Himalayas

Canberra charity REACH for Nepal determined to make a difference

A Canberra charity set up in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal is quietly raising money for much-needed restoration work and giving Australians the chance to work on local community projects, the Canberra Times reports.

Founded by Canberra trekking enthusiast and yoga teacher Lou Nulley and Nepalese-born Lachhu Thapa from The Hungry Buddha restaurants in Curtin and Belconnen, REACH for Nepal has also just finalised a sponsorship arrangement with Singapore Airlines to carry a limited amount of donated goods to Nepal for free when volunteers travel for a project.

The charity has also appointed 2016 Olympic gold medallist Kim Brennan as its first ambassador, a position she is “incredibly proud” to hold.

Entirely run by volunteers, REACH for Nepal’s priority is supporting people in remote, isolated areas of Nepal who have not been reached by other agencies. The areas are often only accessible by foot.

Anyone who participates in the trips treks for five days and spends three days working on a community project.

Each participant pays their own way and all money raised goes directly to projects for the Nepalese people. The trip participants are also asked to raise at least $250 to go towards a project.

On-the-ground work planned for this year includes building classrooms and helping with the production of school bags by people with disabilities in Nepal.

“There are not too many things in life where you can make a real difference, but this is one of them,” Mr Nulley said.

“It’s a fairly intense eight-day period but the experience is so rewarding. The people there are so grateful for the work that we do.”

“Almost without exception, people describe it as a life-changing event,” he said.

REACH for Nepal, meanwhile, stands for Rebuilding, Education, Assistance, Children/Communities (giving) Hope for Nepal.

Source – Canberra Times

beer on us – all march @ the hungry buddha curtin & belconnen

The Hungry Buddha is celebrating the month of March with some Beers 🙂

There is plenty of reason for us to celebrate the month of March here in Canberra. The biggest being, we will be welcoming the pleasant weather AUTUMN. The summer was long, and you might have been kicking in the couch for a while with a nice cold beer.

Where as in Nepal, in the month of March, we celebrate the festival of colour, HOLI.


So, we decided that we celebrate the month of happiness in Canberra & Nepal by treating you with a beer when you book online & use code “NEPALI BEER” for the month of March.

There is only one condition  though, its only one beer per person per booking.

So lets welcome Autumn with family and friends at the hungry buddha, and your first beer is on us! Booking is a must.

Namaste 🙂

 

 

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek 2017

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek 2017

I am headed to Nepal in September 2017 with family, with my two young daughters June & Maaya. Needless to say how excited I am, no really I am very excited.
I will be there celebrating Dashian (Biggest festival in Hindi Calendar) with family in Nepal after – I don’t remember. Surely it will bring back memories of the childhood.

 
Also when in Nepal, I will be doing two community projects around Annapurna Area, alongside travelers from Canberra in conjunction with Reach for Nepal Foundation. And in between that I will be trekking Mardi Himal Base Camp – all the way upto 4500 meters. The 5 weeks are full on 🙂


Situated just east of one of the most popular treks of Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Mardi Himal trek is a hidden gem.

 
Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp spectacularly situated at the base of Mardi Himal and the impressive Machapuchhre. The trail goes along small winding paths, through magical rhododendron forests. I am looking forward to get some amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli & close up views of the entire Annapurna Range.

 

If you would like to join me, please contact me on 0422 657 897
Lachhu Thapa

Cook Nepali Style Chicken Chilli at home


So if you have been to Nepal, don’t tell me you haven’t tried chicken chilli at one of the restaurants in Kathmandu or Pokhara or somewhere in between 
It is one of the most famous snacks in Nepal alongside mo:mo, chowmein and thupka. There is nothing much to it, really! Get Chicken Leg fillets, dice and marinate it (overnight is always good) before frying it in a bit of oil. Once cooked, you toss it up with some onion, capsicum, tomatoes on a separate pan alongside some spices, and its ready

Prep time: 20 mins, Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients
• Chicken Thighs in small cubes (400 gm)
• Capsicum – (Red 1, Green 1)
• Onion (1 small, cut in cube sizes)
• Shallots/Coriander (some to garnish)
• Tomato (1, cut in cube sizes)
• Cumin seeds – (half a tea spoon)
• Ginger-Garlic Paste (1/2 table spoon each)
• Red Chili Paste (1/2 table spoon)
• Tomato Ketchup (4 table spoons)
• Corriander/Cumin powder
• Oil (3 table spoons)
• Salt (to taste)

Directions:
• Marinade the chicken with bit of oil, ginger/garlic paste, salt, chilli paste
• When ready, on low heat fry the chicken until cooked
• On a new pan, start off with 2 table spoon of oil
• Cumin seeds in, alongside the onions
• Salt to taste
• Throw in the chicken, you just cooked on the side
• Put in more ginger/garlic, chilli paste, cumin/coriander powder (all the spices)
• Toss for a while
• Throw in the capsicum, fresh tomatoes & tomato ketchup, and toss for 30 seconds and you are done
• Put in fresh coriander/shallots just before serving

Namaste

Reach for Nepal Foundation – Introduction & Vision

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The REACH for Nepal Foundation was established after the devastating 2015 earthquakes of Nepal provides practical and financial assistance to rural Nepalese communities affected by the earthquake.

R = Rebuild areas affected by the 2015 earthquakes, and provide support to other schools and villages that need assistance.
E = Educate – Provide school textbooks and tuition, as well as scholarship programs and vocational training to improve employment outcomes.
A = Assist – Ensure that projects benefit the lives of children and their communities, while also stimulating the local economy by employing locals to assist in community projects.
C = Children/Communities – Our focus is to improve the livelihood of both children and Nepalese communities who have been worst affected by the 2015 earthquakes and other events.
H = Hope – Give hope to communities that have lost family members, homes, schools, income and opportunities as a result of the 2015 earthquakes, or who are otherwise in desperate need of assistance.

OUR VISION

Enable villages to become more self-sustaining

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages and facilitates opportunities for Nepalese people to complete vocational training through local providers. This will improve employment outcomes, create jobs and improve stability and harmony in remote villages. With in-demand skills, people won’t need to travel to the Middle East or India looking for work.

The Reach for Nepal Foundation also works with villages and schools to provide facilities so that residents and students have access to clean drinking water.

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Assist local communities to rebuild schools and libraries

With abundant local knowledge, the Reach for Nepal Foundation identifies schools in Western Nepal that need help rebuilding classrooms or other facilities. These projects are funded through fundraising activities in Australia.

In all rebuilding projects, we use local labour and materials. This creates jobs and stimulates the economy by investing funds locally.

 

Provide education scholarships and student support

The Reach for Nepal Foundation, with the support of its Nepalese director, uses local networks to identify students in remote Western Nepal that would most benefit from an education scholarship.

When undertaking school projects or visits, the Reach for Nepal Foundation donates used Australian textbooks to students. If you have school textbooks in good condition that you would like to donate for distribution in Nepalese schools, contact us.

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Enhance the skills of local teachers

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages qualified Australian teachers to travel to Nepal and volunteer to pass on their skills and share their knowledge with local teachers.

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Extend participation in sporting activities

Children who grow up in Nepal are often told to study hard. A good education helps graduates find jobs and provide a better future for their families, but it is only one part of the equation. At the Reach for Nepal Foundation, we believe that sports participation is also beneficial to school-aged children.

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Sport is a common language throughout the world, as it connects people. Participating in a sporting activity helps to:

  • Develop decision making abilities
  • Develop communication skills
  • Build self esteem
  • Provide safe and supportive community spaces for women
  • Improve quality of life for people with a disability through participation and social integration

 

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages grassroots programs in villages with sports including cricket, football, soccer, badminton and table tennis. In the initial phase, the Reach for Nepal Foundation distributes sporting equipment to the school administration. We are always in the lookout for schools who want to travel to Nepal on such sporting and community projects.

For more information contact the foundation directly here.

The Buddha Odyssey is set to organise their third Yoga, Trekking & Community Trip to Nepal in 2017

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Yoga Pathways & The Buddha Odyssey are again coming together in Oct 2017 and organizing another trip to Nepal from Canberra.

The trip will again focus on the Community Project in conjunction with Reach for Nepal Foundation, while also providing travellers the experience of trekking the Annapurna range & Hatha Yoga wherever possible.

Lou Nulley, yoga instructor at Yoga Pathways & co-founder/director of the foundation leads such a trip each year to Nepal alongside Odyssey tour leader Raju Thapa. Over the years, Lou and Raju have developed a special working relationship and delivered very successful trips.

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Lachhu Thapa, the co-founder/director of the foundation is also keen to join the tour group this year. Lachhu is excited to be going back to Nepal with family and finish off the project in Annapurna village.

The travel group raises funds for the project before they head off to Nepal.

BHAKTAPUR KATHMANDU VALLEY NEPAL - APRIL 8 2014: People walking near Nepalese temples in shape of pagoda at Durbar Square

The tour starts in Kathmandu, with sightseeing of major attractions of a 2000 year old valley. We then head to picturesque Pokhara where we spend another couple of days. From there we embark on a trek which sees you walking up to 5 hours a day on a route that’s less popular with tourist – making the experience more authentic whilst absorbing the mesmerizing views of the Himalayas.

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The 5 days trekking leads you to our Community Project where you will spend another three days working on the project and spending time with villagers, school teachers and students. Yoga is incorporated on the trip where ever practical. We then head back to Pokhara and fly out to Kathmandu for last minute shopping before our flight back home.

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Historically these trips are fully booked, as participants enjoy the blend of trekking the Himalayas at a relaxed pace, making a real difference in the lives of many people through the community project and maintaining a sense of equanimity through regular yoga sessions.

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The cost of the trip is around $3790 (to be confirmed around Jan 2017) including international airfares, accommodation and most meals.

To lock in a spot please contact us by filling this form

Namaste

Lachhu Thapa

Successful first ever mo:mo: & trivia night in Canberra

Last night The Hungry Buddha Nepalese Restaurant, Canberra hosted a Mo:Mo: night to raise funds for the Reach for Nepal Foundation.

The event which was booked out in just under a week back in Aug 2016, raised around $1650 for the foundation. The event was organised to support Lachhu, Ben and Yog’s quest to raise money by doing a Rickshaw Run in India in Jan 2017.

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There were four kinds of mo:mo:’s on offer –

  • Chicken,
  • Lamb/Rosemary,
  • Potato/Spinach &
  • Pumpkin/Cauliflower/Pistachio

The event was a huge success with local community coming together for a wonderful cause, and is sure to be not the last one.

We would like to thank family, friends, patrons, staff and wonder MC Gordon Scott.

Namaste

Lachhu Thapa & The Hungry Buddha Team

UNESCO enlisted heritage site – The Boudhanath Stupa reopens in Kathmandu

An "eye" is seen behind the prayer flags during the prayers to purify the Boudhanath stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

An “eye” is seen behind the prayer flags during the prayers to purify the Boudhanath stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year’s earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

The Boudhanath Stupa, one of UNESCO-enlisted heritage sites in Nepal which was severely damaged by an earthquake last year, was reopened for public Tuesday after completing reconstruction.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurated the newly rebuilt 36-meter-tall Boudhanath Stupa at Boudha area of the capital city Kathmandu.

An aerial view of Bouddhanath Stupa, acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Kathmandu, in April 2016. The ancient stupa which was  affected by the April 25, 2015 earthquake is being rennnovated. Photo: Keshav P. Koirala

An aerial view of Bouddhanath Stupa, acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Kathmandu, in April 2016. The ancient stupa which was affected by the April 25, 2015 earthquake is being rennnovated. Photo: Keshav P. Koirala

The Prime Minister thanked the entire international community, including neighbouring countries China and India, for extending financial support to reconstruct the ancient Buddhist shrine.

The Boudhanath Stupa was the first heritage site to complete renovation after a devastating earthquake hit Nepal 19 months ago, claiming over 9,000 lives and left thousand others injured and a lot of buildings damaged.

Boudhanath stupa is silhouetted against the sun during the prayers to purify the stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

Boudhanath stupa is silhouetted against the sun during the prayers to purify the stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year’s earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

The reconstruction, which started only two months after the earthquake, took 17 months. The cost stood at 230 million Nepalese Rupees.

Reconstruction of other heritage sites damaged by the earthquake was still underway or just in the early stage, authorities said.

Buddhist monks performed purification rituals for the completion of the renovation on Nov. 18.

A young girl poses for a photograph in front of Boudhanath Stupa, during its purification ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. A three-day purification ceremony has been organized to purify Boudhanath Stupa, which was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, after the completion of its reconstruction. The Stupa will officially open to the public on Nov 22. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

A young girl poses for a photograph in front of Boudhanath Stupa, during its purification ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. A three-day purification ceremony has been organized to purify Boudhanath Stupa, which was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, after the completion of its reconstruction. The Stupa will officially open to the public on Nov 22. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Boudhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal, is considered the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, making it the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu.

Thousands of domestic and international visitors come to visit the shrine annually.
Source – Xinhua

Three friends. 2700 kilometres. One tuk tuk. Crazy? Probably!

rickshaw-run

We’re heading to India at the end of the year to drive a tuk tuk from Cochin to Jaiselmer and raise money for the Reach for Nepal Foundation. It’s part of the annual Rickshaw Run event, and it promises to be a lot of fun.

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Now to take the adventure to another level, we have decided to fundraise for Reach for Nepal Foundation (RFN), which is a start-up charity based here in Canberra.

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RFN works to improve the lives of Nepalese people through initiating and supporting programs that assist earthquake-affected communities to rebuild schools and libraries, provide educational scholarships, foster sustainability, enhance the skills of local teachers and extend participation in sporting activities.

The Foundation’s priority is supporting people in remote, isolated areas of Nepal that have not been reached by other aid agencies. Many of these are only accessible on foot.

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It will be one crazy ride. To support our cause please donate here.

Namaste

Lachhu, Ben & Yog

Community Project, Yoga & Trekking Oct 2016

 

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Lou Nulley, co-founder of the REACH for Nepal Foundation (RFN), and Raju Thapa recently led a group of 10 people from Australia on another successful trek in Nepal, culminating in a community project in a remote area of the country in conjunction with The Buddha Odyssey.

Prior to the trip the group had raised around $3500. Together with funding from RFN, the team funded and helped to rebuild a library at the Hari Prasad school near the Khara Ko Mukh village.

The library was demolished by recent earthquakes and flooding. The facility is a key requirement to assist in the education of the children in this remote region.  The headmaster of the school and the school board were grateful for the team’s contributions, galvanizing the community as parents, teachers and villagers came together to assist the rebuild project.

The team included people from NSW, Victoria and the ACT. After trekking the Annapurna Range for five days absorbing spectacular views of the Himalayas, interspersed with regular yoga sessions to stretch the body and to remain present on the journey, the team enthusiastically arrived at the school to begin the rebuild project.

We were overwhelmed by the generosity and welcome from the community and children at the school.

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