Monday, August 22, 2011

Contract Renewed with Save the Children

Brian (left) and Raj (right) signing the contract

A renewal contract between socialtours and Save the Children International has been signed between Vishwaraj (Raj) Gyawali, Founder Director and Brian Hunter, Country Director.

"We are planting seeds today that will lead to a better and direct involvement of the private sector in development in Nepal" said Brian, referring to the direct relationships between socialtours and partner NGO's of Save the Children International that have been set up as part of this contract

"socialtours has always been interested in channelising travel philanthropy into development. This relationship gives us an opportunity to work with projects and priorities that have been vetted out by Save the Children, thereby giving us confidence that the small development investments made by travellers are made in the right projects" said Raj Gyawali

Several volunteering options with Partner NGO's have been identified in the past year by Save the Children and socialtours and currently, one short term volunteer has already been placed in a small village school supported by a Partner NGO called Tuki Sangh in Sindupalchowk. Robert Dillingham, who works for Microsoft in the US, and is aspiring to do a 27 months stint with Peace Corps, is teaching English and helping advance computer skills in this remote district. He will be here for three months.

socialtours has also launched on their website, fixed departures for Charity Challenge treks to Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp starting September 2011, aimed at supporting causes developed by the Partner NGO's. Clients coming to these treks have to pay the logistics costs, and will also have to fund raise per meter climbed during the trek to support these educational causes.

Work is also underway to find programs that will directly support the Save the Childrens Everyone campaign, and find traveller and Nepali funding through tourism for developing model birthing centres in Lalitpur that can be replicated all over Nepal.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dancing with Shamans | All Womens Trek

08th Aug | 0800 hrs | the group ready to set off
Not by design at all, but coincidentally, the yearly departure we have to Gosainkunda Lake for the August Full Moon, called Dancing with Shamans, this year, has taken an interesting turn. Its an all Womens' Group, and we are so proud of it!

It is led by Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, who is an accomplished mountain athlete; running extreme marathons, rock climbing, ice-climbing and mountaineering. She is leading a group of five women; two Austrian teenagers, one German (who is preparing for her 125+ days Great Himalaya Trail journey), one American teacher and a Nepali journalist.

They are of course also supported by men. Three porters and a small crew who will reach Gosainkunda with tents from the other side.

Every year, during the August Full Moon, Shamans and Nepali pilgrims converge at the 4300m lake at Gosainkunda for a full night of festivities. This is one of the most unique treks one can undertake in Nepal.

Lake Gosainkunda | 4300m


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