Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spotlight on Empowering Women of Nepal

It's Thursday and that means it's time for another profile of an organisation that empowers women and girls!

This week it's Empowering Women of Nepal's turn.

Who are they?

In the male-dominated trekking and adventure tourism industry, Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN) is making great strides towards gender equality.

The Chhetri sisters, Lucky, Dicky and Nicky have created two organisations: EWN, an NGO dedicated to women’s empowerment, and 3 Sisters Trekking, a company of female trekking guides working in the Himalayas.

Their work is knocking down social and religious barriers that confine women to the home and is opening up a new world of possibilities to disadvantaged Nepalese women!

What do they do?

EWN trains women from all over the country to become a trekking guide.

This life-changing training is free, plus the women get free accommodation, food and trekking equipment. There’s another big incentive too: after the first month’s training, the women embark on a paid apprenticeship which helps to empower them economically.

This innovative programme offers practical life, survival and trekking skills like map reading, first aid and trip planning.

It also teaches the women about the natural habitat around them and how take care of it, creating ecological awareness. EWN are making sure that the environment from which they are able to earn a living, the Himalayas, is protected for the next generation.
As EWN founder, Lucky Chhetri explains: “By offering opportunity, education, and practical skills training, we are instilling hope, courage, and confidence among the most deprived women and girls in Nepal. With access to opportunity and education, EWN trainees are transforming lives and improving livelihood.”

It’s great to see a women’s empowerment programme that responds so excellently to a gap in the tourism market and uses the local environment to change women’s lives!

Click here to read more about EWN's work.
Don't forget if you go to Nepal, you can explore the Himalayas with some of the only female trekking guides around!

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