Sustainability winter school in the Gya region
Partner: Youth Association Gya
The Ladakh plateau, more than 3000m high, is an arid Himalayan region of Tibetan culture. The main source of water for people living in Ladakh comes from mountain glaciers. Because of climate change, glaciers in Ladakh are retreating. Water resources are getting too scarce for farmers and the whole valley is now at risk of slowly disappearing.
Mingyur Rigzen is a young Ladakhi who completed his studies in environmental sciences in the renown Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) school. Mingyur does not want to see his native Ladakh valley dying. At the age of 25 years old only, he has already become a successful social entrepreneur. In winter, Mingyur manages the team of the Ice Stupa project, whose goal is to create artificial glaciers in Ladakh. In the summer, the peak season for tourism, he works as a nature guide and runs ecotourism lodges in his village. A few year ago, Mingyur created the association "Youth Association of Gya". Their mission is to help young Ladakhis to protect their region while allowing it to resist the economical consequences of climate change.
Slow Motion Projects further enabled the Youth Association Gya's action by supporting the organisation of a sustainability winter school at the end of 2017, allowing 50 local students to gather and incubate ideas about sustainable development for Ladakh. The school was free for participants, and enrolled an equal number of men and women in order to support gender equality. During a boot camp of about one month, students from Gya and villages around attended workshops and conferences helping them to develop their own social businesses, in area such as eco-tourism, organic agriculture, or handicraft production and retail. To promote the school and raise funds for the next edition of the winter camp in 2018, students prepared a theatre play addressing climate and environmental issues in Ladakh and presented it on the last day of the program at the village community hall.
Thanks to your support, we:
- Built the necessary infrastructure to host the students
- Provided students with learning material, guiding equipment for nature tours and food
- Supported the educative team and speakers in carrying out nature education programs