October 2018: Investing in training and employment opportunities

On our last night in Nepal we ate at Sarangi restaurant in Kathmandu. The restaurant runs under the Sarangi Social Enterprise, set up by Australian Sandra Fiedeldy, and committed to empowering communities through partnership and social enterprise.  

The food was amazing and the kids had a great chat with the young waiter who was from Chitwan, where we’d just come from. We later found out from Sandra that the waiter was Sudesh and that he had been involved with the restaurant project since he was a boy.

As well as the restaurant, Sarangi Social Enterprise partners with local organisations to create training and employment opportunities, with fair pay and fair working conditions. Think manufacture of chef’s clothing and fabric shopping bags.

Our October ‘donation’ allows Sarangi Social Enterprise to purchase the fabric for 373 shopping bags, with profits from the bags sold to pay for further training and machines. Creating a sustainable business for the Nepalese people involved.

I use the term donation lightly, as the model employed by Sarangi favours an ‘investment’ over a ‘donation’. So the money is accepted as a one to five-year interest free loan.

Personally, when the loan is repaid, we intend on reinvesting it straight back into Sarangi if it’s still needed.

Find out more about Sarangi Social Enterprises.

September 2018: High-quality healthcare in the Himalayas

In September and October we were lucky enough to have a family holiday to Nepal. A fortnight of exploring Kathmandu, mountain trekking, whitewater rafting and national parks. It is a beautiful place.

It is also poor. So much poorer than I expected. And the poverty seemed fairly universal.

With poverty comes self-sufficiency. More than 80% of Nepalese people still live in rural areas, and often grow their own food. In the areas we trekked there were no roads so any food was either grown locally or brought in by donkey.

With rural living comes isolation. And a lack of access to essential services, such as medical treatment.

We met a waiter who told us he looked after his mother and his sister as his father had become ill and they couldn’t afford the medical treatment he required so they had to ‘let him go’.

We knew we wanted our monthly donation to help in some small way.  We found Possible, an organization that provides sustainable health care to Nepal’s poorest communities.

And our monthly donation will provide 15 patients with quality healthcare they wouldn’t otherwise receive.