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Eco-Tourism Capacity Building

The Eco-tourism Capacity Building Program is aimed at increasing the skills of tourism professionals. KEEP achieves this through non-formal education, training and workshops on a variety of issues such as the environment, eco-tourism, con-servation, heritage and languages, mountain safety and First Aid.

Some of the major training programs recently provided by KEEP include:

English language Course

 

KEEP runs an ongoing program of tailored English language courses aimed at improving the conversational abilities of tourism professionals throughout Nepal. Improving language skills has a positive impact on the people of Nepal as it increases the confidence of participants to do their jobs well and increases their transferable skills. Guides, porters and tourism entrepreneurs are taught practical vocabulary and conversation essential for successful interaction with clients. Course runs for four weeks and are taught by experienced native English instructors who are assisted by Nepali instructors. Nearly 200 tourism professionals were benefitted from this course since 2013 to 2015.

Wilderness first aid Course


The Wilderness First Aid Course of KEEP has been incredibly important in teaching tourism professionals how to address injuries in the unpredictable mountainous terrain. KEEP annually conducts two First Aid Courses: three-day refresher courses (RWFAC) and a five-day intensive course (IWFAC). KEEP also conducts special six-day First Aid, in-field treatment, mountain safety, altitude sickness, practical demonstration of CPR methods, and use of portable altitude chambers (PAC bags). Altogether, 163 tourism professionals were benefited from the course from 2013 to 2015.

Eco Leadership Trekking Course

The course is designed to help the trekking leaders and guides develop them into eco-friendly leaders/guides within the fast growing tourism industry of Nepal. This foundation course helps to certify the guides and distinguishes them from general leaders/guides. KEEP conducted this course for 50 trekking leaders and guides from February 14-16, 2014 and on March 8-9, 2015. The program was successfully carried out at Hotel Mustang Holiday Inn, Jyatha, Thamel. Various topics on the environment and leadership in connection to tourism were covered during the three day intensive course.

Environmental Awareness Workshop

With the help of NMA (Nepal Mountaineering Association) KEEP has conducted two Environmental Awareness Workshop until now. The first one in Kathmandu, and, the second one in Pokhara. The aim of this workshop is to make the guides and porters and other tourism professionals aware about environment friendly trekking and sustainable tourism and produce eco-leaders.

Map Navigation

As a part of Eco-tourism capacity building, KEEP offers Map navigation course every once a year. The course particularly designed for guides of trekking industry, enables basic map reading skills to them. This two-day course consists of both theory and practical lessons, as result of the course the guides can read a basic map and lead a group.

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Environmental Awareness

The Environmental Awareness Program objective is to create awareness of the conservation and protection of the pristine Himalayan ecosystem. By educating communities these projects emphasize the issues related to the tourism industry regard-ing the environment, conservation and the need for responsible tourism.

KEEP has been undertaking video presentations on topics such as trekking gently in the Himalayas, waste management, mountain safety, reducing carbon footprints and conservation.

 

Current Projects

A) Bagmati Clean-up Program
On January 18, 2014, the KEEP family including board members, participants of the Winter English Language Course, and volunteers participated in the Bagmati Mega Clean-up Campaign. The participants were actively involved in cleaning Bagmati at the Tilganga section. The Bagmati River, one of the major river systems with cultural, historical, and environmental significance in the Kathmandu Valley, is under severe environmental degradation, due to an increase in anthropogenic activities, including unmanaged and development works.

B) Tundikhel Clean-up Program
On December 31, 2014, KEEP, in collaboration with Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) conducted a Clean-up Program in Tundikhel, Kathmandu. The program was a part of the English Language Course for trekking guides and porters. The main aim of the program was to create environmental awareness among the locals and tourists coming to Nepal. Altogether 60 participants including the WELC students, the staff of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, course instructors, KEEP board members, staff and other volunteers actively participated in the program.

C) Chovar Tree Plantation Program
On August 6, 2015; Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) in association with Jalbinayak Community Forest Users’ Group conducted ‘Park Management and Tree Plantation Program at Manjushree Park, Chovar, Kirtipur. The objective of the program was to create awareness and inspiration in the local community to maintain biodiversity and clean their surroundings through local participation. Participants included were, KEEP Monsoon English Language Course students, instructors; KEEP board members & staffs, Volunteers and JCFUG’s members.

E) Balaju Cleanup and Awareness Program
On January 7, 2016 Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) in association with Kathmandu Metropolitan City conducted a ‘Cleanup and Awareness Program’ at Balaju Baaisdhara Udhyan, Kathmandu.

D) Heritage Clean up Program

The objective of this Cleanup Program was to encourage ELC students to keep their environment clean and to raise awareness of this issue in the local community. Participants included KEEP Winter English Language Course students, instructors; KEEP board members & staffs, Volunteers, KMC staff and Baaisdhara Udhyan Office staff.

KEEP conducted a one of a kind Heritage Clean-up Program with the support from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). During the Clean-Up 9 heritage sites were cleaned up in coordination with the local government authorities, clubs and schools. The program main objectives were to clean the heritage sites and make it more environment friendly as well as to aware the students about the clean environment and importance of heritage preservation.

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Rural Community Development Program

Projects

Rural Community Development Program

A) In December 2013, with support from BridgIT Water Foundation, KEEP successfully conducted a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) project that took place at the Shree Chandika Secondary School, and a local health centre of Baruwa VDC, Sindhupalchowk district. In this remote school, children now have full access to water for drinking and washing hands. The water pipes not only run for the drinking water, but also for toilets, greatly improving hygiene.

B) In April 2014, with support from BridgIT Water Foundation, Australia, KEEP successfully conducted water, sanitation, and Hygiene programs for the village and school children of the Baruwa and Lagarche, Sindhupalchowk district of Nepal. Students from both communities actively participated with an understanding of our water systems in relation to changing environments and to the adaptation measures. School children worked in groups and presented the issues, possibilities of conservation of water source and practical ways to keep our environment clean.

Completed Projects

A) In partnership with Aussie Action Abroad (AAA), Australia, in July 2013, KEEP completed the renovation of a defective classroom ceiling in the Shree Bag Bhairab High School and completed a ground levelling project to prevent further water seepage.

B) In December 2013, with support from BridgIT Water Foundation, KEEP successfully conducted a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) project that took place at the Shree Chandika Secondary School, and a local health centre of Baruwa VDC, Sindhupalchowk district. In this remote school, children now have full access to water for drinking and washing hands. The water pipes not only run for the drinking water, but also for toilets, greatly improving hygiene.

C) On September 20, 2016; The Edinburgh Global Partnership Project, in collaboration with KEEP, was successfully concluded. The project constructed a two classroom school building to replace the old and structurally damaged classrooms of the Shree Saraswoti Primary School of Manpang village of Tanahun district, Nepal. EGP volunteers were involved in the program along with community leaders, school students, and staff. As a result, the school now has two new classrooms and has attracted more children to attend the classes.

D) On March 20, 2015, with the support of the Crooked Trails, USA, the construction work of a “Y” shaped staircase facility for school children was completed in Shree Bindabasini Secondary School, Jogitar, Kavre district. The school has been doing a
great job of educating local children, who have been achieving brilliant results in education

E) Oct 4-11, 2015 Crooked Trails (CT), USA based organization, supported school renovation project at Jogitar, Kavre district, after the recent earthquakes. CT’s 9 members actively participated are Karen Lang, Jeanette Smith, Jody Baush, Tanner Colton, Kolena Allen, Roslyn Erlewine, Anne Mc Cormack, Emi Mc Elroy, Lyle Erlewine, who involved in this earthquake recovery project to encourage education for local school children’s bright future

F) April 4-8, 2016; a milk-station construction project supported by volunteers from Crooked Trails, USA has been completed. KEEP along with the community people participated in the project. The milk-station will help to make better the livelihood of the people of Jogitar Village in Kavre, Nepal.

G) Salang water project, supported by BridgIT foundation Australia. The project was conducted by KEEP with the help of local community, and, now, provides water to `114 households and 1 primary school. The total cost of the project was US $10,000.

Earthquake Resilient School Construction
A) In partnership with Aussie Action Abroad (AAA), Australia, in July 2013, KEEP completed the renovation of a defective classroom ceiling in the Shree Bag Bhairab High School and completed a ground levelling project to prevent further water seepage.

B) On September 20, 2014, The Edinburg Global Partnership Project, in collaboration with KEEP, was successfully concluded. The project constructed a two classroom school building to replace the old and structurally damaged classrooms of the Shree Saraswoti Primary School of Manpang village of Tanahun district, Nepal. EGP volunteers were involved in the program along with community leaders, school students, and staff. As a result, the school now has two new classrooms and has attracted more children to attend. Also, EGP volunteers generously donated school supplies.

C) Staircase Constructed at School
On March 20, 2015, with the support of the Crooked Trails, USA, the construction work of a “Y” shaped staircase facility for school children was completed in Shree Bindabasini Secondary School, Jogitar, Kavre district. The school has been doing a great job of educating local children, who have been achieving brilliant results in education.

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Travelers Information Center

KEEP operates a year round Travellers‘ Information Centre (TIC), centrally located in the bustling tourist hot spot of Thamel. TIC provides free, impartial and independent information to trekkers from all around the world.

FREE trekking information from our experts on where to trek, mountain safety, environmentally friendly trekking

FREE trekkers logs – up to date information and recommendations from people who have just come back from a trip

FREE embassy registration service

FREE daily videos and slide shows about key issues such as porters’ welfare

Eco-friendly fair-trade trekking supplies including biodegradable soap/shampoo, refillable water bottles and water purification solutions, waterproof ‘Go- bags’ (garbage bags) and a range of maps and guidebooks

Safe water re-fill station – say no to disposable bottles!

A well-equipped library

How to leave a positive cultural impact on Nepal

For further more information

Ministry of Culture,Tourism & Civil Aviation,Nepal

Nepal Tourism Board

Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation

NTNC

World Wildlife Fund

Nepal Immigration

Department of Tourism

Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal

Nepal Mountaineering Association

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN)

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Porters’ Welfare Program

Porters’ play a vital role in the Nepal’s tourism industry; they enable millions of tourist to visit picturesque areas while also providing their families with much needed earnings. Therefore, through education KEEP hopes to bring an awareness among porters’ to improve their working conditions.

The Porter’s Awareness Workshop is one of KEEP’s major activities that educate porters’ about their rights in relation to the International Labour Organisation’s standards for decent work. This includes developing an understanding of safety, health, hygiene and general First Aid. KEEP also aims to inform porters’ about appropriate trekking clothing and how to access KEEP’s Porter Clothing Bank.

How you can help

We always appreciate any contribution you can make to the Porters’ Clothing Bank.
Financial donations are greatly appreciated and are preferred to donations of clothing as we can then purchase new clothing in Nepal and cover the costs of repair and replacement of items.
Please make payments via wire transfer to KEEP’s offices in Nepal or the UK, indicating in the payment reference that you are donating to the PCB.

KEEP BANK DETAILS: In Nepal

KEEP
Account number: 01-0140872-51
Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Limited
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
SWIFT CODE: SCBLNPKA

In UK (c/o Denis Gallagher)

KEEP
A/C 73983587
Barclays Bank PLC, Hull Branch
King Edward Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU13RL
Sort code: 20-43-47

Donate used clothing

Usually donations of used jackets and trousers/pants from Westerners do not fit Nepali porters who tend to be smaller.
However donations of other clothing items such as socks, boots, sunglasses, warm gloves and sleeping bags are always welcome.
Please bring your donations in person or send them to

KEEP’s office in Thamel.

Project partners

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the supporters of the Porters’ Clothing Bank project including:

Special thanks to Dr. Jim Duff

International Porters Protection Group
International Mountain Explorer Connection
Community Action Nepal
Intrepid Travel
Mountain Kingdom UK
Porters’ Progress UK
The Mountain Fund
Trekking Encounters Ltd.
World Expedition

Ramesh Dhamala

Karen Valenti

Elsie James

Scott McLenan

Ian Wall

In 1997 a young Nepali porter employed by a trekking company became severely ill with altitude sickness. He was paid off and sent down the mountain alone. It took just 30 hours for him to die. He was 20 years old and left behind a wife and two small children.
KEEP Porter’s Clothing Bank (PCB) was established in September 2009, with the objective to provide a service to porters with a complete and better clothing sets suitable for trekking in a high hill and harsh mountains of Nepal and reduces the number of unnecessary illnesses and fatalities which occur each year.

The year 2015 was a successful year for KEEP PCB. According to the PCB database, we have able to lend its items to about 1000 porters (spring and autumn seasons). Trekking companies have benefitted greatly and appreciate KEEP’s service. 600 pairs are in demand every year. Due to limited stock, many porters could not obtain the needed equipment. Consequently our porters would greatly appreciate your support to continue this humanitarian effort.

The PCB also educates tourists, trekking agencies and porters alike about the acceptable standard of treatment for porters and the need to improve porter access to appropriate clothing and equipment.

The majority are subsistence farmers who travel from lower areas of Nepal to the higher elevated trekking routes to find employment.

Contrary to the belief that porters are well-adjusted to the cold and altitude of the Himalayas, every year many porters suffer from a variety of illnesses such as altitude sickness, snow blindness, hypothermia and frostbite and some even die as a result.

Many porters are uneducated about the risks of high-altitude trekking and lack the basic equipment needed. If porters do become ill in the mountains they are often denied adequate medical attention and are instead paid-off to travel down alone to face the problem of finding and affording emergency treatment.

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Volunteering Program

KEEP is always in search of capable volunteers, and greatly appreciates the interest and commitment of those aspiring individuals who are willing to use their skills to help the communities and people of Nepal.
Since our establishment in 1992, KEEP has provided a platform for many international visitors to volunteer in numerous community development programs as well as its other projects.

Current Project Information:
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at KEEP!  We offer two possible ways for
Volunteering:  individually or as a group.  We have the following ways that you may donate your valued time KEEP offers to possibilities:
1. Teaching the English Language Course (ELC) to guides and porters in July-August and December-January.
2. Teaching in a rural school of Nepal
3. Working at KEEP helping with administrative tasks or writing proposal/reports
4. Volunteering at an orphanage
5. Working with other NGO’s
6. Working with a trekking/travel agency
Before starting your volunteering, you need to go through the following criterion;

Minimum Criteria:

  • Prepared to cover travelling expenses to Nepal and room and board. KEEP can help to organise this at volunteer rates
  • Independently arrange for necessary visas, inoculations, insurance, etc. (A Tourist Visa allows a maximum of 150 days’ stay per calendar year, and is the only type of visa available)
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Note: Volunteers are charged a placement fee as per following time basis:

A. KEEP Placement Charge
Ÿ 1 week- 4 week = $ 50
Ÿ 4 week-8 week = $ 100
Ÿ 8 week and more = $ 150
(The charge covers the cost of your orientation program, ID cards, general administration and includes an annual KEEP membership)

B. Fill out KEEP Volunteering Form with attached photo

(For more information please inquire at Keep@info.com.np)

Volunteer Stories

Maya Reid

I began work at the Dharmasthali Ilaka Health Post on 7th December 2015 having arrived at my homestay family in Manamaiju the previous day.

The day started at around 10 and finished at about 2:30. As I was not a qualified nurse or doctor my roles were limited to observing the other staff at work and assisting them where I could. There was however quite a lot of fascinating reading materials including an annual report and an analysis of the healthcare and relevant socioeconomic challenges of the local population. Even though I couldn’t contribute in a hands-on way, it was really interesting to see how healthcare is delivered in Nepal and witness the Nepali practitioner: patient relationship.

I was placed with a local homestay family, the mother of wife worked at the health post at the dispensary. They were incredibly hospitable and fed me very well, a proper taste of Nepali! The children, Pooja and Aashish spoke brilliant English and were loads of fun too, helping me settle into the family routine, telling me about the surrounding area and generally providing me with raucous entertainment. I think they were as interested in me and my home culture as I was in them and theres!

The health Post responsibilities were 6 days a week but gave me loads of time in the afternoons to walk around and explore the hills and villages surrounding Dharmasthali. This area was very badly affected in the April 2015 earthquake and there are many donated tents and temporary shelters. Aashish and Pooja worked at the health post in the days after the earthquake struck and told me about the multitude of people coming to them with wounds from the quake and stories of lost relatives and destroyed houses. It was incredibly challenging for them but they both felt that the value of their contribution massively outweighed the challenge posed by seeing the injuries and hearing the stories. This shows how important this little health post is and how crucial health facilities are to remote communities. As well as the vital role that volunteering can play here.

It would have been great to have a more hands-on role but I appreciate that since I am not qualified this would have been inadvisable and irresponsible. I would encourage future volunteers to consider shorter stays, like mine, if they are not qualified healthcare professionals since observing is all you will be able to do. However, it is still a wonderful insight into Nepali life and culture and totally worth doing!

I was also given the opportunity to visit and teach at a local school that works charitably to deliver free education, uniforms and school materials to local children.

The principle of this establishment, Bimala Basnet, obviously does a lot within the community as I got to attend a charity picnic with her and she also headed the meeting of the FCHV’s. I am thoroughly grateful to her for letting me see the school, as well as to her husband Kulbir who was keen to show me the local sights, taking me on his scooter to Ichangu Narayan and the White Gompa.

Thank you so much Rakshya and KEEP for helping me organize this, especially as it was so last minute. I wish I could stay for longer and would urge any future volunteers with KEEP (they offer a lot of different projects!) to stay for as long as they can, you learn so much more and will make some really good friends, as I did in just 2 weeks, but I know longer time would have deepened and strengthened this friendship.

Volunteering is such a wonderful thing to do when you travel, there’s no better way to give back to the people who are opening their country and communities to you. And KEEP has such a brilliant ethos and made it all so easy for me that there is no excuse!
Thank you KEEP, thank you Dharmasthali!

Maya Reid
Scotland

Daniel’s Story

Hi, my name is Daniel and I volunteered at KEEP last year while I was travelling in Nepal. It was an important time for the country during which many were struggling after the April earthquake. I knew I wanted to contribute in some way while I was there so I searched for an organization that was helping in the most pertinent ways. KEEP was one such NGO that did so much work that directly impacted the Nepali people, and so I jumped at the chance to volunteer with them. The dedicated and fun team at the head office in Kathmandu were great colleagues and mentors, and I learned a lot with the opportunities I got from my time there. I was able to attend big functions, help run an ELC class for tourism professionals, help edit and write project proposals and newsletters, and enjoy amazing lunches and milk teas everyday at the office! Despite all the cool things I did in Nepal (Himalayas, dal bhat, etc.), funnily enough my most memorable moments at the end of my 5 months were from the time I spent doing meaningful work with KEEP. Thank you to everyone there!

Daniel Jeang
Canada

Paul J. Ostrowski

There has never been a better time to volunteer in Nepal than the present. This is due, in no small part, to the recent earthquake disaster. The Nepali people are strong and positive, but there is still much rebuilding to be done. Your help right now during this critical time is more valuable than ever.

I came here for the first time in 2011, looked around and decided to do something to contribute to this magnificent place. I have been volunteering in the Porter’s Clothing Bank and assisting with teaching in the English Language training course. The experience I have gained through doing these activities have greatly enriched my understanding and experience of Nepal. There is no better way to immerse yourself into this great culture than to become actively involved in the support of its people.

I’ll leave you with a quote which very closely reflects my feelings about this incomparable land and people:
“To me, your country seems the richest and most beautiful in the world. True riches are a matter of the beauty of people’s hearts, and the people of Nepal possess incomparably beautiful hearts”. (Daisaku Ikeda)

Paul J. Ostrowski,
USA 

John Loudon

“I worked for Kathmandu Environmental Education Project from June-July 2015. It was an incredible experience working with the wonderful members of KEEP. During my time there, I assisted in writing grant applications to organizations in order to provide aid for victims of the two major earthquakes that hit in the months of April and May. In addition, I assisted in other office activities, such as translating and formatting newsletter.

John Loudon
USA

Sabrina Segundo

My experience as a Volunteering worker with KEEP was wonderful and enriching. I had the opportunity to live with a Nepali family for 3 weeks and teach English in a Primary school in Dharmasthali. Being introduced into the Nepali family was one of the most life changing for me, in the meantime I got and amazing feeling spending time teaching English and playing with all the kids.
I have to thanks Rakshya for her warm welcome to Nepal and for giving me this oportunista and made me felt secure from the first moment.

Kind regards

Sabrina Segundo
Spain

Nicole Clay and Blair Oliver

After trekking to Annapurna Base Camp and visiting various regions around Nepal in our month long holiday, we decided to spend our last week in Nepal volunteering in an effort to give back to this amazing country. We did quite a bit of research online and eventually found KEEP which showed great initiatives for helping porters and environmental awareness. These were important to us as we had an amazing guide on our trek and the beautiful scenery we encountered was inspiring. We were greeted very warmly by Rakshya, D.B and the crew who were delighted that we wanted to help. Discussing the short term needs of the organization it was decided that our computer skills could be put to use and after looking at many other organizations online we went about redesigning their web page, in order to streamline and simplify it. Although we aren’t IT specialists, having an understanding and an outside view of what KEEP’s goal were, gave us the ability to provide insights into the user’s thoughts. We also helped change their eNewsletter to coincide with the changes from the website. We worked closely with KEEP’s IT consultant, Norbu Lama who supported us throughout the process. It was such a pleasure to volunteer at KEEP and we looked forward to working with everyone in the office each day that it really didn’t feel like work at all.

Thank you for the amazing effort by everyone at KEEP and the initiatives run.

Nicole Clay and Blair Oliver
Australia

  

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