Success Story: Shree Bal Kumari Secondary School -Sunakothi.

Jyoti Maharjan and Niraj Maharjan are two of the four siblings who came from a modest family background. They share their experiences about how the Rotary – Friends of Nepal-NJ scholarship they received in school changed their life.

The eyes of Jyoti Maharjan shine when she says how happy she feels to teach dancing to students. She works at a finance company and runs a dance center and tuition center in her free time. But she hadn’t always been this way. She recalls her school days, “We felt uncomfortable when we couldn’t see our exam results after failing to clear our exam dues.” She further shares how her sister felt embarrassed when she couldn’t afford the school fees, “My sister went to the school to give exams but she was stopped at the gate as she hadn’t cleared her dues. She had to lose a year of school as a result. Being the eldest she was mature enough to understand and feel the humiliation of not being able to pay the school fees”. Jyoti recalls how hard it was before when she along with her four siblings were enrolled at the school and none of them got scholarships. She tells us how she used the money she got from the Rotary-Friends of Nepal-NJ to pay her own and her brother’s exam fees. She shares how she didn’t have to ask her parents for money to buy stationeries. She was supported from Class 6 to 10 and passed her SLC in 2064.
After teaching students for six years she started working at a finance company. The catastrophic earthquake of 2072 brought down her house. So the steady income she had before is now spent on paying the loan interest she took for rebuilding her house. She says, “Life isn’t easy even now. It’s hard to meet the financial obligations but the scholarship we received in school has helped us to face life’s challenges now.”

By Medha Joshee

Nepal – How Much do I Miss it Already? Abby Fabiano

I can honestly say that travelling to Nepal, and the experiences that I had while there with the fellow Rotaract Clubs was something that I will never forget. I feel that it was a life changing experience for many different reasons. For one, I met so many people while I was there, whom I have continued to stay in touch with.


It’s a great feeling to be able to say that I have friends halfway around the world. Also, being able to experience what life is like first hand in a developing country was an experience that has allowed me to take a different perspective on the life that I have been provided with.


Everyday spent in Nepal was a new adventure. Picking one highlight or “best moment” of the trip is definitely impossible because the trip was unforgettable. Visiting Pokhara was one of my favorite parts of the trip because there was just so much to see and do. Seeing the lakeside and the mountains in person was very surreal considering these images are the types of pictures that we would see in movies.


Throughout the trip, we definitely had our ups and downs as a group. I can say that the worst part of the trip was the long bus rides. When traveling from town to town, we would have to ride buses for 6-8 hours, on very bumpy roads, going over mountains. When we came back to America, it was weird driving again on paved roads, and I started to quickly realize that I had missed the bumpy, dusty roads of Nepal because we enjoyed the trip so much.


In addition, I remember there was this one group of kids that I met one night, who I will never forget. One night in Pokhara when we were leaving a picnic, it was dark out and a dog came up to me who I started to pet. There was about five young kids, maybe ages five to eight, with a couple of adults that were with the dog and started talking to me. They realized I was not from Nepal, and asked where I was from. I told them and they were shocked and started asking me what America is like. They were ecstatic to have met me, and as flashlights then started shining in my face they all wanted to take a picture with me. Although I only talked to these kids for a few minutes, they were very sweet to me and definitely impacted my life by showing me how different cultures truly have an impact on their country.


I could go on and on talking about the experiences I took part in Nepal; such as trekking to schools on top of mountains and riding on the back of motor scooters through crazy traffic. After more than ten days in Nepal when it was time for us to leave, I was not ready to come back to America. Once we got back, I realized how much I appreciate their lifestyle as well as ours because of the simplicity that is evident in their lives. A few of us have already organized a trip to go back in March, and I could not be more excited to see the dusty roads again very soon.  For more information about the Asha Project visit


My unforgettable experience in Nepal- Lauren Wougk

I never thought I would miss dust. But when I remember my last day in Kathmandu, racing down the streets on the back of a motorcycle with dust in my mouth, I miss everything about Nepal. Yes, even the dust. I remember the times riding in the back of a van, on roads so bumpy that my head would hit the ceiling and my stomach would be doing somersaults even after my feet were back on solid, not moving ground. And yes, I miss that too. I miss the mountains that reached impossibly high into the heavens- with their peaks covered in fresh quilts of snow. I love that what we call mountains, they call hills. When we take an hour and a half to climb up only 50% of a hill (mountain), they take one hour. I miss standing in the middle of a busy highway, cars and motorcycles going every each way, and thinking this is chaos.

There were lots of times in Nepal where I wasn’t sure that we would make it. We probably climbed a zillion steps at the Swayambunath temple. I would look up, and lo and behold, there would be even more stairs. But we made it to the top, and the views of the Kathmandu valley were incredible. This city seemed to stretch on forever, until the hills rushed in and stopped it from going any further. On our bus ride to Pokhara, it had been an eight hour long, super bumpy, super cold ride, and we didn’t even know where we were getting off. It was four in the morning and we were the last ones on the bus. But we made it, we always made it. On our ride in a little van from Chitwan to Kathmandu, the transmission was shot around three quarters of the way there. Sometimes we’d be stuck in neutral for awhile, unable to go anywhere. But we made it. Of course we made it.

I hope that our efforts in conjunction with the Rotaract clubs in Nepal to help out schools and orphanages make them smile as much as all of Nepal has made me smile. We painted several murals in schools in Kathmandu and Chitwan. The murals are bright and colorful, with animals and inspiring quotes, and I hope that whenever the children look at these, they smile. Even if they have no idea that a ragtag team of five Americans came across the globe to splatter paint on their walls, I hope that these paintings make them

happy. I hope that the students at the school on top of the hill in Chitwan laugh from time to time when they look at the blankets that we had distributed to them- because those five Americans couldn’t even reach the top of the hill to give them out. Because

whenever I think about anything from my Nepal trip, I can’t help but to smile.  If you like to know more about the project or like to donate for this project, please visit

Nepal Experience – Emily Fabiano

Emily with team members.

As I signed up for a trip that would take me to the other side of the world, I was nervous and started second guessing why I signed up for this journey. In the end, I found that being a part of this humanitarian mission to Nepal was the most incredible and life changing experience I have ever had. An amazing thing I got out of this trip is the fact that I have made lifelong friends from this journey. Everyone in Nepal was extremely welcoming and caring towards myself and the four other students from America. Since I have returned home from Nepal, I have stayed in touch with some of the great friends I made while in Nepal.

I really loved that this trip involved both a humanitarian aspect and a cultural exchange. I enjoyed going to the schools and to the orphanage because I could tell that the children were very happy to see us and we had so much fun interacting with them. It was touching to see how thankful the people of Nepal and the Rotaract members in Nepal were to see us dedicating our time to participate in the various service projects. I also appreciated the fact that we were able to see a very different culture and lifestyle. For example, we learned a lot about Nepal culture when we went sightseeing and when we went to the picnic with the Rotaract members in Pokhara.

One of the most memorable moments of the trip occurred as we were leaving the orphanage in Chitwan, we were sad to say goodbye to the children. So, myself and the four other students from America dug through our backpacks to put together any snacks and candy we had on us. We did not have enough for all of the kids to get something, so we asked them to share what we did have for them. It was heartwarming to see that the children were not selfish at all, as we were leaving we saw them splitting the food evenly, piece by piece, so that they all got the same amount.
The trip as a whole was very memorable to me as this experience was unlike anything I had ever done before. Going to Nepal was my first time leaving the country, so I did not realize how different it would actually be in another country. Another reason why this trip was so memorable was because it made me become so appreciative of the life I live everyday. Overall, I definitely plan on going back to Nepal in the future and truly loved my experience in Nepal!

Please visit for more information about the project and other activities.

Youth Exchange: Broadening international understanding

RVCC Rotaract club members enjoyed their 2018 Humanitarian Mission to Nepal.  They discovered new culture and new way of life.  This 2nd annual International Youth Exchange program was hosted by various Rotaract clubs in Nepal. If any Rotaract clubs in Nepal would like to host our 3rd annual program next year let us know. Rotaract members were sponsored by the Rotary club of Branchburg and the Asha Project, USA-Nepal.


  • Broaden international understanding
  • Explore NEW CULTURE
  • Build enduring friendships
  • Establish a foundation for peace and greater understanding
  • Gain opportunities for active project involvement and support
  • Learn about a region’s people, food, languages, customs, and history
  • Finding partnership for new projects and grants.

Thank you everyone for your support.

Building Ever Lasting Friendships

RVCC Rotaract club students had a great opportunity to discover new culture, and an opportunity to be a truly global citizen as part of the Youth Exchange program with the Rotaract clubs in Nepal. These Rotaractors were sponsored by the Rotary club of Branchburg and the Asha Project, USA-Nepal.

148149_1465297668840_2637390_nDuring my 2014 visit to Nepal to attend my high school friend PDG Dilendra Shrestha’s District Conference in Pokhara, I had an opportunity to meet with the Rotaract club of Newroad Pokhara members and we discussed about starting an exchange program to unlock their true potential to:
Develop lifelong leadership skills;


Learn about new culture;

Building ever lasting friendships with Rotaract students from Nepal and to become a true global citizen.

As the world becomes a small global village, people have opportunity to learn about other countries and people through internet. But having a real opportunity to meet, and greet is different experience.

During our 2016 visit, we met again helped to facilitate leadership session and finalize the exchange program. Our 2017 Rotaract team had a great time in this second Annual Youth Exchange and Humanitarian service mission to Nepal.  We hope to host the students from Nepal in near future.

The Asha Project Annual Report



  • Received $100,000 Rotary International Foundation grant to implement our Hope project
  • Celebrated 25 years of Humanitarian Service in Nepal
  • Established stronger collaboration with many organizations in Nepal
  • Send 7 Rotaract students to Nepal on a 1st Annual Humanitarian Mission and Cultural Exchange Program
  • Our 5 member team lead the 4th annual Humanitarian Mission to Nepal.

Our mission is to help poor people in Nepal to rebuild their LIVES and renew their HOPE.

 Please read full report here.




Rotaract Youth Exchange: Promoting cultural understanding

We Rotary Club of Branchburg, believe that everything Rotary does is important. However, we also believe that nothing is more important to Rotary’s future than the programs for the New Generations.

We have been fortunate enough to have programs like PATHWAYS TO ROTARY and Rotaract Youth Exchange. With the help of our Rotaract students we have implemented many wonderful programs in our community communities around the world.

Youth Exchange is one of the best tools, if not the best, for cultural understanding. Every day through this program, young people are gaining life experiences and world understanding that will be with them for the rest of their lives. We were fortunate to send 5 Rotaract students to Nepal this year. I am sure that the lessons they learned from this trip will be memorable one.  #Rotaract #theashaproject

Humanitarian Mission & Cultural Exchange to Nepal 2018

2018 – Humanitarian Mission & Cultural Exchange to Nepal – Thank you Rotaract clubs of Pokhara New Road, Ratnanagar, Yala, Lalitpur and Rudramati-Babarmahal for your hospitality in hosting RVCC Rotarct club members from New Jersey. Trip sponsored by the Rotary club of Branchburg, RVCC Rotaract club and the Asha Project.

Ever Lasting Friendship and Fellowship

Ryan Galdamez

First of all I want to say Thank you to everyone who hosted us. You guys did an amazing job of making us feel at home. I truly enjoyed my time in Nepal and I will absolutely take my family there one day.
The Rotaract Club of New Road Pokhara members were awesome they did a great job of showing us the beautiful city of Pokhara. I was able to get very close to them because they were so loving and caring. One thing I learned from them was that they are very willing to help no matter in what way. For example they all were very aware of us and2b took care of us in whichever way they could. In Pokhara we did a lot; for example, the first two days we went to the 9th Rotaract Conference which was full of very talented young adults who are very willing to help the community. The next few days we went sightseeing, painting and delivered school supplies to a few schools. I remember giving the students the school supplies and the smile that came to their face really made me happy in the inside. I remember a quote I heard in Parbat by Antim Gurung and it stated, “You could go to a movie and have 3 hours of joy, but helping others is a happiness that will last a lifetime” and I truly believed those words. I also remember Hiking to the top of hill and seeing a big Buddha statue and then going up the stairs and seeing the whole city of Pokhara and my breath being taken away by the beauty of what I was seeing. Pokhara had so much to offer from a Five Star hotel to camping. The people that hosted us really did a great job of showing us what the city Pokhara really has to offer.

15622705_1795114537407716_1513417960729648133_nThe last two days we stayed In Kathmandu with the Rotaract club of Rudramati. They also hosted us very good. I remember when we got there they took us to eat at a place where they order MoMo’s for us and they tasted very good and also sausage which was very good as well. They also took us to the Asha Project of the constructions of apartments and the painting of a park where many people go to hangout and have fun. I also remember eating where the construction site was and just seeing all the people there helping and doing a small part to help a city devastated by an earthquake two years ago. I also remember going to two schools and giving them schools supplies and they both received them with open arms. Kathmandu really showed me how close people get when there is devastation and no matter how bad the situation is life still goes on.

I learned a lot about myself in this trip because I was able to step out of my comfort zone and really engage with people I have never met before. But this trip really helped me come out of my shell and now I feel like I can take on any task put in front of me. Our friends from Kathmandu and Pokhara did such a great job of showing us Nepal that I feel like if I would have gone a lone and had done everything by myself I would have not experienced Nepal as I did with everyone that hosted us. This trip really made me appreciate what I have in my Country and because of this trip I was able to open my eyes to see what is really happening around the world. Now I have more motivation to help out our community and communities around the world because I know there is a lot of work to be done in order to get this world into shape.