About

Securing a brighter future for Nepal's children

The Himalayan Development Foundation Australia is an Australian-based charitable incorporated association. Our members and supporters are connected to the people of the Himalayas through shared experiences of trekking, rafting, travel and mountaineering expeditions with Nepalese people. We want to “give something back” to Himalayan communities in need, where their own governments are struggling to make a difference.

We believe sustainable development requires a balanced approach. We engage and consult with each community with an emphasis on six key pillars of development: Education, Child Safety, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Conservation and Economic Development.

Nepal is experiencing a flow of young people from villages to cities and overseas. This puts huge pressure on the villages, the cities and the young people themselves. HDFA is addressing the challenge of stemming the flow through much enhanced communications, jobs, better education outcomes and an economic upside for people to remain and return to the remote areas. We aim to develop skills and economic capacity within the communities so they may take care of their own future with responsibility and a level of financial security.

HDFA’s approach

We employ a multilayered approach that supports the basic developmental needs of the community but also strives to break through a “system” which is not serving the community, and particularly its youth. We are driving direct stimulation of economic outcomes, and at the same time shaking up the way education and health care are delivered.

 

Ghunsa Village Development Project (Kanchenjunga region)

Members of the HDFA have been working with Sherpas from the Kanchenjunga region since 1998 and have excellent connections with the local people.

Ghunsa village at 3,400m above sea level is several days trek from the nearest road and district headquarters at Taplejung, the capital of the Mechi District. It is positioned in the shadow of Mt Kanchenjunga – the world’s third highest peak, near border with Darjeeling in India. Ghunsa village is predominantly occupied by Sherpa people, with a nearby Tibetan refugee camp at Phole, a one hour trek down valley.

Our site visits and meetings, and collaboration with local leadership groups and Non-Government Organisations have identified key elements that are missing in the development of the local community here. Health care and education require a major effort, including the basic infrastructure to support education, such as the initiative to immediately renovate the existing school and construct a hostel to house up to 30 children who, because of remoteness to the school, simply do not attend, and so receive no formal education. 

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