The beginnings of the Earth Garden Foundation Australia Ltd April 01 2009

In March 2008 Judith and Alan Gray visited Nepal to do a solar lighting instal­lation through the Himalayan Light Foundation (www.hlf.org.np). They paid for two small solar lighting systems and learned how to assemble these at a technical workshop in Kathmandu. Alan and Judith then trekked for three days to a remote village called Halesi and installed the systems.

During this trip Alan and Judith confirmed their ideas and plans to start a Foundation to fund many more such installations: 85% of Nepal’s population has no access to the national grid, and relies on dirty, smelly, expensive kerosene – or no lighting.

The key objective of EGFA is to commit every cent of money raised to fund many village-level solar lighting installations as well as the following;

a) The Foundation should be based around sustainability principles, with assistance provided to poor communities in a way that allows them to help themselves.

b)Local village people should be trained in whatever technology is installed in the village, and able to make the key decisions themselves about where lighting or other equipment should be installed.

c) The Foundation should work only with indigenous NGOs in Nepal.

Pictured are some of the happy recipients of the 6th solar lighting installation funded by the Earth Garden Foundation Australia, completed in September of 2011 in Dolpo, the mysterious and beautiful "hidden valley" far to the north of Kathmandu and bordering the Tibetan plateau.  It is the largest of Nepal's 75 districts but also the most sparsely populated with the average population density a mere 3.7 per square kilometre.