Lonely Planet Writer

Adventurous travellers offered unique challenge to help rebuild schools in Nepal

One year after the devastating earthquake in Nepal – which killed over 8000 people – a fundraising tour company is inviting travel adventurers to help rebuild the country.

Earthmovers clear the debris at the site of a building that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, last year. Image by AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha.
Earthmovers clear the debris at the site of a building that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, last year. Image by AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha.

Tour operator, Charity Challenge, this week announced that its expedition to the south-east Asian nation will give travellers a holiday with a difference as they help the recovery from the earthquake.

Damaged buildings lean to their sides in Kathmandu, Nepal after the earthquake last April
Damaged buildings lean to their sides in Kathmandu, Nepal after the earthquake last April Image by (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

The 7.8 magnitude quake last April left over 3.5 million people homeless as entire villages were flattered. The quake also destroyed centuries old UNESCO World Heritage buildings. A fall out of the destruction saw travellers being warned not to travel to Nepal until now. The ‘Nepal Community Challenge’, being organised by Charity Challenge, will take international travellers to the rural Gorkha area of the country from next February. This area was at the centre of the earthquake and the challenge is to begin building schools to replace the 27,000 classrooms that were razed to the ground last year.

Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Image by Jean-Marie Hullot / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Director of Charity Challenge, Simon Albert, said Nepal had suffered at the hands of the earthquake, a fuel shortage and a virtual tourism standstill which has traditionally been a major contributor to the country’s coffers. He explained that even before the disaster, the country was the poorest in Asia and its citizens are in dire straits. The aim of his firm is to encourage people to visit the country again to promote tourism and stimulate spending.

The ‘Nepal Community Challenge’ will require participants to bring plenty of enthusiasm with them as well as a willingness to do what is needed to help with the rebuilding programme. There will be several departure dates, commencing next year in February. To book and for more information, go to www.charitychallenge.com