What is the goal of your innovation? Please describe in one sentence the kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.
Tourism development for poverty alleviation on the isolated mountain areas providing skills and knowledge with different mission treks to promote destination.
Please write an overview of your project. Include how your approach supports or embodies geotourism or destination stewardship. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the map located on the competition homepage.
Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN) was founded in cooperation with 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking Company (3Sisters). EWN provide practical, skill-based training programs combined with gainful employment opportunities, specifically focused on the trekking industry. Responding to the gross inequality of women in Nepal, EWN offers unprecedented opportunities for women from poor, isolated mountainous regions in west Nepal to improve their quality of life.
A research of Karnali, West Nepal on 2003, EWN decided to focus on three major needs areas with possibilities. Agriculture is prime sector due to the food shortage every year. Health issue, many women and children are dieing lack of healthy atmosphere. Other is Alternative Income Resources.
We combined our mobile training with above issues on “Women Initiation in Eco-Tourism” to raise awareness on tourism for alternative incomes, health – sanitation, women’s health. Training programs in ecotourism and lodge management teach environmental best practices and how to translate traditional food, culture, and lifestyle into attractive and sustainable, instead of perpetuating the uncontrolled growth which has characterized previous development in Nepal. Promoting Eco-tourism helps local to involve in tourism without losing their cultural identities or damaging the environment. EWN is promoting destination with organizing Women trek for peace and development.
Explain in detail why your approach is innovative
EWN aims to give local communities knowledge and skills to ensure a better, more optimistic future in a sustainable way. Every person has own particular strengths and talent, but many Nepali women have never had the opportunity to discover this. Living in isolated mountainous areas is a very hard and physically challenging life. Women are poorly educated, literacy levels are low and their life expectancy is well below that of men. They need opportunities and moral support to learn new things. Given the chance to discover their own hidden talents increases their confidence in themselves and motivates them for the future. Women trekking guides were previously unheard of in Nepal. Through EWN/3Sisters work, we have introduced a new profession in adventure tourism for women. While 3Sisters promotes new trekking routes in west Nepal, we work with communities along these routes, advising how to develop amenities for sustainable geotourism while improving their own standard of living, protecting their culture/environment. We encourage them to take control and decide for themselves what needs to be done. We are working with a poor, remote village, Ghare in Mugu(west Nepal), to develop it as a sustainable trekking destination - a model for other communities.