are supplying meal packs directly to those that need it most. Nepal has given many of us some of the most exhilarating and fulfilling travel experiences of our lives. In their time of need let’s give something back. And let us all hope that Nepal can welcome visitors again very soon.”– Pete Burrell, previous Chair of Trustees, Exodus Travels Foundation
“This initiative is such an important project for us to be supporting as it is so needed now in Nepal. Since the pandemic started, tourism in Nepal (as in the rest of the world) has stopped. Nepal has no government help for any workers and people have been left on the street with no income and no money to pay for rent or food. This is a small scale project involving our own leaders and the food is going direct to the people who need it desperately.”– Valerie Parkinson, Exodus Himalayan Tour Leader
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