I spent a little over three weeks at Her Farm and it was the most transformational experience of my life. I flew to Nepal with a friend and I knew very little about the family or culture. I had no idea what to expect, but it exceeded all possible expectations I could have had. The experience is what you put into it, as the beautiful people want to learn and teach as much as you are interested. I learned so much each day, and my eyes opened up to a whole new way of life. It made me think about my life in the states in a more purposeful way. You are guaranteed to learn a lot about yourself and the world if you go to Her Farm. I always felt safe and knew that I would be looked out for, even though I was an 18-year-old who was as far away from home as possible. For me, though there was a lot of hard work, it was the most rewarding work possible. My time at Her Farm flew by and I am flooded with joy when I look at old photos and videos. I truly never knew how kind and welcoming a community of people could be. I have never felt so accepted within a community who barely knew me, and it was incredible. I would love to answer questions about my experience or talk to anyone who is considering making the trip to the amazing Her Farm! My email is Sophiekreed@gmail.com. I can't express how much Her Farm and Nepal will always be held deeply within my heart!
Spent 2 weeks on her farm and it was a great experience that I highly recommend. The women on Her Farm are very welcoming and considering. Scott was very well organised and helpful when it came to undertaking the program. Overall I encourage people to do this program as it's a life changing experience.
My daughter was asked by a friend to join her on a trip to Nepal to volunteer at Her Farm in July 2019. Scott Maclennan, the director, was very responsive to our inquiries and made sure that the girls arrived and departed safely. The girls were welcomed into the Her Farm community and became fully immersed in the culture and rhythm of small farm life in Nepal. I get the feeling that you get back exactly what you put into Her Farm. My daughter and her friend embraced the opportunity to become part of the day to day function of Her Farm and they were rewarded with an immersive experience which jolted them out of their comfort zone and forever altered the way they think about how life is lived around the world.
My daughter and friend, both 18 years old, had an amazing life changing experience at Herfarm this past summer. I cannot express enough gratitude to Scott and everybody at Herfarm for giving these kids an experience of a lifetime. They are forever changed for the better and I hope that they can return one day.
My time at Her Farm, operated by the Global Mountain Fund, was pivotal to not only my professional field but also personal passions as well. I spent around 4 weeks at Her Farm in August 2018 under a program spearheaded by my university with around 10 other students. Her Farm was receptive, responsive and efficient in ensuring that our adjustment from the United States to Nepal was extremely smooth; so much in that they ensured that our large bags would be transported to the site on the foothills of the Himalayas and briefed us on what to expect in terms of physical exertion. I immediately adapted to my surroundings relatively quick due to the beautiful scenery, Western-style accommodations and incredible meals. I felt welcomed, secured and prioritized. As this was many of our first times traveling abroad for a long time period, it was the powerful sense of community that comforted us through homesickness.
My time volunteering at Her Farm was enlightening. We were fully immersed in a community that prioritized common humanity without hierarchy. I appreciated the fact that we worked alongside the women and their daily tasks, rather than helped as an outsider which eased my concerns of volunteering with a "savior complex". The tasks ranged from cooking, farming, and community development projects--but most importantly, we were always learning. Learning different and innovative ways of living that was environmentally sustainable and less materialistic. Everyday, time was set aside so that we could learn about Nepalese culture whether that was language, holistic medicine or common past times. I was exposed to herbal medicine and acupuncture which supplemented my passions for sustainable medicine. I learned to be a stronger and more self-sufficient individual by being surrounded by inspiring and independent women every day. As Sunita, our mother away from home, commonly put "Woman power, 24 hour!" I felt empowered everyday at Her Farm and felt apart of something larger than myself. The work at Her Farm is integral to tackling the patriarchy and I am privileged to have witnessed this grassroots organization flourish first-hand.
My biggest takeaway from this unforgettable journey was to expect nothing, but receive an abundance. I had no idea what to expect, and ultimately I left with lifelong friends, a new perspective on life and a home in Nepal I will continually return to. Everyday we were showered with wisdom, stories and evening circle talks with tea; there is not a day that goes by in which I am not guided by some of the lessons I took away from Her Farm. Every night, there were dance parties to Nepali music and talent shows featuring the most skilled dancing techniques around. I highly recommend Her Farm to anyone willing to fully immerse in a unique, beautiful and rich culture! Plus the view is pretty unbeatable.
Her Farm was an amazing learning opportunity for our college group. The Mountain Fund has created a commendable project supporting an amazing group of women that are making self-sustaining impacts everyday. Our group had the opportunity to interview and work with all the residents, and it is through these interactions that we saw the amazing impacts of The Mountain Fund’s involvement in the region. The people, the place, and the project are all truly magical.
Mountain Fund has been always my first and the foremost charity of choice in Nepal. These guys are truly hands down charity who actually do 110% charitable work vs NGO and INGOs in Nepal. I am super confident always when donating and know exactly where the money goes.
I had pleasure making a trip to Nepal last year and stayed in the ' Her Farm' where I had the first-hand experience of where all the donated money is going to build the society and empower women to become self-sustaining. I love the idea Scott and Sunita have created this ecosystem in the Mountains of Nepal and love to support more. Already started talking about training these women in Nepal on coding and technology training. Fortunate to be part of Mountain Fund family as a donor.
Mountain Fund Nepal has done terrific job in various aspect of Nepal. From Poverty alleviation aspect to Education. From creating a sustainable home for abused and neglected women in Nepal to teaching each women to drive professionally and earn a good living. Project that are running in Nepal lead by Scott are phenomenal and understandable. I really appreciate what Scott and his team is doing out there in third world country.
Resilient, Compassionate, and Visionary - are words I would use to describe the women who own and operate this unique community called “Her Farm”. Located in the beautiful mountains of the Kathmandu Valley, Her Farm serves as a model for how women can live rural AND modern lives - by empowering women with land to grow food and raise children while also providing the women with modern media equipment to develop skills in technology, photography/videography, journalism, and radio. As a photographer working first hand in their studio, I felt limitless - my only regret was not spending enough time to try every lens/camera!
In the past year, the women at Her Farm have established a professional reputation documenting events such as weddings, short films, and ceremonies through photography and videography. In Nepal, seeing women behind a camera and paying them for their work is very unconventional, making Her Farm a powerful model that rejects traditional gender roles. One has also started an interview series on older women farmers and how diminishing resources and lack of support from their children (who have fled to the city) have affected their farms. Developing these technical skills is vital but more importantly builds confidence and allows women’s voices to be heard.
It was an absolute pleasure and privilege working alongside these spectacular women in the photo studio, on the farm, and hearing their stories & possibilities of the future thanks to Her Farm.
Thank you so much.
I spent two months living and working with the people at Her Farm during the spring and summer of 2015 when Nepal was devastated by an earthquake. The Mountain Fund's response to this disaster was beyond amazing, working to distribute resources where they were most needed and identifying the true needs of the community. Everyone at Her Farm is so kind and welcoming, and I will always consider them to be an extension of my family. The work that has been done by the Mountain Fund to provide a voice and economic opportunity for women who might not otherwise have these opportunities has been truly impactful and sets an example for the entire community to continue to promote positive change and empowerment for all individuals.
I met Scott shortly after he set up the Mountain Fund and have always been very impressed by the work he has done, not only at Her Farm but in many other areas before. He has always been an inspiration and introduced me to many very helpful people. Running a small charity that supports education and health in Nepal, I am always very keen to pass on information about The Global Mountain Fund to anyone who wants to help Nepal. I was very pleased when I found out that one of the volunteers who has worked for RAN went on later to spend time at Her Farm.
three weeks volunteering on a remote farm (Her Farm) found in the district of Dhading, Nepal. My volunteering experience was invaluable. It has highlighted and helped me gain new perspectives on life. I come back home harnessed with many new lessons and with a renewed sense of vigour for the new year ahead. This trip helped me establish a lifelong connection with the local people of Her Farm. I would recommend anyone to take part in such an immersive and an eye-opening program at least once in their lifetime. - Yash K
Great organization! It was such a peaceful and beautiful. I spent New Years at the farm and felt so welcomed by everyone.
I spent 3 weeks volunteering at Her Farm through my University. I had the most amazing time at Her Farm, learning of the residents, contributing to farm life and taking in the amazing scenery. Prior to going to the farm I was expecting to undertake heavy manual labour. Upon arrival I soon learnt that the value we bring to the farm as foreigners is not always in our physical contribution but also our ways of life and stories. An amazing experience I will never forget, hoping to return at some point in time.
In the final weeks of 2018 I was lucky enough to spend 14 days at Her Farm in Nepal. The experience was unlike anything that I had prepared myself for. The focus on providing beneficial skill development and education for those living at Her Farm proved to be a unique and wonderful challenge for me during my stay. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I had in visiting Her Farm and would recommend for anyone seeking an authentic volunteering experience.
I was a student that traveled to Nepal for the first time, studying abroad! A group of my classmates and I worked alongside Scott and the women of Her Farm to be able to create an Emergency Shelter Guide for the farm's use, following the series of earthquakes that occurred in 2015. Being able to work with the women of the farm, Scott and even the local villagers was great. Immediately arriving on the farm, I fell in love with it. The women are hard workers and made us all feel comfortable. It was cool to experience their culture and learn about the amazing projects that the Mountain Fund is providing for these women, like having their own broadcasting radio station! I wish we could have stayed longer but, the sisters will be greatly missed. If I am able to come back to Her Farm later in my life I definitely will!
The Global Mountain Fund is doing great work on the local level for communities in need. As opposed to many of the large NGOs, the work they do is focused on the real needs of the local community. Whether providing a home for abused women, rebuilding homes from earthquake damage, or building a road so that the locals have access to city markets and infrastructure, the Global Mountain Fund is doing work that matters.
Her farm is a community of strong, authentic and brilliant women, whom I will look up to for the rest of my life.
As a volunteer I got to help farm, help look after the children, teach at a nearby school and gain practical film and photography skills. However, most importantly as a volunteer, I went on a journey. I learnt how to love myself and the people around me, I learnt how to find happiness in simplicity and learnt what it was like to truly value and respect communities.
During my 8 weeks at Her Farm, every day was different and bought a new set of challenges and laughter. Everybody made me feel at ease from the very first day - I soon felt like a memeber of the big family and no longer a guest.
Thank you to everyone at Her Farm and to Scott and Sunita, because my experience was real and raw and something I would recommend to anybody wanting to grow, learn and love.
I spent 5 weeks at Her Farm in April/May and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Not your typical volunteering programme - this is an opportunity to become part of a community and a family, live a truly authentic Nepali lifestyle and make a difference to their lives. Go with an open mind: this volunteering programme is broad. It is as much as you make of it, and be prepared to learn as much from these incredibly strong, powerful women, as you will be able to teach them. Very grateful to have been able to live in this beautiful place, have met these amazing women and be able to call them my sisters.
You were an inspiring addition to our home
If you are looking for one place to support, a way to make a difference, a way to understand the world outside your own, please visit Her Farm. Scott and Sunita are the change they want to see in Nepal. Help support their cause while at the same time gaining a once in a lifetime experience. Travel to a village in the mountains and spend a week or two with the beautiful women and children at Her Farm. Learn how they farm the land, milk a buffalo, make chai and momos, dance and sing in the court yard at night, spend time with the children and help them learn English so they can pass their exams and some day go to college. Be present.
Firstly I would love to thank Sunita didi and Scott for giving me such an golden opportunity to explore their beautiful village. Sunita didi
she is such an inspiration and most importantly wonderfulsoul. Talking to her made me realize how beautiful life is ? I was so amazed with all the incredible and wonderful work she has done for Nepal. Everyone here is very warm welcoming ,friendly and kindhearted .
Lastly I urge to everyone whoever wants to donate and volunteer in Nepal " Her farm Nepal" is the best place .
Her Farm is like no other in the world! I have done extensive volunteering throughout the world and this was definitely one of the best. They are making real change for the community and village. Change that I think will be long-lasting. The girls do their best to make you feel like family. I will definitely be going back. Thank you to all the girls and Scott and Sunita for this wonderful experience.
Volunteering at Her Farm in rural Nepal was nothing short of amazing. This place is really making a difference, providing a healthy, encouraging environment for woman to live and thrive. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to work and live alongside these strong, inspiring woman that were so warm and welcoming. I learned so much in the short time I was there. So many laughs and heart warming moments- I loved every minute of it. Highly recommend volunteering at Her Farm. It is a truly life changing experience. I hope to return!
I've recently returned from a 2 week stay at Her Farm and absolutely couldn't fault it. I study International Development, and from a development point of view it was SO refreshing to see an organisation which main purpose is to benefit the lives of the women in the community, as apposed to meeting goals and targets. The organisation is beneficiary-led, meaning that it couldn't be more grassroots and bottom-up. I was fortunate enough to conduct post-graduate research whilst at Her Farm, and the success of the organisation was reflected in the unanimous happiness and contentment of all the women I interviewed. Was so uplifting to be witness to such an incredible movement and I couldn't recommend it more! To Sunita, Scott and the girls: keep up the good work!
This is a thank you letter I sent to those at Her Farm after my internship experience, that account for my feelings of their nonprofit and what they do.
Dear Scott MacLennan,
I am writing to thank you for the time you took to supervise me. You helped develop my interest volunteering into a passion by sharing your knowledge of the need for the services provided by Her Farm. This knowledge helped me understand the importance and impact of volunteering in your community. I have applied the feedback I received to increase my trust in my ability as a volunteer and as a professional. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity I was given to assist Deepa to improve her English. I learned many things working with her, both about myself and the Nepali culture, with regards to similarities and differences between us.
My internship at Her Farm has improved my cross-cultural understanding and developed my repertoire of interpersonal skills and strengths to apply in the diverse and challenging professional environment I aim to work in as a health professional. Working at Her Farm developed my understanding of the challenges involved with providing assistance in a cross-cultural environment such as ensuring to address the needs of those you are aiming to assist and not imposing one’s own will. Furthermore, I gained understanding of the psychological and health factors relating to those from diverse backgrounds, whom I aim to work with in my career, and the complexity of addressing such issues with respect to individual cultures, values and beliefs.
In summary, I wish to express my appreciation for your time and efforts as my supervisor. I wish you all the best for your future endeavours.
Amazingly generous people, we felt like a part of the family. Shanti is an angel ❤️
Thanks to Scott and everyone for the incredible experience, the time spent at the hospital was great.
I spent two wonderful weeks here as soon as I arrived in Nepal for the first time. I felt immediately welcomed by the women and especially the beautiful and enigmatic children. I really felt a part of community efforts and was able to help gather bamboo trunks for Dashain celebrations. Helping in the school room in the mornings before school is a great opportunity to engage with the children and to witness their insatiable desire to learn and work hard.
I would thoroughly recommend the experience to anyone and rest assured you will be well looked after and leave with a plethora of fond memories.
We visited back in May and had an absolute amazing time. Though we did not get to meet Scott and Sunita because they were in the US, the girls at the farm and in Kathmandu took excellent care of us. Scott was also super helpful at answering our many questions before our trip and dealing patiently with us.
This is a great NGO to visit with a great mission. One of my best memories is the sunset hike which is a must do. Other than that the food is amazing and all locally grown. Try to make Momo's if you can.
The accommodations were super well kept and clean at the farm and in Kathmandu. My only comment is that it would be really nice to put some furniture up on the roof for a little stargazing place, but taking the mats and blankets in your room work just fine!
As a group of 4 young girls we felt very safe the entire time and well taken care of.
This NGO by far exceeded my expectations and it was a pleasure to experience Nepal with them.
We'll work on some seating for the roof ! Thanks for coming and thanks much for the kind words
By far the most uplifting and amazing experience of my life. Met some incredible and inspiring women and children during my time at Her Farm. Will definitely be going back again to visit this amazing community
I spent two weeks at HerFarm and it was a wonderful experience!
The women are incredibly kind, warm and strong --- and so fun to be with! The term sister is used - but it becomes more than a term .... you become sisters quickly!
The kids will melt your heart and it will be so hard to say goodbye. There are about 17 of them and each one is so special. Working with them in the mornings at school is great, but working side by side with them in field is wonderful! The work is varied - helping in the school, working in the fields, doing light construction were all activities I was able to help with. If there is something you are interested in doing, Shusila is open and will try and arrange for it to happen.
I have volunteered in a lot of countries and with many NGO's but what stands out about this company is that it is local, the founders are invested and a part of the work and the farm is changing lives everyday! Scott is really great about communicating and all the information that comes before you travel is detailed and helpful!
I cannot say enough good things about The Mountain Fund! I cannot wait to go back!
Kari Robins July 2017
My experience at her farm was very inspiring. I arrived after a trek up the mountains where I got my first heart-warming experience of the area. A local woman insisted on helping me carry my backpack in her basket on her head when I was going to help my friend Elle to carry her bag, the woman insisted on carrying her bag too. She was now dancing up the mountains with about 50kg on her head! This loving act was just an introduction to the rest of my stay. When finally arrived at the farm we were greeted by women and children who open their home and hearts to us. We were instantly there sisters. I had already been asked to use my skills in art and design to create a mural on one of the walls. With the support of my new sisters and the other volunteers, we manage to finish the task. It took us on a few adventures such as getting paint from the local village and getting a lift up the mountain in the local delivery truck.
Unfortunately, I got sick after a while, but the overwhelming care I got from my sisters made me feel like I couldn't pick a better place to be sick.
I give Her Farm 5 stars since it's a unique experience that was carried with so much love and inspiration! Yes, women and girls can do anything such as building houses, running farms and raising children. Thanks for giving me this experience!
Beautiful children, beautiful women one of the most life changing experiences one can have.
Last year I was working in a documentary film in Nepal and I was so fortunate to meet Sunita dd, Scott and the wonderful women in Her Farm.
As well as providing a home for girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, empowering these women to be independent, Her farm also has an incredible video & radio studio called Herfarmfilms, where they are inspired to learn filmmaking and radio hosting, to educate and share women's stories all over Nepal.
I learnt so much, met inspiring women, and I can't wait to visit them when I'm next in Nepal. I would highly recommend the voluntary experience and for people to support Scott and Sunita dd's wonderful organisation.
The Her Farm project is especially meaningful and will always hold a sacred place in my heart- I am changed for the better in my knowledge and understanding after visiting the farm project, engaging with the locals, the amazing sisters who run the farm and of course Scott and Sunita. I am so so so so grateful to have had the chance to go there and I very much look forward to the day I return - I hope as many people as possible get the chance to learn about this place and the amazing, important work that they are doing to educate and support others.
I have just returned from 3 weeks at Her Farm, Mankhu.
For the first two weeks,I was in a constant state of awe....for the project and directors,for the women, the children, and the physical beauty.
Scott and Sunita made sure to support every step of the volunteering experience, from arrival at the airport in Kathmandu, and arrival at their guest house in town, to transportation via taxi , bus , and car to Her Farm. The women and children of her farm were friendly, loving, and supportive throughout. I found that I could volunteer in many ways. Physically, I was limited by some neck issues , but there are daily projects occurring with which one could keep very busy!... farming, painting, building, digging,etc. I assisted with homework assignments every morning, and child care in afternoons.I helped in kitchen prep, and even made momos.
I found that by spending my free time with the women while they worked, I was able to share experiences and stories.
Scott happily shared his wealth of information about Nepal, politically and socially, and Sunita shared her vision for the farm and it's potential impact on future generations of nepalis.They are incredibly loving, caring, and devoted to the project, and all the members of the community.
I would highly recommend Her Farm to any potential volunteer.you will learn so much more than you could ever imagine.The people are independent and capable, and don't require outside assistance, but happily try to improve their English and learn about the world beyond nepal.
I've spend 7 weeks at her farm in Nepal this year and it was an invaluable experience. Everyone is very kind and they let you decide what you want to do with your time. I was helping with various little things like farming, teaching or painting. What was more important however were the interactions with the women and children of the farm and seeing how they live together. I made some really good friends and will definitely be back soon.
In October of 2016, my partner and I were in a taxi heading through Nepal’s capital city. In search of a connection to a larger, global community, and a little adventure, we had booked a stay at Her Farm to see what we could give to this small community in Nepal after hearing about the devastating earthquake in 2015.
Nepal has many faces and the bustling city of Kathmandu is only one of them. We quickly moved on to Manku, a small village in the hills in between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Here we found clean air, stunning green mountain views, and the sisters of Her Farm.
Her Farm is a truly a unique place in Nepal, providing a safe place for women to live, farm, and gain access to health care, education, and economic development. It is the women who own the land and make the rules at Her Farm, not the men who do so in the rest of the country.
Our days were spent working on a variety of projects, such as repairing a simple greenhouse, carrying grass up the terraced fields to feed the livestock, or re-mudding the earthbag house on the property.
We spent downtime getting to know the women and children in the community, something we were assured was significantly more important than any physical labour we had contributed. We read books in English, shared photographs of our home in Squamish BC, Canada, played card games, chased each other around the property, and attended the most unforgettable dance parties nearly every evening.
Nepal lost many things during the earthquake. On a small farm in Manku, however, life still flourishes. Children are being educated, drinking water is being provided, health care is being accessed, and ancient traditions which serve to reduce the role of women to near slaves are being challenged.
Her Farm grows hope and empowerment alongside the rice and guavas in the fields. The earthquake only proved that the resilient spirit and the Nepali people can’t be shattered. It's been over four months since I've returned from Nepal but I still think of the sisters of Her Farm nearly every day. We gave them our time and it was returned with kindness, laughter, an authentic cultural experience, an education in women empowerment, and memories to last a lifetime. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend a stay at Her farm.
I spent 10 days at Her Farm in Nepal with my University and it has changed my life. The people you meet along with the tasks your preform daily are so eye-opening and awe-inspiring. Saunter and Scott are amazing hosts who make you feel like your at home at all times. The stories you hear about the journeys of the women that have found their way to Her Farm are amazing. Some of these women have been through harrowing tales but they all have such a positive outlook on life now and that is mainly because of the safe haven Scott and Sunita have created. It was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!
I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks in Nepal and had a blast! Scott and Sunita were the best hosts and made sure that we had everything we needed to be comfortable while in country. They set up all of our excursions and ensured that we were able to experience the beautiful Nepalese culture. Likewise, they took us to Her Farm where we were able to meet the amazing women that Scott and Sunita have aided in overcoming very difficult situations. My group and I were only at the farm for a few days, but in that short amount of time the sisters and children and the farm became a second family. It was a truly amazing experience, and I am so grateful to all Scott and Sunita did for us. They are gracious hosts and very caring people. Will definitely reach out to them and the Global Mountain Fund again when I return to Nepal!
The Global Mountain Fund is one of the best non-profits I have worked with to set up a faculty-led study abroad experience for a university group. 13 of us traveled to Nepal for 2 weeks recently with Scott and Sunita as our hosts and we could not have been better taken care of. From the visits to the medical clinics in Kathmandu to the Chitwan and Pokhara adventures, the Mountain Fund was there to assure great lodging and true Nepali experiences. In addition, the time we spent up in Manku village at the Farm was the highlight of the trip and we will be extending our time there next time we visit.
I went to Nepal with a group for a healthcare study abroad trip. Scott planned everything out for us. He met us at the airport and he and Sunita graciously accepted us into their home. Staying with them for a couple nights in Kathmandu was a great transition into the country. We became acclimated to the culture and got to meet Namuna. They took us up to Her Farm where we stayed another 2 nights. The sisters and children were all very excited to have us and made us feel right at home. Shanti took us on an early morning hike up the mountain to watch the sunrise. The sisters showed us how to make Mo-Mos and we had a dance party to celebrate the New Year (we were visiting over New Year). Since we were healthcare students, we were able to see villagers at the health clinic on the farm. It was very inspiring and uplifting to hear some of the sisters' stories. There is an overwhelming armosphere of acceptance and love at Her Farm. They were all complete strangers to me and my group but became more like family during our stay. Sunita is filled with more compassion and enthusiasm than anyone I've ever met. I could sit and listen to her talk for hours and never get tired of it. It's very evident that Scott and Sunita put their whole lives into the Mountain Fund and Her Farm. This is a wonderful organization that is making a positive difference in many lives. We loved Scott and Sunita so much that when we returned to Kathmandu after traveling to Chitwan and Pokhara, we had to meet up with them for pizza before heading back to the US.
Our stay at Her Farm in Nepal gave us the opportunity to taste what rural life in Nepal is! It is impressing to see the renewed confidence and strength the women living at Her Farm get. Everyone has the community feeling which gives them a safe environment to live. The way they take care of each other is amazing and everybody is equal. And with the additional school support and the little health care clinic, the positive influence is not only for the Her Farm people, but also for the surrounding villages. We only stayed two weeks at Her Farm, but is was an unforgettable experience.
One of the most rewarding experiences i have had! To completely immerse myself in a community of people who love and share and give so others can enjoy a more rewarding life.. there is nothing else like it!
I spent 5 weeks living at Her Farm, working along side the amazing women here. I taught English in the school in the mornings and worked with the women during the day farming, preparing food and painting classrooms.
I learn't so much from this experience, as it gave me so much perspective on life and the things we take for granted.
I hope to return one day, as this is an organisation led and run by amazing people, and it seems to be growing and expanding in order to help and reach more people.
Many thanks to Mountain Fund for proving me with such a great opportunity to shadow doctors in Kathmandu's local hospital during a two-week Pre-med program. Doctors are willing to share their experience and explain students medical background of cases of numerous patients. You are allowed to attend various wards in the hospital and ask doctors about their profession. A simple motto applies there: The more you ask and the greater interest you demonstrate, the more you can learn. It is a great way to become aware of a health care system in a developing country and issues that Nepalese doctors face every day. Moreover, you get a chance to meet new people - both Nepalese and volunteers from other countries, which will make your horizons broader as well. I can only recommend joining Mountain Fund as a volunteer - I believe you will not regret it.
It's been three weeks now since I left the Her Farm in Nepal and every day since I have thought about those people kindly and my experience there fondly. These are truly humans chasing the good in life and finding happiness in helping others. There was not one day I spent in my two weeks at the Her Farm where I 1) wanted to leave or 2) felt unloved by these once strangers. I came there to help where I could but it paled in comparison to what these wonderful people did everyday for me. What a great organization and a hard working non-profit that truly makes the most of everything they have and everythings they're given. 10/10 would recommend again.
From the moment I got off the plane, the Nepali people made me feel as comfortable as possible. The sisters are very hospitable and make sure you always have enough to eat. They always try to plan a tour around their wonderful city and make sure you leave satisfied. Overall, my experience to Kathmandu through the Mountain Fund could not have been anymore thrilling.
It is because of the impeccable people working with The Global Mountain Fund that I had a remarkable experience in Nepal. Clearly an sane human being would be nervous packing their bag and heading halfway around the world to immerse themselves in an unknown culture, surrounding themselves with strangers, but once I got to nepal, these women made me feel like I had known them my whole lives. Each and every person at her farm and helping hands community hospital made me feel right at home, which made the experience that much more enjoyable. The program definitely returns as much as you give, meaning, the more you give, the more you get. It may not be returned in extravagant experiences, but you can learn more from these incredible women in one day than you can imagine. This experience has proven invaluable to me, not only for the impeccable medical experiences I gained, but for the memories I made with fabulous people from around the world and the knowledge I gained from the souls of truly wonderful people. Also exploring in Nepal wasn't half bad. Trekking was spectacular -- I went to EBC, but the annapurna circuit was wild apparently. Pokhara was beautiful and I did a 12 day meditation retreat that changed my life in more ways than I can explain.
Her Farm and the women that run it, truly have taught me more than I could learn in any classroom. Not only about myself but about the ebb and flow of life, and for that I am eternally grateful.
It was a real delight to get to know you and host you in Nepal. Hope to see you back again some day.
I honestly can't say enough good things about my experience with Her Farm. Going halfway around the world to stay with people who were basically strangers was nerve-wracking to say the least, but from the second I stepped foot on the grounds I felt like I was at home. The staff here are truly TRULY amazing, hardworking, and selfless people doing absolutely fantastic work for their community. The children and adults who live here are incredibly kind and accepting, and even on the days where I worked the hardest at the Farm I was so elated to be there with such caring people who could make even the most mundane task fun. Being here was a truly eye-opening and wonderful experience.
Being at the farm was a very unique experience. The people were very welcoming and hospitable at all times. It was a great place to stay and volunteer at.
It was my great opportunity to achieve best experiences and skills during my working period in The mountain fund as a staff.
Well I feel proud to be little part of the mountain fund because the mountain fund has been really big helping hand for all difficult lives in mountain.
I came to know Her Farm and The Mountain Fund during difficult times of restoring Nepal after the earthquake. Sunita and Scott were organizing an earthbag building workshop for volunteers willing to rebuild villages using natural earth-conscious and earthquake-resistant technologies. Workshop that I participated in took place at their farm in Dhading, and I got to know these wonderful people at that time and kept in touch with them ever since. Sunita, who overcame her own humble conditions and became an advocate for women liberation, education and happiness in overly traditional, rigid areas of Nepal where tradition is still more important than human happiness, is helping poor women to become independent and raise their children in the environment of equal opportunities. Scott, who has been helping villagers and mountain communities for years, has been introducing advanced agricultural and building technologies into the underdeveloped and poor communities, as well as teaching local kids English, computer skills and cinematography.
The farm is vibrant, functional, self-sufficient, and full of joy and laughter. They are also doing a rare job of successful rehabilitation of mentally ill women who had no other place to go - a task that nobody else in Nepal is ready to undertake. As a project manager and a non-profit worker with experience in different non-profit fields, I know how difficult it is to have a successful project of this scale in a country like Nepal - to tell you the truth, it is close to impossible! That is why I salute my friends and wish them all the best in all of their endeavors. They are doing something truly amazing.
I had an amazing time with everyone at the farm. We came as a big group and they were more than ready to deal with us. They had the projects ready and participated alongside us during every endeavor. You wont find another real life experience like this. They fed us well, took care of our stomachs and made sure we were fully rested throughout our time there. Would definitely recommend going to the farm for anyone who wants to get a better insight on the world!
Thank you Jessica and the Aggie Mountain Volunteer group from Texas A&M. Come back soon
Working with the Mountain Fund was an unforgettable experience. The people alone made the trip worth the while. Being at the Kathmandu house and Her Farm, it is hard to see the people who work there as an organization because they come off far more strongly as a family. Volunteering with them, I was able to become part of that family. The sisters are some of the most genuinely thoughtful and caring people I have met and it was always a pleasure to be around them. They took great care of me and accommodated me in every way possible.
The organization sets itself apart in a few ways. First, everyone who works there cares deeply for Nepal. I witnessed the love and concern for the country from everyone I spoke to. Second, the mission is gravely needed. The issues Mountain Fund address are serious and I'm glad people are making efforts to fix them. Admittedly, the organization is too small at the moment to attempt to change practices on a national level, but each person they help makes the effort worthwhile.
Being at Her Farm was a much needed change in perspective. It's hard to fathom what people in other countries go through and live like without experiencing it firsthand. The learning aspect alone made me appreciate my trip, but the opportunity to contribute to the cause as a volunteer made it all the better. I highly recommend the Mountain Fund and Her Farm in particular for anyone who wants to experience and/or help Nepal.
I have had a wonderful time in mountain volunteers! I have a high degree of freedom to rotate in different departments in Helping Hand Community Hospital in Kathmandu during the Pre-MED program. The health care workers there are very willing to share their experience of work to me.
Besides hospital attachment, I also joined a village visit for 2 days during which pediatricians carried out general body check for children. I have learned some clinical knowledge and made friends with local people as well as foreign volunteers from the US.
The sisters in the house took care of almost everything and they are indeed very nice to the volunteers! Their arrangement on the living was great. I highly recommend Pre-MED program and Her Farm program to everyone! From these programs you can definitely help the underprivileged Nepalese, and make true friends with other volunteers and nice, local Nepalese. You won't regret to volunteer through mountain volunteers!
My name is Mitch Metzger and I volunteered on HerFarm for a little over a month. Honestly there is no review, no amount of words I can write, to convey how much the farm means to me. I've done a lot of volunteer work around the world, and most of the time I leave disillusioned and angry, all they do is give volunteers the "feel goods" for their money without actually doing anything or even perpetuate the problems they want to solve. Not so with this project. It will actually change the way you see the world if you care enough to let it.
The Mountain Volunteer is fundamentally different from anything I've experienced. They are a family, and for a brief time (too brief in most people;s experience) they wholeheartedly welcome you into that family. Scott and Sunita are incredible people and did more for me without a second thought than most people in my life ever have. The girls on the farm are the strongest, kindest, most beautiful people I've ever had the privilege of being around. They are smart and very welcoming, and will do all they can to make you feel at home.
If you want a vacation, if you want the hotel experience while doing a little bit of volunteering then honestly this is not for you. But if you want to experience the real Nepal, one most tourists will never see, if you want to do meaningful work for extraordinary people in a setting that will blow your mind (sunrise over the Himalayas anyone?), and if you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself then this is exactly the place for you.
Living at the farm was the happiest I've ever been and since the moment I returned to America I've been planning on how to get back.
I volunteered with the Mountain Fund in 2015. The experiece was great. They were a small enough organization that things were not completely planned out, but they actually had work that you could help with. The staff and Nepali ladies living there made you feel incredibly welcome and were very kind and fun to live with. I felt that I actually helped (which, on other volunteering experiences, I haven't always) and I felt that they wanted to learn from me and teach me. It was a very good experience. Not too templated or organized but well enough managed and run that it was a very good experience. Thank you!
Volunteering with the Mountain Fund at Her Farm was a truly life changing event. The women are truly inspirational, and Sunita is one of the strongest, vivacious, innovative women I have ever met. She has inspired me to do so much, and her strength motivates me every day. She has the biggest heart, and more drive and resilience than any one I have ever met. Despite surviving the earthquake, and what felt like endless aftershocks in Nepal, I have never had a more amazing experience. Scott is fascinating to talk to, he has taught me so much about sustainable development, women's rights in third world countries, American Politics (I'm a Brit) and life in Nepal than I thought it possible. Three months at the Her Farm taught me more about humanity, and strength than anything else. The Mountain Fund is an example if an exemplary NGO, and despite volunteering with and meeting numerous NGO's in Sri Lanka and Cambodia, none of them have quite what Her Farm has.
I was terrified travelling to Nepal. I was 19 and it was my first trip alone, and my second time outside of Europe. Within about 30 seconds of meeting Shanti at the airport, I knew I had nothing to worry about. I loved teaching at the farm, there are children there with so much potential, who we have so much to learn from. Every day I miss Sagun (resident Her Farm genius child) and co. more and more. I cannot wait to go back. It's about more than just volunteering, it's about sharing our cultures, and becoming this strange, bizarre, but very functional family. Life there consists of teaching class to a group of around 25-30 village girls, some of whom, despite horrendous home lives, and unimaginable poverty, are so eager to learn, farming, and helping the sisters do whatever needs to be done. It is very much up to you to take the initiative and use whatever skills you have to in some way aid the development of the farm. I personally discovered that I love teaching.
The earthquake was a tragedy, but never have I met a more resourceful, courageous group than the Nepalese. I know it seems dangerous to go now, and as Scott liked to remind us "Geological time is now;" how right he was. Don't be put off by the earthquake and the aftermath, the shops are open, the buses are running, and there is plenty of food and water. I for one will be back as soon as the bank balance allows. Nepal needs help so badly and this is the best time to go. Even during the earthquake itself we were fantastically looked after, there was always food and water. Nepal is safe, and tourism and volunteering are the best ways to help.
Nepal is not an easy country, its poor in a way few countries are, it has issues so huge it's impossible to know where to start. Follow Stories of Nepal on Facebook for an insight into some of the problems Nepal faces, as well as the strength, resilience and beauty if its people. The Mountain Fund is a fantastic, life-changing, NGO committed to real, sustainable, rural, community development. Life is tough, but the Nepalese are strong.
I'm Shanti, one of the staff at Mountain Fund.
I thoroughly enjoy working with the mountain Fund. Once you are part of it, you are part of the mountain fund Family forever!
I started working with the organisation 8 years ago, as a shy young woman, with little English and unaware of the rest of the world. And now I feel like I found a second home.
Sunita is the matriarch of the Mountain Fund. Her strength, dedication and positive attitude are truly inspiring. She is the teacher, the mother, the mentor. She can be bossy at times but after all she has a good heart, always ready to forgive!
Being part of this amazing team taught so many new things, such as farming, Computer skills, teaching, and of course, English.
But most importantly I learned about life, the responsibilities, the importance of family, happiness, kindness and the joy of helping one another.
So thank you Mountain Fund! You'll be forever in my heart!
Dr. Rene' Hernandez
Saginaw Valley State University
It is indeed my pleasure to write this review of The Mountain Fund and its founder, Scott MacLennan. I was charged with planning a study abroad experience for a group of health professions students in 2014. At that time, I contacted the Mountain Fund for assistance as I had found a small bit of information regarding the organization online. To my pleasant surprise, I was assisted in every way imaginable from transportation to and from the airport to meaningful daily agendas for myself (and, eventually, students). The lodging in Kathmandu and at Her Farm is comfortable and the staff is more than welcoming. I have been involved with many educational and medical trips abroad, but have never had the support of such an organization. It is true that an organization is only as good as its people.....and so, I would say hands-down, The Mountain Fund wins!
I originally visited Nepal in December, 2014 with the sole purpose of arranging for a group of health care professional students to experience a study abroad trip (see above). The second time I visited, the university that I work for (Saginaw Valley State University) sent myself with a small group of health care providers to the region to join the humanitarian relief efforts following the April, 2015 earthquake. While the group I was with did not meet up with Scott and Sunita face-to-face due to the aftermath chaos, we stayed in Kathmandu at the Mountain Fund lodging and were delighted with our accommodations and the staff. No one could predict how difficult it would be navigating the town and securing all of the daily living needs a group of Americans might need during their stay, but Shanti and Asta were consistently there to anticipate our every need. We could not have asked for more. In addition, because of the close contact that Scott has with the Nepali system, he was instrumental in securing health benefits to a young woman living in a tent in Bhaktapur even while he was working at Her Farm to make sure that the village and his family were taken care of. Thank God for his ingenuity and technical expertise as I was able to reach him electronically for advise and reassurance. I cannot imagine going to Nepal for any reason without securing the Mountain Fund and its staff (along with Scott and Sunita) as my in-country coordinators and family. Thanks for all you do!
Volunteering at The Mountain Fund, I’ve got a lot more confidence. Working there has changed my way of doing things and helping people. I admire the work Scott and Sunita are doing there. All the sisters who work there are very cooperative and caring. They not only gave me a way to improve myself, but also gave me chance to learn different perspective of life. Working as a volunteer at Her Farm, completely changed my outlook on life and what I wanted to do as a career. I realised that I wanted to do a job that helps people. I am now more responsible than before, I am more aware that we make a better life by what we give.
As amazing the work they do is, the people behind it are the real heroes. I came to know GMF via a relative who was very heavily involved - and her drive and passion for the work, the almost superhuman zeal to help others and bring forth the wellness and happiness in people via work reflects the core of what it does. GMF is run by some of the most caring and well meaning people that I know. It is hands down the best non profit currently operating in Nepal.
I had been following Her Farm with great interest for almost a year. When the April 25th quake ended my climbing expedition in the Khumbu area, I contacted Sunita and Scott to see if I could be of some help. What I experienced was nothing less than amazing!
The women who manage the farm, the volunteers, and all the children are remarkable. Beyond this, I saw firsthand how they added a community outreach endeavor, providing earthquake relief to the 85% destroyed village.
Although I returned home after two weeks, a part of my heart will always be in Mankhu and I will continue to support and promote Her Farm and Mountain Fund Volunteers.
I highly recommend anyone of any age to support Sunita and Scott in the development of Her Farm, whether as a volunteer, a donor, or simply a few words of praise and thanks for their heart-warming compassion.
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.
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.
Chiropractic Intern at the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic, CT, USA
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!