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What a difference a stove can make! #CharityTrek

Having recently returned from this year’s charity treks in Nepal, we wanted to give you a little update on how we got on. In this post you'll hear about our recent trip to Simigaon Village in Rolwaling Valley, and our on-going stove project there.

Simigaon today

During our visit this October, the impacts of last years earthquakes were still very much apparent in Simigaon village. The health post remains a tumbled pile of rubble, and many families continue to live in temporary shelters. While this is a village that has been pushed to its limits, the warmth and welcome we experienced from the villagers when we arrived would be difficult to rival. This is truly a village of inspirational individuals.

The previous site of the Health Post, Simigaon village

Temporary Shelter, Simigaon village

The purpose of our visit to Simigaon this year was two fold: to evaluate the ways in which we could work with and support the community of Simigaon in the future, and secondly to deliver 46 stoves and chimneys to families in the village.

The Stoves

In many areas of rural Nepal a great deal of households continue to rely on open fires to cook in the homes. These open fires result in smoke filling the homes, and can cause significant health problems. As you may already know, for a number of years now, we have focused on raising funds for stoves with chimneys. Costing as little as £50 per stove (for materials, installation and transportation), these stoves are transforming households in rural Nepal, by channelling smoke out of the homes and helping burn wood more efficiently.

The Stove Project in Simigaon

During our recent charity trek to Simigaon 46 stoves were delivered to villagers. The stoves were transported to a close-by village called Chetchet, which was accessible by road. It was here that we met with the villagers and there was instantly a buzz about the place. After a short training session on stove installation and use, the villagers were ready to get their new stoves home.

Unfazed by the 39kg weight of the stoves, we watched in amazement as the villagers one by one loaded each of the stoves into their traditional dojo baskets to carry them back to their homes. As we watched them load up their stoves, we enquired whether they were going to split the different parts of the stove between two people in order to spread the weight. Our question was met with smiles all round, before we were quickly informed that this was a rather modest load in comparison to they usual 50-60kg loads.

Installing the stoves

During the following week we were able to see a number of the stoves being installed in homes and temporary shelters. The installations took little more than 30 minutes, and the results were rapidly apparent. The smoke which had previously made your eyes stream began to disappear from inside the homes. The villagers were delighted. Another great thing about these stoves is that they can be moved from one property to another. This means that while many people have currently had their stoves installed in their temporary shelter, they will be able to relocate them to their new homes, once they have been rebuilt.

It is only through your continued support that we can deliver projects such as these, and so we'd like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you who has donated to Himalayan Initiatives. To find out how you can donate and help us change lives, visit our donation page today!

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