In February 1991 two young British women, Joanne Chittenden and Tracey Taylor-Young, set out to climb Imja Tse (Island Peak). Their trip aimed to highlight the issue of litter on the trails in the Khumbu region besides to enjoy themselves and spend some time amidst the majestic peaks of the Nepal Himalaya. Their journey ended in tragedy, however, when Tracey slipped while crossing an icefall and was killed. It was the love that Jo and Tracey’s fiancé, Johnnie
Woods had for her that inspired the establishment of KEEP.Quote from Tracey
“Mountains are the only place I can be truly happy. It is just nature, beauty, looking at them and feeling them. They can make me cry with emotion. – Tracey Taylor Young (1959 -1991)”
In her memory, it was decided that a new project on ecotourism should be established to provide education on safe and ecologically sustainable trekking methods to preserve Nepal’s unique and fragile eco-system.
Joanne Chittenden and friend Johnnie Woods returned to Nepal and worked together with colleagues based here including Steve Powers, Wendy Brewer Lama and the late Dr. Chandra Gurung to study the impact of trekking on Nepal in order to develop a way to increase access to environmental and safety information.
This brought about the establishment of the Tracey Taylor Young Mountain Trust in the UK and KEEP in Nepal. KEEP then obtained support from the late Lord John Hunt and by the autumn of 1992, KEEP’s Visitor Information Centre in Kathmandu opened its doors to the public.
Since the idea first germinated in 1991, KEEP has continued to expand its sphere of influence and develop new projects. Today, we are established as one of the leading eco-tourism NGOs in Nepal and have links to international organisations in Europe, the USA and Australia.
KEEP has been in operation for 25 years and over that period has continued to develop its core activities of education, environmental awareness, community support and the Porter Clothing Bank.
Since 2012 KEEP has delivered the following outputs:-
Porter Awareness Workshops run in:
2012 Shabrubesi – 75 participants
2013 Jiri – 75 participants
2014 Besseshar – 70 participants
2016 Pokhara – 68 participants
2017 Dunai – 73 participants
2018 Taplegunj – 65 participants
Community Projects run in:-
UNESCO and other Heritage Sites Clean-up Projects 2018 supported by the NTB run in:-
Patan Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Courses completed in Kathmandu:-
English Language – Course Monsoon and Winter 2017/2018
First Aid Course – 2 in September and 1 in February 2017/2018
Map Navigation – Course 2018
Eco-Leadership – Course 2018
First Aid Course – July 2018
Porter Clothing Bank supported by the following organisations:-
- Globo Trek, Lowa, Transa, Switzerland
- Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism (SST), Switzerland
- International Porters Protection Group (IPPG), Nepal
- International Mountain Explorer Connection (IMEC), USA
- Mountain People, Norway
- Porters Progress, UK
- Porteurs d’Avendir, France
- The Intrepid Foundation, Australia
- Association pour le Respect et la Dignité des Porteurs del’Himalaya (ARDPH), Switzerland
- Community Action Nepal (CAN), UK
- The Mountain Fund, USA
- Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal
- World Expedition, UK
- Mountain Kingdom, UK
- Kathmandu, NZ
Dr. Jim Duff, Dr. Louise Cook, Dr. Nick Mason, Elsie James, Ian Wall, Jan Neuspiel, Karen Valenti, Scott M., Daniel Jacot
Database of PCB
Since its establishment in 2009, KEEP has been lending clothing items such as warm jackets, trousers, fleece jackets, boots, sunglasses, socks, gloves and sleeping bags to a large number of porters.Our records show that as many as 3622porters fromdifferent trekking companies as well as many freelance porters and guides have benefited from KEEP’s PCB.
The following tables illustrate the development in the stock of the PCB from 2009 until 2017:
Item Count 2009-17
Since 2017 KEEP has been restructuring since the sudden resignation of its founding Director due to ill health.
KEEP confirms its commitment to its core principles and has instigated a 5-Year Development Plan as a means of clarifying its future vision and focus of its activities. This Plan is financially split into two sections, Committed Activity/Expenditure and Program Activity/Expenditure. It goes without saying the committed expenditure is critical to the running of the office while the program expenditure is critical for the implementation of the community, course and PCB activities, the latter section can only be justified when the funds are in place. This Plan can be found elsewhere on this website.
As a NGO, KEEP by law is unable to create its own funding stream and consequently it survives purely on the donations provided by its national and international partners. The continuation of these relationships is instrumental to the survival of KEEP.