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.
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.
House of Radon in Stockholm Sweden donated $4,200 USD to HEF for earthquake relief fund. A company employee came to Nepal one year ago to make a promotional video and visited Nangi. He encouraged his fellow employees to donate to HEF after seeing our work in rural areas of Nepal. HEF would like to thank the following: Tuan, Jesse, Peter, Elsa, Patrick, Jules, Miguel, Katherine, Sarah, Mathew, Mark, Philip, Jonni, Tad. Information about the company can be found here: http://www.houseofradon.com/about-us
Since Tuesday, the University of Nebraska at Kearney Nepalese student organization, NESAK, has manned a table in the student union to collect funds for HEF and distribute information about the Nepal earthquake. They are also hosting a candle light vigil and prayer service on campus Friday May 1, 2015 in the evening and inviting the community.
This post by Dr. Rolina Dhital, an experienced Nepali doctor who is dedicated to rural Nepal healthcare, underscores the need for all agencies and volunteers to be prepared and have a working plan. This is why HEF is in the early planning stages for what we do best…see Mahabir’s message in previous post.