Friends of Nepal Small Grants Program
The Friends of Nepal Small Grants program provides grants to underserved areas of Nepal. Grants are sponsored and coordinated by our members and compete for funding in a specific thematic area. After the 2015 earthquake the grant theme was Earthquake Recovery. For the past two years and again for 2019 we have embraced Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn theme.
Our grants program affords members continuing opportunities to contribute to Community Development efforts in Nepal through donations to the grant program, or by sponsoring and coordinating a grant on behalf of a Community Organization known to you. Our strength is in our experience in and connections to small towns and villages all over the country!
Money for grants is raised through a special Grants Fund separate from General Donations and Memberships. While there is no minimum-maximum grant size, grants usually average $5,000.
2018 Grantee Awards
With a tip of the hat to Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn Initiative, the Friends of Nepal Project Committee solicited grants on the theme of “Let Girls Learn” for the second consecutive year. We called for projects that support educational opportunities and improve girls’ health, livelihood, and social and economic prospects. In 2018, we awarded four organizations - two for a second time - nearly $20,000 for programs supporting girls’ education. Below is a brief description of the organizations and the initiatives our membership is supporting.
HANDS IN OUTREACH ($5500) Friends of Nepal was very pleased with the results of Hands in Outreach’s 2017 grant-funded project, which improved early-age literacy in the Balku slum of Kathmandu, so we were happy to support a new project this year. Be Part of Her Dream is focused on the mothers of children currently attending classes at the Hands in Outreach Strong Roots Program. The project will provide adult literacy classes to mothers, expanding their job opportunities and their income potential, and empowering the women with financial acumen and independence. The program will also guide the women through the process of gaining access to legal rights. Participants are provided a stipend to cover any missed income from participating in the classes. Goals of the program include attaining a fourth-grade level of education, attaining Nepali citizenship, and opening a personal banking account.
GRID ALTERNATIVES ($1500) GRID Alternatives International Program installs solar power in communities that lack access to electric grid infrastructure around the world. GRID proposed to launch a Women in Solar training program to introduce women to a viable career path in renewable energy and provide the technical and hands-on solar training they need to get started in the field. The training, located in Chitwan but open to women throughout the country, includes an opportunity to participate in a solar installation at the Miteri Birthing Center, a women’s health clinic that serves 446 households in a remote part of Chitwan. FoN’s grant will cover training, travel, food, and lodging for five women.
LITTLE SISTERS FUND ($6141) The Little Sisters Fund has been supporting girls’ education in Nepal for over 20 years. Their proposed Greater Investment in Reading and Learning for Success pilot project will introduce a tested, comprehensive, early-age reading curriculum and training package to three schools in Makwanpur District with longstanding partnerships with Little Sisters Fund. The project develops foundational reading skills and will improve early-grade reading outcomes. Our funding will support this innovative curriculum and training materials for twelve teachers and administrators. Additionally, one mentor will be trained to provide support to the pilot schools and the schools’ “little sisters.”
HELAMBU EDUCATION AND LIVELIHOOD PARTNERSHIP ($850) In 2017, Friends of Nepal provided the Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership with funding to support a girls’ hostel manager for two years at the Shree Golma Devi School, after which time the position is proposed to be self-supporting. These hostels make it easier for girls to attend school by eliminating long walks from remote villages. This year, we are partially funding a hostel manager position at the Shree Nurbuling Manichaur School, which can house up to 60 girls. We have provided partial funding at this time until we receive the results from the first two years funding at the Shree Golma Devi School.
TSOKNYI GECHAK SCHOOL ($5787) Tsoknyi Gechak School, founded is a primary and lower-secondary school for school-aged nuns at the Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Tibetan Buddhist Nunnery in Chobbar, Kathmandu. It currently houses 166 nuns ranging in age from 5 to 56, of whom 127 are enrolled in the school. Friends of Nepal will fund a tri-lingual Nepali, Tibetan, and English library at the school and an audio/visual/computer classroom. The technology classroom will be used to access the government’s new online learning program, E-Pustakalaya, which is a digital interactive learning program for grades 2 to 8 for Nepali, English, Math, and Science. The classroom would also be used for other computer classes, and on weekends for entertainment. The fully-stocked library and the technology classroom will improve literacy and access to reading materials and improve computer literacy.