Active Hearts Himalaya
We are proud to support Active Hearts Himalaya - a charity founded by our senior guide in Nepal, Dan Keys (DK). After living and working in the Himalayas and spending time in the remote villages of our Nepalese guides and porters, it became apparent to our team in Nepal that more could be done to help the communities than just sharing gifts and smiles. The Nepalese are wonderfully humble and caring folk who constantly make our trekking tours magic by sharing their homes, culture and friendship. Active Hearts Himalaya began as a small token of appreciation for the kindness and generosity our friends in Nepal have shown.
Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal on April 25th 2015, all resources are now being channeled towards relief efforts and the rebuild. It is the Active Heart's intention to revisit the original library project once urgent work has been completed.
"We are a grass roots, front line aid team focused directly on those that count. As they are family to us. We are not bound by politics or red tape and are sourcing all our relief directly from the ground. Giving a much needed boost to the now collapsed economy." - DK
Phase One - Immediate relief
DK, Mel, Gokul, Arjun and friends set about sourcing, packing, transporting and distributing urgent supplies; tarps, ropes, mats, clothing, head torches, medicine, towels and other such items. No small feat considering similar operations were happening all across Kathmandu, making supplies scarce. They also managed to get a generator for lighting and charging for their communal sleeping shelter of 32 people.
Over the next week, they delivered 4 Jeep loads to Gogane and saw literally hundreds of patients at their make-shift clinic. The photo above is of Gokul, Kelsey and Jenna. Gokul of course is one of our amazing Active Adventures guides, whilst Kelsey and Jenna are both nurses who've teamed up with Active Hearts Himalaya to help with relief efforts. They have been invaluable in the village, attending to hundreds of injured and unwell Nepalese. They also distributed 4500kg of rice; one bag for each family, which will last perhaps a month. They were the only aid at this village and it's unlikely other aid will reach this remote area.
Phase Two - Preparing for the monsoon season
It's difficult to convey the severity of the situation in these remote villages. Even before the earthquakes the villagers prepare to be cut-off during monsoon season, and now they're dealing with a lack of permanent shelter and damage to their vital water source - water that irrigates the terraced fields that feed the entire area.
Using some of the funds raised, the team have ordered 20 temporary monsoonal shelters. DK and the team are also addressing the destroyed irrigation system; they're going to run a pipe 1100 metres from the primary water source to the upper village fields. This is a major project that will benefit around 2000 people, a committee has been set up and digging is already under-way with the entire community involved in construction.
How to follow Active Hearts Himalaya
For live updates from our team on the ground in Nepal please follow the Active Hearts Himalaya Facebook page. We will also send regular newsletter updates as often as we can.
Gareth Leonard, the author of Tourist2Townie has also been involved with Active Hearts Himalaya - many of the images you see here are taken by Gareth. Gareth and Clint (TripHackr) actually finished hiking to EBC with us about a week before the first earthquake struck. Gareth then returned to spend time with DK and the team documenting the initial relief work. His photos and stories are excellent.