Friends of Nepal is currently focusing all its efforts on earthquake relief. If you would like to donate, we would greatly appreciate your support. Your donation will be used to provide for basic human needs such as medical care, shelter and food. At an appropriate time the organization will switch its efforts to rebuilding.

Please share this link with others who may consider making a donation:

Check payments can be mailed to:
Friends of Nepal
c/o Suzie Schneider
181 Mary Jo Lane
Sequim, WA 98382

29 Oct

Call for Applications for Earthquake Relief Projects

Friends of Nepal (FoN) is opening its application period for the final round of earthquake relief funding. Up to $15,000 is available for projects that have a large impact in areas directly affected by the May 2015 quake. Funds are not available for general program support. Proposals that address health/sanitation, education, livelihoods, and redevelopment are encouraged. Applicants must be sponsored by a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) from Nepal. The proposal must be submitted jointly with a signed cover letter from the RPCV and the organization’s executive or board chair. 
FoN is accepting two-page proposals until 9 November 2015 that address the application review criteria below. Please include a short paragraph about your organization and its track record in project development in Nepal, and a project budget. If other funding sources have committed financial support, please mention that in your narrative.
Review Criteria:
  1. Direct and positive impact on Nepali people
  2. Contribution and support from local community
  3. Project details
  4. Potential to expand or replicate project in other communities
  5. Prior experience or competency in project development
FoN expects to receive several qualified applications and may choose to fund several projects at partial levels. If your project can be successful with partial funding from FoN, please detail which components of the project would receive FoN funding. 
If you have questions or wish to run an idea by us prior to submitting an application, you can reach us at
Thank you for all you do for Nepal. We look forward to hearing from you.
17 Aug

A Volunteer Opportunity to Help with Earthquake Recovery in October

Don Messerschmidt (ex-Peace Corps Nepal-2, 1963-65) is putting together a volunteer opportunity to help with the ongoing work of rebuilding schools by the Gorkha Foundation, at the epicenter of the April 25 earthquake (EQ).  
The Gorkha Foundation (GF) spent May in the Relief Mode (distributing food, shelter, medical supplies, and other) and since June has been pursuing the Recovery Mode. For that, it has chosen to rebuild village schools. (Don was there in June/July.) 
It is estimated that 80% of all school buildings in the district were destroyed in the EQ, and that many of the remaining 20% were so badly damaged as to require serious renovation. Altogether some 3,000 classrooms were wrecked, and while the GF won’t rebuild all of them, there’s a list of over a dozen at which to begin. The first one, built over the monsoon, is nearing completion. Rebuilding others will begin in early October, before the Dasain and Tihar Holidays.
During the 1st two weeks of October, an all-volunteer based trip is being planned to Gorkha District to help with the construction of an Upper Secondary School (Classes 1 to 12) in a community seriously damaged by the EQ. 
The Gorkha Foundation (GF) is an volunteer-based 501(C)3 non-profit, registered both in the USA and in Nepal and Gorkha District. Thus, it qualifies as both an international non-governmental organization (INGO) and as a local NGO (LNGO). It’s presence in Gorkha District gives it local credibility, where it has operated since 2005. The GF is totally non-profit, with no overhead. All money from donations goes directly into its activities on the ground — both RELIEF (in the first month after the earthquake) and now RECOVERY (well intothe foreseeable future…, recovery will take a long time). You can read about the Foundation at and at Don is on the GF Board of Advisers.
The plan is to arrive in Nepal by September 30, then spend the next two weeks mostly in a village in Gorkha. The construction is overseen by a qualified Nepali engineer. Volunteers have several options to help — working on construction, or teaching a class (English, for example) or helping with computer literacy, or teaching and refereeing school sports activities. (Be creative and consider what you can do to help.) Besides overall organization and management of the trip, Don will also be documenting and writing stories to publish, to keep news and information about the earthquake, its aftermath (including many aftershocks), and recovery activities in the news.  
Along the way, group members will also briefly tour each of three significant historical sites in Gorkha: Manakamana Temple (one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in all Nepal), Gorakhnath temple and old palace in Gorkha Bazar, and LigLig Kot (an ancient fortress dating to Drabya Shah dating to 1559 AD, two centuries before Prithvi Narayan Shah unified the country). We will also visit Amp Pipal Community Hospital (near LigLig Kot), which is partially supported by the Gorkha Foundation. The Foundation’s other work, begun long before the earthquake, includes a popular micro-credit program for poor women, small agriculture and livestock projects, and significant aid to village schools, to literacy, and to assuring education for girls and the poor and underprivileged. 
The October trip is all-voluntary, and Don is working with an agent in Kathmandu to set the itinerary and come up with an overall cost. Every attempt is being made to keep the cost low. This is not a tourist trip; rather, it is a working trip with short side tours to see the cultural-historical side of Gorkha District. After the work in Gorkha, the group will also visit Pokhara briefly for R&R, before returning to Kathmandu on mid-October. 
Being a former Peace Corps Volunteer or speaking Nepali are not pre-requisites to joining the trip. Anyone is welcome to inquire. It will not be a strenuous trip; it’s not for trekking. Most of the time in Gorkha will be spent no higher than 5,500-6,000 feet, with a little walking each day to/from the school and guesthouse. 
If you are interested, contact Don by email at, or by phone at 360.256.8596 for more information. If you can’t join us but want to help, you can donate to help defray the cost of the trip, or contribute directly to the Gorkha Foundation in support of its program. 
17 Aug

Special Earthquake Edition of FoN Newsletter

FoN issued a special earthquake edition in July, with personal stories from volunteers, RPCVs, staff members, and aid workers who experienced the earthquake firsthand. Read it here

08 Jun

FoN Sends Funds for Earthquake Relief

It has been six weeks since we awoke to news of a horrifying 7.8 quake in Nepal. For a few days, the world watched a steady stream of shocking images of collapsed homes and terrified people. In those first days, friends of Nepal from around the world mobilized to help a devastated country. More than $60,000 was donated to Friends of Nepal in the first week after the quake, and we committed to spending the money to meet health-related needs.

In May, we transferred $30,000 to Patan Hospital, a private hospital in the Kathmandu valley. Doctors and nurses at Patan worked around the clock treating the injured, and the hospital kitchen fed dozens of people—patients, relatives of patients, neighbors—at no charge as well. As the influx of Kathmandu victims began to taper off, Patan began receiving injured patients from outlying districts who were airlifted into the valley. It was five days before the first staff members could go home to check on their own families and homes, and to get some sleep. As a private hospital, Patan is dependent on patient fees, but they asked for no payments in the first days after the quake, putting their duty to help the injured over the financial needs of the hospital.  Our donation helped refill their depleted coffers so they can continue to provide care in the future.

Another $6,000 was sent to the Nepali NGO Phul Maya in May to provide tarpaulins, medicine, food, soap, and other necessities in Kavre district, where more than 30,000 houses were destroyed and 150,000 people rendered homeless. With the rains already beginning, adequate shelter is crucial for preventing further injuries and disease. Phul Maya has a long history of effective development work in Kavre district, and they have already organized dozens of trucks which have delivered thousands of tarps and other necessities all over the district.

This week we are sending $30,000, through World Education, to rebuild schools in Dolakha district, a hard-hit area which hasn’t received as much assistance as some of the areas closer to Kathmandu. Admittedly, building schools is not the first thing that comes to mind in regards to health-related needs, but when a representative from Friends of Nepal visited the earthquake zone, re-opening schools was the number one request made by the local people. Life has been chaotic and unpredictable since the quake, and re-opening schools would provide children with a measure of normalcy and structure which will help them cope with the stress and anxiety they have suffered since the quake. This is a very cost-effective way to provide aid: since local communities have committed to providing the labor, just $1000 in construction materials is sufficient to build one school. We have already made arrangements for trucks and helicopters to carry construction materials in to remote villages before the monsoon hits in July and transportation becomes impossible.

Going forward, Friends of Nepal will be focusing on the long-term needs of people in the earthquake zone: schools and shelter. The $30,000 we sent for schools will build 30 temporary learning centers, but there are many more villages which have requested a center of their own. The monsoon is about to hit, and tarps and tents just aren’t enough when the rain is coming down in sheets. Over the long term, people will need help rebuilding actual houses. One of the most devastating aspects of the quake is that it hit hardest the people with the least resources. The mud huts of the poor were much more likely to collapse than the concrete houses of the better off. Friends of Nepal is still accepting donations for earthquake relief in Nepal. With our connections to local people and NGOs throughout the country, we are uniquely positioned to get aid into neglected areas. As the earthquake begins to recede from the forefront of international attention, let’s not forget that millions of people are still living with the effects of the earthquake every day.

26 May

Jobs with the EPA for RPCVs

The San Francisco office of the US Environmental Protection Agency is looking to hire RPCVs! The job announcements are here and here. Applications are due for both positions by June 12.

13 May

May 2015 FoN Newsletter Now Available

Click here to donate!

The May newsletter is available here! Inside we have a review of the book Jaya Nepal about a fictional Nepal PCV, a recounting of a moment when the unflappable Daulat Karki encouraged a young PCV, and of course, news about the terrible earthquake of April 25th. 

Friends of Nepal is still accepting donations for earthquake relief in Nepal. The second quake, which hit on May 12th, shook down many of the remaining buildings in Kathmandu and the mountainous districts around it, worsening conditions in already traumatized communities. We are working with local partners to identify the best way to get assistance to the hard-hit rural communities. 

Click here to donate!

13 May

Healing Traumatized Victims

Click here to donate!

Art with Heart, a Seattle-based organization, is working on bringing an art therapy program to Nepal to help earthquake victims build resiliency and strength. Art With Heart utilizes a “Draw It Out” activity book for kids healing from trauma, grief and loss. Susan Alotrico, an RPCV from Thailand, is currently in Nepal and is working with Nepali colleagues to plan life skills camps and workshops. ADRF NEPAL, one of the partners, has more information on their website. If you are going to Nepal from Seattle in the near future, or would like more information, please contact Susan through her Facebook page:
12 May

Earthquake Relief Fund

Click here to donate!

Please accept our apologies for the state of our website — we were in the midst of overhauling the design when the earthquake struck in Nepal, and we have not had the chance to complete the project.

We have received several inquiries lately about the status of our relief fund. To date have raised over $78,000. This week, we are sending $30,000 to Patan Hospital in Kathmandu this week to treat people injured in the earthquake and aftershcosk and $6,000 to the Phul Maya Foundation to provide emergency supplies (food, tarps for shelter, etc.) in the District of Kavre. One of our members will be in Nepal early next week to help us determine the best ways to deliver additional aid.

 Click here to donate!

or send a check (with earthquake relief in the memo line) to:

Friends of Nepal
c/o Suzie Schneider
181 Mary Jo Lane
Sequim, WA 98382

Please share this link with others who may consider making a donation. And thank you for your support!




07 May

New Operating Rooms for Patan Hospital

Thousands of people were injured by falling bricks and walls in the earthquake, and many require surgery to repair their battered bodies. Although the operating rooms at Patan Hospital have been running at capacity since the earthquake, they have been unable to keep up with the need. Worse, the backlog is growing, not shrinking, because Patan Hospital has begun to receive patients airlifted into the Kathmandu valley from outlying areas. 

In the past 11 days, Patan Hospital has treated nearly 1600 earthquake victims. Below is the statistics of the earthquake disaster victims as of 05 May 2015, Tuesday:

Victims brought to Patan Hospital – 1575
Admitted patients ———————- 160
Discharged patients ——————— 38
Expires ————————————- 57
Major operations ———————– 100
Minor operations ————————- 22

Patan Hospital contacted Friends of Nepal late on May 5 to give us these stats, and also to tell us that they could have done better. They had both the human resources and the space to operate; what they lacked was the supplies.”Had we had the adequate budget,” wrote Patan Hospital Communications Officer Archana Shrestha, “we could have provided our service more smoothly to both the disaster victims as well as our regular patients. Thus we are in dire need of these [surgical] equipments for the treatment of the victims.” The money that people around the world donated to Friends of Nepal will go towards outfitting and opening two new operating theaters and a surgical ICU. Patan Hospital has already begun procuring supplies such as anesthesia machines, operating table lights, ventilators, monitors, portable X-ray machines, patient trolleys, surgical instruments, ECG machines, and defibrillators. They hope to open the new rooms within days.


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