Gift a goat to Tibet nomads in Nepal


Another harsh winter this year in the part of the Tibetan Plateau that is located in Nepal’s Upper Mustang region has resulted in a massive loss of livestock.

Mustang’s nomads have been particularly hard hit, losing hundreds of yaks, sheep and goats. Blizzards in February killed many of the goats and sheep in their pens, and yaks in the upper regions also died. The nomads have a close bond with their sheep and goats, giving each of the baby animals to the correct mother every evening after grazing.

The nomads who live on the Nepal side of the border with China are resilient, and know how to survive in the bitter cold winters of the high plateau. But nothing prepared them for the ferocity of this year’s storms. A series of blizzards in February and March left up to 1m of snow, and before it had a chance to melt, more started falling.

This is the third winter in the last seven years with unusually heavy snowfall, and the nomads have suffered the loss of a large percentage of their livestock.

News of the blizzards did reach faraway Kathmandu and the provincial capital in Pokhara, but no help came. The nomads, many of whom are Tibetan refugees without Nepali citizenship, do not have monetary savings and survive on barter, so they had no way to recover their losses.

Local communities and trekking groups have been helping the nomads living near Lo Manthang recover. One of them is Kamzang Journeys, which specialises in taking trekking teams to camp and travel with the nomads.

It has set up The Nomad Fund, and says the money collected from its Adopt a Goat program is delivered directly to nomad families. Despite its name, the $150 per goat collected can be used by the nomads as they need, whether for food and supplies, medical care or to purchase replacement livestock.

“The Adopt a Goat project is very close to our hearts as we have been trekking with these resilient, warm, generous and tough nomads for nearly two decades,” says Kim Bannister of Kamzang Journeys. “We provide families with financial help when they lose their animals during winters, and help with sales of their hand-woven textiles.”

To contribute to Adopt a Goat and The Nomad Fund go to:

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