With the conclusion of another month on project, brings more excitement, challenges and hard decisions. We have had some incredible success on some of our projects and less than ideal results on others. Across the board though, we are making leaps and bounds compared to where we were even 6 months ago. And so, we would like to share the main points of interest for our community and beyond, to be across.

  1.    Retaining Experience
  2.    Project Points of Interest
  3.    Discontinued Projects
  4.    Future

1. Retaining Experience

As we grow as a community, retaining experience becomes increasingly difficult, especially as we can only take on limited leaders. This was a problem that our staff, leaders and trekkers had all voiced at some point in time.

We have now opened Pathways in Leadership, R&D, Marketing and Experienced Trekker. They are all relatively self-explanatory, however, I want to highlight Experienced Trekker.

It is an opportunity for us to retain experience by offering 1-3 month projects for new members of our communities and for alumni trekkers who haven’t moved into leadership to come back, share their experience, as well as build upon feedback and learnings from their first month.When you consider the time and training that goes into preparing Trekkers, which would not happen if we didn’t have such committed Alumni, we can reduce costs for longer term Trekkers. It means we can get far deeper into projects, and experience country life to a deeper level. It feels at times, like we spend the first week acclimatising, and the final week wrapping up. With what we want to achieve, that just doesn’t seem enough. We are inviting previous Trekkers to return for further months, which is huge considering the competitiveness of Team Leadership now. It means we can retain our community and have greater progress on the ground.

When you consider the time and training that goes into preparing Trekkers, which would not happen if we didn’t have such committed Alumni, we can reduce costs for longer term Trekkers. It means we can get far deeper into projects, and experience country life to a deeper level. It feels at times, like we spend the first week acclimatising, and the final week wrapping up. With what we want to achieve, that just doesn’t seem enough. We are inviting previous Trekkers to return for further months, which is huge considering the competitiveness of Team Leadership now. It means we can retain our community and have greater progress on the ground.

2. Project Points of Interest

FarmEd

FarmEd is the project on everyone has been talking about for a good 8 months now, and for good reason. We had three teams in Fiji and two teams in Cambodia over July with highly ambitious goals to achieve.

The main points of note are our experimental farm, which is now in the ground and growing! The model we are attempting to replicate promises up to 20 different crops and 100kg of produce per day, on one acre of land! While we don’t expect to be there immediately, through effective implementation of companion planting and nutrient exchange, we should be able to have results of our high achieving, organic farm as soon as December.

 

 

This is game changing, not just for the increase in income of a farmer by up to 6 times, but also for the country’s long-term food security and resilience to seasonal fluctuations.

The Trekkers on the drone team showed incredible integrity and maturity in identifying that their project and the use of drones is obsolete within the immediate context of agriculture in Fiji.

Health

Project Everest ran a health assessment for the first time in Malawi and Cambodia. The team in Malawi had exceptional progress with the stakeholders they were able to engage with, from small NGO clinics to the state public hospital. It turns out that there is a similar but different company that provides AI-based medical advice to what was proposed by our Team Leaders in-training back in April. The company, your.md, provides pre-primary care through a medical AI assistant.

To ensure the viability of a tech-based solution in such an underdeveloped country, such as Malawi, the team proceeded to test the app’s accuracy and ease-of-use. We are now currently in communication with your.md to arrange a partnership that would allow Project Everest to access to their technology and digital architecture, with a “Project Everest skin” over the top, allowing us to adapt its use for the context of Malawi.

Everest Recycling Solutions

ERS was run in both Cambodia and Timor over July, yielding fantastic results across the board. Everest Recycling Solutions, independently in both countries, has moved from being purely recycling to also waste management.

Cambodia’s success lies in the partnership with GAEA, the Siem Reap waste removal service and our willingness to work in more rural areas. We were able to conduct non-transactional services (due to not being registered as a business) to prove our concept with this aspect explored in more detail moving forwards.

Timor-Leste has found a great market gap. Businesses in Dili want to recycle and be more responsible with what they throw out, other businesses are prepared to pay $0.50/kg of aluminium and $0.15/kg of hard plastics. Our role will be building and facilitating the supply chain of collection and distribution of recyclable materials.

Fuel

Project Everest is keenly interested in the use of sustainable fuels and we are well on our way in Fiji. In addition to reducing the production of greenhouse gases, more efficient fuel use for cooking and heating can reduce the cost of living and can improve the health of those who depend on unsustainable and inefficient fuels such as firewood or oil.

Thus far, teams have identified trends in general fuel use and have begun to refine the needs of the community, have ideated and begun
to develop a rocket stove that looks to reduce the amount of fuel required and the released toxic gases. This is achieved through a more complete combustion as a result of the design of the rocket stove.

3. Discontinued Projects – it’s not good-bye, it’s see ya later.

One of our values, Make The Hard Decisions – Always, as suggested in the name, is one of the hardest values to constantly live by. It also means that some of the decisions we make aren’t always popular, at least not initially.

After completing July operations across 5 countries, our EIGHTH month of in-country operation, we had to have a hard look at our projects, new and old. Not all of these projects are permanently discontinued, they are simply not viable at this point in time with our access to human and financial resources or they are not a priority in comparison to the potential of our other projects.

WISI (Water Infrastructure Sustainability Initiative) – Timor-Leste

Energy Assessment – Cambodia

Health Assessment – Cambodia

Agriculture Assessment – Vietnam

Water Assessment – Vietnam

The details and reasoning of the discontinued projects can be found here: https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/blog/post/408797

4. Future

The future of our projects gets me excited. We are now at a point where we are proving our concepts, which will allow us to attract big players in terms of partners on the ground, and venture capital investment – in turn this enables valuable research and development.

Within FarmEd, we have the potential to disrupt the entire import/export markets by ensuring that quality, nutritious produce is grown and consumed locally with increases in productivity providing funds for smallholder farmers to afford other things, such as education, energy and better shelter.

Our health project and our pending AI app partnership has the potential to reduce capacity strains on hospitals, NGO clinics and barriers to health services across Malawi and beyond.

Everest Recycling Solutions will ensure a cleaner country, with increased re-use of valuable materials and less burning of rubbish. Reducing negative environmental and health issues associated with combustion of toxic waste and plastics.

Our rocket stove, designed in collaboration with a UOA lecturer, Chris Birzer, promises to reduce the amount of wood required for cooking, better for the environment and better for the Fijian population’s health.

We have a bright future and our projects get all of the team and everyone involved really excited.

If you want more information about any of our projects, head to our Basecamp Platform (https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/) that contains all of our projects, progress, ideas and more!

Andrew Vild 
Head of Research & Development

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