© 2023 Gold Futures Challenge. All Rights Reserved.
NEPAL SEATTLE HIKING COMMUNITY
NEPAL SEATTLE HIKING COMMUNITY
NEPAL SEATTLE HIKING COMMUNITY
VISION We envision an inclusive, healthy and thriving community connected with nature. MISSION Nepal Seattle Hiking Community connects people with nature through hiking and stewardship experiences to enrich physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. OUR VALUES: Our values includes these four components - Community | Stewardship | Wellbeing | Inclusivity. More details are given below. Community: We bring our community together to the great Pacific Northwest to experience, appreciate, and share our deep passion for the outdoors and conservation. Stewardship: We respect nature, and are responsible to restore and protect it for future generations. Everyone has a role to play in sustaining the health of our natural systems. Wellbeing: We believe nature heals and nurtures us to live a healthy and happy life. Inclusivity: We believe that everybody should have access to the outdoors. We are committed to creating a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment. We are the first and only Nepali American people of color (POC) led community organization in US serving Nepali community with a mission to connect them with nature by organizing hikes, and help them enrich their physical, mental, social & spiritual well being. Our experienced volunteer leaders are 100% Nepali POC, 100% immigrants or refugees and 50% women with deep connections to and understanding of both Nepal & PNW. Our program is unique. We share our own cultural knowledge and stories from the Himalayas about nature's sacredness and our responsibility to protect it, and relate to the ecosystem of the Cascades.
About the Organization:
$0 - $50,000
We have youths & adults residing in the neighborhoods along the I-5 and I-99 corridors in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, located on the west of the Cascades in Washington State. Our community members have made this region their home, but they face numerous challenges, including economic disparities, language barriers, and limited access to outdoor activities. With COVID-19, these challenges have been exacerbated, leading to increased screen time among our youth and potential impacts on their overall well-being. Problem Statement: The issue we seek to address is the disproportionate screen time and its potential consequences on the well-being of the youth in our underserved communities. Our data reveals alarming statistics that highlight the urgency of addressing this issue: 1. Socioeconomic Factors: The median annual household income in the neighborhoods where our youth reside is below the state average of $61,062. The limited financial resources available to these families make it difficult for them to afford outdoor activities or invest in recreational gear. Parents, many of whom are foreign-born, often work multiple jobs, including weekends, to make ends meet, leaving them with limited time and energy to engage their children in outdoor activities. 2. Language Barriers: Up to 80% of our youth are English Language Learners, which poses additional challenges in remote studying and accessing educational resources. The reliance on online platforms for language learning further contributes to increased screen time among these youth. 3. COVID-19 Impact: Social distancing measures and remote learning have resulted in increased screen time for all youth, but the impact is more pronounced among our community. English Language Learning needing additional online resources, leading to further reliance on screens. Limited parental support due to language barriers and demanding work schedules exacerbate the situation. Scope and Scale of Problem Extended screen time has been associated with adverse effects on mental health, physical well-being, and social development. Lack of physical activity and outdoor experiences can lead to increased sedentary behavior, obesity, and other related health issues. The social isolation resulting from limited access to outdoor spaces and reduced in-person interaction can negatively impact social-emotional development of our youth.
We inspire, support, mentor and nurture 120 of our under-served Nepali youth ages 10 to 18 years in culturally safe, inclusive, fun and empowering experiential outdoors learning. We have introduced our youth & adults to nature all-year-round through 7 mentored trips--2 trips in Fall, 1 in Winter, 1 in Spring, 3 in Summer-- with a combined 2,400 hours in State Parks, National Parks and Forests in WA. The activities includes Wildflower hike at Naches loop trail, Mt. Rainier (Summer 2022) Alpine lake overnight stay at Mountaineers Lodge, Mt. Baker Forest (Summer 2022) Wallace Falls hike & trip to State Salmon Hatchery (Fall 2022): Youth learned how salmon spawns, interdependence of species in the ecosystem, and about the Native peoples who have lived here in harmony with the environment. Wild Berry picking overnight stay at Mountaineers Lodge, Lake Easton State Park (Fall 2022): Youth learned to identify and pick wild berries while enjoying the fall colors. Owl Prowling Event at Seaward Park Snowshoe at Hyak State Sno-Park (Winter 2023): Youth enjoyed snowshoeing while learning avalanche safety precautions to take in winter activities. Stewardship, WA State Park (Earth Day Spring 2023): We collaborated with WTA in maintenance of trails in O'Grady and Green River Waterway park. Youth learned to be stewards of the environment, and agent of change. Staircase Rapid Hike (Summer 2023): Youth enjoyed the Olympic old-growth forest with lush understory of mosses and ferns. Our program is unique in that we will share our own cultural knowledge and stories from the Himalayas about nature's sacredness and our responsibility to protect it, and relate to the ecosystem of the Cascades and the ways the Native peoples have stewarded these lands and waters. We are partnering with Nepal Seattle Society & Northwest Sherpa Association to recruit youth, with Washington Trails Association for youth stewardship activity, and the Mountaineers to rent their lodges for overnight trips. When our youth feel a deep connection to nature and culture, they will feel grounded and empowered. We strongly believe that these outdoor enrichment will become a powerful tool to strengthen parent-youth bonds and empower our communities.