Fundraising for Habitat for Humanity Nepal

Every year for my birthday, starting with my 21st, I ask people to donate their time or money to a charity or cause that is close to their heart because in terms of gifts, there isn’t anything I need. This year, I’ve decided to do a birthday fundraiser trip to Nepal with Habitat for Humanity. Last April, Nepal experienced a devastating earthquake that killed 8,000 people, left 21,000 more injured, triggered an avalanche on Mt. Everest, and was recorded as the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since 1934. Even a year later, they’re still working on cleaning up, rebuilding homes and communities, and getting the country back on its feet. So, from November 25 to December 10, I’ll be going to Kavre, Nepal to help rebuild homes for families and a community in need.

“Nestled between India and China in southern Asia, Nepal is home to eight of the world’s ten highest mountain peaks, including Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga and the Annapurna Range. Nearly half of Nepal’s 22 million inhabitants live below the poverty line. An estimated 430,000 families live in substandard housing, which contributes to one of every ten infants dying before the age of five. Since 1997, Habitat has been empowering families in Nepal through disaster response and preparedness, microfinance, water and sanitation projects and environmentally sustainable house construction. Its Global Village trips are designed to immerse, educate and serve, and they provide volunteers unique opportunities to get to know and work alongside partner families to build new disaster-resistant homes or renovate existing homes.”

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At the end of the build during the house dedication, we got to trace our footprints and leave a message for the family before proper flooring was installed.

What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity’s FAQ page can answer in more detail what they are all about, but in a nutshell, they are a non-profit organization that builds and renovates safe and affordable homes for low-income families all over the world. This year, Habiat’s theme is “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Through Habitat, there are a bunch of different ways to get involved including local community programs, long-term domestic and international volunteer programs, youth programs, home preservation programs, and Global Village programs.

Through the Global Village program, which is the branch of Habitat I like to volunteer with and through which I signed up for this Nepal build, you can sign on to “volunteer abroad to build decent, affordable shelter alongside members of the local community. Use your vacation to volunteer, learn about substandard housing, community development challenges and Habitat’s ministry and mission to help eradicate them.”

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Building a shed for the backyard and hammering away on a tricky nail.

What Kind of Work I’ll Be Doing
Volunteers will work on new construction or renovation of homes. Depending on what stage the building site is in, we could be doing woodwork, building the framework of the house, interior or exterior painting, constructing sheds, gardening, sawing, roofing, anything. Unfortunately, the specific work to be done on the house assigned to the team isn’t something that can be determined this far in advance.

My Previous Experience with Habitat
My first Habitat build was in Anchorage, Alaska back in the summer of 2010. It was a group of 20, from high schoolers to retirees plus 2 team leaders, and it was inspiring to be part of a team of people from all different backgrounds that came together to work towards a common goal. We went to work on the house every day during the week from 8-4 with time in the evenings to relax and explore, and we slept on single beds with 3 people to a room (separated by gender) in the basement of a local church. We’d break for lunch for about an hour to eat, rest, update the group on what was accomplished during the morning shift, and rotate shifts to work on a different portion of the house. On the weekends, we went hiking, explored downtown Anchorage, climbed glaciers, and went whale watching on a fjord cruise. We worked hard and played hard, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life.

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My Habitat Anchorage group on the last day of the build.

Where do donations go? How can I donate?
The cost of this program is $2,350 USD. I’ve already paid a deposit of $350, and I am now committed to fundraising the remaining balance of $2,000. All donations go towards this specific project’s renovations and volunteer accommodation and activities during the build. The program costs include meals, accommodations, team transportation within Nepal, cultural activities, health, accident and emergency evacuation insurance, as well as donations to Habitat for Humanity Nepal and Habitat for Humanity International so that they may continue to serve additional families even after volunteers return home. The program cost does not include airfare to/from Nepal, visa and/or exit fees (if applicable) or R&R activities before or after the build and will be paid for out of my own pocket.

To make a donation, visit my personal fundraising page by clicking the red button below. The deadline for donations is October 1, 2016.

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What YOU Get in Return for Your Donation
As a thank you for your donation, I will be sending a personal thank you card, a handwritten postcard from Nepal, and a post-trip email with photos before anything else goes live on the blog or my Youtube channel to anyone who donates between $10-50. Anyone who donates $51-$100 will get a special souvenir from Nepal in addition to everything else mentioned. If you donate through my personal fundraising page, be sure to also send me an email letting me know so that I will have your address to send the post-trip update.

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Trip Itinerary

  • Sunday Nov. 27
    • Arrive in Kathmandu by Noon / Overnight in Kathmandu
  • Monday Nov. 28
    • Fly to Pokhara
    • Welcome and Orientation by HFH Nepal Staff
    • Community Introduction
  • Tuesday Nov. 29 – Friday Dec. 2
    • Construction and safety orientation
    • Work from 8am-4pm with lunch on site
    • Dinner at hotel
    • Time for excursions/rest/meetings/reflection
  • Saturday Dec. 3 – Sunday Dec. 4
    • Free days for cultural activities or day trips
  • Monday Dec. 5 – Thursday Dec. 8
    • Construction and safety orientation
    • Work from 8am-4pm with lunch on site
    • Dinner at hotel
    • Time for excursions/rest/meetings/reflection
  • Friday Dec. 9
    • House dedication
    • Farewell lunch
    • Fly back to Kathmandu
    • Overnight in Kathmandu
  • Saturday Dec. 10
    • Depart for home or continue travel independently

If you have any questions about my trip, why I’m fundraising, or anything else, leave them in the comments below, and I will be sure to answer them.

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