Besides its objective to function as a specialist adventure and cultural tour operator, Adventure Geo Treks is committed and dedicated to serve the nation as well by paying back it's local community. To enrich the objective,Adventure Geo has also started an NGO named " BASA FOUNDATION”. It is aimed to let rural people of Nepal benefit from tourism. Either it is by organizing trips to the rural Nepal where tourists rarely go or by sharing it’s earning with the rural parts of Nepal through several projects. Even sometimes the trips organized to these rural parts can prove to be very beneficial when some of the clients visiting there are interested to help or give back something to the village after seeing the conditions there so, there are many ways AGT have contributed in these kind of development of the rural society, specially the home village of AGT, a village called “BASA” in remote Solukhumbu region.
AGT has been contributing part of its profit to support the projects and also hopes to get contributions from tourists groups, individuals, national and international institutions etc who seek to make a meaningful contribution towards Nepalese Rural Communities and help the country to step ahead for the sustainable development. Some of the Projects that was possible through AGT’s and its’s well wishers are as below:
1. The First School in Basa: ( This was the first ever project started by the MD of AGT Mr. Niru Rai OR AGT, later which became an stepping stone towards the many steps to support the rural community).
Nepal’s literacy rate stands at 40%, which is one of the lowest in the world. Due to lack of funds, Government schools lack even the basic physical infrastructure, books and teachers. The educational material is inadequate, physical facilities are poorly maintained and teachers are often under-qualified or not dedicated enough. This affects the students' performance in turn.
And in this condition a remote village like Basa in the Solukhumbu region on Nepal (eastern Nepal) was no acception. This village lacked even the basic school due to which children of small age were out of reach of education and that made most of the childrens start their school late or either never start at all and it highly affected the social development of this village and it's community. As a person who suffered the same fate due to being born in this village the owner of AGT Mr. Niru Rai had realized the importance of a basic primary school in this village as no one else could ever realize. And making proper utilization of his connection with the foreigners he was able to first bring the first school building of the village which had 3 classes and could teach upto 3rd grade to the childrens from the village, this proved as a great releif for the villagers as it teaches childrens for free and was very near to send their small childrens. It took some time for the villagers to understand the importance of education but eventually most of them realized it and after some years again with the help of a french association Sol Himal AGT was able to add the second building to the school which consisted of 2 classroom and the school became able to teach students upto 5th grade. Through this constant development AGT managed to provide the teachers salary and sometimes stationaries to the childrens. AGT did everything it can to grab the attention to the needs of this village and the school. Supporting from it's income or getting help from their clients AGT helped in establishment of this school and now it is running smoothly and has more than 100 students which is a remarkable number in the region like this.
2. SPONSORSHIP to the poor and needy Children:
The School was built and now the childrens slowly started to go school which is not far anymore but there was still somethim lacking, there was need for more inspiration for the childrens to attain the school and get education.
Some of the problems was lack of income in family so, the family (Parents) focused more on working for their living than to send their childrens to school, it will be still hard to convince them the benefit of educating their children as they themselves were uneducated so, around the same time AGT got chance to get in contact with SOL HIMAL, France, a big organization in France that was helping Tibetan refugees and children in their education by finding them sponsorship in which every 4 months the childrens used to receive certain amount of money for their education through their sponsors so, this was really a great opportunity to introduce this to the village of Basa, after several efforts and attempts finally SOL HIMAL was ready to sponsor childrens of Basa for helping in their education. This brought a great change in the education. Though the childrens in Basa School upto 5th grade didn’t need any money for the education as the school was free and all the supplies are too but after that to go to other school and continue their education the children needed money and also the family did as they will have less people to work when the childrens go to school so, these all problems were solved with this project when the children started to receive the sponsorship money, this solved the problems for all and childrens now could go to school and continue their education without any problem. Since the starting of this in 2005 until now around 130 childrens of poor families get sponsor from this organization in France and kind donors of France which has played a great role in education of the childrens of this area.
3. TREE PLANTATION:
After an effective contribution in the field of Education, AGT started it’s target towards the environment which is also one of the most important factor to consider. Again due to lack of education and awareness, the villagers hardly knew about the importance of preservation of the forest resources. Trees were decreasing every year and with it several problems like lack of water resources, landslides, soil erosions was going on in the area. So, taking in mind this problem, AGT made this their another main focus point so, in 2009 AGT did it’s first tree plantation in the region along with several awareness programs and explanation about the need and importance of trees in the environment so, that the villagers could understand it’s importance and help in it’s preservation. Also the villagers were actively taking part in the plantation program also so, the project was successful and since then every year AGT has been doing tree plantation in these remote region of Solukhumbu. The fund for this again was provided by our kind friends of France, through our partner organization SOL HIMAL – FRANCE.
4. ELECTRICITY IN VILLAGE:
We didn’t stop just there, we were looking constantly for more areas and fields where there was need for help and supports and there was many. Another need for this area was electricity. Since electricity is very necessary and important for development and if it could replace the old style keroseanne lamp which was not good for health or for the pocket of the poor villagers, there was several advantages from electricity that the villagers could take so, our next project for hydro electricity began. A nearby river called “Mauri Khola” after some survey and reports exchanged, we decided on using it for the electricity source for the village.
We were fortunate to meet our friend Jeff Rasley from USA, who first did a trek with us in 2006 and we had no idea we will be doing something like this together in future. After his visit to Basa in 2008, our friend Jeff, was also really interested in helping the village and doing something for it so, after going back to his home he looked for ways to support Basa and he started his first fundraising for Basa and with the supports from kind donors of US our first project with Jeff Rasley began.
In 2010 The First Friends Basa Village Project and Miller Family Foundation raised $20,000 to purchase and install 2 hydroelectric generators and wiring for electricity for the Basa village area of 62 homes. On February 21, 2011 lights were turned on for the first time in the history of Basa village. Since then the life of Basa has been different and easier, everday of their life is now happier and brighter than before thanks to the kind donors and our friend Jeff Rasley.
5. SMOKELES STOVES:
Our next project with Jeff was even more meaningful and important as it was connected both to the health and environment of the village. It was normal for people to light woods for the fire to cook or even for the light so, this had two main effects first to the environment as more and more trees will be destroyed for this process and secondly to the health of the villagers as it will directly effect to their respiratory system, the harmful smokes will effect their lungs and cause different respiratory health problems like asthma, also it showed problems in sights and all so, there was lots of disadvantages of these system so, we were determined to change this system forever so, we discussed with our friend Jeff about the possibilities and then began our second project. We found the best alternative for this problem to be smokeless stoves which will consume very less firewood and at the sametime avoid the smoke inside the house like before.
Our friend Jeff with co-ordinatin with The First Friends Project also raised sufficient funds in the summer of 2011 to purchase the parts to construct 62 smokeless stoves for the village. Members of our trekking group from Jeff’s group visited homes throughout the village and were shown the smokeless stoves now in each home in Basa. The villagers were especially proud of their own work in assembling the stoves and building chimneys into their homes.
Smokeless stoves will have great health benefits for the villagers. Currently firewood is the primary fuel for heating and cooking. Villagers inhale carbon smoke every day of their lives. By significantly reducing the reliance on firewood there should be a great reduction in cardio-pulmonary problems and cataracts. Smokeless stoves will also significantly reduce deforestation. Villagers were burning at least 9 sticks each day for cooking and heating. The smokeless stoves have reduce the number of sticks needed to 3 per day.
6. MEDICINE SUPPLIES:
AGT has also equally contributed in the medical section of this area. The only one health post of this area in Basa – 4 hardly gets attention from the Government and most of the time the necessary medicines are not available there so, it would be a big problem when some villagers have some problems and come for treatment in the only nearby health post so, AGT with co-operation with SOL HIMAL France have contributed several times medicine supplies, equipments, furnitures etc that are necessary for the smooth running of the healthpost. Now a days the healthpost have no problem like before and can easily do the basic treatment and provide medicines to all the villagers that come there with big hope and not any villagers have to walk 7-8 hours to district headquarter to get medical treatment. So, this is another very important field of our contribution.
AGT has covered almost all fields of community needs and requirements in this region and plans to extend it further to more fields and more communities as per it’s capacity and ability.
Please view our community services photos at below:
© Adventure Geo Treks, 2012
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