The Himanchal Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists to promote and advance Mahabir Pun’s vision for extended educational opportunities in rural Nepal.
With the support of local residents and international friends, HEF originally was founded to support growth of the Nangi school. The school exists through grade 12 with plans to add a college by 2015. HEF also supports economically sustainable business opportunities and a computer network in Nangi and surrounding villages. Our goal remains to improve the health and life situations for villagers in rural Nepal.
We will greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please send an email to contact-at-himanchal-dot-org with your contact information including email. We will send you our quarterly newsletter with all the latest news and updates on all the projects. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed of this site.
I am very happy to get an opportunity to acknowledge about Community Managed Eco Trail and its progress in 2014.
We held a meeting of communities’ in Khibang village on the 25th December 2014 to distribute money that was earned during the last tourism season of 2014. In the fall season, there were more than 200 trekkers who trekked in our area. In the meeting, people participated from Banskharka, Dandakateri, Nangi, Aula, Tikot, and Khibang villages. In these villages, community dining halls with a home stay and community lodges for trekkers are run by the local communities.
The meeting was conducted under the chairmanship of Vice-chairman, Mr. Thakraj Pun, of The Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Eco-Tourism Development and Promotion Organization.
Name list of members who attended the meeting
Mr. Raman Pun
Mr. Raman Pun
Mr. Tek Khoraja
Miss Pok Maya Purja
Mrs Bina Paija
Miss Milan Garbuja
Mr Yam Garbuja
Mr. Am Bahadur Purja
Mr. Hari Pun
Mr. Gem Pun
Mr Chitra Pun
Villagers from different village
The trekkers were from different countries including but not limited to the USA, Australia, Germany, Israel, France, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, and China. Trekkers experienced making handmade lokta paper; cheese making; Pun Magar’s traditional cultural dance; school and village tours.
Through the local garden programs, we were able to feed the trekkers fresh and organic vegetables produced in the villages.
Students from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) raised and donated $6129 USD for earthquake relief. They are supporting the rebuilding of a school in one of the districts affected by the April 2015 earthquake. The KAIST student group, Engineers Without Borders (EWB), took the initiative and spearheaded the fund raising with the KAIST Undergraduate Council and International Scholar and Student Services.
KAIST is a prestigious Korean university and the most respected Professor Tae – Ho Song heads the team. Working with Dr. Mahabir Pun’s Nepal Wireless organization, Dr. Song brought teams of 15 undergraduate and graduate engineering students to Nepal in January 2014 and 2015 to conduct projects. These have included the installation of a solar water pump in Mohare, installation of solar power in Nangi school, building a solar and wood heated drying house, installing small hydro generators, and educational activities with the students.
In lieu of gifts for a 60th birthday party my husband requested family and friends make a donation to HEF’s Earthquake Relief Fund. A jar was placed on a table with reminders of the earthquake….in small donations of $20, $30 and $50 USD…over $1300 USD was raised. Small donations add up to make a difference.
Kate, a former Australia volunteer, sent this message to HEF along with her daughter’s donation for the Earthquake Relief Fund. It shows that small donations really do matter.
“My daughter, Sarah, ran a cupcake stall to raise money for earthquake victims. She raised AU$446 which converts to US$340. We hope this helps a little. Thanks, Kate. PS I volunteered in Nangi about 15 years ago and it was a wonderful experience. I would love to bring my children there someday.”
This amount of money is about the average annual income for a family in Nepal. Think about the impact…one cupcake stand feeds a family of four for a year. More about small donations next week, but consider how small donations of $20, $30 or $50 USD from several people add up to make a difference.
The Nepal government set up the Prime Minister disaster relief fund mandating all earthquake relief money from any organization either Nepal or globally based be directed to the fund. This is in a country where thousands of non-government agencies have operated aid programs for decades without government supervision. The goal was to coordinate all funds arriving into Nepal for disaster relief into one program and avoid duplication and/or waste of services. Controversy has developed amid speculation and concerns for it’s ability to monitor, distribute and assess such a monumental task.
Dr. Mahabir Pun wrote to the Nepal Chief Secretary, Lilamani Poudyal, concerning the merits of individual volunteers or small organizations working on earthquake relief projects. Read the letter here.
Dr. Mahabir Pun wrote: “Just to give you an idea of how big the damage is, I have given the summary of the damage as follows. They are still collecting more information.”Source: Nepal Government website
Dr. Mahabir Pun was recently asked about recovery projects in Nepal and reminds us the country is still experiencing unsettling aftershocks resulting in a paralyzed economy.
“It is too early to decide what to do for the recovery project. There are several earthquakes happening everyday in the range of 4 to 6 scale. Therefore, most of the people too scared and are staying outside their houses during the day and night. The roads are almost empty and the shops, schools and offices are closed. Even if the doors of some government offices are opened, people are not working or there is no work to do.”
In regards to his present plans:
“I am planning to rebuild some of the relay towers outside Kathmandu valley that are totally damaged with the help of people from Télécoms Sans Frontières, France. They are here for two months and want to help install communication facilities in some of the rural areas.”
How do you recover from a natural disaster when your government struggled on a daily basis to develop a progressive and equitable framework for raising Nepal out of poverty? An interesting debate has developed on Mahabir Pun’s Facebook page. Read Mahabir’s statement to the Nepal government here. And read the many comments here.