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Nepal Project – Removing Barriers to Education for Girls in Thulipokari, Nepal

Stepping off the beaten path

While most of the grants from the Community Foundation stay within our community, this is the story of how the Soroptimists of Truckee Meadows uses a fund at the Foundation to help them with their international service project.

At a lunch meeting in 2000 the Soroptimist of Truckee Meadows (SITM) club listened to a presentation given by Dr. Purna Subedi, the adopted son of SITM member Jeannie Baxter. Purna described his rural life in the remote mountain village of Thulipokhari in Nepal. His inspiring account moved his audience to action. The club decided to alleviate the barriers to education faced by village girls including Purna’s sisters and family members.

Through individual member gift pledges and fund raising events including a semi-annual colossal garage sale, the SITM club was able to send enough funds to Thulipokhari to build a dormitory for a girls’ school and to begin a program of scholarships for its impoverished students. The school/dormitory was finished in June 2001 and by the end of August the first class was in session.  In addition to the school SITM also initiated and funds a micro-credit program to make loans available for the purchase of livestock and small farm animals to the village residents.

The people of Thulipokhari have been the focus of the SITM members’ attention and energy for the many years.  Club leaders turned to the Community Foundation to help them continue granting scholarships in Nepal while making it possible for them to consider a new project for their fundraising interests. The Soroptimist IGU Nepal fund at the Community Foundation will earn interest that can be granted for scholarships to girls in Nepal and is always ready to accept planned gifts and bequests from members and friends of the local Soroptimists. Twice a year the club will request fund earnings and send the income to a remote village far away that feels like home and family to this extraordinary group of women in Reno.

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The 2006 class of girls in the Thulipokari girls’ school.