Himalayan Initiatives is a Scottish charity which supports locally led "grass roots' sustainable development, within disadvantaged communities in Nepal. Officially registered in September 2013 and based in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, the charity builds on the work of founders, husband and wife team; David Easton and Jane Lockyer. David and Jane first experienced Nepal during their medical student electives with Save the Children Fund in 1982 and have provided community support on an informal basis for several years prior to forming the charity.
The work of Himalayan Initiatives is made possible through the strong partnerships which have been established with the Nepali Non-Government Organisation Community Building for Sustainable Development (www.cbsdnepal.org, and local communities in Lower Solu Khumbu and Dolakha Districts which are situated in the Himalayan foothills of North East Nepal. The enthusiastic support of the community of Huntly and District has been crucial to the funding of our projects to date.
Jane works closely with our colleagues in Nepal to develop and deliver projects while raising awareness back home. She is key to promoting the close partnership working which we think is so important. Jane has a background in Health and in Retail and is keen to see more development of income generating projects. Jane works to promote fairly traded craft products from Nepal and these are often available at our fundraising events.
Rob has 38 years of experience of social work, voluntary organisations and latterly as a social work lecturer at Robert Gordon University. He is a hill walker & has enjoyed his trekking experiences in Nepal and joined the Board in 2015. He enjoys meeting people in the local communities of the Lower Solu Khumbu, listening to their needs and with the considerable help of Kumar Kharki & Mohan Basnet, trying to find locally fashioned solutions. Rob believes in the capacity of local people to respond to situations whether it be the good folks of Huntly and Kemnay in helping to raise the funds needed for our projects or whether it is the people of Nele, Jhareni and Mammerku to help develop their communities.
Sian (pictured here with CBSD chairman Kumar Karki) helps us navigate our way through the challenges of IT and is a wizz on Social Media. She keeps us up to date with developments in Nepal and, with a background in Anthropology and a Masters in International Tourism Management, brings a critical eye to the planning and development of projects.
Chairperson of CBSD
Kumar Karki is a founder member and Chairperson of Nepal NGO Community Building for Sustainable Development, and also founder of Tailored Treks Nepal. Kumar was born and grew up in the village of Nele in Solu Khumbu and is extremely well placed to consult with and understand the needs of local people in the region.
He has worked his way up entering the tourism industry as a porter in 1991 to becoming one of Nepal's most experienced trekking guides. He worked for the British NGO, The Nepal Trust spending much of his time guiding in Humla in remote NW Nepal. In 2010 Kumar helped organize and guided ultra-adventure athlete Sean Burch on his World Record Trek East to West across Nepal in order to promote the much talked about Great Himalaya Trail (GHT).
Kumar is a truly remarkable man and all of us at Himalayan Initiatives are delighted to be working with him and his teams at CBSD and Tailored Treks.
Debbie joined HI in December 2017 having decided to embark on a new challenge. Debbie’s background is in charity administration and accounting, having gained a lot of experience through her employment as Administration Manager at Huntly and District Development Trust and in a previous voluntary role as a Brownie Guide Leader. She enjoys long walks and hikes, and looks forward to taking on one of the challenging Himalayan treks in the near future.
Carole-Ann joined the board last year after having taken part in the Himalayan Initiatives trek in 2016 where she witnessed first hand the stove project in Lower Solu Khumbu and the health benefits these stoves make to the lives of villagers. As a result of spending time in the villages she is keen to continue to support future projects particularly relating to health where she has many years experience in the areas of both mental health and public health.
David has over 26 years experience in Primary Care as a general practitioner, working mainly within the busy health center and community hospital of Huntly in Aberdeenshire. The development and improvement of Primary care in rural Nepal is a priority for villagers and for Himalayan Initiatives and David is invaluable in guiding our work in healthcare and wider public health initiatives.