The Mountain Fund

The mission of The Mountain Fund is to eliminate poverty, its causes and symptoms, in developing mountain communities around the world.
May 22, 2012

Farm has first occupants

First Residents of Farm
First Residents of Farm

The Mankhu Village Farm for Women is open and occupied. We've moved two families, both from the "untouchable caste" into the one house we currently have at the farm. There are a total of six children living there. We have provided them with land to farm on, seed to plant so they can grow their own food and a small wage for work they are doing to repair and improve the farm, enough to sustain them until the crops come in. We have also provide the children with clothing and school supplies. 

Before moving to the farm these families had no land and were basically squatting on nearby government land and living on the fringe of the village. Now they have a roof over their heads, land to farm and enough basic things to survive. 

Our challenge now is to build more housing for more women and children. We have enough land for farming to support as many as 30, but not enough housing. We have women and children waiting to live on our land and farm it to sustain themselves and we will move more in as soon as we can provide a roof over there head. If you can help us to build more housing please make a donation. 

To construct one house, in typical village fashion, that can house 10 more women and children we need approximately $7,000. 

Links:

May 21, 2012

Possible Soccer Team?

Unpacking the bags of donated gear
Unpacking the bags of donated gear

A recent volunteer in Nepal brought along two bags full of soccer gear that had been donated by her college in the US. The kids at Koseli love soccer. Soccer is the most popular game in Nepal so the kids were excited about the gear and immediately organized and impromptu match between themselves and our volunteer. 

We hope to gather more equipment in the future and get some volunteer soccer coaches to join us in forming a real team (or two) at Koseli. There's a vacant lot not far from the school where we could play a game. 

I found this quote that is applicable to soccer and Koseli.

It's not called "the beautiful game" for nothing, you know.

Soccer is a sport that combines so many positive attributes into one activity that it's hard to list them all.

First, it's accessible, regardless of the players' status in society. As organized sports go, it's relatively cheap, and many of the game's brightest stars have risen from very humble roots. Think of Pele. Think of Zinedine Zidane. Unlike American football or ice hockey, for example, the equipment required is very basic and registration costs are low. Some professional players actually started out as children kicking around balls of rags on dusty village squares. It's a game that can be played by everyone.

(from Helium.com, author Renato Zane) 

Dressed for the match
Dressed for the match
Game on
Game on
quick moves
quick moves
Bend it like Beckham
Bend it like Beckham
Any challengers?
Any challengers?
May 21, 2012

Ultrasound in use in the field

Chepang woman at medical camp
Chepang woman at medical camp

I regret there isn't a photo of the ultrasound to go with this report, I was sure I had some until I reached home and reviewed what was on my camera. 

We recently conducted a medical camp in some Chepang Villages, located not far from Chitwan National Park. The Chepang live as both farmers and hunter-gatherers in the hills. The land they occupy can't support their food needs so half the year they are forced to forage what they can from the forest. They'd been denied citizenship for decades in Nepal and live on the fringes of society. 

As we were checking patients at the medical outreach camp, a woman came in who we discovered was pregnant. This is her sixth pregnancy, she has five children now. We asked her about family planning and her shocking answer, which shows the lack of education in these villages was " I don't know how many of these babies god put inside my body but one day I am sure they will all be out and then there won't be more."  That's how she really thinks it works. 

We spent 3 days, saw 917 patients and will return to this village again in the fall of 2012 (and let me know if you'd like to join us)  This village has no health care and camps like this are their only source of medical care. 

Woman at medical camp
Woman at medical camp
Chepang child at medical camp
Chepang child at medical camp
Volunteer Nepali nurse with medicine at camp
Volunteer Nepali nurse with medicine at camp

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