Outdoor Education Program

Providing naturalist and mountain guide training to young women and men from the villages of the Kumaon Region of the Himalayas.

The state of Uttrakhand has some of the best nature viewing and trekking in the world. Although it is remote, the Kumaon region continues to be at risk for unplanned development and haphazard tourism, which inevitably creates environmental devastation. The people of Kumaon are deeply rooted in their respect for nature and are practicing expert naturalists in their daily traditional lives.

In order to promote the idea of ethical and eco-friendly opportunities for the local people for trekking and nature viewing, HEF is helping the villagers get appropriate training to bring in some income without disturbing the balance of nature.

HEF sponsors local men and women to attend a professional Outdoor Leadership Certification course. Topics ranged from ropes and gear, to environmental and cultural awareness, risk assessment, rescue and decision- making.

To bring this knowledge to more kids at a younger age, with a grant from India Development Service (IDS) and leadership from our local partner Himalayan Ark, HEF is helping to create an Outdoor Leadership Program as part of the curriculum at the Himalaya Inter College. This gives the students another option for livelihood as they finish high school.

In 2015, HEF sponsored some of the thirty children and 50 adults who participated in a Bird Festival and Guide Training Course arranged by our partner Himalayan Ark in Munsiyari.

In 2015, HEF has helped to create and promote Kaaphal Hill – a home-stay business that provides an authentic farm experience and guided trekking in the Himalayas to visitors. Kaphaal Hill is owned and operated by an outdoor enthusiast and entrepreneur, Tarun Mahara, in the village of Berinag.

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