Mt. Manaslu in Himalayas, Nepal (Shutterstock: see credit below)
Article Words : Hazel Plush | 30 April

How you can help Nepal

This incredible country needs your assistance now. From charitable donations to voluntary rebuilding trips, here's how to help Nepal after the earthquake

The news of April's devastating earthquake in Nepal has shocked us all to the core. The adventure travel industry, which employs thousands of Nepalese people and encourages travel to all parts of the country, has responded in force – with many tour operators and local companies pledging to match donations and help get more assistance on the ground.

In many cases, these appeals are made even more poignant by the companies' close working relationships with the affected communities. If you want to help make a difference by donating your time or money, consider these charitable foundations and schemes:

Community Action Nepal

Community Action Nepal has been working with remote mountain communities in Nepal for 20 years – building and running rural health posts, schools, porter welfare shelters and community projects. It is a highly respected NGO and INGO amongst both local Nepali communities and the Nepalese Government Agencies. Community Action Nepal is focused on long-term support, rebuilding and rehabilitation of remote mountain communities.

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Paldorje Education Fund (Sherpa Adventure Gear)

Gear manufacturer Sherpa Adventure Gear is based in Kathmandu, so the staff have witnessed the devastation first-hand. All donations will go to the company's Paldorje Education Fund network, which has already been set up to benefit the children of Sherpa families in remote villages. Through their contacts in each community, they will provide support where it does the most good throughout the long recovery, focusing on remote, rural areas..
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Gurkha Welfare Trust (Mountain Kingdoms)

Specialist Trekking and mountaineering operator Mountain Kingdoms has worked in Nepal since it was set up in 1987 – back then, the company was known as Himalayan Kingdoms. It will be making donations to the Gurkha Welfare Trust, which supports nearly 7,000 retired Gurkha soldiers and widows in Nepal who have no other form of income.

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Friends of Conservation (Exodus)

Exodus promised to match the first £15,000 raised via their campaign – and they've long since exceeded that target. To date, they've raised almost £150,000. The money will be spent with the company's partner foundation Friends of Conservation. Exodus's managing director Pete Burrell is going out to Nepal to support the company's staff and assess how the money should be spent. The website states: "We may use some funds to provide quick relief if we can see a way of doing that in the mountain communities, but most will be spent helping these villages rebuild their communities, homes, schools and lives, over the coming months."

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World Expeditions Foundation (World Expeditions)

To date, World Expeditions has donated AUS$50,000 to this charitable foundation's Nepal appeal - and is urging its customers to do so to. They have been leading trips in the Himalayas for years, and will be supporting a range of local initiatives and rebuilding projects. 

Also, they are calling on skilled people to assist in the recovery of Nepal: "We’ve received many enquiries from people who are keen to help in Nepal’s rebuild. Over the coming months we will work with our Kathmandu staff to select a number of remote communities in need of our assistance, to rebuild their schools and community infrastructure. The Service Trips will be offered by our not-for-profit division, Community Project Travel. This is where you can donate more than dollars, and volunteer your time and effort."

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Juniper Trust (KE Adventure)

KE Adventure Travel has supported the Juniper Trust for 20 years, a volunteer-run charity which to date has provided funds for three schools in Kathmandu and more recently to supporting the Adarsha Bal Vikas Kendra School for physically and mentally handicapped children. Within a week of the earthquake, the trust sent over £5,000-worth of blankets, tents and food to give out in affected areas.

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Intrepid Foundation/Plan International (Intrepid Travel)

“The situation in Nepal is heartbreaking," says James Thornton, Managing Director of the Intrepid Group. "This is a part of the world that is close to the hearts of many of us." Intrepid has pledged to match every dollar donated up to AU$100,000 via the Intrepid Foundation, and will cover all administration costs.

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Mercy Corps (KEEN)

Footwear manufacturer KEEN has partnered with Mercy Corps, a leading global humanitarian organisation, to help bring relief to communities in Nepal through Mercy Corps’ Nepal Earthquake Response Fund. KEEN will match every dollar raised up to $20,000 – with a total goal of raising $40,000. As a founding member of the Mercy Corps Disaster Response Corps, KEEN has provided more than $150,000 since 2013 to ensure when a disaster strikes Mercy Corps has the ability to respond immediately to meet urgent needs for food, water and shelter, and stay beyond the emergency to partner with communities for their long-term recovery.

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Disasters Emergency Committee/British Red Cross

Ramblers Worldwide Holidays and On the Go are supporting Disasters Emergency Committee. Explore and Walks Worldwide are supporting the British Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal (part of the Disasters Emergency Committee). 



Image: Mt. Manaslu in Himalayas, Nepal (Shutterstock)