NepalSocial Welfare & Health
Social Welfare & Health
Moving Mountains works on issues of social welfare and health in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal, assisting the local people to rebuild their communities and take control of their well-being. Our programs span a wide array of issues from providing much-needed healthcare to preserving cultural heritage.
Our work focuses primarily on the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi in the Khumbu region of the Himalaya mountains. During the Maoist Rebel troubles, the villages faced threats of violence that made resources difficult to come from. Around the same time, these villages were left out from the Everest Mountain Trail, denying them access to renewed incomes from tourism. As a result, the people living in these villages were cut off from much of the rest of Nepal for many years.
Now that the troubled years have passed, Moving Mountains Nepal works directly with the people of these villages to help them preserve their cultural heritage and create a responsible and sustainable tourism industry. We emphasize the importance of health and wellbeing and encourage the local communities to participate in Nepal’s thriving tourism industry.
Below you’ll find our various social welfare and health projects available in Nepal, as well as more information about how Moving Mountains helps to empower villagers in Bupsa and Bumburi.
Preserving Cultural Heritage in Nepal
For many years, the people of Bupsa and Bumburi lived under a threat of violence from Maoist rebels. During this time, religious and cultural sites such as the monasteries in these villages were neglected or even torn down. Over time, the monasteries fell into states of disrepair, and the lamas, or knowledgeable monks and teachers, moved elsewhere.
In Nepal, Buddhism is the glue that holds their society together. Beyond simply attending ceremonies, monasteries and other Buddhist religious sites are objects of pride and joy for a community. The loss of their monasteries was especially heartbreaking for the people of Bupsa and Bumburi.
At the request of the local populations, Moving Mountains Nepal began working, first with Bupsa and later with Bumburi, to renovate and repair the local monasteries. We helped to fundraise for supplies, the cost of rebuilding, and worked to find a Lama to visit the villages and bless the monasteries after the renovations were complete.
In Bupsa, the site of our first monastery renovation, the monastery was 350 years old and an object of deep pride for the community. But it had fully into disrepair. Moving Mountains renovated the monastery in Bupsa from 2002 to 2005. Since then, we’ve helped the community to open a monk school by providing a salary for a learned monk to live in the village and teach children and teenagers this ancient tradition.
In Bumburi, our work on the monastery began in 2006. This monastery is one of the oldest and most important in the region. It holds a sacred relic, a magic coat that is believed to have transported a Lama to Thyangboche, the largest monastery in the Khumbu region.
During the Maoist troubles, the people of Bumburi removed the sacred relic from their monastery and buried it in the ground to prevent it from being stolen. After this, the monastery fell into disuse and disrepair.
Today, Moving Mountains Nepal has supported the complete renovation of the monastery, and the restoration of the sacred relic. People travel from far and wide to visit this monastery and see the relic for themselves. Once again, this religious site is a place of pride and joy for the local community.
Our work on these monasteries is not finished. We hope, with the support of our generous donors and volunteers, to build a second monk school for the children of Bumburi to attend, as well as continuing to update the structures and build new outbuildings as needed.
Promoting Good Healthcare in Nepal
Since the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi were isolated for such a long time, they lacked access to proper healthcare. For many years, villagers had no access to healthcare at all. If they fell sick, they would often have to walk for many miles, even days, to reach the nearest doctor. Serious illnesses required a long and expensive trip to Kathmandu. As a result, the well-being of all in the village suffered.
In order to combat this problem and encourage good health and wellbeing in these beautiful villages, Moving Mountains Nepal began running Medical Camps in 2010. These camps bring qualified Nepalese Doctors and foreign volunteers into the village offer free medical care and screenings to all.
Not only do these medical camps give us an opportunity to provide much-needed assistance to our community, but they also enable us to collect valuable data on the status of health issues in the region. This data allows us to develop more targeted and effective health programming for Bupsa, Bumburi, and the surrounding area.
Using this important health data, and money raised from our medical volunteers over the years, we’ve now built a permanent medical clinic in Bumburi. This vital clinic offers frontline healthcare for the people of these villages. The clinic is staffed by nurses and we hope in the future to employ full-time doctors as well.
These valuable medical programs are only possible because of the support and fundraising that comes from our volunteers. Our medical camp volunteer programs are a wonderful opportunity for medical students to gain valuable experience while giving back to a community in need.
Supporting Porters Working Rights
The porters in Nepal are the men and women who carry bags, supplies, and more into the Himalayas for tour groups and tourists. These men and women work tirelessly to ensure that foreign and local tourists have the best possible experience during their trek. Unfortunately, porters are often exposed to poor working conditions and exploitation.
Moving Mountains works in partnership with the tour company Adventure Alternative to ensure that porters rights are respected and honored. We strive to employ local porters from Bupsa and Bumburi, offering them fair pay and good treatment throughout all our treks.
For the improvement of the rights of all porters, Moving Mountains has donated mattresses and beds for porter’s sleeping quarters throughout the Everest Base Camp Trail. We hope to continue to support porters throughout the Khumbu for years to come, helping them take part in responsible, sustainable tourism that improves their lives without causing harm.
All of our programs are only possible because of the kindness of our donors and volunteers. If you’d like to contribute to the work of Moving Mountains Nepal, consider joining one of our volunteer trips or expeditions.