In 2015, a series of mega earthquakes struck Nepal. The first 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on April 25, followed by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in May, not to mention the hundreds of high magnitude aftershocks. This natural disaster killed over 8,000 Nepalese people, injured another 22,000, and destroyed over 500,000 homes, displacing nearly 3 million people.
This tragedy ignited a passion to take action, and a group of likeminded but diverse professionals came together to form Altruistic Odyssey, Inc (AO). The name of the organization represents giving through altruism, as defined by renowned author Matthieu Ricard, and the united journey we are all on to improve the lives of others. Major NGOs do a remarkable job in getting most aid to most people in large urban areas where people can be more easily reached. AO seeks to help those in more remote,
smaller villages that are difficult to access. By engaging with those communities, we support the preservation and strengthening of indigenous cultures. AO has direct connections with local stakeholders who can execute life-changing projects in real time. AO financially supports projects that are impactful, sustainable, and that the local community feels are critical. Rather than imposing our own priorities as outsiders, we listen and learn from our on-the-ground partners.
Although AO was formed out of a tragedy in Nepal, our goal is to help other communities around the world facing similar situations in dire need of assistance. The AO Board of Directors is “hands-on” and each has personally made the trip to Nepal and trekked into the Himalayan Mountains to meet with local people affected by the devastation in order to vet and approve projects first-hand. The Board has filed a 501c3 application with the U.S. IRS, pending approval. AO is dedicated to place 93% of donations directly in the hands of those in need, with the other 7% used for IRS approved administrative support.