At 9,000 ft, the town of Lukla is typically the lowest point trekkers visit on their way to Everest base camp. Even though villages such as Juving and Bupsa are home to many of the Sherpa families that make the Everest trek possible, they are just off of the trekking route and receive little business and almost no humanitarian aid. HOP wants to change that. After a highly successful “Rays of Light” project in Kilimanjaro, we teamed up again with Rays of Joy to travel to these villages and distribute Goal Zero solar equipment, Dell computers, a Divvy Emergency Water Filtration System, and 500 small goody bags.
Transporting over 2,200 pounds of solar equipment through customs and to remote villages in Nepal is no easy feat. After six months of preparation, packing, and paperwork, we finally got 20 duffel bags of equipment over to Nepal. Then began the long and involved installation process. Sherpas, local teachers, monks, headmasters, doctors, and park rangers, all learned how to install and hook up solar panels, how the panels harness the power of the sun, and how they would still have solar power even if the sun wasn’t shining. In each community, the team was welcomed with ceremonies, dancing, and gifts. At Juving School, where 10 laptops were delivered, each child came up to the team members with a kata scarf as a sign of thanks and respect.
As Pasang Karma, one World Wide Trekking’s lead Sherpas, reports, consistent electrical power and internet access have been utterly life-changing for the people of his village, Juving. The frequent power cuts now have no effect because of the Goal Zero solar products, the computers are used by students and the entire community, and the entire village seems brighter.
After lighting up 12 villages, the members of the team were overjoyed with what they had accomplished: “We just got to Juving, they have overly welcomed us with… scarves, lays, bouquets, song and dance. All these kids are so adorable, on this mountainside in the middle of nowhere. It is over the top, I am over the moon right now with how happy I am to see all this come together, to realize that we have just donated 10 laptops to a school where most of these kids probably haven’t seen a computer and we just gave them the world of information. It is absolutely one of the best days of my life.”
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The villages of: Khari Khola, Juving, Bupsa, Lenji Kharka, Lukla, Chauri Kharka, Rimijung, Monjo, Namche, Thame, and Pheriche.
Reliable light and power in the Khumbu Valley, where blackouts are common
In 12 villages, solar panels, batteries and lights were installed at 10 monasteries, 5 schools, 1 hospital, 1 dental clinic, the Sagarmatha National Park Entrance, and at the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) outpost in Pheriche
HOP distributed 20 laptops to local schools and monasteries
We handed out over 500 goody bags filled with utensils, Clif Bars, plates, cups, and small goal zero batteries
Our team engaged local workers on installation and trained them to operate the equipment