In April, #Expé1 met PSD Nepal (Partnership in Sustainable Development in Nepal), in Kathmandu. Their goal is to help the poorest communities in rural areas and natural parks. To do so, they help communities with developing tools and encourage them with volunteers.
They have several projects ongoing :
One aspect of their activities is to solve the plastic pollution, largely due to tourism in rural areas. Furthermore tourism is an important national income and the nepalese government plans to have 2 millions tourist visitors in 2020, comparing with 800.000 in 2014 and 1.200.000 in 2018. In addition, the earthquake in 2015 stunted Nepal’s development . Their action is based in the natural parks of Langtang and Chitwan. In a few months they are planning to start action in Manaslu park. PSD Nepal hire local people and pay them to collect and segregate the plastic bottles before sending the recyclable ones at the unique recycling plant in Nepal based in Pokhara. However the population don’t use the money earned (1NPR per recycled bottle) to invest for their future. So, to have a long term impact, and because plastic bottles is not supposed to be a renewable ressource, PSD Nepal decided to introduce a farming activity. Therefore, since a few months, they swap plastic bottle for apple trees and seeds in the Langtang park, with the help of a local nurseryman.
Alongside, they encourage the maintenance of farming activity. To do so, by helping communities to establish an agricultural cooperative, providing hybrid seeds, to improve their crop yields and developing the fair trade by selling at a better price their harvest. Nonetheless they can’t do this in all communities because of the difficult climate of (very) high mountains. If so, it will be only to keep a basic food production for themselves.
A lot of people are involved in PSD Nepal thanks to their volunteering program. Each year, it’s around 100 volunteers that are involved. Some of the volunteers are doctors (physician and dentists) who go to villages for 3 to 4 days to treat and deliver medicines and to make them aware of the rules of hygiene and give them basics. Some are students come to studying social development organization or doing internship with them, others are tourist that want to help communities by doing eco-voluntarism, etc. This volunteering program helps PSD Nepal to maintain and developed their projects.
PSD Nepal was our first and last meeting in Nepal. Bishnu, Daniel, Samuel and all the PSD Nepal staff, thank you for your time and precious informations. If you’re searching something to do during your gap year, internship or holidays, alone or with your friends, this is the place to go !
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