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Supporting the Bhote People in Nepal

Adventurers clad in Brynje garments travel the world in pursuit of spectacular nature experiences and a sense of personal mastery. Sometimes these journeys bring us into contact with economically deprived places and communities. We believe it is only right that we give something back. Brynje has a special connection to Nepal; when Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary first reached the summit of Mt. Everest in 1953, they wore Brynje mesh next to the skin. Therefore it is natural for us to support the mountain people of Nepal.

Since 2021, Brynje has supported an education initiative in Nepal. Our contribution helps create education opportunities for the Himalayan Bhote people. We hope our customers and collaboration partners will join us in this effort.

The project’s founder, Brynje ambassador Randi Skaug, holds the distinction of being the first Norwegian woman to summit Mt. Everest. Always passionate about humanitarian causes, her social engagement took shape in 2007 when she set up a fundraising initiative in support of mine clearing work in Afghanistan. The idea came to her and her teammates as they were training for a skiing expedition to Antarctica. Realising their privilege and freedom to travel and pursue their goals, they began discussing ways of supporting people in less privileged parts of the world. Agreeing to raise funds for demining work in Afghanistan, Randi’s sustained effort over the next five years brought in 800 000 NOK for the cause.

Towards the end of this five-year period, Randi heard of incidents where Taliban were using threats of violence to acquire part of the funds. It was understood that they had been shooting mine clearing staff, but could be bribed not to do so. Randi’s gut feeling told her to disengage from the project and look for other causes to dedicate her efforts to.

The Taliban shooting of Nobel Peace prize laureate Malala, catalysed her thinking about the nature of peace-building and led Randi to view education and awareness raising as the building blocks of peace work anywhere. With renewed passion, she began setting up a project aimed at increasing education opportunities for the Bhote People in Nepal.

Education leads to opportunity

The Bhote people are a Nepalese minority population, counting approximately 20 000 individuals who reside in the mountainous region near the border to India. Following her summit of Mt. Everest, Randi wished to show her gratitude to the local mountain guides - Tshering Pande Bhote and Jyamchang Shalaka Bhote - who ensured her safe ascent and return down the mountain.

Randi set up a charitable organisation, WHY Nepal, for which she raises funds through her speaking engagements, a percentage of her book sales and occasional donations.

Tshering’s wife, Chhidar Lama, serves as a board member of WHY Nepal and supervises the selection of children to be offered educational opportunities.  She also keeps in close contact with local students in Hongon village who are the beneficiaries of financial support from the charity.

The project’s funding is vulnerable, as it relies heavily on one individual. Since 2020, Randi has worked towards establishing a student sponsorship scheme and new funding streams. This will hopefully meet the charity’s aim to offer long-term funding guarantees to students who began their schooling in 2012, to see them through their entire education. 

Please join us in supporting this education initiative

We invite our customers, ambassadors, and collaboration partners to join us in supporting Randi’s education project in Nepal. None of the donated funds go towards wages or other financial compensation as WHY Nepal consist of people who work on a voluntary basis. All donations will go towards their stated purpose.

Randi Skaug, ambassador for Brynje:

Mountaineering in Nepal?

Elite Exped / IG: @eliteexped is run by the famous and world's leading Nepalese guides, Nirmal PurjaMingma David and Mingma Tenzi. Mountains and climbing is their profession and passion. These guys really want to help others and share their experiences. Feel free to contact them.

If you travel from Norway to Nepal, please contact Brynje before you go. We may want to send some garments to our nepalese friends and would appreciate if you could take them with you. Please ask for Christin when you write to us.


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