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Everest with Mountain Madness

Thanksgiving in Nepal

As we reflect on the things we are thank­ful for this week, it is impor­tant to remem­ber those around the world who are less for­tu­nate. Over the years, Moun­tain Mad­ness has been get­ting more oppor­tu­ni­ties to give back to the com­mu­ni­ties we vis­it on our moun­taineer­ing and trekking trips. When you trek with Moun­tain Mad­ness in Nepal, we donate a por­tion of your trip fee to sup­port fam­i­lies and chil­dren in Nepal. This year, we worked with Chang­ing Lives Nepal to help sup­port 13 chil­dren at an orphan­age plus over 150 rur­al farm­ers improv­ing their lives by learn­ing to grow organ­ic tea. 

Mark reads to the chil­dren dur­ing his vis­it to Kath­man­du last Octo­ber.
Mark Gun­log­son photo

Rur­al fam­i­lies in Nepal can earn sub­stan­tial income by
learn­ing to grow tea on oth­er­wise unus­able land.
Deana Zabal­do photo

A local tea nurs­ery where farm­ers learn to cul­ti­vate tea saplings.
Deana Zabal­do photo

The orphan­age has giv­en these chil­dren (and staff) a new start. Chil­dren who had insuf­fi­cient food, no par­ents or abu­sive fam­i­ly sit­u­a­tions, and lit­tle edu­ca­tion now form a fam­i­ly, have reg­u­lar meals, are learn­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty, and have good health care and reg­u­lar school atten­dance. The home has self-suf­fi­cient com­po­nents to cov­er some of its needs, and Chang­ing Lives Nepal pro­vides addi­tion­al sup­port for food, toi­lets, school schol­ar­ships, uni­forms, and books.

The Chil­dren’s Home. Mark Gun­log­son photo

In 2009, MM Guide Deana Zabal­do, who has been instru­men­tal in the orga­ni­za­tion of the orphan­age, helped with the ren­o­va­tion of a tra­di­tion­al farm­house 3 hours from Kath­man­du and the place­ment of chil­dren in the home. Chil­dren attend a near­by school, where we have also been involved. It has some of the best test scores in the region and has become entire­ly inde­pen­dent and self-sustaining.

To dis­cour­age beg­ging, play­ing games with the chil­dren can go a long way.
Mar­tin Sid­well photo

The farm­house is sur­round­ed by cash crops that both con­tribute to the children’s diet and are sold to gen­er­ate income for the home. Their goal is to sup­port 15 chil­dren through their basic edu­ca­tion and to cre­ate a replic­a­ble mod­el for sus­tain­able, income-gen­er­at­ing devel­op­ment in line with their philosophy.

Deana with the chil­dren. Mark Gun­log­son photo

In 2011, Mark Gun­log­son’s daugh­ter’s Girl Scout troop worked hard to raise mon­ey to pur­chase a lap­top for the home, which we were hap­py to send over to Kath­man­du with Deana this month, as she pre­pared to lead the first Ever­est Base Camp Trek of the sea­son. The Girl Scout troop also had a chance to inter­act with the chil­dren of the orphan­age last sea­son when they sewed unique pil­lows for the chil­dren. The kids were so excit­ed to receive these gifts from their friends in Seattle. 

Gan­ga and Jamu­na, twins named for sacred rivers in Nepal, are
two of the orphans going to school with Moun­tain Mad­ness sup­port.
Deana Zabal­do photo

Pasang Dor­je Lama and San­jay Giri with their pil­lows.
Mark Gun­log­son photo

The orphans with their new lap­top from Moun­tain Mad­ness.
Deana Zabal­do photo

Moun­tain Mad­ness is com­mit­ted to social respon­si­bil­i­ty, and we are hav­ing a pos­i­tive impact in Nepal. We lead the trekking indus­try in fair treat­ment of porters and staff, pro­vid­ing staff health insur­ance for emer­gen­cies, and pay­ing good wages. We also give back through­out the year to help Nepal’s rur­al poor. 

Join us for a 2012 Nepal Adven­ture with con­fi­dence that you are trav­el­ing responsibly…and trav­el­ing with the best! 

If you would like the chance to help these chil­dren, you can donate to Chang­ing Lives Nepal. Thank you to those Ever­est Base Camp trekkers who have already done their part to make a dif­fer­ence. You are chang­ing lives!

(some mate­r­i­al above excerpt­ed from www​.chang​inglives​nepal​.org)