On October 2nd 2012, three young guys from Finland begin their journey, driving from Tampere towards Kathmandu in Nepal. Their vehicle of choice is an old mail van that will carry back home 5000 pieces of handmade jewellery from Nepal.
To arrive safely in their destination the trio on wheels must find their way through Russian metropolises, across the lowlands of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan mountain passes, hoping their car can survive the 4693 m altitude of Karakoram highway between Pakistan and China.
The retired mail van will be steered to Nepal and back by Juho Leppänen, 23, a photographer from Tampere and Rico Pirclen, 22, a student from Helsinki. On the way to Nepal they are accompanied by Mikael Hautala, 22, a video cameraman and photographer and on the way back to Finland by Misa Jokisalo, 21, a teacher student. The car itself is a 2003 VW Transporter 2.5TDi van that has a mileage of 250 000 km in the service of Finnish postal office. Hardly a luxury ride, it lacks amenities such as air conditioning, which may turn out to be rather enjoyable in the 40 °C heat of Pakistan!
Throughout their journey the guys will be posting photos and video footage of professional quality to social media including Twitter and Facebook.
The trip will take more than two months and the team will produce material without pay, driven by a commitment to use their time and skills to perhaps make the world a slightly more equal and better place. All travel costs (fuel, accommodation etc.) are covered by sponsoring companies (Dream.do, Kameratori.fi, Kuvastin.fi) and the drivers themselves, which enables all proceeds from jewellery and advertisement sales to go to charity.
Not any old mass-produced trinkets would be worth hauling from the rooftop of the world – these are handmade unique creations that will do good when they are bought. They have been made by girls in a safe house in Kathmandu, who with their labour are securing themselves a home, education and a better future. The substantial order of 5000 pieces will also cover the initial expenses of a new three-storey home for street children.
The jewellery will be available in Finland through a bespoke online shop, Store of Hope. The online store joins in empowering the locals in Nepal: all the promotional photos of the jewellery in the store are captured by local youth.
The online store is already up and running when the team sets out to pick up the goods, so you can place your order while following the delivery on the travel blog.
All proceeds from the jewellery sale are donated to development cooperation in Nepal through Fida International in Finland. The objective is to develop the financially most constrained rural areas of the country. This means the jewellery will do good even before they bring joy and pleasure to their new owners.
Companies can purchase ad space in the travel blog and the associated page in social media. All proceeds after deduction of expenses are donated through Fida International.
It’s easiest to follow the journey and jewellery import in social media. The fan page gets updated from Finland, Nepal and on the road in real time, internet access permitting. Tasters of the blog content will be posted on the fan page.
Dozens of other world changers along with the drivers and jewelry coordinators are involved in the project: professionals of media, marketing and sales as well as ordinary students and workers. The team is working towards gaining visibility for the project in the social media, enabling us to publish and update more quality content online.
Everyone is working on a voluntary basis without pay, hoping to make a big change happen in this world. A sizeable team can have a strong impact without straining individual volunteers!