Himalayan trek, the trip of a lifetime!
“These Challenges have a deep impact on your life and change your perspective”
Fifteen intrepid adventurers joined World Vision UK in the challenge of a lifetime recently. The five-day Himalayan trek was an opportunity to witness the culture and tradition in the Nepalese countryside, see the work of World Vision first hand, and raise money for our work.
Keep reading to discover the adventurers’ accounts of their Himalayan trek in Nepal.
Fundraising and preparing for the trip
Linda, who lives in Wirral, has been a child sponsor for 20 years. She reports:
“What a trip! It is something that will stay with me for a long time, the memories of the challenge, the sights we experienced and the wonderful people I met along the way.
“The journey really started for me before I even left. The various fundraising activities, such as a coffee morning, an evening of entertainment from a local singer, an afternoon tea, a BBQ and a golf event, not only helped raise the funds but left me amazed at the kindness and generosity of people I hardly knew who wanted to support this fantastic charity.
“The training was essential. I knew, at the age of 63 and not being particularly athletic (!!), that I had to train hard. It didn't come easy for me but remembering why I was doing it helped keep me focused and made me continue, week in and week out, to ensure I was not only physically ready but mentally prepared too.”
"The sights were just stunning"
Linda adds, “Well, the trek was sooo hard but also amazing! The support and team effort from everyone, including all the World Vision team, was fantastic. We made it to the top of Poon Hill, making good friends with each other. The glorious scenery of the beautiful countryside of Nepal was breathtaking and everywhere you looked the sights were just stunning. This also really helped me carry on.
“We got to know the Nepali team (guides and porters) that supported the trek quite well. They couldn't do enough for us. They all deserve medals!"
READ MORE: Sponsoring a child in Nepal
Seeing the difference donations make
Linda says, “By working directly with the communities and in partnership with them, World Vision really get to know what can make a difference with these projects and it was an absolute privilege to be able to see first hand the work that is going on and how funds are being spent.
“Arriving at the school and being welcomed by all the children, parents and staff was overwhelming, particularly as we were late getting there - having struggled due to road conditions and having to take a different route on foot, over a hanging suspension footbridge with more climbing! We were presented with the most beautiful handmade flower garlands and treated like royalty. Following talks from various leaders, explaining what a difference the World Vision funding was making, we had a chance to join in some games with the children and then speak directly to them and their parents.”
“I knew the trek would be hard and challenging and it was (particularly on the way down!), but everyone was in it together, and when I struggled I was helped every step along the way. If you’re thinking of joining a World Vision Challenge, don't hesitate, it will be one of the best experiences of your life!”
See the trek in action by watching this short video.
Supporting small businesses in Kathmandu
Group leader Jan Watt (pictured at top of page with community in Nepal) shares her highlights: “We visited a savings group established by World Vision in a migrant community on the edge of Kathmandu. They each save a few rupees per month in order to make sure the poorest in the community are looked after and to enable loans to support their families’ health and education. We were all struck by the confidence of the young leader, a mother in her twenties, and the way the group had come together to look out for one another.
“We loved buying gifts from a community group in Kathmandu. World Vision supplied them with tools, such as sewing machines, to develop small businesses and they now produce beautiful hand embroidered bags and purses. There’s something special about bringing home a handmade gift that you know is helping a mother feed her children.”
Once in a lifetime highlight
Jan added, “We were on a mission, to complete the Annapurna circuit – climbing up and down hillsides and valleys, taking in spectacular views of the higher snow-capped mountains surrounding us. But it wasn’t really about the destination - although sunrise at 3,210m on Poon Hill was a once-in-a-lifetime highlight! It was all about the journey, the people we met along the way. Whether that be the smiling porters who carried 30kg bags and then served our meals in the evenings, our fellow trekkers who we leant on to climb the steps or share toilet (or lack of!) stories at night, or the dancing, joyful children we met in the World Vision communities. The trip reminded me that it’s not always about the possessions I own or where I’m heading but who I share my wealth and adventures with that counts.”
Nimika, who has been sponsoring children with World Vision for over 17 years, says, “I enjoyed connecting with people who are passionate about making a change. Meeting with the children and projects in Nepal, and seeing first hand the many different ways our sponsorship has a lasting impact on the wider community, was wonderful. I came home knowing that I want to do more.”
Sunny and his wife Hanisha were not World Vision supporters before the trip and had been invited by friends. The friendship group of eight raised almost £32,000. Sunny says, “A journey with friends filled with love and laughter, and everlasting memories. The projects we visited were truly eye-opening. Witnessing the genuine happiness and contentment of people with so little was truly humbling."
Pascal, originally from Germany but now living in Lancashire, sponsors a child with World Vision. He adds: “The sights of the mountains, valleys, trees and plants are maybe what most tourists think of when they hear of Nepal. And, while they are absolutely stunning, it was the sights of the people, their lives, challenges, joys, generosity, and kindness that impressed us most.
"Our self-centred western culture was confronted by the community-centred culture and we were reminded how privileged we are, yet use it for our own gain not for the blessing of others, like they do in Nepal. These Challenges can have a deep impact on your life and change your perspective - you just have to give it a try,” Pascal continues.
If you’d like to take part in our next challenge, Janet will be canoeing down the Zambezi river from November 1-9, 2024. Or how about joining our fundraising trips: the Camino de Santiago Trek, Climbing Kilimanjaro or even a Jurassic Coast weekend in Dorset?