WHO WE ARE
The purpose of the Dr. Dick Harding Charity Fund for Nepal has been and continues to be to assist the start-up of excellent projects focusing on helping Nepali women, children, the landless, the elderly and people with disabilities, such as:
Health promotion, treatment, and rehabilitation for women, children and the needy
Skill training for the poorest of the poor, destitute women and widows
Formation of women's groups, women's development and income generating activities
Training and support for people living with disabilities
Support for women and girls at risk of violence, trafficking and gender discrimination
Literacy and out-of-school programs for women and children
Support for poor children and youth to attend school and pursue vocational/technical education
Emergency relief and support to victims of disasters and epidemics
Establishment of the Trust Fund
Dr. Harding’s passion to help the neediest people in Nepal led him to use the cash award from the Nepal Medical Association to establish the “Dr. Dick Harding Trust Fund” in 2000. Its aim was to encourage innovative programs by Nepali non-governmental organizations and church groups aiming to help those most in need. He selected the Fund's trustees from among the most respected, mature and trusted Nepali Christian leaders with whom he had worked and developed strong friendships during his years in Nepal. In addition, to ensure continuity, he also selected his daughter, Ellen (Jyoti), who grew up in Nepal and worked with him as a health education specialist while she was also a missionary in Nepal from 1993-2005.
About Dr. Harding
Dr. J. W. Richard (“Dick”) Harding III earned a bachelor's degree from Lafayette College, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPH in International Health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He also studied tropical medicine at the University of Edinburgh Graduate School of Medicine. He did his internship and first-year residency training in Internal Medicine at Hartford (CT) Hospital and completed his residency at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. During this training, he also served two years in the U.S. Public Health Service, stationed at an Indian Health Service hospital on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona.
In 1970 Dr. Harding, his wife Suzanne, and their four children moved to Nepal as Presbyterian missionaries serving with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). Over the next 32 years, Dr. Harding developed a close attachment to Nepal and to the Nepali people.
His experiences began in UMN’s Tansen Mission Hospital doing inpatient, outpatient, and community-based medicine, as well as a short period serving as hospital director. Following his MPH study in 1975, he was seconded to Nepal's national Tribhuvan University's newly formed Institute of Medicine to develop a new training program for Community Medical Auxiliaries (CMA). He later established and served on the faculty of the Department of Community Medicine.
The Harding family returned to the USA in 1980. After 10 years as coordinator of Sampson County Rural Medical Services in North Carolina, Dr. Harding and his wife Suzanne returned to Nepal in 2001. He served as director of Lalitpur Community Development and Health Program (CDHP), an integrated health development program in both urban and rural areas. After handing over the management of this large project to competent and experienced Nepali leadership, he spent his last several years as UMN's Senior Health Consultant, providing central support for many of UMN's health institutions and programs, and initiating a program to support rehabilitative care for disabled Nepali children. He organized and produced a comprehensive management assessment of Nepal's largest government hospitals, and served on several special committees and strategic planning workshops for the Ministry of Health. He also was a member of teams performing evaluations of several international NGO projects.
In 2001, Dr. Harding was honored for his “effective contributions in public health development" by the Health Minister of Nepal at the first general assembly of the Nepal Public Health Association.
Earlier, in 1999, Dr. Harding received the prestigious Dharma Pahari Health Service Award for "outstanding contributions to the cause of medicine and health in Nepal" from the Prime Minister at the bi-annual convention of the Nepal Medical Association.