Three Sisters of Sindhupalchok

Success Story

After the death of their father, three sisters carried on living with the help of relatives because their mother had left them too. But the situation became worse in 2015 when a devastating earthquake hit Nepal. Approximately 9000 people lost their lives; many more were injured and displaced. And many lost their loved ones. These three sisters suffered tremendously too. Their house was destroyed, and they had no place to go.  At that moment, the Asha Project helped them to build a new house and provided school expenses along with stationary supplies. In addition, the project provided some goats and built a goat shelter to help provide them a means of income.

Goats are widely used livestock in Nepal. Having goats brings the benefit of meat and milk production, and provides for income support.

The earthquake victims in Nepal including the three sisters received financial support from all over the world. Although the amount of money was not much, it definitely showed how collective efforts bring small changes for the least privileged people.

When Kishore Tripathi, the Goodwill Ambassador, met the sisters, he saw a very touching moment full of joy, love and hope between the three sisters. The Asha project brought this joy to their lives. Later, the older sister Thapa asked him, “Dai, do you think it is possible to say thank you to all the people who helped us?” He smiled and gladly said, “Of course.” (Sindhupalchok).

Now 22 years of age, the eldest sister recently married.  Of the other two, one goes to the college and the other is planning for vocational training. 

Asha believes in helping poor people in Nepal to rebuild their lives and renew their hope. Since 1992, the Asha project is working through three pillars – “Homes of Hope” for re-building homes and schools, “Legacy of Hope” for providing micro-credit loans to grow micro-enterprises, and “Rays of Hope Scholarship” for providing educational support.

The Asha project accomplished more than 17 Rotary Foundation grants, approximately $950,000, in Nepal to improve water, sanitation, health and educational opportunities for more than 70,000 people. The Asha project is jointly implemented by the Friends of Nepal-NJ (FONNJ) and the Rotary club of Branchburg.



By: Carol Parenteau

A Fateful Day

When Dr. Tulsi Maharjan stepped out of his home in the city of Patan, Nepal to go on an early morning walk, he not only encountered two little girls collecting pennies from the famous Chovar temple, but in a flash of memory he recalled his own economic disadvantages as a youth.
As a high school student in Nepal, Tulsi had anxiously waited for the Nepalese New Year to receive a small gift box from the American Red Cross. It contained a few pencils, erasers, a ruler, a couple pens and maybe candy. “I was in the receiving end 50 years ago,” Tulsi recalls, with a wistful smile. He had been very fortunate, however. His parents’ economic sacrifices eventually provided him the opportunity to study abroad.

Tulsi made a personal commitment to help educate those two girls when he met them in 1989. After he returned to the United States, he planned and developed various fundraisers and programs to provide funds to send more students to school. His employment in higher education, provided him an acute understanding of the transformational powers of education, this Tulsi to work tirelessly over the years, to raise funds to assist young students to attend school. In 1988 he joined the local Rotary Club, an international humanitarian organization. Soon he was involved in various projects and brought awareness of the needs in Nepal to the Club. He also started the Friends of Nepal-New Jersey organization which promotes cultural awareness and provides critical support for poor people in Nepal.

On the fateful morning in 1989 in Nepal, at the foot of the Chovar, 17 years after leaving his country of origin, Tulsi’s focus turned to the children in Nepal; with special interest and intensity, because he knew the importance that early education played in people’s lives. When he asked why the girls were not in school, he learned that the $25 yearly cost per child was prohibitive for their parents.

It Begins with Hope

Asha means HOPE in Nepalese. While Tulsi tacitly understood that it was not possible to give hope to all economically struggling families in Nepal who wanted their children to receive a basic education; he knew he could provide Asha to the two little girls. Hope for a better future for those girls was within his reach. That simple commitment to nurturing and giving hope– would prove to have the power to multiply itself when it was put into practice. That was his promise.

At his return to New Jersey from Nepal, where Tulsi now lived and worked, he embarked on a fundraising campaign, tapping New Jersey Rotarians as well as Friends of Nepal-NJ’s, Nepalese community to contribute to educational projects in Nepal. The fundraising campaign surpassed the initial $3,000 mark.

Hope Grows and Multiplies

Encouraged by his success, Tulsi returned to Patan two years later, in 1991. This time his approach to fund raising was more strategic as he knew that his individual efforts could not scale up to help more students. That is why he challenged his Rotarian colleagues in Nepal to match his own $500 donation for the scholarship program. The community responded in earnest with a cumulative sum of another $3,000. “All of those businesspeople were excited about contributing the gift of education,” Tulsi remarks with a trace of wonder. As of today, the Patan Rotary Club has deposited $100,000 in the bank and with the annual interest, the club is providing 300 to 500 scholarships each year. Remarkably, reflects Tulsi, “in collaboration with various Rotary clubs in Nepal our humanitarian projects have completed more than 18 projects valued at $900,000.”

The need for hope is greatest in times of crises, and humanitarian organizations responded to that need in 2015, when a strong earthquake hit Nepal destroying thousands of homes and exacerbating the poverty that already existed, especially in rural areas. By that time, Tulsi had built a solid infrastructure to channel resources and aid. It was that foundation that made possible the emergence of a broader-reaching humanitarian organization that is the “Asha Project.”

Hope to Action with a Sustainable Model

While the Asha Project’s origin can be traced to the caring attention, intention, and action of Tulsi to help two little girls, the strategic approach it developed to uplift thousands of Nepalese in need is anchored in three principles that give the Asha Project its sustainable organizational structure: a) HOMES OF HOPE: rebuilding homes, community and schools, b) LEGACY OF HOPE: investing in people by providing microloans and training for adults, c) RAYS OF HOPE: providing scholarships for children and youth to attend school and improve their digital literacy.

Today, the Asha Project not only benefits children in Nepal, it has continued to expand to empower women, entire families and communities, and as the silver lining reveals itself, it has given young professionals and other individuals the opportunity to travel, learn, and serve in Nepalese communities helping rebuild homes and schools for earthquake victims and expanding the access to water and healthcare.

Intersection of Passion, Purpose, and Promise – Working Together

After working in the higher education for the 30 years, Tulsi had finally found his passion and the purpose of his life. His passion is to help young people to learn, and to use his knowledge and skills to “help those who need help.”

Among the many strategic partners of the Asha Project are several Rotary Clubs around the world and Friends of Nepal-NJ which have funded almost a million dollars of global grant projects. The GAP “Global Action Program” was created with a purpose of development professional opportunities for young students to TRAVEL-LEARN & SERVE. The GAP Program provides students with an opportunity to learn new skills, learn about new cultures and languages and TAKE ACTION through humanitarian service during their two weeks stay in Nepal. Annual humanitarian missions where Rotarians travel every year to Nepal to help rebuild communities for earthquake victims. This annual trip has given hope and generated excitement among the people of Nepal.

The Empowerment Program for Indigenous Women was funded by a $100,000 Rotary Foundation grant to establish a micro credit project to support their entrepreneurial efforts. Rotarians are also funding another major scholarship for Indigenous people of Nepal.


It has been three decades since Tulsi’s encounter with the little girls by the temple; this solitary effort has expanded into multiple projects and thousands of individuals who have helped to further enhance The Asha Project’s vision of uplifting individuals from poverty in Nepal.

The Asha Project fundamentally believe that a day will come in our lifetimes when every single child will have access to a quality education, and we will continue to work tirelessly in breaking down the restraints of today to enable the possibilities of tomorrow.

If you like to support the project visit http://www.fonnj.com/donate/

Success Story – Biyan Timilsina

Biyan’s journey to become the youngest public prosecutor in Nepal

There is a saying, Dream Big and Live the Life You Desire. This is how Biyan dreams. To make a dream come true, one has to find solutions to overcome the challenges that hinder you. While studying in grade 8, Biyan dreamt of becoming a lawyer. Being a member of Rotaract club, it was not difficult for her to find the right solution to make this possible. Through her networks she got the opportunity to connect with Friends of Nepal-New Jersey and the Asha Project.


She received scholarships to study at the Chakrabarti HaBi Education Academy, College of Law. Upon graduating from law school in 2018, she passed the Public Service examination. Since then, Biyan is working hard for the wellbeing of her country, and presently works as an Assistant Public Prosecutor at the District Government Attorney Office, Kathmandu. She handles various cases in Nepal, including theft, fraud, narcotics, rape, homicide, polygamy, and cybercrimes.


Along her path she received many national and international opportunities through Rotaract and Rotary clubs. One of those was to participate in a prestigious UN conference, “Harvard National Model United Nation (HNMUN)” in 2017 in Boston, USA. She represented Nepal among 3000 world delegates, an opportunity only possible with the support of the Asha project.

Asha means hope; spreading hope among the Nepali people is its purpose. In 1992, the Asha project started its journey with a small investment for education and now it provides more than 500 scholarships in a year. “Rays of hope scholarship” is one of the three pillars of this project to provide financial educational support to deserving students.

This is how Asha provided hope to the young professional Biyan. In this moment of celebrating 30 years of this project, looking back and seeing the success of this young professional in Nepal is truly inspiring. Biyan is not only a name; she is the refection of all bright students who deserve an opportunity to make their dreams come true. The support of the Asha project can make this possible.
Focusing on education, micro credit, homes and community building, the Asha project helps poor people in Nepal to improve their quality of life with support from the Friends of Nepal-NJ (FONNJ) and the Rotary club of Branchburg.

A different perspective is one of the hardest things to obtain.

By: Arya Jha about her volunteer work in Nepal.

A different perspective is one of the hardest things to obtain. Nature and nurture both skew how each individual thinks and behaves. Growing up in a privileged town, under an air conditioned roof, with all the latest clothes and gadgets is a recipe for a narrow outlook in life. There’s no reason for this person to know what others are facing even a couple miles away when they don’t have to deal with it themselves.

Acquiring a new perception was the hardest first step for me when I thought about volunteering in Nepal. I wasn’t completely oblivious to everything happening in my father’s home country as I visited almost every year. I would enter the home he was born in, after petting the goats on the way in, and complain about the cracks in the walls and the uneven floors that disobeyed the mason’s leveler. I would think to myself, my dad was so poor, how awful! What I didn’t know when I was younger was that the majority of people had it much worse. And while my father did indeed grow up below the poverty line, there are so many subcategories of the impoverished and I felt that I needed to educate myself.

It was not perhaps until I met Dale Tamang at the Voice of Children (VOC) drop-in center in Kathmandu last June that I really gained perspective. I had volunteered in the capital for the past two years as well, and while all my experiences were eye-opening, none compared to the rawness of my time at VOC.

Dale was the first of thirty-six boys I met during my one-week stint over the summer, and he is one of the few that I still think about on a daily basis. Upon entering the three story building where homeless boys would first come after being picked up by the police, I saw him, curled up underneath the coffee table. He stuck his head out, just to inform himself of who had just entered the room. Probably knowing that I was not one of the usual volunteers, he slid out, and walked over to me. He looked no more than eight years old. Traumatized from his days on the street after the loss of his family, he refused to eat meals, play board games with the other boys, and communicate with his teachers. I spent hours trying to earn his trust. And somehow, through this process, I became his anchor, his human bridge to the beginning of a normal life. In my presence, despite our language barrier (he spoke Tamang), he tried out new actions and received positively reinforcing responses. He rebuilt himself, just as Kathmandu slowly repaired its bridges, roads, and homes after the destructive earthquake. And, while Dale found a new home inside his own skin, I realized how Nepal has served as my own anchor.

Additionally, in this visit I was fortunate enough to do something completely different. Tulsi Uncle arranged for me to deliver some school supplies to St. Xavier’s Social Service Center through FONNJ and The Asha Project. Girls and boys—some in wheelchairs and others in crutches—sat in the pavilion where we were welcomed. They applauded with a twinkle in the eyes when they realized why we were there. They sat, listening attentively to every word I said when asked to speak about why I’m doing what I’m doing. It was a surreal experience that further contributed to my new perspective that I was working so hard to achieve.

Nepal used to mean a simple visit to my grandparents—a chance to pet the goats. Then it became an opportunity to apply my tech skills for earthquake disaster relief. Now, Nepal has become a place of transformative encounter. Nurturing the homeless boys of Kathmandu and working with those who seek guidance, I found a new home in Nepal.

Joy of Helping

by Arron Basnyet

My Passion of Helping Others

It seems like a standard response for a thirteen-year-old to state that he is passionate about helping others. While this is true, that is all I want to do now and throughout my high school and college years and beyond. This is because I am experiencing this joy right now with my nonprofit organization, http://www.all4ball.org of fundraising and changing lives one by one.

At dinnertime, my mother would share stories of the extreme poverty of the small towns of her homeland, Nepal. I often wondered how I could help, so when I visited Nepal in 2018, the first place we went to was a school. The front of the building looked like a tiny jungle, covered with tall grass and bushes, and that was the only place the children could play for recess. We continued up a dirt path to the main part of the school where I saw children inside the classrooms sitting on the floor surrounding one low table. The school could not afford chairs and desks for the forty children that they had. I had already heard about the situation, so on my eleventh birthday, I collected money instead of asking for gifts. With the $1,000 I raised, I set out to build a multipurpose sports field, and the kids use it for different activities, varying from sports to assemblies year around. My passion was born in Nepal. I knew what I wanted to do.

Being brought up in America, I never saw kids without shoes. Most of the students in this school were barefoot because they could not afford them. Knowing this, I came prepared with forty pairs of new shoes. On that same visit, my brother, his friends, and I brought soccer balls and taught the students the basic rules and skills of the sport. The smile on their faces made me feel so good about my choices to help and to bring joy, and I thought to myself that if one person could put a smile on forty kids, if others contributed, it could change the whole world. On that flight back home to America, I achieved my short-term goal, but it was not enough. I was eager for how I could continue changing lives.

I put my eyes on new ways to help those unfortunate. I wanted to raise money quickly, so on New Year’s Day, I baked cookies and brownies and sold them while also collecting used soccer cleats and jerseys from my teammates. I wanted the kids in Nepal to have a chance to use the same equipment as us. I raised another $1,000 to build another multipurpose field for another school. And the ideas kept stacking up.

I found ways to help Nepal without even being there. I teach a computer class to kids in an orphanage in Pokhara, Nepal through Zoom. I am Microsoft PowerPoint and Word certified, so I educate them about the basics of these programs. I make a lesson plan before each class and teach them how to perform a function, and because of the time difference, I must log on at nighttime. Once, I asked my students what their goals and dreams were, and they all had normal aspirations to be a sports player or a doctor, but it hit me that they had little opportunity being in Nepal as opposed to my American dreams.

As a result of my non-profit, ‘all4ball.org,’ which promotes and informs people about my work in Nepal, I have a continued passion for my future to help people through science and medicine, and what better way to continue changing the world than by helping others feel healthier, happier, and better? And while I do not know specifically what kind of doctor or scientist I am going to become; I do know that my passion for people all started in 2018 in front of a tiny school in Nepal.

स्वयंसेवक दिवसको अवसरमा दरै समाजमा रोट्रयाक्टको सहयोग


News By Rameshwor Sharma Reported By Joshan Shrestha Written By Uttam Rimal

मङ्सिर २० , तनहुँ ।। आज अन्तराष्ट्रिय स्वयंसेवक दिवसको अवसरमा तनहुँ व्यास नगरपालिक वडा न १० दुम्सीका दरै समुदायहरुको लागि रोट्रयाक्टको क्लब अफ रुद्रमती बबर्महल- काठमाडौंले ‘अपलिफ्त द लाईभस’ बन्ने प्रोजेक्ट अन्तर्गत दरै समुदायलाई चल्ला तथा सरसफाइ सामाग्री बितरण गरेका हुन् । यस दरै समुदायका मनिषहरुलाई आर्थिक वृद्धिकोलागी र यस कोरोनको समयमा आफुलाई सुरक्षा राख्नको लागि यस प्रोजेक्टले केही सम्म भए पनि मद्दत गर्ने हुनाले यस प्रोजेक्ट गरिएको हो ।

कार्यक्रममा दुम्सी समुदायको २६ घर परिवारलाई प्रति घरमा ५ वटा चल्लाहरु र दाना बितरण गरिएको थियो भने बाँकी रहेका अन्य परिवारलाई अर्को चराणमा बितरण गरिने भएको छ । सो कार्यक्रममा सो समुदायकै ५० घर परिवारलाई साबुन, रुमाल, स्यानिटाइजार, मन्जन, ब्रस आदि सरसफाइका सामाग्री सहितको झोलाहरु बितरण गरिएको थियो । कार्यक्रममा आफुले चल्लाहरु पाएपछि समुदायले खुशी व्यक्त गरेका थिए।   

कार्यक्रमका प्रमुख अतिथीको रुपमा व्यास नगरपालिक वडा १० का वडाध्यक्षमा तुल्सी राम सापकोटा, विशिष्ट अतिथीको रुपमा आदिवासी जनजाती युवा महसंघ तनहुँका पुर्व अध्यक्ष यवम कार्यक्रम सहयोगी वीर बहादुर दरै, दुम्सी नमुना ग्राम माथिल्लो टोल बिकास संस्थाका अध्यक्ष नन्दलाल पौडेल ,दुम्सी दरै गाउ समुदाय इकाइ समितीको अध्यक्ष तुल बहादुर दरै अतिथीमा दुम्सी दरै गाउ आमा समुहका अध्यक्ष लरी माया दरै, दुम्सी दरै होम स्टेका सन्चालिका आशा दरै हुनुहुन्थ्यो ,कार्यक्रमको सभापतित्यो रोट्रक्यक क्लब अफ रुद्रमती बबर्महल- काठमाडौंका अध्यक्ष रो. ॠषि कडरियले गर्नु भएको थियो भनी कार्यक्रमको सम्योजक रो. पृथ्वी श्रेष्ठ हुनुहुन्थ्यो । 

कार्यक्रम बोलदै प्रमुख अतिथी सापकोटाले आफ्नो वडा अन्तर्गत दरै समुदायमा यस्तो राम्रो कार्यक्रम ल्याउनु भएकोमा रोट्रक्यक क्लबलाई धेरै धन्यवाद दिनु भएको थियो, दरै भाषा सन्स्कृति पहिचानको साथै आफ्नो ब्यक्तिगत बिकासको लागि आफुले पनि अघी बढेर आउँनु पर्छ, स्थानिय सरकारबाट सकेको सहयोग गर्ने कुरा पनि जोडनु भ्एको थियो। यस चल्ला बितरण पछी यस्को राम्रो हेरबिचर गरेर आउने दिनहरुमा राम्रो उथ्पादन गर्नुपर्ने कुरामा जोड दिनुभएको थियो।

कार्यक्रममा कार्यक्रमका विशिष्ट अतिथी दरैले बिपन्नपरिवरहरुलाई केही मात्रामा भएपनी यस कार्यक्रमले सहयोग गर्ने र यो जाडोको समयमा चल्लाहरुलाई धेरै हेरचाहगर्नु पर्नेहुँदा राम्रोसँग हेरचाहगर्न पनि समुदयालाई आनुरोध गर्नुभएको थियो यस्सैगरी दुम्सी दरै होम स्टयका सन्चालिक आशा दरैले कार्यक्रममा स्वागत मन्तब्य राख्नु भएको थियो भनी दुम्सी दरै गाउ आमा समुहका अध्यक्ष लरी माया गौउमा पहिलो चोटि यस्तो कार्यक्रम भएको बताउनु भयो र आउने दिनहरुमा बिभिन्न महिला बिकासका तालिम ल्यनुहुन् पनि समोदन गर्नु भएको थियो र कार्यक्रममा दुम्सी दरै गाउ समुदाय इकाइ समितीको अध्यक्ष तुल बहादुर दरै पनि आफ्नो भनाइ राख्नु भएको थियो। कार्यक्रममा कार्यक्रमका सभापति कडरियाले आउने दिनहरुमा पनि यसै प्रोजेक्ट अन्तर्गत थुप्रै सिपमुलक कार्यक्रम ल्याउने जानकारी दिनुभएको थियो।    

यस प्रोजेक्टलाई सार्थक पार्नको लागि द आशा प्रोजेक्टले ठुलो मद्दत गरेको भन्दै यस प्रोजेक्टका संस्थापक रो. तुल्सी महर्जनलाई सम्झदै आउने दिनहरुमा यसै प्रोजेक्ट अन्तर्गत बिभिन्न सीमान्तकृत तथा गरीब जातिका मानिस र बालबालिकको क्षेत्रमा बिभिन्न कार्यक्रमगर्ने कुरा प्रोजेक्टका संयोजक पृथ्वी श्रेष्ठले जानकारी दिनुभयो । 

यस प्रोजेक्टलाई द आशा प्रोजेक्ट-नेपाल, फ्रेन्ड अफ नेपाल- न्यू जर्सी, आशा वन स्टेप फर चेन्ज, रोटरी क्लब अफ ब्रन्चबुर्ग र रोट्ररी क्लब अफ रुद्रमती जस्ता सहयोगी संस्थाहरु छन् भने यस प्रोजेक्टका आधिकारिक मिडिया पार्टनरको रुपमा नेपाल रिपोर्टस र पर्यटन बजार छन्।

Celebrating 10th year of FONNJ’s Legacy Circle

Many thanks for making FONNJ’s 10th year of LEGACY CIRCLE program a great success. With 87,000 worth of donations from LEGACY CIRCLE members, Nepal Earthquake Relief fund, the Asha Project and various Rotary Clubs, we have been able to receive matching grants from the Rotary International pushing our funds to $550,000.

Over the last five years, we sent 35 Rotaract students to Nepal to learn about culture and build better friendship and distribute over 6000 pounds of school supplies. The US Rotaract students along with their Nepali counterparts have distributed the school supplies, warm clothes and blankets; and participated in various community projects. Collaboration with several organizations have allowed us to accomplish a great deal.

Our annual humanitarian missions to Nepal from 2016-2020 has helped us to visit many schools, community groups, projects as well as carrying gifts from our members and supplies from district Rotary club members.

In early January 2020, we began working with the Rotary club of Patan-West to create the Rays of Hope Scholarship Fund for 100 school children in remote villages. Our collaboration with the Rotary club of Patan has already been providing more than 100 scholarships each year.
During the same trip, we were able to set up a science lab at the Bal Kumari School at Sunakothi, thanks to support from the America-Nepal Friendship Society of NY. We also provided $100,000 matching grant we received from the Rotary International to two NGO’s to start the Micro Credit projects in several villages.

With the help from the Asha Project and the Rotary club of Branchburg, we distributed chickens at the Barumchuli Village in Lalitpur and Mushara village in Sauraha, Chitwan.

In late 2019, we took over 18 Rotary members on a humanitarian mission. They helped conduct two health camps, visited schools; distributed 5000 pounds of school supplies donated by the Color for Kids Foundation.

All of these projects were possible only because of the generosity of our LEGACY CIRCLE MEMBERS and our supporting partners.
The COVID-19 has made fundraising by us and our supporting organizations almost impossible. The needy of Nepal are looking to you for help. Your donation and membership with the Legacy Circle will go a long way in helping needy people in Nepal. Let’s leave a LEGACY OF HOPE.

With best wishes for you & yours,
Tulsi R. Maharjan, Ph.D.
Chair, Friend of Nepal-New Jersey
Past District Governor, Rotary District 7475
Founder, the Asha Project

PS: Do remember, you can make a donation at
any time at http://www.theashaproject.org/donate. Thanks.

Nepal Goat Project: Celebrating the successes, goals and visions of a wonderful women-empowerment project.


What does a goat mean to women and communities in Nepal?

 Empowering Nepalese women and feeding families are important missions within the ASHA Project.

The women assisted via our goat project tell us that keeping goats increases their earnings, provides pediatric nutrition via milk and enables them to save for their children’s health and education. From feelings of marginalization and despair, these women are shaping their own destinies.  They come together in new ways, discussing husbandry and feeding matters, behaviors and signs of goat health and well-being.  Any feelings of despair fade away and are replacement by hope, togetherness, female-empowerment and influence.

Since 2013, The Friends of Nepal –New Jersey (now the Asha Project) has been helping women in Nepal.  Our first project was launched in 2013 with a special orientation session on how to raise goats. This was held in the Godamchaur (district of Lalitpur, Nepal) and thirty-five women participated. From those 35, 25 were selected who were able to demonstrate the skills required to raise animals.

Since 2011 we have been distributing goats in many other villages and districts.

  • Durlum Court (Parbat district) with the help of the Rotary Club of Hamilton
  • Dharan – Auntie Carol’s Pasture (Eastern Nepal) – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
  • Three sisters in Sindhupalchok District – Rotary club of Hamilton
  • Rotary Village in Barumchuli, Patan. Various Rotary Clubs
  • Godamchaur (district of Lalitpur, Nepal) – Friends of Nepal-NJ


By the year 2050, there will be 9.7 billion people on planet Earth. Currently, we’re failing to feed just over 7 billion.

To meet the ever-growing need for food while preserving the ecosystems we depend upon, humanity will need to innovate. Livestock systems must be available to impoverished communities, to decrease their environmental footprint, and to make products accessible to those who need them most.

 The NEPAL Goat PROJECT is the brainchild of the Asha Project. We aim to achieve food security through environmentally sustainable interventions. We prioritize animal welfare and act on community-defined need as we work to solve one of the world’s toughest problems.

ASHA invites contributions, comments, ideas that will assist our pursuit of a fundamental human right – receiving food.

Next Step: Rotary Global Grant Project: 

Goat farming is a profitable business with a low investment because of its multi-functional utility like meat and milk production. Goats are widely used livestock in Nepal. Goat farming will help to generate income in rural Nepal. Every year Nepal important more than 50,000 bucks from India and China so there is a very good market for the goal project.


From those first 25 women going out to change their own lives and those of their communities via the Goat Project, 500 women are now engaged in making a positive sustainable difference.

Within the Goat Project, participants receive goats, plants for forage and fodder, group savings and micro credit loans, access to literacy and gender equity training.

Yet, although we are happy about our progress to date, we will not rest.  Change is on the horizon. Your support helps the Asha Project train and equips Nepali women across 10 districts to dramatically increase family income, well-being and self-empowerment through the production and sale of goats and goat products.

Our goal is help Nepalese women’s groups, support women-led farmer cooperatives and women-led self-help groups that provide literacy, gender equity, group savings and other opportunities.  ASHA wants women to flourish, and, in time, be completely self-directed and independent.

We know – because we have been told this – that this aim is shared by women worldwide. Therefore, once again, please consider becoming involved.


Let’s ask Yoda…

Yoda confirms that the Asha Project prides itself in transparency. 100% of your donation goes to the project.


[ ] $250  

[ ] $150  

[ ] $100  

[ ] Other (every single dime counts)

Rotary Club of Branchburg

P.O. Box 5015

Somerville, NJ 08876



 Friends of Nepal- NJ is a New Jersey-based nonprofit with the goal of providing humanitarian support for Nepal. FONNJ has extensive in-country experience in Nepal and provides ongoing valuable advisory services during Asha Project’s micro credit project implementation.      

January -February 2020 Humanitarian Mission

In January and February 2020 we kicked off Humanitarian Mission 2020. This mission is about building hope and opportunity for the people of Nepal. We conducted health camps, sponsored schools and orphanages, and did needs assessments to further develop our impact in Nepal. #Peopleofaction #rotaryinaction #theashaproject #FONNJ #sustainabledevelopment #humandevelopment

2019 HIghlights of the Asha Project


HELPING poor people in Nepal to rebuild their LIVES and renew their HOPE.

The Asha Project is a joint project of the Friends of Nepal-NJ (FONNJ) and the Rotary club of Branchburg to help poor people in Nepal by focusing on education, micro credit and homes and community building.

ASHA PROJECT works in collaboration with many organizations to support community schools, health centers, micro credit projects and scholarships in Nepal.


With our ASHA PROJECT’S three pillar model, we are providing HOPE & OPPORTUNITIES for thousands of people in Nepal.

What will really stick with me for the rest of my life are the youth leaders. They are such an inspiration to me and I can only imagine the great things they will accomplish in their lives.When you think about the ripple effect that will have, you really start to feel a sense of the scale of what is being accomplished by our ASHA PROJECT”.

Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan, Founder, The Asha Project


FONNJ has worked in Nepal for the past 29 years to provide humanitarian support. With a small investment of $500 made to start an educational fund 29 years ago, now we are providing more than 500 scholarships a year.

We have completed more than 17 Rotary Foundation grants in Nepal worth more than $950,000 to improve water, sanitation, health and educational opportunities for more than 70,000 people in Nepal.



  • 5000+ scholarships provided to date helping 50,000 students access to education and school supplies
  • 5000+ students enrolled in our computer literacy Digital Divide project
  • 150 girls graduated secondary school from Schools since 2000


Helping families stay healthy and thrive for generations

  • $15,000+ in medical supplies provided to date to health service
  • 8000+ patients served to date at various Health Camps


Empowering parents to earn a sustainable income

  • 10,000+ women empowered to date with financial independence
  • 200+ women empowered through a new Women’s Empowerment Program
  • 500+ participants trained in financial literacy and animal husbandry to lift a community out of poverty


It is amazing how a short, four letter words can represent so much. ASHA means HOPE in Nepali, and that is our purpose. I would like to personally thank you for being a part of the team. Your support for the ASHA PROJECT has transformed the lives of not just individuals, but entire communities, empowering them with the tools to break the cycle of poverty.

We truly believe in the work ASHA PROJECT is doing in Nepal, they are making a huge impact in Nepal, not only with the services and support they provide, but also with the inspiration and education they provide to youth all over Nepal to make a difference and change our world for the better. ASHA PROJECT creates global citizens.”

Rotary club of Patan West.


[ ] $50 To provide meals for students.

[ ] $75 Send one student to school.

[ ] $100 Buy two goats for family.

[ ] $100 Support young ladies with sanitary pads.

[ ] $350 Support one student with a uniform and school supplies for one year.

[ ] $500 Establish E-library.

[ ] $500 Start a business with micro credit.

Call us if you would like to work with us to make a difference in the lives of people in Nepal.

Phone 908-369-4318 or email us at trm7510@gmail.com. www.theashaproject.org

Please mail your tax deductible check to the address below or contact us for more information.

P.O. Box 5015, Somerville, NJ 08876 908-369-4318

Email: trm7510@gmail.com

Ceremonies and Celebration of Mrs. Usha Devi Maharjan’s Memory.

No tribute could ever come close to adequately describing 

अनिच्चावत संखारा उत्पादवियो धम्मिनो उपज्जित्वा निरुझन्ति तेसं भूसमोसुखं!!!

Mentor, friend, wife, grandmother,great grandmother—Usha lived a life of many roles and with many talents. 
Born in Nepal 88 years ago, Mrs. Maharjan would ultimately become one of the most-beloved and well-respected person in Pulchowk. We call her an “Unofficial Mayor of Pulchowk”. She was the pillar of the community and family.

Grand son Anil and Daughter Tara.

She was not educated, however, she managed to send her two sons to China and USA to study. She admitted her grand kids and great grant kids to St. Xavier and St. Mary school and helped many underprivileged children to get into St. Xavier school and other schools in Patan. 

Helped many local people financially and motivating people in the community to do better by giving her life example.

In 1960 she worked in China with the Nepalese Ambassador Mr. Keshar Bahadur KC and took her elder son along with the family to study in China.

One year celebration of Life and Legacy of Mrs. Maharjan at the NJ Buddhist vihara.

One year celebration of Life and Legacy of Mrs. Maharjan. Due to Covid19 pandemic, I was not able to go to Nepal to conduct one year celebration so our families gathered at the NJ Buddhist Vihara to conduct the one year SARADA.

In 1972 she managed to send her 15 year old son to America to study.

Even though she was not a Rotarian she lived by Rotary’s 4 way test.

While her notoriety was great and her accolades numerous, for many in the community, she was a mentor. Approachable and authentic, Mrs. Maharjan was available to community people to help anyway possible. 

We continue to celebrate her Life and Legacy by creating a Memorial scholarship at her favorite St. Xavier School during my visit to Nepal on the occasion of the 60 day celebration . 

Monk Krishna Man performing rituals.




Sauni Didi Memories

It was in 1980, when I first came to Nepal, that I met Didi and Sauji. At that time they had a tuck shop in our school to supply stationey for the hostel students. She was very friendly with the students and spoke to them lovingly like  a mother. Later the hostel was no more and the shop also was closed. She had good rapport with all the fathers and brothers. Later every year she used to invite us to her house during Dashain for a big “bhoj” with home-made Newari raksi. She took pride in saying that this raksi is more than 30 years old. “Nathini pani janmeko thiyena”, she would often say.  It was really of excellent quality. Occasionally she would send a bottle for me saying it is cold medicine for you.

Many students remember her sitting at the guard house for long hours. When Fr.Marty Coyne was alive he was her companion near the gate.  She knew all the news and gossips around Jawalakhel and would share with Fr.Coyne. At dinner table Fr.Coyne would share the same news with us. She enjoyed the company of children and many would greet her “Namaste” at the gate, and some would take her blessing. One negative aspect of her life was that she could never accept the fact that her younger son married a “kuire” girl from the USA, though didi was very friendly and close to many American fathers for many decades !

In the last couple of years it was difficult for her to walk and someone would reach her to school and take her back home. At Dashain time she felt bad that she could not feed us due to ill health. On the occasion of important Nepali festivals she would give a party to the fathers and the maintenance staff of the school. Often she would ask about the fathers who are here and abroad, especially about those who are sick. After my mother died last year I visited her and said, “My mother is gone, now you are my mother.” She was very happy to hear that.

She had a lot her friends in Patan area and they visited her often. Though she was wealthy she liked to live a simple life. Till the last days of her life she had good memory and recognized people easily even by voice. I am happy that God did not give her much suffering in her last days and she bid us goodbye after a few days of sickness.

***We miss your loving presence at our school, Didi,

 We miss your sweet smile that refreshed us

And your love filled words that comforted us.

Thank you for being part of our lives

May you be counted in the company of the angels

 And may the Lord of love reward you abundantly***

Fr. A. V. Mathew, S.J., St. Xavier’s School, Jawalakhel

It was really sad to hear the incident and let the departed soul of our thulo muwa rest in peace.
She was such a nice person and past memories always flash back and stays permanently. She was so helpful and because of her only I got the opportunity to study in AVM and now where I stands is due to her blessing. There is no words in the dictionary to thank her and could not say anything either. She was so charming and have positive attitude. Because of the love and full of compassion she helped many more and her soul will reach to nirvana. No word ever exist but for her remembrance some words are still remaining in my heart.
My love to my loving Usha Thulo Muwa

Let the departed soul rest in peace.

My Thulo Muwa…

May my Thulo Muwa be happy and obtain the causes of happiness.

May my Thulo Muwa be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

May my Thulo Muwa always have excellent happiness in which there is no suffering.

May my Thulo Muwa live in immeasurable equanimity free from attachment and hatred towards those near and far.

May I be able to take upon myself all the adharma of my Thulo Muwa’s so that she will be free from all sorrows in her future life.

Rajeeb Thapa

Rajeeb Thapa
Energy Efficiency Power Solution Pvt. Ltd.

Keith Federman Sending my condolences. I’m very sorry for your loss Tulsi. If the values we instill in others, and the caring and kindness is legacy what we leave behind, she has left quite a legacy. Sending prayers.

Chandra Sakya Heartfelt condolence to you and your family !

Shanta Khadgi My deepest condolences to you and family Tulsi ji. May the departed Soul rest in peace.

Gyan Lal Maharjan May God bless her soul! She was just amazing!

Rup Kumar Shakya अनिच्चावत संखारा उत्पादवियो धम्मिनो उपज्जित्वा निरुझन्ति तेसं भूसमोसुखं!!!

Rajendra Basnyat Thanks to Maharajan brothers for establishing one outstanding students award in the name of Usha fufu for continuity of her attachment/legacy with St. Xavier’s school

One year death ceremony…

One year ceremony
45 day celebration

60 day celebration at the Dhayakuti Bihara and feeding senior citizens.

Asha Project – एउटा लेख्ने कलम वा लेखिने कपि का कारण कुनै बालबालिका को शिक्षा नरोकिओस् उनिहरुको सपना नखुम्चिओस् भनी यो अभियान अघि बढीरहेछ । By Sapana Limbu, Damak Rotaract

Sapana Limbu attending the Rotaract Zonal Leadership event.

खुसी को कुनै आकार हुदैन हामी जति सुकै ठुला भएपनी साना साना उपहार अनि साथ मा पनि खुसी हुन सक्छौ । होला कसैलाई अर्थहिन लाग्ने त्यही चिज अरुकोहिलाई मुल्यवान् हुन सक्छ त्यस्तै हर चिज यसरी नै चल्दछ ।

Damak Library visit

हामिलाई कुनैदिन कक्षा मा पढाउदै गर्दा सर ले भन्नुभएको थियो “तिमीले कुनै प्रतियोगिता मा प्रथम भएर पाएको पुरस्कार एउटा ५ रुपैया को कलम मात्र पाएपनी त्यो पुरस्कार पुरस्कार नै हुनेछ अनि त्यस्को पनि महत्व उत्तिकै हुनेछ ” त्यस्तैगरि हामिले मन बाट कसैलाई गरेको सानो सहयोग पनि महत्वपूर्ण हुन्छ ।

उनिहरुको हर प्रयास मा सफलता अनि असफलता मा हामी साथ हुनु मात्र पनि उनिहरुको उदेश्य मा अर्को नया आसा थप्नु हो । नेपालको कुना काप्चा अनि दुर्गम ठाउका साना साना बच्चा तथा गरिब असहाय लाई सहायता गर्नु नै यो प्रोजेक्ट को मुल उदेश्य हो।

एउटा लेख्ने कलम वा लेखिने कपि का कारण कुनै बालबालिका को शिक्षा नरोकिओस् उनिहरुको सपना नखुम्चिओस् भनी यो अभियान अघि बढीरहेछ ।

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