As a keen traveller and mountaineer I have visited Nepal eight times over the last twelve years. Each time I go I am moved by the level of poverty that many Nepalis live with, particularly in rural areas. Some villages don't have access to clean drinking water, electricity, proper toilet facilities or good education. Indeed, Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia and the world, with adult literacy at only 49%. Some of the things we take for granted, like safe drinking water, electricity on demand and education for our children become a rare luxury in certain parts of Nepal .
Each time I visit I wonder what I can do to repay the warmth and hospitality shown to me over the years. Now I have found a project that I can offer support to; a Nepali friend has established a small NGO (non-governmental organisation) which is working to improve the educational facilities and amenities in a remote area of the Himalayas. For the last 12 years there has been civil war in the country, which hasn't helped raise the standard of living. With this conflict finally ended, now is the perfect time to help local people with their own development projects.
Seeing the poverty first hand, time and time again, I decided to find a novel way to raise money for the NGO. One of the top, adventure cycle rides in the world is to ride across the Roof of the World, from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and I am going to ride this on my unicycle. It is a distance of 1000km (620 miles) and goes via Everest Base Camp, on the Tibetan side.