New volunteer and family trips spur Nepal tourism and bring hands-on volunteers
Journeys International, an Ann Arbor-based adventure tour operator, is excited to announce the addition of two new trips to Nepal: Hands On the Himalayas, and Nepal Family Adventure. The two itineraries are very different, but both have the same ultimate intention: support the rebuilding efforts in Nepal by attracting tourists to the earthquake-ravaged nation where Journeys got its start 37 years ago.
Robin Weber Pollak, President of Journeys International, said, “Nepal’s economy is tourism-based. Especially after all tours were suspended during peak 2015 tourism months, one of the most important things we can do is inspire travelers to return to Nepal for their 2016 vacations. It’s a bonus if we can provide direct assistance with the rebuilding efforts.”
On the 11-day Hands on the Himalayas trip, scheduled for March with Journeys Nepal Director Narayan Shrestha and Destination Specialist Kerina Rowley, travelers will explore Kathmandu, hike among the villages in the Okhaldhunga district, and donate time and energy to help rebuild areas damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Throughout the trip, they’ll meet with and eat with local villagers to hear their stories while learning about their way of life. Volunteer projects may include rebuilding houses, hauling supplies, or painting schools, depending on what is needed at the time. Shrestha is also available to accompany private departures of this trip.
The 11-day Nepal Family Adventure trip was designed specifically for families traveling with kids. With only a few hotels—minimizing packing and unpacking—and activities such as school visits, cultural experiences, wildlife encounters, and rafting, everyone in the family will enjoy the balance of sightseeing with downtime. Trips are scheduled during school holidays and can also be organized privately on request.
Nepal and the Nepalese people are at the core of Journeys International. Journeys got its start in Nepal in 1978, and continues to operate a Journeys Nepal office. Since the earthquake, the Earth Preservation Fund (EPF), the nonprofit arm of Journeys, has collected over $75,000 in donations to provide critical and urgent support where it was most needed.
Funds from the EPF supported the purchase and distribution of food, water, blankets, mattresses, tarps, tents, and medical supplies to areas outside of Kathmandu, which were underserved by major relief organizations. Also, in cooperation with local medical groups, Journeys organized health clinics to provide medical assistance for both untreated injuries as well as those that only received rudimentary first-aid after the earthquake. Current projects include rebuilding homes, schools, and libraries.
Journeys’ Kathmandu-based Managing Director, Narayan Shrestha, is supervising Journeys Nepal relief efforts and will be on the Hands on the Himalaya trip. He posts regular updates on Facebook, including this: “I cry when I see these places, where houses are gone and families are dead. But I am so happy [that] because of the Journeys family I am able to help some victims. Wherever I go to help it gives me peace. My family is helping me, and my wife and daughter are encouraging me to continue this relief work.”
- To see detailed itineraries for the two trips, visit Hands On the Himalayas and Nepal Family Adventure
- For updated information about ongoing relief projects, visit the Journeys Blog at com/ and Journeys Facebook page at Facebook.com/JourneysInternational
- To support the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund with a tax-deductible donation, visit com/Earth-Preservation-Fund
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