Lakpha and his son Fura, good friends and past trip leaders of ours, were on their way to another strong season of income climbing Mt Everest. They both had summited before. The COVID hit. Nawang, a carpenter breaking into trekking was excited about the spring and fall season, the only trekking season in the Everest area. Then COVID hit. Palde, our cook was killed in an avalanche leaving a wife with five kids. His wife somehow had been hanging on for a few years. The family is living in a one room apartment in Kathmandu with all the kids in school. Then COVID hit. She could not even leave the house to buy the daily food.
People who rely on tourism worldwide have taken one of the longest and deepest financial hits from loss of jobs from COVID. In poorer countries, often that means people started to go hungry. The irony is most of the lower paid tourist people started in farming communities. Their life was improved with the income from tourism. Now, they can not feed their families.
As in many countries, JOS has tried to supply relief as it can. So far 41 families have received food. Palde’s family with $500 was able to eat for 2.5 months. As the pandemic continues, the situation gets worse.
Help us provide emergency food to the hardworking people we know who help us when we are Nepal. Initially the funds are used for emergency food. Now we are trying to help people start a new stream of income so they can feed themselves. For example, a one time donation to buy chickens that can then be raised and sold and repeated.
For 30 years Pack Paddle Ski has worked with what has become an extended family of Sherpas for us when we go to Nepal. We have stayed in their houses, joined their weddings and assisted them during the earthquake, sponsoring students in school and guide training and other ways of supporting their ability to sustain themselves. They have been with us on Pilgrimage to see the Dali Lama. We have joined with them to assist in much needed projects in Nepal.
The current project is a school in Jhule. We will be there in 2018 to visit the site and begin construction. We will be going over each year after to continue projects in Jhule.
This school will facilitate children from around 20-30 household in the area. Currently the children have to walk many hours, passing thin forests and especially difficult during the monsoon season.
We are planning to add a multipurpose hall/building also which can be used by the community for various purposes. This part of the building will also include a few rooms for guests/ volunteers to generate income for the sustaining of the project.
We will also operate smaller projects to educate the locals: handicrafts, farming, etc.
French Friends of Nepal, an association in France, has collected an amount of US $13,000 in France and they continue their efforts. We need a total of US $44,000 to initiate the project. We would be glad to show you the plans and budget if you like.
Please consider joining us on site or by sharing your resources with your friends. $100 gets a name on a brick, $1000 a section of classroom and $5000 a complete wall.
I went to Jhule today in Nepal. Amazing story strating in 1979 when a Nepal girl was given to a passing French expedition. Fast forward past the times when you could only walk t this village, a reuniting of the daughter with family, earthquake relief to today.
Here we are beginning with our partnership with our family friends, Zhmba Sherpa of over 30 years to build a school, and build a Sherpa community center. School is easy to imagine the need here. Sherpa community center….the Sherpa culture is fading. The language is not written so has to be learned orally. The rich dances, foods and other Buddist traditoins are being lost as the young peope immerse into the modern life of Kathmandu and beyond. A mix of dedicated young people and elders have started to build a Sherpa culture center in this specataular space. Here Elders will be valued as they pass onto the young these important and rich cultural traditions. It is multi year project. To date land is bought, stones in place.
Next step is to carve the windows and doors by some of our other Sherpa carpenter friends. Somedayy I hope to sit and sip Sherpa tea here, learn more of that old language and watch the high himalayas.