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 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!
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!
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!
I have just returned from the experience of my life. I haven't travelled a lot and as a 52 yr old (just single) woman thought it was all too late - but 'Mountain Fund' proved me very wrong indeed. I thought they'd laugh at me but I was welcomed and befriended like any other. I feel privileged and honoured to have been a part of the Farm family for two weeks. I cut and carried grass; I ploughed and prepared fields; I planted rice; I helped to graze the oxen; I sang Nepali songs and danced; I picked corn; I ate jack fruit, pears and mangoes straight from the trees; I ate freshly harvested and cooked food (of which the rice pudding deserves special mention) but most of all I met fantastic people up on the farm. I was truly inspired and motivated by all of you and your happy; hard working; never complaining; attitude to life. I will never forget you and will always have very special memories of my time on your farm. Thank you for making it special for me.
An amazing month thanks to all the Mountain Fund staff. They offered a great insight into Nepal life and had extensive knowledge of Kathmandu, you can ask them literally anything. Perfect accommodation and support for a genuine Nepal adventure. The staff leave an impression that makes you eager to return.
I went over to Nepal and volunteered with the mountain fund,being quite young i thought it would a somewhat scary experience but the staff at the mountain fund were very welcoming and helpful!
I would volunteer with mountain fund again in a heartbeat and am planning on going back to Nepal to volunteer with them in the next couple of years,i have recommended them to my friends and family.
I was in Nepal in a 60 days program with The Mountain Found at Her Farm. After that experience, I just dying to go back to spend more days there! It was so very special, learned so much and It was so amzing to make part of a great family; they made me feel that way. My days there are saved in my heart and in my memories.
I was in Nepal with this program for 3 months and had the time of my life. You become part of a family. My experiences with this organization have been wonderful, I have and will continue to recommend The Mountain Fund to everybody I know.
Along with 30 other people, students and teachers, I volunteered and traveled in Nepal with The Mountain Fund at Her Farm. Knowing just how important education and care is for single, widowed, or divorced women and their children, this project, and all the people involved, quickly wormed its way into my heart. The hard work I did everyday, though just for a short time, always contained an element of fun, as the women and children of Her Farm possessed unalterable high spirits. Though I'm back in Canada now, I'm always dreaming of Nepal and my family there, and I'm counting down the days until I go back.
I am a recent graduate of Stelly's Secondary School and a recent traveler to Nepal where a group of over 30 students, including myself, helped build a community centre at Her Farm through the Mountain Fund. Living in Nepal was one of the most life-changing experiences I've had and I would give anything to go back to see the beautiful children and the intricate culture. The Mountain Fund provided us with excellent care and truly gave us the opportunity to see Nepal from some amazing perspectives. As well as introducing us to the farm where our service and work was much needed and appreciated, we were introduced to the community where ceremonies and celebrations took place. I instantly fell in love with all the children and every day they are on my mind and in my heart. They are so very precious. Today I am still in contact with the wonderful people who run The Mountain Fund and I am blessed to call them my new family. There is a certain warmth and dedication about this organization that captivated me. I only hope that more people like me will one day discover all that Nepal has to offer through The Mountain Fund.
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.
I'm a second year medical student who just returned back from Nepal for their Global Health program. I spent a month in this wonderful place during the Summer and would do so again in a heartbeat. Mountain Fund helped me organize a trekking trip up to the Gosaikunda lakes and it all worked out. They were able to arrange all the buses and places to stay with no problem.
I trekked for a week and then spent 3 weeks volunteering at the Rural hospital where I had the opportunity of observing Nepalese health care and the medical issues they face - many of which are very uncommon nowadays in the United States. The staff and the physician present were fantastic - they allowed me to be more hands on in addition to the shadowing. The hospital consists of a small ER, an OPD clinic, an X-ray machine, lab room, and a pharmacy - they are fully equipped. I saw things such as typhoid fever, gastroenteritis, gastritis, tumors, COPD, road accidents, and plenty head traumas. Although it was slow at times, it was still an enjoyable experience to see how things are run in this country and the many challenges they face.
I did have some issues at the place I stayed at during my time volunteering in the Rural hospital. I happened to be the first person who arrived to this house and who would volunteer at this hospital. The electricity in the bedroom did not work well and there would be no water in the mornings, or no water in the 3rd floor where I was staying at. I attribute this problem more to the owner of the house who wouldn't follow through, rather than Mountain Fund itself but I would have appreciated if this was addressed before I arrived. However, the staff from Mountain Fund worked daily to make things better and eventually fixed the problem by buying a huge tank of water. I appreciated that they would always be there and call to make sure that everything was alright. I believe this shouldn't be an issue anymore for any other volunteer since everything was working fine after that week.
Mountain Fund is a very flexible organization. Pretty much anything you want to experience they can help you arrange it. They let me spend couple days in the Helping Hands clinic to observe some surgeries - this is usually their pre-med program. I happened to see a hysterectomy and a skin graft on a patient who was recovering from Necrotizing fasciitis. They also helped me arrange a trip to Pokhara and that was a fantastic experience - highly recommend it.
I loved volunteering with Mountain Fund. Although I tend to be hesitant about doing things at the last minute and I'm a bit uncomfortable with not being able to plan ahead, I realized that this was something that happens to be common in developing countries. However, Mountain Fund was always flexible and never lost sight of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. They always kept in contact with me wherever I was and I felt very safe as a solo female traveler. I think what makes Mountain Fund so unique is the people - the sisters who are your guides, help you settle in the house you're staying at, and cook some amazing food, are some of the most fantastic and bright young women you will ever meet. Scott MacLennan and Sunita Subedi were also amazing people to meet - I highly recommend you to chat with them if you happen to get a chance, they know so much about Nepal, the people, the culture, the politics, and also give great life advice. This is a wonderful organization that helps empower women and is giving a great contribution to the country. It gives a great opportunity for outsiders to learn and live the real Nepali life. I look forward to going back someday!
I am a med student who visited Nepal for a month between my first and second years. We wanted to do some trekking, get out and see the world and hopeful learn a little while helping a few people. Our experience with Mountain Fund was excellent. The trekking that they helped set up for us worked out so much better than we had hoped. Excellent guides and the weather did help by being better than expected. after the rain delays for our flight to the start were dealt with no extra hassle. The medical volunteering was more shadowing, but did provide an excellent glimpse of Nepalese health care at all levels. Often the doctors would let you get more involved but as we were a group of 4 that was a harder to manage. Volunteering at/visiting Her Farm was another of the highlights of the trip for me. The women and the other workers there were so much fun and welcoming and they work very hard to make sure that you have everything you need, while taking care of the farm and the herd of small children that come to learn english every day. As others have said you need to be flexible, Nepal(and most third world countries) run on their own schedule and as such can't be planned to the minute. But amazingly things just always seem to work out. Scott and Sunita are great at getting things done there and are amazing interesting people as well. Their plans for the future mean that their facilities will just keep getting better. I enjoyed every day of my time there and meeting all the warm welcoming Nepalese people.
I just got back from a month in Nepal where I stayed with the Mountain Fund organization for 2 of those weeks. The other 2 weeks I spent on the Everest base camp trail, which Scott had organized completely for us and it ran without a flaw!
The two weeks with Mountain Fund was incredible. I am a Medical Student in the US and was able to visit three different health care settings in Nepal while I was there. We saw surgeries in the helping hands hospital in Kathmandu, then were able to see rural care in a small hospital outside of Kathmandu and also a governmental health post in the mountains. Other time we spent helping out at a farm and enjoying the company of the Nepali people. I have never met such loving and caring people!!
The best part of this volunteer organization is how flexible they are and truly help you see as much as Nepal as possible!
I have worked for the Mountain Fund for 4 and a half months. I was in Nepal, located on a farm in the Dhading district, close to Kathmandu. I have had no bad experiences. Everyone who is located at the farm and in Kathmandu are helpful and friendly. I went to Nepal for 8 months, part of that time climbing, part of it volunteering with the Mountain Fund, and the volunteering has been, and will remain, the most memorable part of my time in Nepal. While teaching English at the farm, I truly felt I was making a difference to the community seeing improvements in the children's English skills. Not once have I felt lonely, scared, or in any way more of a burden than a help. You will always eat good food with the Mountain Fund, which has lead to me gaining a few pounds. If you have any problems, the girls will help fix those problems by any means they can. The Mountain Fund truly has been very influential to my life and has changed my life.
I volunteered at the Her Farm as an addition to a climbing trip that brought me to Nepal. The time I spent at the farm was the most enriching experience of a 8 month stint of travel in Asia. What made my time there so special was the enormous sense of community that radiated out from the farmhouse on the hill. I reccomend spending at least a few weeks and really embracing the subtle difference between the western world and the farm-life of Mankhu. Enjoy!
I just got back from almost 3 weeks in Nepal, part of which I spent with Mountain Fund volunteering my medical expertise. I am an ER doctor and, thanks to the organizers of Mountain Fund, I was able to bring basic medical care to 2 villages outside Kathmandu where there are no healthcare providers. First, Mountain Fund facilitated my meeting with a local doctor at a hospital in Kathmandu so that I could learn about the disease processes that are most commonly found in that region and determine what medications would be most useful to bring with me into the villages. I was given a tour of the small city hospital and it was interesting for me to watch the local doctor at work. In the villages, I was challenged by the lack of laboratory and radiology and I really got to use my clinical skills. My translator was a young Nepali woman currently in nursing school and it was fun to teach her a few clinical pearls while she taught me a wealth of cultural information about the patients. My greatest impact was probably just treating the majority of patients for worms; however, there were two children under 5 who likely had pneumonia and I was able to give them the antibiotics they needed. The experience I had in the villages was humbling and rewarding and gave me a renewed energy and love for my profession! I am thankful to Scott and Sunita, the organizers of Mountain Fund, for providing me with that opportunity and taking care of all of the logistics. They also took me out to the village of Mankhu to see Her Farm, a self-sustainable and safe place where women can live and work and have their children cared for and schooled. Eventually, there will also be a health clinic (run by the above-mentioned nursing student once she completes her degree!). I cannot say enough about the wonders of Her Farm! I spent 3 days there and wished it could've been more. Besides the obvious value of this project (i.e., allowing women in a country with limited women's rights to regain their dignity and independence and remain with their children) there is the gorgeous scenery, the fresh air, the stars like I have never seen, the just-picked guavas, the animals, the children, and the camaraderie of the volunteers and Mountain Fund staff. It was a mini-vacation all in itself. Had I not asked Scott to organize a trek for me and my niece (which he did, taking care of all the details before we left the US and accompanying us to the trekking company in Thamel to confirm arrangements), I would have stayed at Her Farm longer and helped out with the farm work and/or building projects (like my niece did after our trek). All in all, I have only glowing things to say about Mountain Fund, Scott, Sunita and all the young women in their support staff. I was made to feel welcome immediately and in a very short time felt almost like part of their family. The food that was prepared was delicious (especially the Nepalese dishes!) and the room/facilites were always clean. I am excited to follow this organization to see their progress and what new projects they come up with next. Some day I hope to return to Nepal and volunteer my time at Her Farm's health clinic!
The Mountain Fund made my trip to Nepal absolutely unforgettable. The whole trip was wonderfully planned. Thanks to the Mountain Fund we got to experience everything from Kathmandu life, to camping in the mountain sides, to living in a little mountain village and the touristy Chitwan national park. The volunteer project was extremely successful and it is all thanks to the lovely people behind The Mountain Fund.
I volunteered with The Mountain Fund from Jan. 2012 - Jun. 2012 mostly in Helping Hands Community Hospital and several remote villages in the surrounding countryside. It is an amazing charity doing real, lasting good for the Nepali people. Scott and his wife Sunita devote immense time to researching and determining the validity of the groups that The Mountain Fund is involved with so that volunteers can be confident they are actively participating in worthwhile causes. And because they offer so many avenues through which someone may work, a person would be hard-pressed to stay with Scott and not feel like they've accomplished something. As an example, I would balance my extra time either assisting a nearby school (Orchid Garden), helping beginning construction of their abused women's coop farm/housing project (Her Farm), running small clinics throughout the country, or just traveling and exploring. The experience I gained while working with Scott was invaluable and I would thoroughly recommend The Mountain Fund to anyone who wants to do real charity work in an area that desperately needs it.
That being said, I have two warnings for new volunteers in Nepal:
- First, be prepared to live in a third world country while you're there. Nepal, although safe, is limited in it's modern conveniences. Pack appropriately and research the area, climate, etc.
- Second and most importantly, do not come here expecting to be spoon fed opportunities. Although Scott and Sunita work very, VERY hard to meet everyone's expectations during their stay there, ultimately what you get out of the program comes down to you. Be proactive, jump at opportunities when they arise, and I guarantee you'll get more from The Mountain Fund than you can imagine.
I came to Nepal with my Global Perspectives 12 group during spring break of 2013 and without the Mountain fund, the trip wouldn't have been the same. They really made us feel at home and gave us the opportunity to volunteer on a life changing project and explore the beautiful country of Nepal.