Meet a Humanstate Hero – Niina Kallela

November 9, 2020
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Niina Kallela works as an Executive Assistant at Humanstate’s Switzerland office, but she’s also a passionate climber and mountaineer. In September she combined her taste for adventure with a desire to do good, raising CHF 1,130 for a great cause in the process. 

What did you do for 'your' charity?

Together with my dear husband Rémy and my friend Janine, I climbed a local mountain called Grand Muveran (3,051m) to raise funds for Butterfly Help Project. This charity helps Sherpa guides in Nepal to get internationally recognised mountain guide qualifications and be safer on the mountains. It also works to provide an education to Nepalese children.

Why did you choose this charity?

Nepal is a country close to my heart. I have been trekking there before and the people there are just so friendly. I would really like them to have easier lives.

Butterfly Help Project was founded by Andrea Sherpa-Zimmermann and Norbu Sherpa to help Sherpa families, especially the widows and children left without fathers after accidents. Many Sherpas are well-known mountaineers and make a living from guiding tourists. Unfortunately, many of them lose their lives on climbs – including some personal friends of mine.

I personally know Andrea and Norbu and I know that they will do the best possible thing back in Nepal with the funds we have raised.

What did you gain?

I got really motivated to reach my goal. Just thinking about the smiles on the faces of the Nepalese children was a huge present!  

Starting my own fundraising project also let me test out GivenGain for myself, and I wasn’t disappointed. Since I began sharing it on social media, I’ve received all kinds of questions from people about my project and the platform. It made me realise that even if they don’t donate right away, they might go and support another project – or even start their own!

Any advice for others wanting to fundraise for charity?

When I started I didn't really know how to reach my fundraising target. I noticed that what worked best was talking with my friends and telling them face to face what Butterfly Help Project is doing in the field.

I think it helps a lot if you know the charity you are fundraising for. It gives you an extra boost as you do not want to let those people down!

You can check out Niina’s GivenGain project here or start your own fundraiser for Butterfly Help Project through their GivenGain page. You don’t have to climb a mountain to make a difference – we’ve put together a list of fundraising ideas that you can do without leaving the house!