Gorkha Foundation envisages strong, prosperous and equitable communities in Gorkha, based on educated, aware and empowered family units and groups.
Our specific objectives are:
- To improve access to, and understanding of, best healthcare practices for all members of rural communities in the district
- To empower farmers in Gorkha to improve their livelihoods through skills, resources and increased awareness of agricultural and husbandry practices
- To increase access to quality child-centered education for students in rural government schools in Gorkha
- To help break the cycle of subsistence farming by empowering low caste families and community groups to take the first steps into husbandry and/or small enterprise
We believe in an equal and fair society irrespective of gender and caste. These values are reflected in the foundation’s projects; many of which are carried out with women’s groups and some of the lowest castes in Nepali society.
Educating girls is one of the most effective ways to address poverty in Gorkha. Girls should have equal access to education, though sadly in Nepal this is often not the case due to the pressures of farm work, family and entrenched social codes. When girls graduate from high school this leads to smaller, healthier families, lower mortality rates for their children and higher wages in the workplace.
Gorkha Foundation campaigns for gender equality in communities throughout the region via its programs and projects, and runs a microcredit initiative; giving loans exclusively to women to start small businesses, increase their smallholdings and develop their wage earning potential.
For these projects, we actively seek women who are often overlooked in society, including widows, Dalits (of the lowest caste) and those who have been sold into the sex-worker trade.
Access to healthcare is not straightforward for many in Gorkha. Understaffed and ill-equipped facilities, challenging terrain, inadequate transport infrastructure and lack of basic understanding of healthcare and sanitation practices among the (often illiterate) poor, make this a crucial area for development.
The foundation has a long history of providing substantial assistance to three key hospitals in the district, and further serves the people of Gorkha by supplying health posts and family planning facilities with
- Specialist equipment
- Medicine and other supplies
- Operational support
Click here to see our healthcare projects in full
Agriculture is the main source of sustenance and income throughout the Gorkha region, however the majority of smallholdings are only just big enough to feed farmers’ immediate families. The foundation’s main objectives in this area are
- To enhance skills in livestock management, development and healthcare
- To train farmers in improved fodder-based nutrition, and increase farm productivity by helping communities plant more effective fodder trees
Goat, buffalo and pig production are the most important sources of income for farmers who are unable to invest in large ruminants. Gorkha Foundation provides support to farmers, mainly in the low caste Dalit communities, by distributing livestock together with a complete package of health, nutrition, breeding and management practices. This helps transform livestock development from mere subsistence towards commercial production and growth.
Pasture and fodder development
Improved fodder-based nutrition is vital to the farming community. The foundation assists farmers in forage cultivation: our objective being to raise the household income by increasing the milk and meat yield of livestock. Not only does this help to empower families to take charge of their finances, but pasture and fodder development also undoubtedly improves the environmental and ecological conditions of the region.
Click here to see our agriculture projects in full
Access to education is a basic human right, but in Gorkha there are multiple barriers to effective implementation of quality education for all: poverty, burden of farm work on children, poor student enrollment and retention rates, irregularity of school operation, physical distance to campuses, low perceived importance of education by the masses, caste discrimination, lack of trained teachers and inadequate local planning. Curricula are centralized, with governmental control that does not allow teachers and local communities to take ownership of education.
As a result of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, over 90% of schools in the district are severely damaged and unsafe to be used by students. Many have been completely destroyed.
The foundation partners with local communities and other organizations to advance the education of pupils in rural government schools in Gorkha, by
- Building educational facilities, such as schools, libraries and computer rooms, as well as refurbishing and maintaining existing ones
- Providing training and resources to develop the skills and understanding of public school teachers and management in delivering the curriculum using pupil-centered techniques
- Supplying and installing technical resources to bridge the digital divide between rural students and those living in urban areas
- Facilitating opportunities for parents to better understand the importance of supporting pupils’ learning
Click here to see our education projects in full
For many families in Gorkha, breaking the cycle of subsistence farming is an unattainable dream. The year in, year out struggle to live off the region’s unforgiving terrain exhausts all the hours of the day and all the financial resources available to most farmers. Just to feed one’s own family is a strain, which the widespread destruction caused by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake pushed to breaking point.
To help people on their way to independence, the foundation works with other national and international NGOs to provide
- Microcredit to low caste women groups, widows and those with special needs, and
- Small enterprise management training
Small capital low interest loans can be used to increase smallholdings or start up enterprises in animal husbandry or craft production to develop their wage earning potential. Fundamentally, we provide training and mentoring on business practices to empower participants with the skills and understanding to succeed.
Click here to see our microcredit projects in full
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