The Dr. Dick Harding Charity Fund for Nepal awards grants for innovative, time-bound, cost-effective projects which fulfill the Fund's purpose and objectives. Below are the areas of work we support, with links to specific descriptions and stories of funded projects.
Areas of Focus:
Women's Empowerment & Skills Training
Support & Rehabilitation for the Elderly & Disabled
The literacy rate in Nepal is among the lowest in Asia, particularly for girls. There is a great and urgent need to get children into school and ensure that they finish their education.
Village-based staff of community development organizations can quickly recognize the families that are truly poor and unable to send their children to school. These staff can recommend children for scholarships provided by our fund, and can encourage their parents in seeking this opportunity to enhance their children's future.
Throughout Dr. Harding’s career in Nepal and beyond, he passionately engaged in community health, emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention as well as primary health care and training.
He and UMN colleagues developed and implemented programs to train auxiliary health workers, midwives, nurses, and community medical assistants. Integrated health and development projects also promoted training of local practitioners such as traditional birth attendants and healers. Dr. Harding believed training to be one of the key factors in bringing about sustainable improvements in the health of Nepali communities.
As in many developing countries, in Nepal many women lack the opportunity to earn income for themselves and their families. Women who are illiterate, poor, widowed, abandoned, or disabled are particularly disadvantaged and often rejected by society.
Skill training projects aim to provide not only a livelihood, but also a heightened sense of self-esteem. Many worthy organizations in Nepal are offering marginalized women skill training -- from soap and candle-making, to tailoring and bead jewelry design -- and bringing about remarkable change in their lives.
Support for the Elderly
& People with Disabilities
Some of the most marginalized in Nepali society are those with physical or mental disabilities. These people are often forgotten or ignored and unable to access basic services. Slowly, more opportunities for education and vocational skill development are arising, but the challenges are great -- largely due to geography, superstition and poverty.
Likewise, challenges abound for an increasing number of elderly people in the country, especially in the urban centers, where the traditional support of the extended family is disappearing.