woman with basket on her back walking through yellow field


twelve people standing in front of building excited about their new Zeal sunglasses


The dZi Foundation was formed in 1998 by long-time mountaineers Kim Reynolds and Jim Nowak as a means of giving back to the Himalayan communities that inspired their adventures. They have since honed their programs and focus on improving quality of life and reducing poverty in some of the most remote communities in Nepal.

ZEAL first learned about dZi from a student's project to supply Nepalese porters with sunglasses, protecting them from the harsh UV rays at high elevations that cause high rates of eye damage.

dZi Foundation Nepal Country Director Ben Ayers explains, "Our methodology starts with communities taking the first step by inviting us to work with them. We start by helping village members create a shared vision for their future, form a local organization to help coordinate projects, and fund a series of small, high-priority projects of their choosing. Over time, the size and scope of projects increase along with the skills and capacity of the local organization. After ten years, living conditions have transformed and community members are empowered to continue the process of change themselves."

dZi has completed over 250 projects, impacting over 20,000 people. We place the needs, intelligence and abilities of community members first; partnering with communities until they are able to continue the process of change themselves.

"In addition to having a shared affinity for the last letter of the alphabet, ZEAL represents in a company exactly what we strive to be in Nepal. Innovative. Young. Proper. Real."

- Ben Ayers

sitting woman with child in her lap in colorful head scarf smiling to the left

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