Duration: 31 Days
Group size: Unspecified FULL
Dates: April 10th – 9th May 2018
Cost: £1200 + International Airfare £450 – £500
In 2005, George Band, the then Chairman of the Himalayan Trust UK, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his first ascent of Kangchenjunga by visiting Taplejung District in the remote north east of Nepal. Whilst there, he was approached by villagers on numerous occasions and asked if the Himalayan Trust UK could improve the education and health of these remote communities. George returned to the UK and presented the petitions to the trust, and so, in 2007, we embarked on a programme of teacher training and school development in the most remote VDCs (Village Development Committees) of Taplejung District, namely Lelep, Tapethok, Ikhabu, Olangchungola and more recently Yamphudin. Here we use a Nepali NGO, REED Nepal (Rural Education and Environmental Development Nepal) to devise and implement a programme throughout 29 schools. The work they have achieved and the progress in development made is truly remarkable and testament to their hard work. More recently the trust has started work to improve the health provision in the same VDCs.
The Himalayan Trust UK is keen to share its projects with experienced, suitably qualified people who would either like to get involved on the ground or support the work of the trust through fundraising. What would really benefit the schools is some input and guidence from experienced teachers, particularly in the fields of English, Maths and Science. It would ideally suit newly, or recently retired teachers, who are reasonably fit, who feel they still have lots to offer and who are willing to give their time and energy to help improve the educational outcomes of schools in this remote and very beautiful part of Nepal.
The area would also value any advisory input from medical personnel, either recently retired or taking a career break, to help improve the medical provision of the few health posts in the area, to educate the communities about better health and hygiene and to support the existing medical staff who work with very limited resources. Here we would be working in close partnership with our medical NGO, AFNepal.
We are acutely aware that for many people it is impossible to give up a large chunk of time, so with that in mind, this trek is designed to allow participants to spend three weeks trekking the trails of this remote region visiting schools and clinics along the way with the support of trustees and our NGO coordinators. At the end of the trek would take time to share our observations concerns and highlights with a view of collectively contributing to the way forward.
Throughout the trek we would stay in local lodges, living in many respects with families but having a degree of independence. Food will be relatively basic and quite repetitive with a limited menu according to the season. If suitable accommodation is not available we will be carrying tents, allowing us to be self-contained as far as sleeping arrangements are concerned.
The Himalayan Trust UK, REED Nepal and AFNepal will give as much help and support as is possible but at the end of the day you will need to be self reliant, resourceful, comfortable in an unfamiliar environment and culture, adaptable and all the other characteristics and qualities that independent travellers need.
The purpose of this expedition is to give you an experience unlike any you would get on a normal, commercial trek. It will open many doors that might not normally be open to you, take you off the beaten track, to give you a flavour of life in the mountains away from all modern ameniies and conveniences. You will find the people friendly and welcoming, and even if language is a barrier a smile can say a thousand words.
Where possible we will stay in lodges and eat lodge food. We hope we will have a cook with us to help with food preparation etc. and to ensure that the basics of hygiene are adhered to. Porters will carry our personal kit and any items of group luggage. It is because we are not approaching this expedition style but taking advantage of local amenities, without the use of a trekking agency, we can keep the cost down.
If you want further information or would like to discuss the possibility of your participation as a potential volunteer, please do get in touch