Youth Corps

Taking Students to Nepal -- Not your everyday vacation!

Shortly after Ten Friends was founded, the organization began taking high school students to Nepal to experience the country and its people and to see firsthand the work of Ten Friends. These journeys were and are amazing opportunities to learn about the Nepali culture and help with our work. 

High School students first traveled to Nepal with Rand Runco and Nurbu Sherpa in 2003 to learn about Nepal and trek in the Himalayas. When Ten Friends was established in 2005, student trips became centered on work at the Hopeful Home Orphanage (HHO) in Kathmandu and the Himalayan Education Center (HEC) in the Everest/Makalu Himalaya region. We also did arduous treks delivering stretchers, books and other support to impoverished remote villages. Over the years, Ten Friends took high school students to Nepal 6 times, and over 50 students had the experience.

The culture shock for the students was always noticeable - the mix of ancient religions, the kindness and simplicity of the people and their struggles with poverty in the breathtaking beauty of the landscape. The treks to various villages were always challenging for everyone. The students were introduced to weather, terrain, fatigue, hunger and biting insects that we don't experience here in Central Oregon. We were usually able to laugh our way through these times because when you're haggard and far out of your comfort zone it's healing. And that's what the Nepalis do - smile and carry on no matter the situation.

The highlight was always the human experiences and our students quickly connected with the Nepali students and adults, seeing how much they could share and learn from each other quickly, because time was often short. These journeys are challenging but everyone learns more about who they are and where they want to go in life. Young people absorb this experience especially well and often find lasting inspiration to help others. Here’s an older Ten Friends video about delivering books with students. 

Student Travel to Nepal in 2024!

A New Adventure Beckons for Five Central Oregon High School Students

Preparations continue smoothly for the Summer 2024 Ten Friends Trip to Nepal! There are three confirmed adults: Mark LaMont (Ten Friends co-founder), Bruce Abernethy (Ten Friends Board Chair) and Dr. Mary Meador (Bend family physician and married to Bruce). In addition, five high school students have signed up for the adventure! They include four students from Sisters High School: Ella Eby (11th gr), Cooper Merrill (11th gr), Styopa Myagkov (10th gr) and Ava Riehle (11th gr) plus Jake Jacobi (11th gr) from Summit High School.

The trip will be quite similar to last summer – time spent sightseeing in Kathmandu, visit/stay/work at Hopeful Home Orphanage, visit/stay/work at Himalayan Education Center, dedication of a library and/or replenishment of an existing library - with two exciting additions. We will incorporate a visit to the southern village of Tilahi to see the exciting work of Elevate Nepal and we will plan a short (3-4 day) trek. Here are brief profiles of some of the new travelers this year!

 Student Travel to Nepal in 2023

We are very excited to report that we sent an official Ten Friends “delegation” to Nepal in the summer of 2023. Comprised of both high school students and adults, they visited the Hopeful Home Orphanage (HHO), spent time at the Himalayan Education Center (HEC), dedicated a library in a remote village, gave new books to an existing library, and explored Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Khandbari with a variety of day trips in the cities and surrounding countryside. Meet the students who traveled to Nepal in 2023.  

The students had a fantastic adventure.  You can view a chronicle of their travels here.

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