Health
 Nepal
Project #12477

Bring healthcare to thousands in rural Nepal

by Himalayan Healthcare
Vetted
HHC has supported education in Nepal since 1992
HHC has supported education in Nepal since 1992

Namaste friends,

2016 has been a very trying but also a very productive year for the people we serve in remote mountain villages of Tipling, Shertung, Lapa, Jharlang and Ree in Nepal’s Northern Dhading District. 

As you are aware, the devastation caused by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015 affected millions of people in Nepal. More than 8,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands lost homes, schools, livestock and the means to live. 

The trauma of the quake and its hundreds of aftershocks still haunts me and my family, but the generosity and compassion of each of you is far beyond and bigger than that. I want to thank you for helping us help the people we love and serve in my country. 

I want to share with you one story in particular of a young woman from the village of Ree named Mamita whose education is currently being sponsored by Himalayan HealthCare (HHC):

I am the first born of my parents. There are 7 people in our family, including grandparents. No one had been educated in our family before… and I couldn’t go to school in the beginning of my life. My childhood was spent looking after goats. 

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my parents saw other kids going to school, and they put me into a school called Pasang Chowki… I am the first literate member of the family.

After the earthquake, our home was destroyed. There was no safe place to hide from the rain or the sun. There was rubble everywhere. We didn’t know where to live or what to eat… Whatever we’d had in our home was buried in rubble.

Then the HHC scholarship results came in, and I got a chance to study science. I had decided to pursue this topic because there was a shortage of science teachers in the villages so I wanted to study science and return to my village to teach.

Because of my economic condition, HHC offered to support me in my studies and I was very happy to hear it. I’ll finish my science studies and will go to my village and help, and will give education to those who need it. I want to thank from my heart HHC for giving me a chance to fulfill my wish to study science.

Stories like Mamita’s are all too common in Northern Dhading, where the everyday struggles of living in poverty were compounded by the devastation of the earthquake. 

We are grateful to have had the opportunity, thanks to donors like you, to not only provide shelter, food, clean water, medical relief and other long-term support to families like Mamita’s, but to continue our support of promising students and health workers dedicated to improving quality of life in their villages. 

During the 2015-16 academic year, HHC has sponsored 14 students, providing comprehensive support for technical and other studies. This continues an HHC tradition since 1992, under which we have supported students, which particular emphasis on ethnic minorities, as health assistants, auxiliary health workers, nurse midwives, hospital managers, teachers, doctors, nurses, veterinary technicians and more. And it is a tradition we are committed to continuing. 

This #GivingTuesday, donations made to Himalayan HealthCare through GlobalGiving will be matched with generous support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For those of you who are able to donate at this time, your donations—in any amount—will contribute to supporting more students like Mamita in the coming academic year. 

Our work is only possible because of the incredible generosity and outpouring of kindness from donors like you, many of whom have accompanied us on medical treks to the villages and seen the impact of our work firsthand, and many of you whom we’ve never met who nonetheless have stepped up to help us out of pure compassion for fellow human beings in duress. I cannot tell you how this has touched me and changed me in so many ways. 

Your kindness and blessings have saved hundreds of lives and continue to serve those who are deeply in need.

Thank you from Nepal and happy holidays to you and your loved ones,

Anil Parajuli

Mamita arrives in Kathmandu for her studies
Mamita arrives in Kathmandu for her studies
Empowerment through education and skills training
Empowerment through education and skills training
Education = Hope
Education = Hope
HHC health staff, Phe Tamang, works with Chitra
HHC health staff, Phe Tamang, works with Chitra

Sixteen years ago, Chitra was brought to Himalayan HealthCare's Mabu Village Medical Camp in Nepal's far-eastern Ilam District, carried in a makeshift stretcher led by his grandmother. He was 13 years old, cadaverous and in agony with every movement. His joints, especially his knees, were inflamed and had ballooned, making walking impossible. He was immediately assessed by the Himalayan HealthCare team, given a provisional diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and put on medications including steroids. 

This was before Himalayan HealthCare founded its community hospital in Ilam and the District had only one doctor to serve its entire population of 250,000. The Himalayan HealthCare medical camp was the first chance Chitra had to seek medical care for his condition. Although the medical team believed Chitra probably would not live, given the state he was in, Chitra's condition improved significantly in just a few days after arriving at the Himalayan HealthCare medical camp. 

Chitra stayed with the Himalayan HealthCare medical team for the duration of the medical trek in Ilam. He was carried in the stretcher through the Ilam hills and brought to Kathmandu for a better assessment, where a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed. Thus began a long and arduous treatment.

Once Chitra was stable and released from the hospital, Himalayan HealthCare was in a quandary. Chitra's mother had passed away and his only remaining family--a frail grandmother and uncle with little means who had looked after him faithfully for years--were in no position to care for someone with his physical needs. Sending Chitra back to Ilam would be sending him back to die. 

Himalayan HealthCare made the decision to help look after Chitra long-term. Our founder, Anil, located an orphanage, St. Xavier's Social Service Center, close to the Himalayan HealthCare office in Kathmandu where Chitra could stay and where his progress could be regularly monitored. Chitra continued to live here for the next fifteen years. 

During Chitra's first year in Kathmandu, the late Som Raj, Himalayan HealthCare health staff, worked as Chitra's physical therapist and through these long, intense sessions Chitra progressed from being bedridden to being able to sit in a wheelchair. The orphanage, with Himalayan HealthCare's support, then sent Chitra to school. 

After a year of attending classes, it became evident that Chitra's condition, which, with his growing body, made for increased joint and postural deformities and discomfort, made it difficult for Chitra to regularly attend classes. The powerful immunosuppressant medications also made him prone to other deadly diseases, not to mention side effects. 

As the years progressed, however, both the medications and the medical services in Kathmandu improved. A rheumatologist began helping Himalayan HealthCare with Chitra's care and although he would often be quite ill for extended periods at a time, he managed high spirits and did his best, through vocational training, to become more independent.

Finding a vocational center that could help individuals with debilitating deformaties who needed a regular chaperone and were often ill was not an easy task. Under our own vocational training programs, Himalayan HealthCare tried Chitra at tailoring, which he enjoyed, but his hands and feet were too deformed to operate a sewing machine and he unfortunately had to give this up after a few months. Finally, he began working with Himalayan HealthCare's artisanal crafts line, JeevanKala. 

Chitra worked diligently, traveling 15 minutes every working day to the Himalayan HealthCare office to do his utmost, weaving recycled snack wrappers into colorful bowls and baskets. He received a small salary and stipend for his work. 

After much research and a visit to a hospital in New Delhi, Himalayan HealthCare's founder, Anil, had the chance to meet with severely physically challenged patients who were helped to walk after decades of incapacity by a local surgeon. This gave Himalayan HealthCare greater hope for Chitra's condition. In 2013, Chitra traveled with his aide to New Delhi and underwent two twelve-hour surgeries. The first replaced his left knee and hip; the next his right knee and hip. The surgeries, totaling $10,000, were funded by a generous donation from the Jean-Abraham Py Memorial Foundation. 

Due to his disease and years of disuse, Chitra's bones were brittle and his muscles atrophied, but he was able--for short periods--to stand on his legs and, with continued physical therapy, to move more freely with a walker. Chitra then underwent a third surgery, spinal osteotomy, to straighten his spine so that he could look straight ahead while walking. 

After his long struggle with this severely crippling arthritic disease and with Himalayan HealthCare's long-term support, Chitra went from a bed to a wheelchair to now being able to walk on his own using crutches. He restarted school after his multiple surgeries and recovery last year. 

This past April, Chitra sat for the national level 10th Grade School Leaving Certificate exams, which he passed with flying colors. He began 11th grade at Patan High School and will be restarting his training in tailoring with Himalayan HealthCare's support. He will continue to live at St. Xavier's at least until he finishes 12th grade. 

Stories like Chitra's are only possible with the dedication of Himalayan HealthCare's staff and international medical volunteers, as well as the generous support provided by donors like you. We thank you for your generosity of spirit and for enabling Himalayan HealthCare to continue supporting so many other stories of hope. 

Sincerely, 
Rob

Dr. Robert McKersie
President, Himalayan HealthCare

Chitra working on JeevanKala crafts
Chitra working on JeevanKala crafts
Chitra recovering from multiple surgeries
Chitra recovering from multiple surgeries
Chitra gradually stands with the help of a walker
Chitra gradually stands with the help of a walker
Chitra can now walk on his own with crutches
Chitra can now walk on his own with crutches

Links:

HHC has carried out ongoing clinics for victims
HHC has carried out ongoing clinics for victims

Namaste friends, 

It has been one year since a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and turned our lives upside down. In total, the earthquake claimed more than 9,000 lives and destroyed upwards of 770,000 homes, 50,000 classrooms and 1,000 health posts. 

We were further challenged last fall when a five-month blockade along the border with India severely limited our access to fuel, cooking oil, medicines and other crucial supplies. Prices of basic necessities skyrocketed and daily life for Nepalis, still reeling from the earthquake, became nearly unbearable. 

Your generosity has gotten us through this difficult year. While coming to terms with the destruction of more than two decades of community development work has not been easy, we are heartened by the outpouring of concern, compassion and support we’ve received. Friends came together from all corners of the globe to raise funds and share stories about Himalayan HealthCare. We’ve received donations from high schools, ski clubs, medical offices, breweries, music schools, law firms and more.

To date, you’ve helped us raise nearly $2 million for earthquake relief and recovery operations. You’ve helped us provide food, shelter, clean water and emergency services to tens of thousands of victims in some of the most hard-to-reach parts of the country. We've given livestock and restored livelihood to hundreds of households and we're working to rebuild health posts, a district hospital and twenty schools that were destroyed in the earthquake.  

Together we are rebuilding stronger communities, with earthquake resilient buildings, health clinics with world-class capabilities and schools designed with students’ learning needs in mind. 

At the same time, we have continued to carry out our core programs, hosting clinics at our Ilam hospital, employing women artisans with dignified work, supporting scholarships for outstanding students to attend advanced technical trainings and developing clean water solutions for the remote villages of northern Dhading.

We are grateful to our institutional funders, including AmeriCares, Brother’s Brother Foundation, United Nations World Food Programme, GlobalGiving and the dozens of family and community foundations who have been critical in supporting this work. 

And we applaud our staff and volunteers in Nepal who, despite their own personal traumas, have worked day in and day out to make sure they get help to those who need it most.

With all this in mind, it’s important for us to let you know that Nepal still needs your help. 

The earthquake put more than 1 million children out of school. Many still don’t have a place where they can retreat to their studies, interact with their peers and talk with their teachers to process the profound changes and loss they’ve just experienced.

To that end, Himalayan HealthCare has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nepal's Department of Education and we are working with the remote villages of Tipling, Sherthung and Lapa to rebuild 20 schools. We are in the process of raising $3 million for this endeavor. 

In all of the darkness and chaos of this past year, we are hopeful that this will be an opportunity to not just rebuild structures but to revamp Nepal's approach to rural education with teacher trainings and greater emphasis on critical thinking and question-based learning. You can help us make this a reality. 

We would like to ask all of you to consider donating to Himalayan HealthCare in the name of one of these schools. 

If you cannot give now, there are other ways to help. You can host a crafts sale with our fair trade artisanal products, spread the word about our e-commerce, www.jeevankala.com, or join us on our Fall 2016 trek. Everything counts and we encourage you to reach out to our US Director, Christina Madden, with ideas on how you can help.

We are grateful for your friendship and thank you again for your support during this trying year.

Best regards, 
Anil Parajuli

BBF and WFP supported HHC
BBF and WFP supported HHC's food relief programs
HHC volunteers repaired trails and built roads
HHC volunteers repaired trails and built roads
HHC restored livestock and livelihood to victims
HHC restored livestock and livelihood to victims
With AmeriCares, HHC is fixing health structures
With AmeriCares, HHC is fixing health structures
HHC is building 20 schools in northern Dhading
HHC is building 20 schools in northern Dhading

Links:

Nepal
Nepal's Livestock Minister Visits HHC Programs

This last quarter has been a challenging one for Nepal. Between September 23 and February 5, a blockade along Nepal's border with India closed off a major trade route, severely limiting supplies of fuel, cooking oil, medicines and other crucial supplies. The costs of basic necessities skyrocketed and daily life for most Nepalis, many of whom are still reeling from last year's earthquakes, was made nearly unbearable.

As a result of the blockade, Himalayan HealthCare was forced to cancel our Spring 2016 medical trek to northern Dhading, where traditionally international volunteers have joined our local health staff twice annually to help treat hundreds of patients in remote villages and train local practitioners. 

Despite the setbacks, we are grateful for the tireless efforts and monumental impact of our Nepal staff during these trying times.  

In Ilam, where our community hospital is located, a total of 315 patients were seen and treated during two medical camps in January and 148 patients were treated at a medical clinic in December. In Kathmandu's Bagdol area, HHC's health staff and volunteers treated 443 patients between September and February in medical clinics held three times weekly since the earthquake.  

And our staff in Dhading, working hard to rebuild an area devastated by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck last April, has achieved countless milestones. 

With support from Brother's Brother Foundation, based in Pittsburgh, PA, HHC helped 242 households replace livestock that were lost in the earthquake. Nepal's Livestock Minister Shanta Manawi visited northern Dhading last month to hand out the cash assistance raised by HHC for the households in Shertung, Tipling, Lapa, Jharlang and Ree Gau. 

In December, HHC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nepal's Department of Education to rebuild 20 primary and secondary schools in northern Dhading over the next two years. The 20 schools will be rebuilt to higher standards than what existed prior to the earthquake and will include separate toilets for boys and girls, clean water supply, libraries and other facilities. Over the longer term, HHC will be revamping the curriculum for these 20 schools to include greater emphasis on critical thinking and other skills development. We anticipate these schools will serve as a model for education reform in rural Nepal.

HHC is also working in collaboration with AmeriCares to repair 12 health clinics in Dhading District and rehabilitate the District Hospital. HHC was among the very first organizations in Nepal to be approved by the government to build permanent structures after the earthquake. 

Finally, under an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), HHC helped provide food to 3,945 households in northern Dhading. Under WFP's "Food for Assets Creation" program, food recipients were asked to donate 40 hours of their time to earthquake relief efforts. Our community members completed the task of constructing more than 80 kilometers of trails and nearly 11 kilometers of roads leading to the villages of Shertung, Ree Gau, Jharlang and Tipling in northern Dhading.

Extending roads to these hard-to-reach mountain villages is a major undertaking and one that has been promised by the local government for 20 years without being delivered. It was completed by our community members, under HHC's supervision, in six months and will significantly alter the development prospects for the region.

We are extremely proud of the dedication shown by our staff and grateful for the donors like you who have made this work possible. 

Thank you for being a part of the Himalayan HealthCare family and we welcome you to join us as we continue to rebuild a better and stronger Nepal. 

With gratitude, 

Christina

Hundreds of patients attend an HHC clinic in Ilam
Hundreds of patients attend an HHC clinic in Ilam
Distributing medicine at an HHC clinic in Ilam
Distributing medicine at an HHC clinic in Ilam
HHC volunteers clear landslides along trails
HHC volunteers clear landslides along trails

Links:

Kumari, 1 of 14 students granted HHC
Kumari, 1 of 14 students granted HHC's scholarship

Meet Kumari. One of eleven children, Kumari comes from the village of Sherthung in Northern Dhading, where child marriages are a common occurrence and education often comes second to farming and other responsibilities. With Himalayan HealthCare's (HHC) support, Kumari and other traditionally marginalized students from these remote communities have been able to break free of stifling traditions and pursue their academic and profressional dreams.

"When I went to HHC's health posts when I was younger and saw people helping me, I  dreamed of becoming like them when I was older," writes Kumari. "Immediately after the SLC (Nepal's 10th grade national level exams), the earthquake came and destroyed our small home and belongings. I was frustrated after that; it brought a mental and physical challenge to us. To continue my education, I applied for and received the scholarship with HHC. After that, I took the entrance exam to become a lab assistant, and now I am studying to be a lab assistant. All these opportunities are provided by the HHC scholarship."

Kumari is one of 14 students supported by HHC's student stipend program for the 2015-16 academic year. With your help, HHC is providing these students comprehensive support for technical and other studies.

Since 1992, HHC has supported the training of more than 80 students—with particular emphasis on ethnic minorities—as health assistants, auxiliary health workers, nurse midwives, hospital managers, doctors, nurses, dental assistants, teachers, veterinary technicians, agriculture technicians and other professions.  

Upon completion of training, these students often go back and apply their new skills within their villages. 

Kumari is already thinking about how to give back to her community. "I am sure I will complete my studies and serve the poor, and will go and work in places where the institution asks me to. I am thankful for this opportunity."

We are grateful for the dedication and perseverence of our students and for the generosity of donors like you who've given Kumari and her colleagues a more hopeful future and a pathway out of poverty. 

Thank you for your support and we wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy holiday season. 

Sincerely, 

Christina Madden
US Director, Himalayan HealthCare

Students at a school supported by HHC
Students at a school supported by HHC
Patients wait to be seen at an HHC clinic
Patients wait to be seen at an HHC clinic
HHC provides training and support to blacksmiths
HHC provides training and support to blacksmiths
HHC has supported 1,000 artisans
HHC has supported 1,000 artisans

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Himalayan Healthcare

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.himalayanhealthcare.org
Project Leader:
Christina Madden
US Director
New York, New York United States
$24,256 raised of $85,000 goal
 
135 donations
$60,744 to go
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