Rural Assistance Nepal
Nepal is a small country sandwiched between China and India. Famous for Mount Everest (Sagarmatha), Sherpas and brave Gurkha soldiers, there is a huge variety and there is much more to the country than just mountains. There are more than sixty ethnic groups, with over a hundred different languages in this tiny Hindu state.
RAN works with schools and healthposts in different regions across Nepal.
Garimudi, Dolakha, is a village in the foothills of the Himalayas about 150km east of Kathmandu. This village is mainly populated by poor Tamang farmers and Dalits, the lowest caste and most underprivileged people in the country. The village has electricity and a road has been extended to the village. The people here mainly live from subsistence farming and some work as porters. Here RAN is working with the Shree Janajyoti Higher Secondary School.
Deusa, Solukhumbu is a village further to the east, about 185km from Kathmandu, in the lower foothills of the Everest area. Away from the main trekking routes, this area is poor and backward, receiving little benefit from tourism in the Everest area a few days' walk north. It takes 4-5 days to walk from the nearest roadhead at Jiri and a 6-7 hour bus ride to Kathmandu. Tiny airports at Kangil (4-5 hours' walk) and Phaplu (7-8 hours' walk) run flights most of the year that take 35 minutes from Kathmandu. There is no electricity at this village. The majority of the people here are Thulung Rai (there are at least 35 different Rai ethnic groups), who survive mainly on subsistence farming and seasonal work as porters in the Everest area. Here RAN is working with the secondary school and sub-healthpost.
Chaurjahari, (Rukkum): is a village in a poor and western district where RAN is looking to help a community school that was set up aimed at helping the poor children in the community. A third of the children receive their education for free, while the slightly better off pay modest fees to learn in this small English medium school.
Mandela, (Bardiya) is in the Far Western Region of Nepal, in the lowlands bordering the national park there. Mainly inhabited by Tharu people, this is a poor farming community where although there is some tourism, the distance from Kathmandu still make it an area so far little visited by tourists. RAN is working with the higher secondary school here.
Doti is a district in the Far Western Region of Nepal and RAN is working with the Soo Jung Community Hospital and surrounding area in helping to provide healthcare access to poor people in the community.
In addition, RAN works with hospitals and schools in Bajhang, Gulmi, Ilam and Pyuthan districts. All of these areas are poor, most in hilly regions of Nepal that have very poor access to education and healthcare. The schools are typically overcrowded, with very poor buildings, and the teachers are often demotivated and underqualified. Healthcare also is very limited. Healthposts provide only very basic services, with hospitals few and far between and usually with few or no doctors. Nepal has one of the highest if not highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with infant mortality also a serious problem.