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!
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.