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.
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!