The Mountain Fund

The mission of The Mountain Fund is to eliminate poverty, its causes and symptoms, in developing mountain communities around the world.
Apr 14, 2014

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club at Her Farm doesn't star Judd Nelson or Molly Ringwald and certainly isn't about a bunch of kids spending time in detention, though I admit that was a good movie in its time. In the village of Mankhu, The Breakfast Club is quite different. We have students who come early, hours before their regular school time just to study English. The regular school in the village starts at 10am, but these students show up as early as 7am for English classes as they are that eager to learn. Many of them don't have enough food at home, or they arrive at Her Farm so early, we were concerned about them getting a good breakfast so they'd have the energy to study all day as we know a great many of them will not have any lunch. Unlike our western schools, there isn't a lunch program at the village school in Mankhu. Students must pack a lunch, which they call tiffin, and we see very few children with lunch packed for school. So, we began the breakfast club. At 7am we have a good hot breakfast ready at Her Farm and all the children who have come for lessons first enjoy a good meal, then attend English class. We know we've given them a good start for the day and served up a hearty meal that will hold them throughout the day. Attendance has gone up for classes as a result, especially amongst the girls. In many Nepali families, the men and boys eat first, the women next and last to eat are the girls. That means for many of the young girls it's slim pickens for breakfast and we think that's one reason so many young girls are joining the breakfast club at Her Farm. 

Mar 11, 2014

Good deeds combined with good management

Management Association of Nepal Award
Management Association of Nepal Award

Followers of this project and readers of our updates about it are well aware that Bina Basnet started something unique and wonderful when she founded Orchid Garden. It's a project full of good deeds that has helped hundreds of children. That's all good of course, but as a donor myself to this project I was elated to read that Bina has been recognized by the Management Association of Nepal for her skills as a manager. It's always heartwarming to read how young, at-risk youth have been helped by Orchid Garden, we all get a case of warn-fuzzies about that. As a donor though, it's also great to know that good management is in place to use donations wisely and to administer the program well. The recognition of Bina by the Management Association of Nepal demonstrates that this isn't only a warm-fuzzy, feel good project to support; it's well run and donations are used wisely. I like knowing that, I hope you do as well. 

Mar 11, 2014

Community Center Nears Completion

Community Center
Community Center

I've mentioned in prior reports how Her Farm needs to replace an entire family support structure. For a woman to leave even a bad relationship means cutting all family ties and the support that comes from those ties. Take our newest addition to the Her Farm family, Kalpana. Kalpana is 23 years old and has a three, almost four year old daughter. She married a man who happens to be in the army when she was quite young. She gave birth to a daughter, which is a problem for a Nepali woman, so much so that in fact her husband arrived home one day with a "second wife."  While technically not legal in Nepal, the second wife business still takes place quite often. As Kalpana had not produced a male heir, the man asserted his "right" to take another wife in the expecation that she would produce a boy-child. That relagates Kalpana to being more-or-less a servant to the new wife, a domestic employee in her own home. She had the good sense to reject that arrangement and move to Her Farm. To do so however meant giving up family ties and support. To that end, our community center is an integral part of creating a new family for her. When complete, which it will be in the next month, it will have a large kitchen on the first floor (right side of photo) that will serve up hot meals to the many chldren who come daily for English classes and tutoring at Her Farm plus additional classrooms and including a large meeting hall for community events. 

 
   

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