Moving Mountains Nepal
The seed for Moving Mountains Nepal was planted in 1998 when the founder Gavin Bate met Ang Chhongba Sherpa, who was working at a porter at that time. The two quickly formed a fast friendship and led to the founding of Moving Mountains Nepal which works particularly in the Himalayan villages of Bupsa and Bumburi which are in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal.
Nowadays Moving Mountains Nepal works in three main areas of support for the community of villages.
Twenty years ago, Bupsa and Bumburi were nearly deserted. Schools were empty, businesses were closing, and families were moving to cities to find opportunities. Yet through hard work on the part of villagers, volunteers, and Moving Mountains Nepal, things have changed dramatically.
Visit Bupsa and Bumburi these days and you’ll find villages brimming with life. The schools are filled with young children. Businesses small and large have sprung up, bringing a much-needed economic boost. Infrastructural developments funded by Moving Mountains have led to massive improvements and changes in the lives of the villagers.
2020 Moving Mountains Nepal Board
Chairman - Ang Chhongba Sherpa
Vice Chairman - Pasang Tendi Sherpa
Treasurer - Gelgen Sherpa
Secretary - Sonam Sherpa
Member - Bambale Sherpa
Member - Lhakpa Yangji Sherpa
Member - Saraswoti Sherpa
The charitable work of Moving Mountains Nepal is done with funding from Moving Mountains UK. The grants are provided on a three-month basis, depending on active programmes and the needs of the community. Moving Mountains strives to be one of the best charities by creating only holistic programs that address the concerns of our local communities. Our programs are always part of our larger long-term development goals and aimed at sustainability.
Gavin with Ang Chhongba (3rd from left), Pasang Tendi (1st from left), Lhakpa Yangji (right) and villagers in Bumburi.
Social Enterprise Programmes
Moving Mountains is proud to have provided microfinance opportunities for local income generation projects in both Bupsa and Bumburi. These projects have led to the creation of a co-op in the villages, making sure the wealth is shared throughout the community.
Some projects we’ve sponsored include investing in businesses that use the energy created by our hydro-electric dam or building machinery to make flour and oil from corn, one of the most common crops grown in the Himalayas.
Through any of our projects, we ensure that the work we do and businesses we sponsor are working towards the betterment of our communities here in Nepal. We constantly strive to be one of the best charities and most conscientious of our long-term development goals. To do this, we work with the local people, taking their input into account with every project and microfinance business we run.
Moving Mountains Nepal has invested heavily in improving the infrastructure of these two villages in the Himalayas. We believe that a solid infrastructure is the best foundation for the positive growth and long-term development of any community.
Over twenty years, we’ve completed a huge variety of projects, including building a hydro-electric dam in 2005 that still provides power for the villages. Today, we provide funding for the maintenance and upkeep of the dam.
We’ve also sponsored the refurbishment of monasteries in both villages, improving the water supply to homes, installing eco-friendly cooking stoves, and we provide capacity building workshops on building and renovating structures in order to improve the long-term sustainability of this infrastructural development.
Our holistic approach to development doesn’t focus solely on any one aspect of a community. Rather, we choose to work from the ground up and from the top down simultaneously, creating a more lasting solution to the problems.
Social Welfare and Health Programmes
Another piece of our holistic development initiatives includes focusing on the health and social well-being of our community. This can mean everything from building health clinics to running educational programs teaching rural people about the best practices for the health of their family.
Over the past twenty years, Moving Mountains Nepal has constructed a health clinic in Bumburi village that is staffed permanently by nurses. This clinic provides vital care for communities who otherwise have to travel for days to meet a doctor.
On top of that, Moving Mountains hosts annual free medical camps that bring Nepali doctors and foreign medical volunteers up to these rural villages to provide much needed medical care and education to these remote populations. We also use these camps as an opportunity to collect data about the state of healthcare and any problems found in our community.
Our commitment to the social and medical wellbeing of our communities is long-standing. We don’t simply send up medical volunteers once a year. Instead, we work with the community to improve their access to healthcare 365 days in the year.
We conduct a variety of educational programmes and initiatives in Bupsa and Bumburi. These programmes focus on increasing educational opportunities for the children in our community and making sure that the children have the resources they need to get to school and stay in school.
Over the years, we’ve built and expanded on the primary schools in both Bupsa and Bumburi. Twenty years ago, these schools were crumbling buildings nearly empty of students. Today, they are safe, secure structures where all the children of the community have access to education.
We also provide school fees for select secondary school children ages 11 to 17 to attend the Sapta Gandhi School in Kathmandu. For students interested in attending college, Moving Mountains is able to provide access to college courses by covering their university fees or vocational training costs. All the students we sponsor must meet our strict educational and performance requirements.
For teachers, Moving Mountains provides books, stationery, and IT equipment, along with providing a supplemental salary for government teachers. In our experience, once teachers have their financial needs covered, they feel less stress and can focus on providing a good education to the children in our community.
These programs are only possible with the generous support our of Moving Mountains family. Become a member by making a donation today!
Volunteer Overseas in Nepal with Moving Mountains
If you feel inspired by our projects in Bupsa and Bumburi, we’d love to have you get involved. We have many different trips and overseas volunteer opportunities in Nepal run in conjunction with our partner and award-winning tourism company, Adventure Alternative.
For secondary school students, we offer the School Expedition to Nepal. This trip is a chance to combine adventure with community service in a volunteer vacation in rural communities.
Just getting to Bupsa and Bumburi is part of the adventure, as it takes at least two days to trek in from the nearest town. Once you arrive in the villages, participants will help Moving Mountains with one of their current projects, which could be anything from installing eco-friendly stoves to helping us build new educational facilities. It really depends on the needs of our community.
For university students, we run out Nepal Tourism Workshop. This trip is a great chance to see how commerce supports charity in remote parts of the world. During this trip, participants will trek to the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi, where they will meet with local families and business to see how the charity work of Moving Mountains Nepal has helped promote small business and economic growth in these villages. For university students, this trip is a unique opportunity to forge a greater understanding of what it means to be a global citizen.
Medical placements and medical volunteer trips are an increasingly popular way to give back to the people of Nepal. Moving Mountains runs two such trips per year, our Nepal Medical Camp and Medical Elective Nepal trips. Both are designed for medical students, especially those students in their third year of the program. These trips are a great opportunity to get practical experience in a developing country while working under the supervision of a fully qualified doctor.
If you’re looking for a less structured trip or simply another opportunity to give back to our Nepali community, we encourage you to check out our Friends of MM Nepal two-week volunteer vacation. Or join us as a longer term volunteer overseas through our Volunteering in Nepal program. Whichever you choose, rest assured that your fundraising and time spent in the country will not go to waste.
All of our volunteer programs are specially designed with the local staff on the ground in Nepal. What this means for you is that your time will be used efficiently and you’ll be making a real impact on the lives of the people in these villages. Your time with Moving Mountains isn’t just one trip in isolation, but rather one puzzle piece in the larger, long-term and sustainable development projects that Moving Mountains runs in Nepal.