If you haven’t visited Nepal then it should definitely be on your bucket list. This magical land beneath the himalayas is one of the most spectacular places on earth, and those who visit never leave the same.
If it’s not the beauty of the scenery that will awe you, it’s the kindness and humbleness of the people. Their resilience after the devastating 2015 earthquake is astounding, and while there are many who are still rebuilding their lives, one aspect that has played a big part in helping to rebuild this country and it’s people is tourism.
Tourism accounts for 7.5 percent of Nepal’s GDP (Kathmandu Post) and, through sustainable tourism initiatives, is set to play a big role in the country’s future. Many businesses are now setting up with a social impact arm that’s either having a positive impact on people, the environment or both. Below are a list of 5 impactful social enterprises are making a big difference and that you can support while visiting Nepal.
This social impact arm of Royal Mountain Travel is helping to connect travellers with locals through a homestay program that sees community members opening their homes to people from all over the world, giving insight into the real Nepal lifestyle. The programs have launched in 9 regions across the country with the aim to expand. Not only does the homestay program allow travellers to completely immerse themselves into this beautiful country, the programs also provided income and sustainable development to families and marginalised communities throughout Nepal.
Welcome To My Yard
The Welcome To My Yard tour is a walking day-tour of Kathmandu, with profits going to support the work of Welcome To My Yard. The social enterprise provides community-based support, practical education, training and savings schemes for at-risk youth and families in the community. Take a half day or full day tour through the backstreets of Kathmandu, finding hidden locations and local tips and insights from a Kathmandu resident.
Seeing Hands Nepal
Seeing Hands is a social enterprise providing training and employment opportunities for visually impaired people through massage therapy . There are 4 clinics in operation throughout Nepal, each employing teams of professionally-trained blind therapists who provide massages to visiting guests. Part of the money earned through the program is used to fund the training and employment of more blind masseurs, providing more employment opportunities. Whether in Kathmandu or Pokhara you can stop by for a massage that supports a good cause.
Higher Ground is a social enterprise with a vision to provide income generation skills, job opportunities, rehabilitation & counselling for disadvantaged and marginalised women and youth in Nepal.
Higher Ground has a bakery, cafe and a crafts centre on its premises where they provide on-the-job bakery training and employment opportunity to their students. The cafe serves a variety of baked goods and specialty coffee drinks, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. The women at the enterprise make quality hand-crafted jewellery, clothing, bags, and accessories that you can purchase to help their cause.
Local Women’s Handicrafts
Local Women’s Handicrafts is a fair trade textile and handicraft collective in Kathmandu, focused on empowering and educating disadvantaged women using sustainable methods. The shop, located in Thamel Kathmandu, sells a range of handicrafts made by the women and profits made are reinvested back into local women’s community projects. You can also participate in your own handicraft workshop with the women through I Like Local.