The Global Mountain Fund Inc

Rating: 4.73 stars   62 reviews 2,400

Issues: International

Location: 401 Alvarado SE Suite A Albuquerque NM 87108 USA

Mission: Our mission is to organize grassroots nonprofits and NGO's from a diversity of disciplines and support and coordinate these organizations' efforts to eliminate poverty, its causes and symptoms, in mountainous communities.
Target demographics: women and children
Geographic areas served: Nepal
Programs: Her Farm, a home for abused women. OGN Nepal a pre-school and school for 140 of Nepal's poorest children and we invest in healthcare and hospitals in Nepal
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Donate
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info

EIN 20-2570273
http://www.mountainfund.org

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

A group of eager secondary students and I came to Nepal in March of 2014 to continue a project at The Mountain Fund that my school, Stelly's Secondary started several years back to aid in the construction of a women's shelter. The people at the Mountain fund were amazing! They brought in over 30 outsiders and made us feel like members of a tight knit community. They made us feel like family. We had such a blast working with the volunteers from this amazing organization. They personally checked in on us often to see how we were doing, and the never once made us feel like a burden. I would certainly suggest the Moutain Fund to anyone looking to do volunteering work in Nepal, and I would most certainly go back to Nepal just to see those humble, incredible people again.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 2 stars  

I posted this same review on another site. I rate the experience hear as below expectations not because the experience was bad, but because the expectations for the programs gained from the descriptions on the Mountain Volunteer website set the bar far above what the administration, staff, and program seemed capable of actually providing. For instance, (1) despite what the staff tells you, the Kathmandu house is not in a nice part of town, it is in a safe but loud part of town. The ring road is nearby and the supermarket is just beyond the back fence. The house across the street has a dog that barks the whole day long. Needless to say, the time spent at the house is mostly without peace. What appeared to me and my fellow travelers to be the nice parts of town were seen from the cab when going near the zoo, and from the airplane window on departure over the southwest part of the city. (2) The Mountain Volunteer website description for the premed program at Helping Hands Hospital did not accurately portray my experience or observations. Doctors there work mostly from their OPD offices, and only one I shadowed did rounds on wards. A lot of a premed student's time is spent finding what doctors are in that day, and then hoping that the doctor will let him or her sit in, then hoping that the doctor will take the time to explain what is going on, and then deciding what to do when the doctor gets up and leaves unannounced and without instruction. It is a lesson unto itself, and I enjoyed it. However, it is not the delight that is described in the website description, and a timid or unexperienced student would not enjoy it much at all I suspect.

About my time and mission in Nepal: I was an undergraduate who went to Nepal to complete a global health ethics directed study. I signed up through Mountain Volunteer for two weeks of the Premed Experience, and an undetermined amount of time of the Global Health Internship. My total time in Nepal was 43 days; December 13, 2014 - January 25, 2015. I spent 10 days going to Helping Hands Hospital, and just 2 days at Her Farm. The rest of my time was spent either in Kathmandu at the house or around the city, in Chitwan, or in Pokhara.

The reason for the short stay at Her Farm is that I went the day before Christmas. The Global Health Internship "rural clinic" nearby was closed on the holiday, and closed the day after. Even had it been open, it was reported by other "volunteers" to be staffed only by CNA level workers, and saw just 4 patients/day. Instead of waiting for the clinic to open to see 4 patients/day with a CNA, or tolerating other "volunteers" and Her Farm staff staying up late drinking and having a dance party, the dogs barking all night, and a group of "volunteers" smoking marijuana many times per day, I returned to Kathmandu.

I put "volunteer" in parenthesis because I did not witness any "volunteering" in my six weeks. Mountain Volunteer "volunteers" ought to have been called donating be-ers. The Mountain Volunteer administrator talks about "being" in Nepal, and I agree that "being" is important. However, I can "be" in Nepal without Mountain Volunteer in the middle.

In fact, the best and most memorable activities of my six weeks in Nepal were all arranged without help from the Mountain Volunteer staff. The memorable activities were: USAID briefing at the US Embassy arranged by me; visit to the Nepal Leprosy Mission arranged by other students through Helping Hands Hospital administrator; visit to a government primary health clinic in Kathmandu arranged by other students through Helping Hands Hospital administrator; hiking in Shivapuri National Park; and many wonderful meals in Thamel despite the awful portrayal of Thamel given to me by the Mountain Volunteer administrator, and to other "volunteers" in the first-day orientation briefing (you will see what I mean if buy a Mountain Volunteer program and the orientation stays the same).

The Kathmandu house staff is fun, and friendly. I miss them, and if you go and spend much time around them with a respect for them as your equal, you will likely miss them when you leave too.

My recommendation: if you go to Nepal, "be" there, and stay with Mountain Volunteer for one or two weeks to get settled, and to know your way around. Then get a 1000NPR (10USD)/night hotel that offers a hot shower and travel services (many do). Arrange memorable activities yourself, or through your hotel. Remain flexible, and DO NOT think that things will go according to planned, or according to a schedule, or according to what you think SHOULD to be the case.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

First and foremost, I would like to thank Sunita didi and Scott for giving me an opportunity to explore her beautiful village and making me realize what I can really do for my country. Being a Chiropractic student in US, I always wanted to help Nepalese in need but I didn't know how to start. After talking to Sunita didi, I felt like "YES!!! this is what I wanted to do." I must say Sunita didi is great. I was amazed with all the wonderful work she's done for the village. Sunita didi and Scott are sincerely devoted to their work. The staff members are awesome, they are very friendly and helpful. I can't wait for a Summer break. I am definitely going back to the Global Mountain Fund and start public awareness campaigns for Nutrition, ways of preventing Back Pain and Ergonomics. If anyone's interested to help us, please email Scott. If you have a sense of adventure, a passion for working with Nepalese, and the desire to have a real impact on their lives, then volunteering in the Global Mountain Fund might be ideal for you.
Yojana Shahi
Chiropractic Intern at the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic, CT, USA

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I took a semester off before starting college. I have a deep passion for South Asia, and had spent a bit of time in India but had never been to Nepal before. I heard about The Mountain Fund from a friend who spent part of his gap year at Her Farm, and gave it glowing reviews. I decided that it sounded like a very solid organization, and Nepal sounded cool, so I went ahead and signed up for two months.

I had no idea what an incredible experience I was in for! I was so impressed by the staff (or, as they prefer to be called, "the sisters,") at Her Farm. They are all absolutely wonderful, and really go above and beyond to meet the needs of both volunteers and members of the local community. They were all exceedingly lovely, warm and welcoming right from the start.

I stayed at the Mountain Fund guesthouse in Kathmandu for my first couple of nights. Having a "home base" in the city was very convenient. It's like a little oasis in the midst of the chaos, and it's very easy to hop into a taxi or bus and go anywhere you want. Volunteers are free to come and go as they please, and the sisters provide a delicious breakfast and dinner each day.

On my third day in Nepal I left for the farm. As anyone who has been lucky enough to spend time there will tell you, the farm is an amazing place. It's only about an hour from Kathmandu, but it feels like a different world. The village is definitely an authentic representation of what most of rural Nepal is like, although the farm itself is equipped to support volunteers (there is wifi most of the time, and a couple of western toilets). Volunteers typically share simple but very clean and comfortable rooms. The sisters cook every meal, and the food is absolutely delicious. Most of it is locally produced and organic, and a lot of it comes from our own farm! They take extra care to wash and cook things properly, and I never had any stomach problems in the entire two months that I was in Nepal. Basically, while the farm is definitely not a fancy place, you well be exceptionally well taken care of.

The farm actually serves a number of functions. It is an organic farm, a women's shelter (only two women are using it as a shelter at the moment, but I believe that they are looking to expand their outreach), a school, an area for villagers to just come hang out, and (most recently) a clinic, with an emphasis on women's health. I worked as a teacher at the school on the farm, which is really more like a tutoring center. Most of the students do attend the local village school to fulfill their official education requirements, but they come to the farm for a few hours each day. I feel that the farm definitely plays a crucial role in their education, however, as it is their only chance to learn English and critical thinking skills, amongst other things. It’s also a great opportunity for them to have access to computers. During my time there, we had about 40-45 students showing up each day, ranging in age from two to thirteen or so. It was definitely overwhelming at first, but there are lots of resources in the classroom for both students and teachers. Previous teachers (myself included) have left behind some notes to help future teachers. I'm also more than willing to answer questions and give advice to anyone who is considering teaching at Her Farm. Just ask Mountain Fund to put you in touch with me. I didn't really have much teaching experience before I got there, and it was certainly a challenge at times, but it ended up being immensely fun and rewarding! The students are adorable. They are so earnest and eager to learn, and they pick things up quickly.

Nepal itself is an incredible country. One of the things I love about The Mountain Fund is how flexible they are in allowing volunteers to take time off to explore. They are very helpful if you should decide to take a few days off. They will even set up hotels, tours, or treks for you if you want! I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to explore a fascinating part of the world. There are definitely certain areas that are pretty full of tourists (the trekking industry and tourism in general has taken its toll on parts of Nepal, ever since it opened its borders in 1951). However, it’s not hard to get off the beaten path if you want to, and the sisters can definitely help you do that. I’m eighteen years old and this was my first time traveling on my own, so I was a little bit nervous at first, but I found that it’s very easy to get around in Nepal with minimal hassle. Although I obviously had to use common sense when travelling on my own, I never felt unsafe. I also got to travel with other volunteers on a couple of occasions, which was very fun! The Mountain Fund tends to attract really interesting, kind, and adventurous individuals. I met some wonderful people.

In short, Her Farm is an incredible project, in a wonderful and very close-knit community. The Her Farm family could not be more welcoming. Mountain Fund is a great organization overall, especially if you’re young and travelling by yourself. They are very flexible, and give volunteers as much or as little independence as you want/need.

So go spend some time at Her Farm. It will change your life!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Arriving in Nepal from New Zealand at the end of November 2014 for 6 weeks I didn't really know what was in store. Having read reviews on Mountain Fund, and emailing Scott a fair bit I came up with a rough trip outline and set off. Now nearing the end of my trip I can honestly say my experience with Mountain Fund and Nepal has exceeded my expectations. I was met at the airport by the lovely Sante, arriving at the Kathmandu house where I meet Scott and Sunita along with a few of the Nepali sisters at Mountain Fund. From the first introductions the passion of everyone involved with the organisation was evident, expressing their passion and commitment to the visions of the fund in their own way. Some like Sunita gets stuck into daily happenings with energy and charisma, while others go quietly about their day engaging volunteers in running the farm, teaching at the school or showing volunteers the ins and outs of the local health clinic. I liked the variety of approaches and personalities amongst those running the fund as I meant the volunteers who stay at both the HerFarm and Kathmandu house also have a variety of personalities and experiences so there is something for everyone. The day to day experiences of Nepali life which the fund offers are varied from communicating with Nepali sisters learning about the culture along with the challenges women and children face, helping at the health clinic or getting stuck in to farm life carrying rice, gardening and cooking. What I also loved about the farm was the love and kindness which extends from the Nepali sisters to the volunteers. Not once did I feel alone or uncared for in a country so different from my own, with a common theme emerging from the farm of connectedness with one another which has made for an incredible experience. A wee bit of advice to future volunteers going to the HerFarm is take a pair of flip flops these come in handy, old clothes to work in for farm or maintanence work (painting, building ect) and a head torch for when the power goes out which it does often with the government load shedding. Also be prepared for a bit of culture shock, things at first can be overwhelming but everyone makes you feel as welcome as possible. Don't be shy to communicate with Scott, Sunita or the Nepali sisters at the Kathmandu house or HerFarm they incredibly hospitable and want you to enjoy Nepal as much as possible so ask questions, and get involved. It's totally worth it.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is a wonderful group of people who are truly passionate about the work they do. In the summer of 2011 I volunteered in Nepal with The Mountain Fund at a school for street and slum kids. It was an eye-opening experience because The Mountain Fund family shared the truths about Nepal that most tourists fail to see. And tried explain us, the volunteers, what the real problems familys there face everyday and how The Mountain Fund is trying to conquer those battles. They are the strength for those family's that are too afraid to fight. They give a voice to the children that can't speak out.
The Mountain Fund family welcomed me and many volunteers into their home and showed us Nepalise culture and shared with us their values of love and family. They're beautiful people with a fantastic message and I and so greatful to have met them.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

In November i made my first overseas trip to Nepal where myself and other students from Deakin University Australia volunteered at Her Farm for 3 weeks. By the end it felt as if we had gained a second family. I will not soon forget the great friends i made as we spent time on the farm building a cow shed, harvesting rice etc. An amazing experience that has changed my life, ideas and outlook for the furture.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My oldest son went to Nepal with the Mountain Fund in 2011 to serve as a medical trekker and to help with Her Farm. I can not say enough great things about this organization! - From the incredible, legitimate work they do to the way my son was well taken care of. At first I was worried, as all mothers would be, for one of their children to take such a far journey away from home. I soon realized that he was in safe hands. The experiences had and the memories he made during his 5 month stay has changed him for the better in unimaginable ways. My son left a boy, but came home a respectable and appreciative man. Thank you, Scott MacLennan!

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I volunteered with the Mountain Fund as a premedical volunteer for about 2 months. It was a great time, I learned lots about medicine, and I was quite satisfied with my experience. Working in the hospital as a premed, you probably won't get much practical experience (besides occasionally taking someone's blood pressure), but you can learn a lot from the doctors there if you're enthusiastic and ask questions. Being able to scrub in for surgeries was a huge bonus. As far as actually doing things that are helpful for the community, going up to the farm and teaching local kids english and working on projects up there was really satisfying and a great option to enjoy an authentic, beautiful rural Nepal setting. The Mountain Fund staff (the sisters) were really friendly, the food was delicious, and the accommodations were clean. If you're alright with the occasional cold shower and you're looking for a volunteer program abroad I definitely recommend this one!

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a 20 year old trainee teacher from worcester and I went for a month to teach. It was one of the most amazing experiences I can ever encounter. Words and pictures cannot describe how amazing it was. The family and mountain fund are extremely helpful and very caring. You become part of the family and felt safe and happy throughout my time there.
Personally, my favourite experience was 'Her Farm'. It was such so inspiring to work with the sisters there, preparing meals, farming and teaching. The children are brilliant. They are so willing to work and learn. The language barrier is hard but patience and persistence from both you and the children thrive with success.
Going there was very scary. I was very cautious and nervous as well as excited, but you get lots of reassurance and guidance.
I would highly recommend using the Mountain Fund, it's an experience I will always cherish. When people ask me how it was the only words I use is amazing. I miss the people I have met and the places I have visited. I will be returning to them in future years because a part of my heart now belongs there :) a must do experience!

Was this review helpful?