One of UniversalGiving’s newest partners is Trekking for Kids, a nonprofit that takes an innovative approach to voluntourism. Participants combine their passions for adventure and volunteering by hiking in some of the world’s most beautiful while also dedicating part of their time to helping orphans and vulnerable children in local communities. Trekkers fundraise for projects in these communities that have lasting impacts on these children.
The 2015 earthquake in Nepal severely damaged the region’s infrastructure and took thousands of lives. That year Trekkers decided to direct their fundraising towards the village of Kumari, whose school was destroyed by the disaster. Poorer mountain towns were some of the most affected by the quake due to the difficulty of access and lack of resources. Human traffickers have taken advantage of the aftermath to prey on vulnerable women and children who lost their schools and homes in the quakes, further exacerbating the need for aid.
Trekking for Kids hoped that reconstructing the Kumari elementary school might
protect children from the threat of trafficking by encouraging parents to keep their children in school. The school gave more than 500 local children the opportunity to continue their education in a safe and spacious environment. Trekkers raised $33,000 towards rebuilding the school, surpassing their original goal. After three days of hands-on work in the Kumari village, the 16 trekkers packed up and began their adventure around the base of Mt. Everest. After several days of hiking through the storied mountains and sleeping in local teahouses, the journey ended at the highest Buddhist monastery in the world, the Tengboche Monastery.
Trekking for Kids is conducting five treks this year, including on trip to Mt. Kilamanjaro and another to the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. Those looking to get involved can donate on the UniversalGiving website, or go to trekkingforkids.org to sign up for the adventure of a lifetime.