All our volunteering trips, electives and school trips are organised with Moving Mountains that was started by Gavin Bate at the same time as the company in the early 1990s. It determines what any visitor will be doing when they visit a place, and it ensures that the visit is relevant and meaningful and beneficial. It also ensures that any charity work is controlled and monitored correctly by an organisation that is registered to do that work and that it contributes properly to the needs of a community.
Moving Mountains Trust - UK
Moving Mountains began unofficially in 1991 during many years of travelling and developmental aid work in east Africa, Nepal and latterly Borneo by Gavin Bate. It has the bulk of its administrative overheads paid for by Adventure Alternative, and all the Trustees work voluntarily. Gavin and two other Trustees - Chris Little and Andrew MacDonald - also work at Adventure Alternative and they donate a lot of their working hours to the charity as part of the support.
Historically Adventure Alternative has recycled profits back into the local communities where we travel through and visit, and in that respect the company operates somewhat like a social enterprise. This business model is the 'alternative' in Adventure Alternative, and it has been extremely successful in creating profitable self-sufficient local suppliers and communities which have benefitted from tourism.
The primary aim of Moving Mountains UK is to provide grants to the other 'MM' organisations for the relief of hardship, poverty, suffering and inequality. This is done through education and vocational training, medical treatment and health care, personal development and employment.
It also provides capital to build, renovate and maintain schools, children's homes and community centres, all of which must show a positive socio-economic impact on the population.
The money for Moving Mountains is mostly fundraised by volunteers and groups who come out on a trip which is organised by Adventure Alternative. A lot of attention and effort is made to ensure there is efficient spending on relevant aims, and the trustees manage day to day correspondence and management of the charity.
Moving Mountains Kenya
Moving Mountains Kenya is a registered NGO in Kenya with a remit country-wide for charitable work including schools, orphanages, clinics, rescue centres, family support centres, community centres, sports programmes and the welfare of hundreds of children and their families currently receiving support. Additionally it provides long term career opportunities to people who would otherwise struggle to get full time employment.
All the office administrative costs of 'MMK' are absorbed by Adventure Alternative and the local AA company provides the charity with vehicles, extra staffing and support.
All projects are developed slowly over a number of years with the local community and their committees and after completion they are handed over to the community to manage along with the Moving Mountains Kenya committee.
Many of the Moving Mountains Kenya Board, staff and volunteers are former street children or beneficiaries of the charity which has resulted in a strong, dedicated team who want to give back the opportunities that they received as they were growing up.
Moving Mountains Nepal
Moving Mountains Nepal is a registered NGO based in Nepal which operates all of the projects and programmes in Nepal. Adventure Alternative funds the logistical and administration costs for Moving Mountains Nepal. MM Nepal works in a specific mountain environment in the Solu Khumbu where it builds hydro-electric power facilities, schools, monasteries and clinics.
MM Nepal provides capital investment for businesses and social enterprises, and Adventure Alternative then provides access to revenue streams by bringing previously remote areas to market and enabling villages to benefit from tourist income. This business model has proved very successful and been the catalyst for several local social enterprises which have since become self-sufficient.