The Keller family made it possible to deliver the Dala Horses to the children in Nepal. We would like to take the opportunity to tell their story and what they do. Please read their own story below.
“Who are we? I like to think of us as “brokers” of needs. We connect the people with needs with people who can meet those needs. Sometimes we are able to meet the needs ourselves, but more frequently we are only able to make the connection. For example, one village was in need of a water pump because their pump was failing. The water pump was used to irrigate the crops for the village. We were able to find a donor in the US who supplied the pump for the village. Another occasion we were asked to locate an English teacher for a village school. We were unable to find a teacher who could commit to an entire year, so we spent one month teaching in the village to help with their program.
Most of these projects are one time needs but others are ongoing, most notably the feeding of the school children from Upper Mustang. Each week we purchase fruit, vegetables, and eggs for the children and staff for the duration of their “mobile school session” in Pokhara. These are national schools so the government provides enough for the purchase of lentils and rice which is supplemented by the food we bring.
Another much larger project is in the village of Ghiling. During the 2015 earthquakes this village received extensive damage. The problem was not that the tremors were so strong in this location but that the foundations of the buildings were in such poor condition that when the earthquake struck, the buildings were unable to stand. The problem relates to water drainage in the valley. We brought in an expert (environmental engineer) to assess the situation and propose several solutions to the villagers. At the moment, we are trying to raise the finances to implement the solution selected by the villagers. We had considered starting and INGO in the past but we found that the government was much too directive in what projects were addressed and the finances tended to be absorbed by “other sectors.” As a result, Craig had the great idea to start the trekking agency. The young men working in the agency are licensed guides. Typically, trekking guides are only paid per trek. That leaves several months of the year without income. Craig’s vision was to pay them a flat salary throughout the year so they could support their families without concern. As they trek through the villages they become aware of potential projects. They can also validate projects for us by going to meet with people when we are unable due to timing or finances. A perfect example is after the earthquake we were told of the conditions in Ghiling so Craig sent one of the guides to document the damage and talk with the people. It is very important to us to verify a project before we accept it. People will always look for someone who is willing to foot the bill for something they want. We are not interested in that. We are looking for real needs which will benefit many people.”
If you are touched by this story I suggest that you check out the projects the Keller family and One Life Matters are working on in Nepal by clicking HERE and if you click HERE you can do a small contribution to their project.
If you want to contact the Keller Family please send an email to Craig Keller at firstname.lastname@example.org
And you can learn more about their tracking company at solidrocktrekking.com