Gurung family's homestay : Home away from home

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  • Dipendra Lamsal
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Bankumari Gurung (58) an active group member of Machhapuchchhre Agro-Eco Tourism Learning center and Home Stay (MALH) lives with her husband in Kaski. The couple’s house is located at the main entry point of beautiful Tusse village from where the astonishing view of Machhapuchhre (Fish tail) mountain can be observed.

“I am able to earn about NPR. 400 thousand till now! More than 500 guests have visited my homestay. Being one of the active group members of Baraha Cooperative, I feel very fortunate to be the part of the program.’’

Initiated as an pilot project in 2018, this Homestay project has expanded to six new different locations (districts) and being recognized as a model hometsay not only in community but on district level too.

Located at the base of Annapurna Himalaya range of Nepal, this unique endeavor Homestay aimed to boost livelihood of Small Holders Farmers. The project financially assisted by Caritas Australia and Australian Aid inaugurated in April 2018 by Mr. Bikas Lamsal, Ministry of Environment, Forest, Tourism and Culture, Gandaki Province. Before inaugurating the program, he had made visit on household level to see the activities in homestay and HVEP enterprises (agriculture, livestock, and off-farm enterprises) promoted by 141 community people. Impressed by the program, Mr. Lamsal announced that Gandaki province in near future will promote homestay and soon after, it promoted 300 homestays as well as solar panel support to MALH covering 24 households. Ms. Ban Kumari received NPRs. 34000/- from Caritas to purchase bedding materials and furnitures, and also received NPRs. 50.000 to install solar panel.

Total 24 community people are engaged in homestay based organic food production (utilizing own land). 117 community people are engaged in HVEP (livestock, agriculture and fisheries) and off farm enterprises promotion. More than 8000 guests (Nepali and foreigners) made their visit to MALH, and succeeded earning about NPRs. 8 million.

Ms. Bankumri Gurung has been farming different types of seasonal and off seasonal vegetables all year round to serve her guests from homestay. IPM techniques from IPM/FFS training has increased her vegetable production, also, she has been producing organic bee, honey from 4 bee hives supported by Caritas.

“We are thankful to Caritas Australia for this opportunity, support, and for everything. If provided more support, I would like to add more beds and rooms for accommodating more guests in my homestay.”

Gurung family serve their guest with best hospitality in homely environment. They are running homestay business with only one bed room with 2 beds. They serve tasty delicacies prepared from organic products from their farm. Food is healthy and at the same time teamed up with local medicinal herbs and spices from the mountains.

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