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 Nerbu 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 2023!

We are very excited to report that we will be sending an official Ten Friends “delegation” to Nepal later this summer! Comprised of both high school students and adults, we will visit Hopeful Home Orphanage (HHO), visit Himalayan Education Center (HEC), possibly dedicate a library (or two) in a remote village, give new books to an existing library, and explore Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Khandbari with a variety of day trips in the cities and surrounding countryside.

Our ideal composition is 3-4 adult chaperones and 6-8 high school students to maintain an adult-to-student ratio of roughly 1:2 or 1:3. At present, Ten Friends founder Mark LaMont and President Bruce Abernethy are confirmed as chaperones, and so we are looking for 1 or 2 more adults. At this time there are 6 students who are probable or very interested, and so we are seeking 1 or 2 more students. We are looking for upperclassmen, but a stronger selection factor is level of maturity and responsibility.

The current proposed itinerary is from August 5-25, approximately 3 weeks from start (leave Redmond (RDM)) to finish (return to RDM) with a cost of roughly $4,500 per participant plus additional if trying to raise funds for a library (~$3,000). This covers flights to/from Nepal plus flights within Nepal, other transportation, lodging and food and most sightseeing. The cost of the following items are not included in the cost estimate above. All participants will be required to obtain trip insurance with medical and evacuation coverage included and be up-to-date on all Covid-19 requirements. Participants should check with their doctor to make sure they have all recommended vaccinations and suggested medications to take along, primarily various antibiotics for the GI tract and the respiratory system. Nepal requires all visitors to have a Visa.

If this appeals to you or are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Bruce Abernethy at

You can help the students

Your donation will support the student's travel expenses and contribute to their library projects.   Please select the Youth Corps Student Travel and Library donation selection when making your donation.  You may also write in the name of an individual student you are interested in supporting in the Comments area. Thank you!

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