Empowering Rural Areas Youth And Help In Economic Community Development Through Adventure Sports Tourism Training Center

EWN aims to extend educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to underprivileged youth as the youth are migrated abroad.

Photo of Lucky Chhetri
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Empowering Women of Nepal- EWN

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $250k - $500k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Nepal

Headquarters location: City

Pokhara, Kaski

Location(s) of impact

City A: West Nepal- Jumla, Mugu, Dolpa, Humla City B: Solukhumbu City C: Myagdi City D: 51 districts of Nepal



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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Nepal is facing a complex political crisis as well as socio-economic problem and a lengthy earthquake recovery, all contributing to poverty and high unemployment rate. According to BBC Nepal, “On average, more than 1500 leave every day” in search of employment in foreign countries. Moreover, there is little opportunity for young people to harness their knowledge and skills in the tourism sector, even though Nepal is a major adventure tourism destination in the world.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Therefore, in order to mitigate the socio-economic problem, EWN has been providing female trekking guide training, rock climbing training and home-stay training for disadvantaged youths (all free of cost) in order to develop skilled labor and increase income in remote communities. By empowering, educating and creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged women, EWN is creating a new generation of young women who are motivated, engaged, informed, responsible and active citizens of Nepal. These qualities are the most promising aspects for creating shared value. When individuals and grassroot organizations are given the opportunity to lead and take charge of their lives and communities, mobilized and supported they are likely to take ownership and be actively engaged in improving their lives and developing their communities.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

EWN has achieved positive social, economic and environmental impact on its trainees and their work places. Disadvantage women from the remote villages of Nepal are often discriminated, discouraged and suppressed by their family and traditional society. Historically, female trekking guide was a profession that was not viewed well by the Nepalese society. However, with time people have changed their views towards women working as guides. Currently, family members are bringing beneficiaries to join our program. Many educated young girls from the cities are pursuing guiding and are engaged in adventure tourism jobs in Nepal. EWN has impacted more than 2000 underprivileged girls and women, many from rural villages. In 2011, EWN organized an all Nepalese Women Expedition to Annapurna IV (7,525 meters). Four of our female guides were the first Nepali women to summit Annapurna IV.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

1.Individual donations or gifts-6% 2. Grants-27% 3.Corporate contributions-43% 4.Earned income-20% 5.Other-4% To ensure our financial sustainability for long-term, we strive to improve our business model. We request our clients to provide feedback so that we can improve our business. We provide quality training and maintain a good relationship with our corporate and individual donors. Based on our work, donors have continued to support us both financially and technically. We work with many local stakeholders schools and volunteers from all over the world who provide us their valuable support.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

In 1999, EWN began offering Trekking Guide training to disadvantaged women who had never left their villages, attempting to break down the traditional structures which limit rural women’s access to education, nutrition, employment and health. This initial success created opportunity to expand training to reach even more women. Our program trains women to independent, self-sufficient, strong and confident, creating a significant shift in the social structure of rural Nepal.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

In 1990’s, female trekking guides were unheard of. Women trekking guides were discouraged and not valued. We had many challenges and struggled a lot, but we persevered. We founded EWN to offer trekking guide training and designed a curriculum to meet the requirements. Our model has been a successful tool to empower disadvantaged women as well as develop the regions’ natural strengths for tourism. Now, women are not only interested and motivated to be trekking guides, they are also entering other adventure sports activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, motor cycling, paragliding, white water rafting, etc. Women in Nepal are entering into non-traditional professional roles and challenging their status in society as well as demanding their rights.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Shreyas Prakash

This is a great initiative!

Photo of Lucky Chhetri

Thank You! Your project also sounds interesting. Good Luck!

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Very exciting idea. Good luck.

Photo of Lucky Chhetri

Thank You!

Photo of Juliana Najem

This is a very important initiative for a long-term development. In order to improve guiding skills, I image that training in languages is very important: english, spanish... etc... It's not clear if they receive also this type of training.
Who promotes the hiking activities? Are you in link with local authorities? With travel agencies, tour-operators?

Photo of Lucky Chhetri

Thank you Juliana for your comments. Sorry you were not clear on our response.
Our female trekking guide training is catered for under-privileged women mostly from 18 to 30 years of age. These women are mostly from the remote mountain areas of Nepal with minimal education and skills.
Conversation English language is a core component of our training course. Therefore, everyday our trainees receive 2 hours of English lessons from our volunteers.
3 Sisters Adventure Trekking is a sister organization of Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN) who work together to empower, educate, and create employment opportunities for under-privileged women of Nepal.
3 Sisters Adventure trekking is a travel agency that is promoting and financially supporting EWN trekking guiding program.
Yes, we are in link with local authorities. We are registered members of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), and Ministry of Travel and Tourism.