I am from Bridim village in Langtang National Park, Nepal. My mother fled Tibet as a refugee in 1965 and married my father who was Tibetan with Nepali citizenship. When I was 12, I was one of the few from my village to receive an education thanks to my Swiss sponsors. This changed my life. Since then I have worked in tourism leading groups for the likes of Cornell University Nepal Study Programme (US), Oak Hall Expeditions (UK) and Maya Travels (Germany), helping visitors experience the cultures and scenery of my beautiful country. In 2003 I co-founded Dolma Ecotourism together with British charity Dolma Foundation, which enables me to work in my chosen field while simultaneously benefitting the local communities, including my own. This help has never been more important since the great earthquakes of 2015.
Here are 5 ways that your adventure with Dolma Ecotourism will help local communities:
- Employment: Typically a Dolma adventure employs up to 40 people directly, and many more indirectly, at salaries far higher than the average village income.
- Education: Because Dolma Foundation is a non-profit organization, profits from the tours fund education and health care (see next). Dolma Foundation provides over 150 scholarships to the poorest children, and children with disabilities, from our communities. Education, as I know personally, is the most effective long-term tool to alleviate poverty.
- Health: Profits also go towards healthcare in the form of treatment and operations for villagers that have saved many lives.
- Craft sales: On each trip, guests buy local crafts directly from their makers, cutting out the middlemen, and helping preserve these ancient skills.
- Support for the future: All of the above, and the joyful process of socializing between villagers and guests, help put our communities in a position of strength to adapt to a rapidly changing world on their own terms while retaining their cultural heritage.
Come and join me in Nepal for the adventure of a lifetime while helping the communities you visit.
Tsering Lama. CEO, Dolma Ecotourism