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.
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 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.