International Porter Protection Group UK

It is with great sadness that 17 years after being invited into the Gokyo Valley by the local community and Sagamartha National Park, IPPG has to announce the forced closure, with immediate effect, of the Machermo and Gokyo rescue posts. 

In October 2019, without any warning, a private clinic, linked to both a private hospital in Kathmandu and a helicopter company, opened in Gokyo. Shortly after this the Khumbu Pasang Lamu Rural Municipality refused IPPG permission to continue to operate in the Gokyo Valley. 

It has been a privilege to be the guests of the Sherpas and to serve them and the porters and trekkers visiting the Gokyo Valley. During the time that the posts have been open, hundreds of lives have been saved and thousands of people educated about altitude illness and porter welfare. Unfortunately it would seem that for some influential individuals our services are no longer welcome and, as a result, the provision of emergency health care in the Gokyo Valley for whoever needs it, irrespective of their ability to pay, is now no longer available.

IPPG is run by volunteers with a minimum of bureaucracy. All money raised is spent directly on our porter projects or to support other porter NGOs. The Machermo and Gokyo rescue posts were run on an entirely not-for-profit basis with all money raised from the treatment of trekkers used to finance the running of the posts and to enable us to treat porters for free. IPPG received no money from helicopter evacuations. 

IPPG will continue to work for the wellbeing of mountain porters throughout the world and particularly in Nepal through its links with porter welfare organisations and will continue to support the training of Nepali doctors in mountain medicine through the Rachel Burke Scholarship. For the foreseeable future however we are unable to accept applications from potential volunteers. 

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