Going climbing or trekking in Nepal sometime soon? 

If so, here’s a chance to come home with much lighter bags and to support a very worthy cause at the same time

Subject: KEEP Porters' Clothing Centre - Donations and Support

Hello friends at Alpine Club,

I am emailing in the hope that you will be able to support our important work, of ensuring the welfare of Nepali porters, by donating clothing and equipment to our Porters’ Clothing Centre (PCC).

The Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation. For over 25 years, since 1992, KEEP has worked to ensure the long-term economic, environmental and cultural prosperity of Nepal by maximising the benefits and minimising the negative impacts of the tourism industry. For further information on our mission and activities, please visit our website www.keepnepal.org.

The porters of Nepal play an essential role in the trekking industry but have suffered serious exploitation and disregard for their welfare. This includes the influence of a large number of trekking agencies and employers that are still not prepared to bear the cost of properly equipping their porters with basic clothing and equipment. Every year porters suffer from a variety of issues that are almost entirely avoidable, including altitude sickness, snow blindness, hypothermia and frostbite. Porters die or suffer life changing injuries from a simple lack of basic clothing and equipment.

Since 2009, the PCC has worked to promote and improve the welfare of the porters who are employed in Nepal's trekking industry. The Clothing Centre provides basic equipment for rent at a nominal fee to ensure that porters are properly equipped for the conditions in the Himalaya. Our records show, as presented in our PCC Progress Report, that as many as 3622 porters from different trekking companies as well as many freelance porters and guides have benefited from KEEP’s PCC.This has resulted in the demand for the Clothing Centre consistently exceeds the supplies that we have available.

The Porters' Clothing Centre is entirely dependent on donations, with the nominal equipment rental fee going towards the running costs. We would be extremely grateful for any assistance that you can provide for the scheme. The Clothing Centre can provide a meaningful use for old stock and contribute to the sustainability of your business and supply lines. All equipment donations will be greatly appreciated but a broader partnership or ongoing support would be invaluable to us, enabling us to plan and manage the service in the medium and long term.

The Clothing Centre requires men’s jackets and trousers in a range of sizes, principally 40-44/M-L, and walking shoes and boots in a range of sizes, principally EU sizes 39-43. Please note that shipments including used goods, as a whole or part, are sometimes impounded by Nepali customs and the entire shipment will then not be released to us. We would be delighted to answer any questions that you have or arrange a Skype call to discuss the project and any support you can provide.

Warmest regards,

Ben Laddiman (UK volunteer) and the KEEP family

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