Lucky, Dicky and Nicky Chhetri, three Nepalese sisters, are pioneers in the field of female trekking guides. Since 1994, they have worked towards empowering women in Nepal through their trekking agency 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking and their NGO Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN).
Entering an uncharted territory
In the early nineties no one would have dreamed of a Nepalese woman guiding a trek. In Nepalese society a woman is expected to stay at home and was not allowed or encouraged to work outside. But the Chhetri sisters did just that.
Lucky, Dicky and Nicky: "In 1993 we were running a restaurant and a lodge in Pokhara. We met women from all over the world and came across some with bad experiences of with their male guides. These stories touched us and we resolved to do something. With urging from our friends, we gathered up all our courage and entered into this uncharted territory." In 1994 Lucky, Dicky and Nicy started 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking, a women's trekking guide service.
Breaking down social barriers
They created a training program to teach local women the necessary skills for trekking and guiding. The early success of these women inspired others. Since then, close to 2,000 women from all over the country have completed the training. Many have become guides or assistant guides or gained self-confidence to find employment elsewhere. Some were low caste women whom society looked down upon, others were socially disadvantaged and facing challenges in life. It has been a life changing experience for all the particpants.
Lucky, Dicky and Nicky: "Whether or not these women go on to become a guide, we feel it is a seed planted for them and future generations. We demonstrate that women are mentally, physically and emotionally as strong as men."
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