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Aythos: New to Blue!

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Greetings, 1% for the Planet!

We’re Aythos, a volunteer-run NGO supporting sustainable agriculture initiatives of Himalayan communities in Nepal. Our organization is very excited to be a part of the 1% for the Planet community. For a small, relatively new organization such as Aythos, it is a privilege to be counted among change-makers and environmental stewards. ¬†Aythos works with these communities on agriculture development projects that expand livelihoods opportunities and create stronger ties to community, culture, and the earth. Often due to the remote locations of these communities, environmental sustainability is as necessary as it is ideal. We support these communities in two ways, by sponsoring trainings for communities that equip them with knowledge and confidence to challenges to their projects, and by subsidizing materials for local farmers to get their projects off the ground. In return, farmers contribute a percentage of their profits to future development projects in their community.

Currently, Aythos is supporting two projects in Nepal. The first is its ‘Apples for Peace’ project. Apples for Peace is supporting 100 farmers in Helambu, Nepal revive and expand their apple orchards. Using organic and sustainable farming methods, these farmers will be planting over 2,000 kiwi and apple saplings in early 2014. Once famous for its apples, Helambu’s apples teetered on the brink of extinction after a blight and neglect due to inability to get apples to market. With the development of roads that reach Helambu villages, local farmers are ready for a Helambu apple comeback. Aythos is sponsoring training to ensure that these farmers have the knowledge to protect their plants from disease and successfully manage their orchards. Helambu is a sacred region in Buddhism, meaning the use of pesticides that kill or harm living things is out of the question. These farmers will use organic techniques and local resources to keep their plants healthy, which will maximize their profits in local markets.

Aythos has also recently launched a community beekeeping project in Okharani village. Hoping to expand the project to other villages in the near future, Okharani will serve as a pilot site. Aythos sponsored a training for 18 men and women from Okharani. Harvesting and selling honey is very lucrative in Nepal, and Okharani stands to tap into local markets. In addition, the presence of honeybees in the village will strengthen local agriculture and biodiversity.

Please visit our website and Facebook page to learn more about our work. We are very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this network and we hope our membership with 1% for the Planet will help us to expand our support to sustainable development in communities around the world!

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