WHAT WE DO
The purpose and objectives 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 women, children, elderly and the disabled and/or landless peoples in Nepal, such as:
Health promotion, treatment and rehabilitation for women and children
Skill training for the poorest of the poor, helpless women and widows
Formation of women's groups; women's development and income generating activities and savings and loan programs.
Support and training for the physically disabled
Awareness programs focusing on violence against women, girl trafficking and other gender issues.
Literacy programs for women and children.
Enabling poor children to attend schools
Child-to-child programs, particularly in schools.
OUR FOUNDER AND HISTORY
The Dr. Dick Harding Charity Fund for Nepal was founded in 2000 by Dr. Dick Harding, an American, Presbyterian medical missionary to Nepal. Since his passing in 2016, his children have worked with the dedicated team in Nepal to continue to fund these impactful projects.
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 earned a bachelor's degree from Lafayette College; an M.D.in Internal Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania; and an MPH in International Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He also studied tropical medicine at the Edinburgh University Graduate School of Medicine (Scotland). He did his internship and first-year residency training in Internal Medicine at Hartford (CT) Hospital and completed the 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 term 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), and later to establish and serve 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 rural North Carolina, Dr. Harding and his wife 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.