Hello, or as they say in Nepal – Namaste. We are Doctors Rosa and Ian Matheson and together with the team behind Freedom Kitbags we’ve been working in Nepal since 2009.
In March of that year we travelled to help ‘Health Partnership Nepal’ at medical clinics in hill villages. During our trip we met a man in Kathmandu who needed help for his ‘big family’. We discovered just how big this family was when found ourselves ‘adopting’ an orphanage of twenty-one children!
We set up a UK based charity to support these children and now have sponsors from around the world. You can help too. We also wanted to do something to help families not to put their children into orphanages because they were too poor to care for them at home. It became clear that empowering Nepali women to make a sustainable living for themselves and their families was the best way to achieve our goal.
The BOOK PROJECT sponsors women’s economic initiatives through sales of a day in the life of 100 women in Britain. Money generated has helped hundreds of women all over Nepal, from herb farmers in the Upper Arun, to the radical and mould-breaking Himalayan Adventure Girls, the first all-female, all-skills adventure company in Nepal, and many others besides.
In April 2015 Nepal suffered a huge earthquake and many lives were lost. Yet out of the ruins, something wonderful happened as people mobilised to help and raise money to help victims of the disaster.
Many people gave donations via our charity, which led to the establishment of the #REBUILDBETTER programme. Now the immediate need has passed, this project concentrates its efforts on helping a particular village Kodari and its schools. This programme is financed through sales of the book – EATHQUAKE NEPAL April 2015 – The Human Story.
Over the years we received requests from Nepali men to help women with respect to their dropping fertility rate. On looking into the problem, we discovered that many women had a complete lack of sanitary protection. This gives rise to chronic infections and many other medical conditions that directly affect fertility.
After a chance meeting with Beni Rhani Ghale, an remarkable Nepali woman who was already working on re-usable sanitary wear, the Freedom Kit Bag was born. The project is now registered as a charity in the UK.