THE SHARE THE LOAD FOUNDATION
Volunteering and charitable work in Nepal
Can you imagine carrying a 30kg load up a mountain in sandals? How about facing the glaring Himalayan sun, and getting cataracts as a result? Can you envision yourself walking to work in the rain without a raincoat or brolly? We couldn’t and we think you would struggle to. That’s why we want to Share the Load.
Throughout our travels in Asia, (and especially in the countries we operate in), the one thing we have always noticed and took away with us, was the poor conditions endured by porters, their families and the communities through which we passed. Finding it difficult to shake these observations, we decided that we wouldn’t be able to set up a tour company working with these people in their communities, without giving back.
From the very beginning, we have ensured that our employees and porters and anyone else that we have direct interactions with are treated fairly, looked after well and paid a decent wage. We realised that we could really make a difference. Porters, their families and members of remote mountain communities often lack the appropriate equipment and clothing necessary for living in such a harsh mountain environment. High altitude and the powerful rays of the sun can also have a damaging affect on their eyes, with many suffering from Cataracts. A condition that is quite rare and easily treatable in our country can be devastating for the livelihoods of those affected in developing nations.
What had started as a company working to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) had now turned into a fully blown charity, aptly named The Share the Load Foundation.
The main objectives of The Share the Load Foundation is to collect clothing, sunglasses and equipment for porters, their families and the remote mountain communities that we visit along the way. In the long term we would like to provide support and hopefully, with your help, financial assistance to some of the medical facilities and medical research programmes in the areas we operate in.
We cannot carry everything with us, and all we are asking is that when you book one of our tours, to please bring a small bag of good quality second hand clothing so that we can distribute it to those who need it most. Alternatively at the end of our tours, please feel free to leave behind anything you don’t want. We will be able to find a good home for all of it. Help us Share the Load, and remember; our porters will be sharing yours. More information can be found out here www.ippg.net
The Share the Load Foundation are also pleased to be supporting the Mandali Primary School in the remote Nepalese village of Beluwa. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas and in the heart of the Ghorka region, Beluwa is off the beaten track, far from the classic tourist trail. It is also KP’s home village.
How can I volunteer?
We believe at Lost Earth Adventures that volunteering is not something you should pay to do. If you want to volunteer at the school then contact us and we’ll arrange to get you out to the school and looked after by a local family. The school needs many things one of which is a good lick of paint to make it a nicer environment to learn. They could also do with some book cases and other furniture like tables and desks. If you’re good with your hands then you’d be a great help! If you can teach English that would also be another great help. Maybe you’re a doctor that would like to trek between the remote villages offering assistance? Or perhaps you are an IT expert who has a dozen old laptops kicking around that you could donate to the school, then spend a week teaching them how to use them. You’d need to be patient though as electricity is pretty unreliable. Maybe you’d like to help install the water pump when we get it.
The village is very poor and education is limited so any help would be appreciated. If you’ve got a skill then let us know. When you come to Nepal we’d arrange for you to stay with a local family. You would have to pay a small amount for your board and lodgings and any logistics involved in getting you to the village. Lost Earth Adventures will not take any money for arranging the services and the only people to profit from this will be the school. It will be a highly rewarding experience and you will genuinely be off the beaten track working for a good cause seeing first hand the difference you are making. The people of the Himalaya might be poor but they are the most hard working, friendly and happy people on the planet.
Click here for more information on our volunteering programs.
Lost Earth Adventures and our not-for-profit organisation, The Share the Load Foundation are now pleased to be supporting the Mandali Primary School in the remote Nepalese village of Beluwa. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas and in the heart of the Ghorka region, Beluwa is off the beaten track, far from the classic tourist trail. It is also KP’s home village.
The village is lacking in infrastructure and does not even have running water facilities. Every day villagers must walk for over an hour each way to ensure they have water. The majority of families work as farmers and survive off of as little as £3.50/day. For many, there is no other option but to keep the children from school so that they can work the land. Despite the hardship there is a great sense of community pride, passion and spirit!
The Mandali Primary School, which is the only school in the region, is also in serious need of a library, text books, calculators and the basic supplies needed for children to learn.
The Share the Load Foundation was originally started to distribute clothing, sunglasses and outdoor trekking equipment to our porters, their families and communities while trekking, after seeing first hand the conditions that they so often live in. This grassroots initiative has now expanded to include other deprived areas of Nepal and to not only provide clothing and trekking equipment, but also to assist in the educational development of school children.
How can you help?
• When you come one of our tours please bring any educational supplies, sporting equipment or old clothes with you. Or contact us to see how we can distribute items in Nepal for you.
• Donate money using the donate button below or via BACS payment to Share the Load Foundation, Barclays bank, account number: 40199664, sort code: 209956
What will we use the money for?
The first priority is to install a water pump. Keeping the school stocked with equipment is the next priority.
Work In Progress
April 2012 – Ran a teeth cleaning program at the Mandali Primary School, donated books, pens, sporting equipment and class room materials.
November 2012 – Donated 100 jumpers to help the pupils get through the harsh winter. Took boxes of classroom equipment from our generous donors as well as kitting out 4 porters in high quality outdoor clothing.
Work moving forward:
We are making plans to provide piped water to the village of Beluwa.