May 5-14, 2017: Solar-powered grain mill in Jimling, Nepal [SOLD OUT]

Swyambhunath, a Buddhist temple and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kathmandu
 [SOLD OUT] This trip is full. We still have space available on our October and November 2017 volunteer trips to Nicaragua and would love to have you join! 

Pack your bags and join us in Nepal for the experience of a lifetime! Sign up today for a 10-day journey with GRID Alternatives to bring solar power to Jimling, a remote community in Nepal’s Chitwan district. On this trip, you will install a 3.78kW off-grid solar-powered grain mill to improve local agroprocessing and income generation, while experiencing full immersion in rural Nepali life and culture.

Jimling community members are Chepang, an ethnic group indigenous to the Mahabharat mountain range of central Nepal. Over the past two or three generations, the Chepang have begun to slowly shift from a nomadic to a more settled lifestyle that relies increasingly upon subsistence agriculture.

The remote areas that are home to many Chepang communities lack access to electricity and are usually not accessible by roads. The village of Jimling is accessible by road during Nepal’s dry season, and can only be accessed by foot during the rainy season. Nepal’s severe topography poses many challenges for farming practices.

Agroprocessing is critical to daily life in Jimling since the rural community grows its own food. The main meal of the Chepang residents of Jimling is dhindo, made by grinding maize crops into a fine flour and combining it with boiling water. Currently, the grinding process is done using water mills located at the base of small rivers. However, these mills are located over a one hour walk from the Jimling community. 

Growing and processing maize crops is integral to daily life in Jimling
The grain processing is usually handled by women in the community, who spend a significant portion of their potential productive time transporting grains to the mills, completing the grinding process, and returning home at the end of the day. In addition to the time-intensive nature of the current milling process, the water mills are rendered useless during the winter when the rivers dry up, making it impossible for mills to operate year-round.

The solar-powered mill GRID volunteers will install makes it possible for community members to process higher volumes of grains with greater efficiency and convenience. The mill will benefit approximately 100 households, who will be able to hull and crush their grains mechanically, saving them valuable time. A mobile charging station will also be installed at the site of the solar-powered mill, enabling residents to charge their cell phones locally.

GRID volunteers trekking through plains in the midst of Nepal's mountainous terrain
Join us to make a lasting impact in the Jimling community while helping to demonstrate sustainable models for renewable energy development around the world. During the 10-day trip, you will spend 3 days immersed in Jimling village, experiencing the Chepang way of life. Before and after the installation, your group will explore Nepal’s breathtaking scenery, visit world heritage sites, and experience the country’s vibrant culture.

The trip fee is $2,000 per person, which covers all lodging, meals, transportation, activities, taxes, and fees during the 10-day experience in Nepal, and contributes to project costs. Airfare is not included. Participants can fundraise for the trip from their personal networks or pay out of pocket.

Space is limited. Please apply for this trip by filling out this form and we’ll get back to you soon.

Contact us for more information about our trips!