Photo from the Freedom Social Foundation.
After taking a NOLS instructor course in 2016, longtime porter and trekking guide Jagan Timilsina founded the Outdoor Education Project to provide youth in rural Nepal with a pathway toward working in the outdoor industry. Since August 2017, more than 500 local teens have participated in his 10-day basic course—and many of them are now working as professional guides.
“While working as a porter and a trekking guide for over two decades, Jagan Timilsina realised that most of the people involved in the business did not have adequate training. Which is why after graduating from National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in 2016, Timilsina decided to start a project which aimed to introduce outdoor education to the rural youths of Nepal.
‘While trekking around Nepal, I realised that a lot of porters and guides didn’t have proper training. Sure they could guide people but they didn’t know how to deal with pressure situations which may arise anytime when going to high altitudes,’ says Timilsina.
Realising that he couldn’t teach the existing guides and porters he focused on training boys and girls from rural Nepal.
‘Trekking around Nepal I came across a lot of young boys and girls who didn’t go to school. I felt that these young kids could offer a lot to Nepal’s tourism industry which is why I came up with the Outdoor Education Project,’ he shares.”
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