Iona's Trek for Nepalese Hostel's Eco-Project


DIBYA JYOTI EDUCATION TRUST (Reg. No. 179263/074/075) is also familiarly known as EDUCATION EARTHQUAKE NEPAL as that is initially why it was set up, to provide urgent help for children who had been displaced by the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May 2015. As the years have progressed it has grown beyond that, to help not only them but others who have severe family problems.

It has all been organised by Juliette Cunliffe, a British citizen who has lived in Nepal for the last ten years and her Nepalese partner, Dibya Kumar Baral. Both live on the outskirts of Pokhara, where they have a small hotel.

Their current project is to complete the building and set up the sustainability of a hostel, which is currently home to 29 children between the ages of 6 and 14.

All children are in desperate need of our help. Some of them are orphans, some have just a mother (in Nepal a poor man can leave his wife giving no further support to his wife or children) and a few have both a mother and father, but in some cases the parents have disabilities.

Most children are Chepangs, which means that they are even below the caste system, making them known as ‘the lowest of the low’. But we also have needy children who are members of various castes.  Initially we rented premises for a hostel, but the land was sold last year, so we had to build a new hostel quickly to keep a roof over the children’s heads. We have come a long, long way with the foundation stones being laid in June 2018 and now the children are all settled in, but much still needs to be done.

Iona is visiting Nepal very soon and will be going to the school and hostel to meet all the children on February 16th. The next day she leaves for her four day Poon Hill trek where, if successful, she will reach the height of 3210 metres, having trekked 4 to 8 hours a day, passing through the characteristic villages of Ulleri, Ghorepani and Ghandruk. At the peak she will see numerous mountain ranges, including Dhaulaghiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. What an experience for an eleven year old!

By doing the trek, Iona aims to raise sponsorship to help these children, so do look out for more photos from Iona’s trek and of course of her meeting the children.

Iona’s focus will be on raising funds for our Eco-project so that we can reach a level of sustainability as soon as possible.

Apart from the economical and health reasons for our eco-project, we are anxious to teach the children as much as we can about how they can thrive successfully in adult life. We already have sponsorship for 4 cows and 2 barns, so we need to raise money for 2 more cows (£270 each) plus the 4 additional barns they will need (£30 each), and their fodder for the first year (£195 per cow). Then of course comes the biogas plant which is a big item in itself, costing almost £1,000 to purchase.

If you would like to learn more about this education project, please take a look at our Facebook Group page, called Education Earthquake Nepal (our number of followers precludes us from changing the name to Dibya Jyoti Education Trust).

Hike Itinerary


The guide will receive you from your hotel in Pokhara at 8 am, then we drive to Nayapul and we commence the hike to Tikhedhunga. This is the first day of our trek and we will have a short and easy walk. We will pass through the well-off village named Lumle. We will also reach a prosperous town- Birethanti set on the union point of the Burundi and Modi River. Here, we will notice a number of tea houses and shops. Walking all the way through bamboo woods, we will also walk passing a large cascade. Furthermore, we will climb gradually up beside the valley to reach Hille lying at the height of 1,495 m. With a short ascend from Hille, we will reach Tikhedhunga. Overnight at guesthouse, lunch, and dinner included.


We will leave Tikhedhunga and walk passing the steep climb in order to reach Ulleri on this day. Ulleri is a big Magar village set at the height of 2,070m. After an hour walk from Ulleri, we will arrive at the resting point. The track ascends slightly from this point and we will be passing by oak and rhododendron forests until we get to Banthanti lying at 2,250m. From this point, we will walk to reach Nangethanti situated at 2,460m. With an hour walk from Nangethanti, we will reach Ghorepani (2,840m). Ghorepani is the conserved area holding the largest rhododendron woods. If you are trekking on the best season of the year, you will notice the area enclosed with snow. Ghorepani will actually reward you with the spectacular vista of Dhaulagiri I (8167m), Annapurna I (8091m), Nilgiri (6940m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and more. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.


This is the most important day of the Annapurna Panorama Trek. We will begin walking early in the morning to reach Poon Hill and witness the dreamlike moment. The magnificent experience of watching first ray of sun over the Himalayan giants like Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Mt. Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,040m), Annapurna south (7219m), Himchuli (6441m), Lamjung Himal (6,986m), fishtail or Machhapuchhre (6,997m), and more will be memorable forever. We will spend time at the hill taking pictures and return to Ghorepani. From here, we will trek to Tadapani passing through rhododendron woods. If you are trekking in spring, you will notice 15 different species of rhododendron budding colorfully before reaching Tadapani. Tadapani also flaunts the stunning views of Annapurna South (7219m), Machhapuchhre (6993m) and Himchuli. Overnight at guesthouse, breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.


From Tadapani we will on this day trek to Ghandruk lying at the altitude of 1950m. We will pass through thick rhododendron trees and after walking for approximately 3 hours, we will reach Ghandruk. Ghandruk is an undulated settlement occupied by houses made up of stones and it is mostly occupied by the Gurung inhabitants. In Ghandruk, the close-up soaring views of Fishtail, Hiunchuli mountains, Annapurna South, and more will allure you again. Here, we will explore the village and also visit the Gurung Museum to understand the culture and tradition of the Gurung inhabitants. Then we trek down to Kimche and catch a jeep to Pokhara. Breakfast and lunch included.