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The Himalayan Community Project

The Himalayan Community Support Project, Nepal & India

O U R   S T O R Y

The Himalaya has always been a region very close to our hearts. After all, it’s where we began trekking in the 1970s. Our long-standing personal networks throughout this region mean that we can support those often-isolated mountain communities, helping them to thrive.

Our efforts started with a tiny pot of money and a tiny pot of paint back in the 1980s, when legendary Exodus leader, Valerie Parkinson, began visiting the homes and villages of our trekking staff. Valerie’s trusted connections with these local communities led to our very first fundraiser for improving the living conditions of local Nepalese children. This blazed the trail for decades of small-scale, community-based projects which focus on uplifting women, generating economic opportunities and helping locals to conserve and regenerate their environment. 

O U R   P R O J E C T S   NOW

Thanks to the tremendous generosity of our clients, we continue to support a wide variety of causes in both the Nepalese and Indian Himalayas.

Kyanjin Gompa and Chautara Seniors Care Home Support, Nepal
Kyanjin Gompa care home in the upper Langtang Valley at an altitude of over 4,000m is home to 5 elderly Neplalis who lost their family in the 2015 earthquake. They are unable to create income to buy food and they cannot collect wood or water for cooking, and some are unable to cook for themselves. We fund food, clothing, blankets and other necessities. Chautara is a small town East of Kathmandu where we are supporting a care home for 12 people  without family. We provide food and other essential items to help them over the harsh winter. 

Residents of Kyanjin Gompa Old People’s HomeResidents of Kyanjin Gompa Old People’s Home

Angels’ children’s home, Nepal

Angel’s is a children’s home in Patan, Nepal and there are currently 15 young adults living here. Dr Rosa and Dr Ian Matheson were the founders of Friends of Angel’s in 2009. Working with many friends and supporters in the UK, they raise the money to pay for the food, house rent and education of the young people. We fund £400 twice a year, which pays for school uniforms, winter clothes and school books to enable the young people to achieve their full potential. 

HAMWWA, Nepal
We give an annual donation of £500 to HAMWWA (High Altitude Workers Welfare Association). This pays for the education of 5 children whose fathers have died either on expeditions or whilst trekking.

Women’s Eco Cafes and felted handicrafts, Ladakh, Northern India
In the Markha Valley, a popular trekking route in Ladakh, we have funded the set up of three Eco Cafes Hankar, Pensi and Kaya. Each is run by a local women’s group and serves locally made food and drink including organic coffee, plus safe, filtered drinking water. The local women are also trained in felted handicrafts which they sell in the cafes and homestays. The cafe’s are closed during winter but you can visit them on our Markha Valley trek in Ladakh in July and August.

 Eco-café in Markha Valley, LadakhWomen’s group in an eco-café in Markha Valley, Ladakh

Exodus Travels Foundation Scholarship

Sarita Praja was chosen for the Exodus scholarship for 2020. She is studying to be a nurse at the Nightingale Nursing College Lalitpur. Her 3-year course began in November 2020. She has been doing practical training in a hospital in Kathmandu – she absolutely loves the course and after a nervous start in the hospital, she has enjoyed the practical side. We will be sponsoring Sarita in her final year of training to progress her career in healthcare.

Sarita and her friends during hospital trainingSarita and her friends during hospital training

OUR PROJECTS THEN
  • Set up in 2006, the small tree nursery in Braga was one of our early environmental projects in the Himalayas. A local couple donated a field, and they collect seeds every year and raise saplings to plant out on the hillsides, or to give to local schools, monasteries, or other lodge owners with spare land. We support the couple who still look after the nursery.
  • More than 50 solar cookers installed across teahouses in the Everest region. Cookers were also donated to The Sir Edmund Hillary Hospital and School in Kunde and Khumjung, the porter shelters in both Thyangboche and GorakShep and the monastery in Thyangboche. 
  • 139 smokeless stoves have been installed in Thulopatel village in the Jiri area, where many of our trekking staff come from. 
  • We have also built two classrooms in one of the village schools in Thulopatel and provided water pipes and taps in the same village so that every house is close to a standpipe. 
  • We have donated desks and chairs to schools in Thulopatel and Gaire Mudhe.
  • In the village of Danda Kharka we provided water pipes, taps and cement for their water project, we helped the villagers get connected to a local hydro-power project and supplied poles for the electric wires.
  • We funded an all-season greenhouse for a school for disabled children in Ladakh.
  • We funded a girl’s toilet in a school in Jitpur in Nepal.
  • After the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015, we raised over £270,000 in a fantastic response from so many clients, colleagues, and partners, which enabled us to provide urgent aid to help our local staff and their families.
  • We ran a medical camp in the remote village of Thulopatel and together with Nepal Youth Foundation, we funded the rebuilding of 6 schools.
  • We gave money to over 80 of our local staff to help towards the cost of rebuilding their homes.
  • Our final earthquake help was help towards the building of a health care and birthing centre in the remote village of Chyamthang. This was finished in 2020 and the first baby was born there during the pandemic.
  • Ranbirpura is a small community of 26 families. There is no temple in the village, which means the people here have communal space for family gatherings, village social events or religious occasions. Exodus helped every year with small donations since 2013 and we are pleased to announce that the villagers from Ranbirpura gave their time and the temple/community hall is now completed. Ranbirpura is now a much needed space for the local community to gather. 

Download the current  Himalayan Community Support Project Newsletter for more information regarding Exodus’ involvement and the projects.

How You Can Help

Your contributions really do make a huge difference to the communities we aim to help. Here are a few ways you can show your support: 

Visit – come on one of Exodus’ Nepal and Ladakh holidays and you will have the opportunity to see our work in action. 

Donate – you can drop any leftover rupees you may have after your trip in a special collection box at the Royal Singi Hotel in Kathmandu, or you can donate below.

Exodus Foundation

You can either contact our Himalayan expert Valerie Parkinson, who manages all our Himalayan Community Support projects at valeriepark59@hotmail.com or you can contact Rochelle Turner at rochelle.turner@exodus.co.uk.

Himalayan Community Blogs