ASHA is the Nepali word for “HOPE.” When we think about what motivates us to serve,we are drawn to this word, which is the name of my current mission, The Asha Project. To us, hope and opportunity are really at the core of the Rotary’s mission. Providing hope and opportunities to people in Nepal who are less fortunate is what motivates us.
Hope and opportunity brought me to America 45 years ago and I always wanted to do something for those less fortunate people in Nepal. Now, my son has joined me as an E-club member in our district to assist with this project. We will be taking our 3rd humanitarian mission in early February 2017. While there we will also celebrate the Silver Jubilee of our humanitarian work in Nepal.
For over 25 years, Rotary Club of Branchburg and District 7510 has been working to provide hope and opportunities in Nepal through many international grants,scholarship funds, micro-credit loans, training programs,and collaborative partnership projects with many community organizations to create a new network of people.
We formally created The Asha Project in response to the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal. In March 2016, we traveled to Nepal with the goal to rebuild homes. When we visiting a rebuilding project, we spoke with many people in the community and they told us that they were interested in opportunities to work cooperatively with other organizations.
We realized that house building was not enough. For a country that has spent decades dealing with political turmoil and economic instability, we recognized that simply resetting life what it was like prior to the earthquake was only the beginning.
This is why the three pillars of the “ASHA” project are: building homes to help create stronger families, creating $100,000 microcredit loans for a prosperous future and to grow micro-businesses, and providing scholarships for under-represented ethnic groups through our Rays of Hope scholarships for a brighter future.
We are furthering our collaboration by sending eight Rotaract students to volunteer in Nepal during their winter break. We also recently welcomed a student from Nepal to complete his Masters program in Health management as part of the Global scholar program. We are also working on several digital divide computer projects to connect these students with the outside world as part of the Rotary District 3292’s Total Literacy Project.
With our patience and persistence, we have been able to complete many humanitarian projects in Nepal. With greater collaboration and cooperation with many other non-profit organizations we hope to build homes, provide micro credit and scholarships for the people of Nepal. With everyone’s support, hard work and dedication many children in Nepal will have opportunity to be what they wish to become. Let’s spread the message that though Rotary we can provide “HOPE AND OPPORTUNITIES” for millions of people around the world and that’s what Rotary has done through the Rotary Foundation in the past 100 years.