Most of the home stays that you will stay in are run by subsistence farmers. By traveling and visiting these areas you will increase the host family income and thereby improve their living standards. We use local guides from the villages to ensure that the money you spend remains within the community.
In Samthar there were issues with a lack of formal education opportunities. Our tour partner, Lt. General Jimmy Singh (retired), set up a high school employing local people to teach and run the school. We support this project by sponsoring individual students to continue higher education in Darjeeling. As a result of the incredible management and your support, the school is now thriving.
We promote our customers buying local crafts made by Nepalese women in order to sustain jobs and encourage cultural diversity. By staying in home stays you will be able to take full advantage of the hospitality of the local people. We feel that it is essential for you to adopt local conduct in terms of dress code, in order to create a good relationship between tourists and the community.
Village self help schemes are the way forward to tackle rural unemployment .The start up costs (US $3,000) and ongoing operational costs (until the tours provide suffienct income) have and will continue to be funded by General Jimmy Singh, who has also funded the building of the houses and is donating money for the education of the village children.
Guests live in homestays within the village, learning with the local craftsmen who in turn get a direct income from their trades. The wider project includes educational support for school children and vocational training. During your stay in the village, you'll be able to join in village activities such as ploughing, sowing, harvesting, collection of firewood and fodder, cow herding, goat care, cooking, mat and basket making, and blacksmithing. You can explore the countryside, join in the cricket and football matches, play cards with the village elders, or relax in peace in your homestay.
Approximately 35% of the cost goes to the host family, 18% to the project and 7% covers transportation with a local driver. All the money for activities goes directly to the villagers.
Our tours are listed in the Ethical Travel Guide, published by Tourism Concern. We charge carbon tax to our guests for their flights according to the rates given by Climate Care and pay Climate Care yearly.