Featured

2020-21 IMPACT REPORT

OUR MISSION:
Our mission is to transform lives by promoting Health, Education and Women’s Empowerment. Our primary objective is to help people reach their highest potential.

Thank you so much for making our 2021 Year such an amazing success! It was heartwarming to have so much support.

In order to ensure that FONNJ’s Asha Project remains vibrant, strong and ready to offer more fabulous programs in the coming seasons, please consider making a gift today to the LEGACY CIRCLE at WWW.FONNJ.COM/DONATION.
Your generosity will be rewarded many times over as we work together, time after time, year after year to help people reach their highest potential.

A project of different scale.

Scheer Memorial Hospital is a 150-bed general community hospital at Banepa. While offering a variety of medical services, the hospital prioritizes treating women, children, and the needy.
Most of their equipment is outdated and with this $40,000 project we hope to;
1.Upgrade the emergency department and,
2.Train staff in using the new equipment.
Thanks to a Rotary grant our $3000 investment will receive a 15-fold benefit.

Computer Lab for Prisoners
In 2020, we set up two computer labs, costing $15,000, to train incarcerated people in IT. The computer project is in Dang. It is a collaboration with Dhulikhel Rotary Club.

Serving 30 years of Humanitarian Service in Nepal


The Goat Project 2020

With the Goat Project, we provide women with goats, along with plants for fodder, access to group savings & micro-credit, basic literacy, and gender equity training.
Goats are relatively inexpensive to raise. Before sale, they provide these women with milk for their children. As their herds increase, the women gift animals to others in need. Thus, they give forward their gifts from us.
We have raised $10,000 and received a grant of $43,000 from Rotary International Global which has enabled us to give 100 goats to 50 women across the district. We aim to reach 1,000 women in 10 districts by 2030.

By Numbers:
We have given micro-loans totaling $215,000 since 2002
Helped 10,000 women start businesses
Trained 1,250 in personal finance & animal husbandry
We run a Goat Farming Project in 10 districts


“Villagers will have a GIVING DAY CELEBRATION (to give forward their gift)”

Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan

PAD PROJECTS

No matter how modern we become, the natural bleeding process (menstruation) in women is still considered taboo in Nepal; many students miss their school during this time. This taboo has resulted in students missing school, as well as women dying from exposure because they are forced to remain outdoors. This special project will take palces in different parts of the county.


The RotaAsha Library Project:
The RotaAsha Library Project at Dolkha Community School is a fine example of the projects we have take up. In it, we joined hands with the Rotaract Club of Sukedhara.
Dolkha is about 60 mi from Kathmandu. With our financial support, the Rotaract Clubs of Sukhedhara and Baneshore donated 1,176 books to the community school at the Hari Kirtan Basic School.

Pictures from the Library project

Indigenous Community


This year, we are helping the Dumsi Darai Village of Tanahun District with chicken farming, Covid-19 protection materials. The Darai are a marginalized ethnic group. They depend on agriculture and fishing; and suffer from low literacy and poverty.
In January 2021, we distributed 150 chicken to villagers. According to founder-chairman Dr. Maharjan, “Villagers will have a GIVING DAY CELEBRATION (to give forward their gift). This way the community will learn how caring and sharing are essential for development.”
As part of the Indigenous Community Economic Development project, we hope to distribute more chickens, develop a bee project in the village as well as promote their homestay (hospitality) business and school programs.

2020-2021 PROJECTS CONDUCTED IN NEPAL

  • “Economic Empowerment of Indigenous Women” Projects – $2,000.00
  • Food Distribution Projects – $1,000.00
  • Library Project – $1000
  • Goat Project in Dhulikhel – $2,000.00 (Rotary Grant for $40,000)
  • Computer Project in Dang at the Prison library- $2,000 (Rotary Grant for $15,000)
  • Banepa Hospital Project $3000 (Rotary matching grant for $40,000)
  • 3 Health Projects – Helping youth group with hygiene pads and educational programs- $2,000.00
  • 100 Scholarships for minority students – $2,000.00
  • 25 schools -Distribution of books, bags and copies – $3,000.00
  • Microloan redistribution (Rotary grant $95,000)

PLEASE KINDLY SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTION FOR THE 2022 THE LEGACY CIRCLE MEMBERSHIP.

We believe, all of us must embrace the innate source of compassion within us to make a difference in our community and in our homeland. The Asha Project’s mission is to “help the underprivileged people of Nepal to rebuild their lives and renew their hope.”

The Asha Project calls for action to bring more compassion to the forefront of our lives and provide hope and opportunities for poor in Nepal. Thanks to our LEGACY CIRCLE members for putting Altruism in Action by helping the people of Nepal.

In 2022, we are planning to conduct projects for more than $75,000 worth in Nepal to help people reach their highest potential.

You can mail your check, made payable to Friends of Nepal-NJ, to

FONNJ
P.O. Box 5015
Somerville, NJ 08876

Or you can pay it with the PayPal at this link
https://www.fonnj.com/donate/


Thank you for your continued support for our projects in Nepal.

Featured

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.

Papa Jim to receive the U.S. President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

If you wonder, “What can one person do?” think of Jim McGrady. Jim has a long history of using his chef skills to help communities.

When he owned a restaurant in Ocean City, he frequently donated food to local shelters, rehabilitation programs, special needs kids and veterans’ groups.
When he began working at Maggiano’s Little Italy – where he picked up the nickname “Papa Jim” from the young employees – he revamped their charity strategy to help the chain donate millions of dollars to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Then, McGrady moved back to New Jersey and joined the Somerville Elks Lodge, which is a large contributor to the charity Jack’s Kids. He became involved in their charity work, and also used his experience to rebuild their charity strategy to help them raise 900% more donations than they had before.
Last year during COVID-19, McGrady retired from the Elks, but he wanted to continue to help Somerset County during the time of crisis. So, he connected his old friends and partnered with the Rotary club of Branchburg and started cooking at the Bound Brook Presbyterian Church and distributing meals to various churches and senior centers in Somerset County. As a result” Not Just Soup” program was started.


Many community groups are participating in this program. This became the Community Meal Program during the Covid pandemic. The Community Meal Program grew to meet the growing needs of the community.
Through the benevolence of the community, and without any government support, the Rotary Club and different participating organizations have been able to distribute more than 300 meals a week and have also started food pantry.

In addition to his work with “Not Just Soup” Jim has started “Papa Jim’s Comfort Kitchen”

Papa Jim’s Comfort Kitchen is a new culinary service to our community. Everyone that purchases meals is also helping McGrady to donate meals to hungry local families.


Website: papajimscomfortkitchen.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/papajimscomfortkitchen.

Mr. Mahesh Advani to receive US Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award

Mr. Mahesh Advani has been an altruistic force in Central New Jersey through his involvement in a many non-profit organizations’ programs and activities from raising funds to dedicating his time and talent for the last 20 years.

He has been member of the Indian Health Camp of New Jersey for many years, an organization dedicated to providing health screening; medical consultation, diagnostic test services and need based financial support to uninsured or poorly insured individuals in the community. This organization has served more than 10,000 patients, saving more than $6 million dollars for the patients.

For the last ten years, he has been helping to organize NJ’s Peace Day Celebration to promote peace and understanding in our Central New Jersey communities. As a past Assistant Governor of the Rotary District 7475 and charter president of the Princeton Lions International, he has been helping many community organizations to work together with Rotary and Lions. He has also served on the boards of many community organizations including Sarva Dharma Center, Ved Mandir, Sadhu Vaswani Center and member of the Economic Development Committee of the South Brunswick Township, Community Emergency Response Team for the North Brunswick Township.

According to Past District Governor of the Rotary International, RID 7475 Dr. Tulsi R. maharjan “Mahesh embodies the mission of the Rotary International’s commitment to unite, nurture and bring together community people to promote peace and understanding in our rapidly changing communities. He is a community connector and community builder and exemplifies not only as a great community leader but also someone who gives back”.  

PDG Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan

He currently lives in South Brunswick, surrounded by his wife Renu and his three children. 

Please join us on May 7 at our annual International Peace Day celebration to congratulate Mahesh.

“Guests are like God”

By: Emily Fabiano, GAP – Nepal Humanitarian Mission and Cultural Exchange Volunteer

8,000 miles from home, living in one of the poorest countries in the world, missing my family and friends. I remember my first night in Nepal, I was staying in run-down, poorly insulated buildings, sleeping in several layers of clothes to stay warm. I was in a place where my surroundings could not have been more different than my life in the U.S. I was witnessing ways of living that I did not think existed in the modern world. My first impression of the country and upon getting food poisoning had me wondering “Why did I decide to travel to Nepal?!”

The beautiful country of Nepal and the generous people I have met among my many trips have become a significant part of my life. Despite the poor living conditions, I constantly felt a need and a desire to return to this country each year, as the impact I felt from volunteering here was augmented upon each successive trip. I am grateful for having the opportunity to travel to Nepal, as each return trip continues to shape my character immensely and change my outlook on life.

Adjusting to the Nepali lifestyle was not easy. Sleeping without heat, taking cold showers, hiking to the top of a “mountain” to where I will sleep for the night are not things I am used to. I saw children hike the mountains with no shoes just to get to school, while schools were often not much more than concrete walls and a tin roof. Facilities lack cleanliness and supplies to facilitate effective learning. These experiences and the exposure to what it is like to get an education in Nepal have taught me to appreciate the opportunities that I have.

At every orphanage and school, I went to, the kids melted my heart. I felt like I wanted to take them all home with me. They were ecstatic just to see outside visitors, and they would touch my hair because they have never seen someone with blonde hair before. There have been numerous moments that remind me that my time spent in Nepal is worth it. For instance, when we were distributing jackets and stationary supplies at an orphanage, a young girl asked me to promise her that I would come back. Another girl at a remote school in Pokhara had no socks or shoes, and the way she responded to simply getting a pencil from me was touching. Seeing the circumstances of where kids go to school is not always easy, but we help in any way we can by providing pencils, notebooks, rulers, and sometimes socks and gloves to students in remote areas. Another orphanage we went to, we distributed some blankets that were donated to us. The owner of the orphanage mentioned that they did not have enough blankets for all the children until we came. I remember thinking there was no way I could fit the blankets into my suitcase but hearing that made me glad I decided to make space for them. Aside from distributing donations at schools and orphanages we have also had the opportunity to assist with health and hygiene camps and paint the walls of schools and orphanages.

It is never easy to say goodbye to the kids when we finish a program and need to leave, as they usually stand in a group and all wave goodbye. While I am happy to have made a positive impact in their lives, it is sad to leave because I never know when and if I will return to that school or orphanage. Even when we interacted with students at a deaf and mute school, I still felt an unspoken connection to the kids.

No photo description available.It is often said in Nepal that “Guests are like God,” and this was evident in the way the Nepali hosted us. Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal undoubtedly has the most generous people in the world. Our friends in Nepal are always willing to do anything to make us feel more comfortable in their country. Each time we went to visit a school or orphanage and were hosted by new Rotaract clubs, we were welcomed with scarves, hot tea and biscuits. This truly made me feel very welcome wherever I went. My friend Jyoti and her family have hosted us in their home a few times, giving up their beds to us and cooking us meals to make us feel at home.

While we did numerous projects at schools and orphanages, we also had a cultural exchange and had the opportunity to attend Rotaract Meetings with the clubs in Nepal. For instance, myself and the club members from the US had a recipe exchange with the Lalitpur Club. We learned how to make MoMo, an iconic food of Nepal, while we introduced the Nepali club to Nachos. Although nachos are not a true American food, the Lalitpur club was intrigued by the combination of food and found it to be quite tasty. The various clubs that hosted us took us hiking and sightseeing to landmarks including the World Peace Pagoda, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Boudhanath Stupa, on cable cars where we got a glimpse of Mt. Everest, Chitwan National Park where we had an elephant safari, and so much more! For me, simply walking on the streets of Nepal is sightseeing because the country is so different from the US, and I love learning about the different culture and lifestyle. We have also taken part in several picnics where we learned new games, made new friends, and tried new foods.

Not only do I love the people and culture in Nepal, but the scenery is incredibly breathtaking. Many of us have seen pictures of the Himalayan Mountain range and of Mt. Everest, but to see them in life is surreal. Living in the US, waking up in the morning and going out on the rooftop to sip tea with a view of the Himalayan Mountain range is not something I can do every day.

Ultimately, it was worth it. Worth travelling 40 hours and worth transporting tons of donations across the world. Although I have summarized my experiences here, words cannot do justice. The only way to know how amazing it is to be a part of this mission is to travel to Nepal and experience it for yourself. I have now been to Nepal four times and cannot wait to be a part of future projects with clubs in Nepal. Thank you to all my friends in Nepal that have hosted me and continued to be a part of my life!

For more information about the Asha Project and the GAP program, please visit http://www.theashaproject.org

Father Murphy to be Honored by President Joe Biden

Father Ed Murphy to be honored by the President of the United States of America as a recipient of the “President’s Lifetime Achievement Award” for his 30 years of dedicated community service. This award is the highest award in the land for volunteer services given by the President and government of the United States of America.

The purpose of this award is to honor those who have continually poured out thousands of hours of volunteer service in this country. Lifetime Achievement Award will be bestowed upon Father ED Murphy for his thirty years of volunteer services. He has continually fed the poor, provided clothing and necessities to struggling families, offered free counseling to the community people, as a member of the Diversity Coalition, (https://www.sccdiversity.com) and he has been running free counseling programs to provide prayer and guidance and so much more.

According to Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan, Chair of the Somerset County Diversity Coalition and the Past Rotary District Governor, “He has been an inspiration to many, and we would like to celebrate the positive impact he has made in bettering our communities and the world together.”

Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan

He will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at the 12th Annual International Peace and Interfaith Prayers ceremony on Saturday, May 7th at the NJ Buddhist Vihara in Princeton.

His outreach includes serving on 9/11 chaplain service, organizing Interfaith Prayers and Interfaith Thanksgiving programs at various houses of worship in Somerset County.

According to Dr. Gurprakas Sigh of the GurDwara temple in Bridgewater, “Father Murphy has been working tirelessly to support and promote interfaith dialogues in the community. He had participated and organied many events in our temple.”

According to Dr. Maharjan “He also helped to organize several Bound Brook Community Celebration day programs in early 2000 after the big flood in Bound Brook. He has made his commitment to promote and bring peace and prosperity in our central New Jersey communities. Thank you Father Murphy.”

If you like to place a congratulatory ad in the Ad journal, please contact us at trm7510@gmail.com or calling 908-369-4318. Please visit our website https://www.sccdiversity.com for more information about the ads and peace program on May 7, 2022.

Bringing smiles and happiness among orphans at the St. Xavier Social Service Center.

By Eezya Dangol

Happy Day at the St. Xavier Social Service Center.

Today on 11 February 2022, the Asha project- Nepal organized a lunch program at St Xavier’s Social Service Centre in the memory of our grandmother Usha Maharjan who loved helping the needy at all times.

The Social Service Centre is a home to poor and handicapped children from various districts of Nepal. Most of these students do not have parents or parents are financially deprived. These marginalized community students were brought to give them education and service training so that they can fend themselves and support their families in the future.

At this event we donated school supplies and provide special luncheon for them.

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Luncheon with the center students.

All Children enjoyed the food and thanked us in joy. A small help to them brought great happiness in their faces which is immeasurable. The Asha Project has adopted this school as one of the social service center, where the Asha Project provides scholarships, art contest and writing contest every year and visit during the Asha Project’s annual humanitarian mission to Nepal.

I would like to thank Dr. Tulsi Maharjan for sponsoring this program through the Asha project in Nepal and bringing smiles on the face of those children.

Also thanks Father Thomas, Mr. Salik Maharjan, Mr. Giri Dhar Dangol, Mrs. Mangal Kumari Maharjan, Mrs. Unes Maharjan for making this program a success.

Eezya Dangol

School supplies distribution.
St Xavier Social Service Center students.

What is Rotary’s “Service Above Self” means to me?

As someone who went to Nepal twice, once in 2017 and again in 2019, I am struggling to write down my experience. I think the fact that this is going to be shared with others also makes it harder for me to share my perspective. It’s not because I had a bad experience or because I didn’t enjoy it. On the contrary, it is because I did enjoy it and had an amazing experience, on both occasions, that I am struggling to express my thoughts, feelings, and words. However, I do think that it is only fair that I share my experience from 2017. Simply because that is what led me to go back in 2019.

            “Service Above Self”, those words sure do sound familiar to me. It is because of the Rotaract motto that I was able to persuade myself to go on a journey to the other side of the world. That, and having a strong sense of adventure and curiosity for an unknown part of the globe really drove me (haha). Well, what should I say… my trip to Nepal was absolutely beautiful? I was in safe hands among other Rotaractors? The journey to deliver school supplies across the globe went smoothly? All these different questions have the same answer; and yet, have an extraordinary story behind them. As I remember PDG Tulsi Maharjan used to share his story about how 50 years ago he used to wait every Nepalese New Year to receive a small box of gift from US, that used to be precious moment for him.

In Nepal, I met so many people, made lifelong friends, distributed school supplies to various different school, and created memories that will last a lifetime. However, this trip wasn’t just me alone. I was with friends from home, Amanda, Dan, Jenna, Marcel, Ryan, and Sebastian. It was our passion, our commitment, and our dedication to Rotaract that really made this journey even more than what I had originally thought it would have been. It is because we were able to uphold the motto, “Services Above Self”, that we had such a wonderful and exhilarating experience aboard! It is because of our many sister clubs in Nepal that we were able to enjoy the breath-taking beauty that Nepal is. It is because of our friends that we met, Sujan, Jeevan, Pratima, Roneeya, Ganesh, Pratistha, Sunil, Sanjay, Gautam, Neetika, Sabina, Jyoti, Biyan, Kishor, Antim, Niranjan, Kapil, Ujwal and so many more people, that this adventure to Nepal was well worth more than any other life experience.

 I remember waking up one morning and being told that we’d be going to a school to distribute school supplies. I remember walking downstairs with everyone, counting the 250 pounds of school supplies that we had brought over, dividing them up, putting them in a bag for every child to receive various different supplies, then being transported to the school to introduce ourselves and distribute these supplies.

I remember the looks of joy, the smiles, the connection, and the overwhelming sense of bliss that came from room as we personally handed these supplies among the children. That is when I truly discovered what it is to be a member of Rotaract. What it is to be a part of something more than yourself. What it feels to be the embodiment of “Service Above Self”.

Manny Ramirez, President of the RAAofNJ

It’s not about skin colors, political orientation, ethnic background, religious belief, or social standing. It is about being able to do something for your fellow human, it is about giving hope in times of desperation, it is about making a difference in someone’s life who may need it, it is about being the good in the world. I would like to thank Rotary District 7510, the Rotary club of Branchburg, the Asha Project and Friends of Nepal-NJ for making this trip possible.

It was my pleasure to make new friends, share a new experience, and enjoy the beauty of life among many individuals. It was my pleasure to travel to a new country and step outside of my comfort zone. It was my pleasure to do something so impactful that I am currently reflecting on it right now and smiling while I type this. It was my pleasure to go to Nepal.

Our Gang getting Rotaract’s warm welcome in Pokhara

“It was my pleasure to make new friends, share a new experience, and enjoy the beauty of life among many individuals. It was my pleasure to travel to a new country and step outside of my comfort zone. It was my pleasure to do something so impactful that I am currently reflecting on it right now and smiling while I type this. It was my pleasure to go to Nepal and serve the humanity. For me Service Above Self means being able to help those who are less fortunate than us”.

Manny Ramirez, President of the RAAofNJ.

Digital Divide Project Turning the digital divide into digital dividends – A collaborative project between New Jersey and Nepal

The world today is divided between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ not only by wealth but by a growing number of separations, including the access to knowledge and information which is provided through information technology –known as the digital divide. (While basics such as knowledge of the English language and the technical know-how of using computers are partly the cause of this separation, the heart of the “divide” lies in the financial expense of obtaining computers.

Despite the world today becoming a global village, people in Nepal are deprived of the benefits in the development of information technology. For most in developing countries, a computer is still a luxury. For children in public schools, the computer is in many cases just a word, which exists in books or in pictures. This project is to help and challenge the Nepalese community in New Jersey to reduce the “Digital Divide”.

The First Digital Divide Grant was approved for $16,200 to provide 40 computers to public schools in Patan in 2002-2003 by the Rotary Club of Branchburg and the Rotary Club of Patan in collaboration with Friends of Nepal, New Jersey.

According to project organizer and Chair of the International District 7475 International Service Director, PDG Tulsi R. Maharjan, “It is intended that these computers will provide the missing opportunity for students and teachers to broaden their horizons in many areas. The added facility of the Internet and email should expand the cultural exchange between students in Nepal and New Jersey”. This project has already connected students from Nepal and New Jersey to exchange ideas.

PDG Tulsi R. Maharjan

This year’s intended $50,000 grant project will help to establish 2 schools with complete computer labs with online instruction of Math, science and English where the Rotary Club of Rudramati and New Jersey District clubs will collaborate in this districtwide project. This will be a collaborative project of between Rotary Club in Nepal district, RI District 3292, Nepal and Rotary Clubs in the Rotary District 7475 and the Asha Project- New Jersey.

Intended beneficiaries are approximately 2000 students, 20 teachers of 2 schools and around 10,000 village populations. The final selection of the schools will be based upon the schools’ demonstrated commitment to provide adequate space, furniture, qualified teacher and maintain the labs.

If you like to learn more about this project, please contact Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan, trm7510@gmail.com

Altruism in Action: Rotary Club of Branchburg

By Mathews Lopes.

Hi, my name is Mathews Lopes, and I come to you today to share with you some of my amazing experiences. But first let me tell you some things about myself. I am a 16-year-old young man out of Old Bridge that participates in varsity athletics like Football and Track. I also like to give back to people whenever I can. I have been involved in many different community service activities to give back to my community.

Community service does not only have a profound impact on our community, but the impact it has on the individual people is even greater. The concept of community service has always been something that I grew up with, and with me being older now I understand the importance of it for society. Community service is not just words, but an opportunity in life to contribute one’s time to helping others and making a difference in society; and thus, a better place to live for all. I remember firsthand watching my parents struggle to provide a good life for me, and it took a lot for them to just put food on the table for my sister and I. Through hard work my parents are now providing a very nice and comfortable life for me.

Rotary has been serving the humanity for the last 117 years. The Rotary club of Branchburg established in 1988 has been one of the leading Rotary club serving its community and communities around the world for the last 33 years.

Last week, the Rotary of Branchburg gave me a chance to volunteer to distribute fresh food and other items to needy community in Bound Brook. I had never heard of Rotary and through my parents contact, I was be able to do a community service. It was amazing to connect with so many people that had the same goal as me, which was simply to give back to the people that are less fortunate. I had opportunity to experience real “Altruism in Action.”

“I was moved to see how parents and children able to grab essential products for their families, seeing their faces light up lets me know that I want to do this for a very long time.”

Mathews Lopes, Old Bridge High School student.

It was also awesome to shadow people like Mr. Joe Horner, Bill Stabile and Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan and see what it’s like to lead a group of special individuals and have them perform to their best capabilities in giving back to the people. I suddenly came to realize truly the Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self.” and Rotary’s various themes “

I look forward to continuing my work with the Rotary and Rotarians from Rotary district 7475, and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for the future!. Thank you for the opportunity to experience personally Rotary’s “Humanity in Motion.”

My reflection on “World Peace Day – May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

By: Ritee Karmacharya

Our 12th Annual International Peace Day – “Buddha’s Birthday Celebration” will take place on May 7, 2022. Please join us. This is a collaborative project of the Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition and many community organizations. If you like to be a sponsor of this event, please let us know. http://www.sccdiversity.com

This is a prayer we each chanted into a microphone while waving all the flags of the world in the air at an annual International Peace Day event organized by the FONNJ (Friends of Nepal New Jersey), Rotary District 7475, Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition and the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara.

People said the prayer in any language they preferred. Whether someone said it in English, in Spanish, in French, in Chinese, in Hindi, in Nepali, or any other language, it ultimately means the same thing. “May peace prevail”. These three simple words that convey a powerful message for everyone who participated in this event. This prayer is a vision and a powerful tool for healing our people, our states, our countries, our planet, our universe, and most importantly, our minds.

PEACE DAY Celebration 2016


“The main reason a “World Peace Day” celebration is to bring people of all races together as one and share the unique attributes of each country. There were a variety of performances presented during the event; the singing of national anthems, reciting prayers of different religions, singing songs in different languages, and many other distinctive portrayals”.

Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan

Participants also had an opportunity to taste food from around the world. A mixture of different foods, ranging from Italian dishes to Indian sweets. Everyone had a chance to light a candle to pray for the world. A peace walk was also arranged in the event. Dr. Maharjan struck a Tibetan Singing Bowl while everyone took a silent walk in the woods. The walk was a way to release all the tensions that you were holding, to let it all go and be in a peace of mind.


The Mayor of the Franklin Township, New Jersey also attended the event and presented proclamation to create the Franklin township “Peace Zone”. He declared the day to be World Peace Day annually in the city.


After the walk, each person attending the event was given a flag of a country and everyone walked three circles around the large statue of Lord Buddha. There was a flag for every country in the world. As everyone walked around, each person spoke a prayer for peace into a microphone. They were free to speak in any language of their preference. This celebration helped people relax and try to come at peace in their minds and with each other. This gave people time to think about their well-being and others around them.


I really enjoyed this event because it was free of stress or worry. It was a lot of fun seeing all the different performances by different cultures and trying diverse foods. I also had a chance to plant a tree in the Buddhist Vihara. With the help of my grandfather, we planted a tree in the beautiful garden. It was a very enjoyable experience for me, and I really loved this event. I would definitely recommend going to this event next year.


There should be more events like this more often around the world to spread peace and harmony to all.


-Ritee Karmacharya is a youth editor of the Friends of Nepal-NJ. http://www.fonnj.com

The ASHA PROJECT-Nepal conducts Reusable Pad project in rural communities.

No matter how modern we become, the natural bleeding process (menstruation) in women is still considered taboo in Nepal; many students miss their school during this time. This taboo has resulted in, as well as women dying from exposure because they are forced to remain outdoors.

The Asha Project, in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of Damak, Sukhedhara and Rudramati-Babar Mahal, conducted training classes on menstruation hygiene and distributing reusable sanitary pads free of charge to the community people. Women groups were trained on how to make environmentally friendly sanitary pads. This project will allow the Nepali women to make their own pads. Many local students are not able to purchase sanitary pads and miss school during their period.


The major goal of these projects were to break the myth that women are untouchable during their period and provide knowledge about menstruation and make them mentally, physically and economically strong.

We have projects running in Illam, Jhapa, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok.
We need your support to continue and expand these projects all over Nepal.

Thank you Sapana Kandangwa (Limboo), President of the Damak Rotaract Club, Rotary District 3292 -Nepal), Chandra Bhakta Adhikari, Sukhdhara Rotaract club, Kishore Tripathi, Rudramati Rotary club for coordinating these projects in various parts of rural Nepal.

Also, thanks to Rotaract club members for their dedication and service to the needy people of Nepal.

If you like to support these projects, you can send a donation payable to FONN and mail it to:

Friends of Nepal-NJ
P.O. Box 5015
Somerville, NJ 08876

In search of the Next Generation of Do-Gooders – Chandra Bhakta Adhikari


The Friends of Nepal-NJ and the Asha Project has been working in Nepal with Rotaract students since 2010. We have supported many Rotaract leadership programs in Nepal.


We are encouraged to see that many Rotaract students have become the next generation of do-gooders and have continued to make a difference in their communities. Our investment is paying off. Now, we have many volunteers in Nepal who are willing to help with our projects.


I would like to introduce our newest Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. Chandra Bhakta Adhikari, who was born and raised in a small village in Nangin, a remote place in Pachanthar, eastern district in Nepal. He excelled in his studies at his local school, however he had to walk to school for an hour from his home every day.


He was determined to obtain his high school degree. With the assistance and encouragement of his village and family, he went to Shree Adarsh High School in Ilam to study for his higher education. While living in Ilam for 3 years, he learned about Rotary and Rotaract clubs’ humanitarian service projects and got interested in joining such a club.


Chandra came to Kathmandu to complete his higher education and make new friends. While attending college in Kathmandu he met with Resh Raj Pokhrel, who was preparing to start the Rotaract Club of Sukedhara and Chandra decided to join the club. That was the beginning of his journey towards Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self”. As Rotary President in 1992 – 1993, Clifford L. Dochterman reminded us, “Real Happiness Is Helping Others,”


While he was working as a member of the Sukedhara Rotact club, I had the opportunity to work with Chandra on several projects and even visited his hometown and schools. While driving from Biratnagar airport to Pachanthar, we stopped in many places and get to meet with his friends and Rotaract colleagues.


He is very conscientious and always friendly. I have found him to be a person of impeccable integrity, who is always looking for ways in which to help others. He is very personable and dedicated to his work.


Last year he completed more than 5 community projects and collaborated with many Rotaract clubs to make them successful. Volunteering his free time in various projects conducted by the Asha Project has given Chandra many opportunities to grow as an individual at the same time helping the community at large.


I am confident that he will flourish in all his endeavors. I am very happy to appoint Chandra as a Goodwill Ambassador of the Asha Project for the years 2022-24. All the best wishes Chandra.

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