Corporate Social Responsibility
The Managing Director, Mr. Karma Sherpa envisioned Higher Path as not only a tour and travel company but also a company that is socially accountable to the village he grew up in, to the local people and to a brighter future of the Sibuje Village. The establishment of the Karma Project as a non-profit organization aims to support and encourage the locals from the mountains who dream of founding their own sustainable tourism businesses. However, the profits gained from it will solely be used to develop the infrastructures, provide education to the children and deliver quality medical services to the locals. Karma Project’s mission to uplift the livelihood of Sibuje Village has already started to take its shape as two-dozen locals have been employed, various scholarships and language/business training are being provided, and special care has been taken for the basic sanitation of women for which toilets have been built. After the devastating earthquake in 2015, with the efforts of the Karma Project team, various earthquake relief was also supplied to the mountain regions that were affected by the earthquake. Apart from this, Karma Project has also indulged itself in empowering women of the village. Basic sanitation training, education, and inspirational programs are given to the women in order to encourage them to participate in various activities and also for their personal development. Karma Project offers employment to the local women in the tourism industry itself and provides them with sufficient training for it.
Sibuje Village consists of a total of 26 families. The common occupation for locals are farming and a few of them work for tourism sectors as guides or porters. There is only one school near the village called Kharikhola School and in order to reach the school, the children’s have to walk for an entire day. Even if the education is free for the children who wish to study, they still have to pay for the room and board. For farmers, that is something beyond their capacity to afford. A few members of the family who are into the tourism sector, however, send their kids to school. Similarly, there is a huge problem of access roads and trails in the village, especially during the monsoon season when the trails are completely destroyed by the rain. The inaccessible roads result in no transmission towers, basic facilities such as sanitary toilets or hospitals as there is no way to transport building materials to build them. Witnessing first-hand the problems these locals face in their everyday life, Karma Sherpa initiated another project from the Karma Project called Sibuje Village Micro-Hydro Project.
Karma Project has been actively involved in raising funds to set up electric transfer lines from an already established Sibuje Village Micro-Hydro Project to the village. The locals have been trying to get the basic facility of electricity from 2006 and have been disappointed due to various obstacles that arise every year. By providing electricity to the village, Karma project aims to run a smooth medical clinic for the locals, provide electricity in schools for children and to encourage the communities to use electric stoves to cook rather than fire woods which has various environmental and health impacts. This project is initiated to shed a new hope for a better and brighter future for the Sibuje Village.