Jano's Bazaar - The Back Story
For several years my trekking friends and I have helped support a fantastic young Nepali man called Kirat, our super wonderful guide for several treks in the Himalayas, so that he could complete his secondary education.
Jane with Kirat in Kathmandu – March 2017
This financial support has been possible through the generosity of the trekkers who know and immensely respect Kirat, who we think is an exceptional person, and by selling the fabulous yak-wool rugs that are the mainstay of Nepali mountain women. For us in Aus, they are both stylish and extremely useful and cosy throw-rugs – and now available through Jano’s Bazaar.
Kirat was on the point of doing what many of his compatriots do - moving to Dubai to work and send money home. We became committed to helping him stay in Nepal with his family and to pursue his own and his brothers’ education.
Kirat’s family fell on hard times in the 10-year Nepalese civil war from 1996, when they lost their family trekking business. The family had to move from Kathmandu to a remote village in the Himalayas accessible only by walking, there to live in poverty and struggle - a not unusual story in Nepal.
Kirat left school to work as a porter to help support his family. By taking on the support of his parents and younger siblings he ended his prospects of education and a life of his own. About this he says, when pressed, "It is what it is," and gets on with it with the most wonderful good humour.
Promoted at the age of 21 to tour guide on the basis of his outstanding ability, with this somewhat meagre income plus what we are able to give him Kirat supports his three siblings and his dad. His mum died in 2019, leaving the family bereft.
We have great belief in Kirat. He will do great things if given the opportunity. He has now finished school and his dream is to do social work in the villages; clean up mess and plant trees to restore the pristine environment of the Himalayan mountains, and to do what he can to improve living conditions for his compatriots. Eco tourism is on his radar, and consequently also on the radar of Jano’s Bazaar.
Yak Herder spinning yak wool on the trail in the Himalayas
Now that the next stage of Kirat’s progression looms, Jano’s Bazaar has come into being with the goal of working with Kirat to create a business from which he also can benefit – moving from charity to business development. Jano went to Kathmandu in November 2019 and, together with Kirat, sourced fabulous and unusual items with a Fair Trade and ecologically-sound ethos to sell through Jano’s Bazaar. Please come with us on our journey of continuing to make a difference, one step at a time.