Hope has the power to move people. Hope has changed the course of history, and millions of lives. The magic of hope is what we are looking to spread here with the ASHA PROJECT. Using our three pillars, HOMES OF HOPE, RAYS OF HOPE, and LEGACY OF HOPE, we are determined to spread the idea of a brighter, more prosperous, and stronger future for poor people in Nepal.

THE ASHA PROJECT was originally founded in 2015 in response to the Nepal earthquake which left thousands dead and millions homeless, but our mission extended much before that. Starting from a small $500 donation in 1992, we have provided thousands of dollars in scholarships and have helped build places of hope such as science labs, computer labs, libraries, and water projects. In addition to that, we have loaned more than $150,000 in micro credit loans in Nepal, along with countless donations of school supplies.

We have invested more than million dollars in various humanitarian grant projects to help people of Nepal. Your donation is matched 5 times by the Rotary Foundation matching grants.

Almost as important as hope, is the importance of education. It is every child’s right to receive an education, which in turn increases hope. ASHA PROJECT has distributed thousands of pens, pencils, notebooks and books to symbolize opportunity. The power of learning and information creates the leaders of tomorrow.

To this day, THE ASHA PROJECT has been persistent in spreading the message of hope to everyone. This is our biggest ambition, and we will work to break down the barriers and spread the idea of hopefulness and optimism to everyone across Nepal. Thank you for your continued support.

It is amazing how a short, four letter word can represent so much. ASHA means HOPE in Nepali, and that is our purpose to provide hope and opportunities for poor families in Nepal.

Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan

Rotary Friendship Trees planted at the Arghakhachi’s BP Koirala Park.

Rotary Friendship Trees planted at the Arghakhachi’s BP Koirala Park

Rotarians have planted trees in the name of fellowship, friendship and community service since the early 20th century. These trees, planted worldwide, have grown into enduring monuments of Rotary’s ideals.

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”.

Warren Buffett


As part of the 2019 Humanitarian mission, the Asha Project team members planted trees at the BP Koirala Park in Archakhachi.  During our Asha Project’s Humanitarian missions to various parts of Nepal, we have planted trees to symbolize goodwill and friendship.  In our annual Humanitarian mission, ‘Rotary Friendship Trees’, as we call them, has been the norm for a long time now.

BP Park

In 2015, after the massive earthquake, my Rotary district, RID 7510 (now 7475) launched its first Humanitarian mission to Nepal and planted trees in collaboration with the Dhulikhel Rotary and also have collaborated with many other Rotary and Rotaract clubs to plant trees in Nepal.   

The Asha Project

During our visit to Arghakhachi, we distributed school supplies, school bags and coloring supplies provided by the COLOR FOR KIDS project to local students and helped to conduct Mega health camp for local people.  More than 1000 people were checked during this one day health camp.

That day, we all felt the power of Rotary and the love of Rotarians around the globe, as we saw smiling students  ‘walking’ back home with their newly received school supplies and health participant with their newly acquired medicines. Most of all our participants were very surprised to receive 100s of freshly made garlands from our local hosts.  After, climbing 7000 ft from Sea level in a one way highway and having to back the bus due to incoming bus from other side, our participants were quite nervous. But when we reached the top of the hill having 1000 of people lined up to welcome with local musicians and 1000 of villagers welcoming us with their palms together with “NAMASTE” greeting made us forget those nervous moments we had before.  We had banner exchange with Arghakhachi Rotary club charter president Gopal Prasad Panthi , RID 3292.

As 2017-18 RI President Ian Riseley said “Planting a tree promotes peace simply by giving people a place to sit in the shade and contemplate the world. Trees are good for disease prevention and treatment, because the world is a healthier place with more trees to produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide”.

2017-18 RI President Ian Riseley

“Maybe, when we visit next time and walk through our Rotary Peace Garden, we will remember our friends who serve humanity with passion. Each friendship tree will have its own story on the valuable transformation Rotarians are making for humanity”.

Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan, the Asha Prject

Awards presented at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner and Service of Gratitude Celebration.

Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration and Service of Gratitude   

The Branchburg Rotary Club in collaboration with the Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition recently held its 18th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner and Humanitarian Awards dinner to recognize members of the community for their dedication and contributions to serving others as well as a Service of gratitude to thank veterans’ organizations who helps local homeless veterans.

This year’s winners are John and Linda Shockley, 911 Septic owners and member of the Branchburg Rotary Club, and Jim McGrady, Executive Chef of the Somerville Elks.

The Schockley’s received the Humanitarian Award, which goes to community members that demonstrate a sincere and meaningful commitment to serving others in the course of their professional career.

Jim McGrady received the Community Service Award, for his service and dedication to our community organizations. He has been helping local nonprofit organizations for many years.

The award recognizes community members that strive to make a positive contribution toward quality of life. John and Linda supported the club’s many service projects to remember the less fortunate, especially during the holiday season and beyond.

Past District Governor Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan presented the award to the Schokley’s, who are involved in all aspects of supporting local nonprofit organizations as well as helping veterans organizations.   

The Branchburg Rotary club distributed checks worth $76,500 to four Veterans organizations, who have been helping those veterans who need help from housing to other services.

Also US Presidential Volunteer Service Awards and medals were presented to 10 Rotaract students who have dedicated more than 1500 hours of community service at this event.

At this special event Past District Governor Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan was given the Exemplary Humanitarian Service award for his 30 years of service to the community here and communities around the world. The award recognizes community members who strive to make a positive contribution toward quality of life. Dr. Maharjan has supported the club’s international service projects with Rotary Foundation grants worth more than $2 million for projects in various countries as well as helping other organizations to raise funds for their projects.

The Branchburg Rotary and the Somerset County Diversity Coalition collaborated with the coalition to start the interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner after the 9/11. At this event Senator Bateman also presented the Senate and General Assembly joint resolution to the winners of the Awards.

Bob Bradley was honored as Paul Harris Fellow, representative of the Rotary Club designating $1,000 in his name to the Rotary Foundation. Bradley has been helping the Branchburg Rotary for the past 10 years in many of their activities to raise funds for various community organizations.  This year Rotary Club of Branchburg raised more than $150,000 to help local and international projects as well as support Rotaract and Interact clubs projects.

Welcome Humanitarian Mission visitors from 4 Rotary Districts of the United States to Arghakhanchi.

Reported by: Rtn Gopal Prasad Panthi, Charter President Rotary Club of Arghakhanchi, RID 3292 Nepal Bhutan. Club id 87446


Arghakhanchi is one of the districts of Province No. 5 in Nepal. The district headquarter is Sandhikharka. The district covers an area of 1,193 km² (461 sq mi) and has a population (2011) of 197,632. Its neighboring districts are, Palpa in the east, Gulmi in the North, Kapilbastu in the south and Pyuthan in the west. The time zone of this district is UTC+05.45 (NPT). It lies between 27’45″N and 28’6″N latitude, and 80’45″E to 83’23″E longitude.

The altitude of the district varies from 305 to 2515 meter above the sea level. 68% of the district is in the mountainous Mahabharat Range and the rest is in the Siwalik Hills. Elevations range from 305–2575 m above sea level and about 40% of the total area is forested.

Program activities:

The program was organized support of International Partners Rotary Club of New York Queens, USA, Rotary Club of South Hampton and Rotary Club of Branchburg, New Jersey, USA , RID 7475, Host Partner Rotary Club of Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, RID 3292 and Local Supported Partner Rotary Club of Arghakhanchi, Club ID 87446, RID 3292 Nepal Bhutan and Sandhikharka Municipality ward no 6, Arghakhanchi.

It was free medical camp in Shree Bhrikuti Basic school in that camp 975 patients were direct beneficiaries, We had manage the following rooms for following department which was as following.S.No Room No Departments 1 1 Department of General Medicine. 2 Department of Orthopedics. 3 Department of Neurological, 4 Department of Ophthalmological, 5 Department of Dental, 6 Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 7 Department of ENT, 8 Department of Pediatrics, 9 Department of ECG, 10 Department of Radiology, 11 Department of Dispensary, 12 Department of Registration, 13 Department of Reception.

We also had plantation program of one hundreds ( Non Timber Forest Product ) Tree in B.P. Park and we also organized distribution of color of kids and stationery to one hundred eighty students of Shree Bhrikuti Basic School which was held on October 30, 2019 in Sandhikharka Municipality Ward no 6, Narpani, Arghakhanchi, Province No. 5 in Nepal.

The program was held in about 1720 meters (5500 ft) from sea level in hilly area in Narpani of Arghakhanchi. Rotary Club of North Scranton PA, USA, RID 7410, Rotary Club of Merritt Island Breakfast, Florida, USA, RID 6930, and Rotary Club of Greenport, N.Y, USA, RID 7255 and Rotary District 7475 representative were also in our program. Rotary Club of Arghakhanchi had flag exchange program with Rotary Club of Branchburg, New Jersey, USA RID 7475 , Rotary Club of North Scranton PA, USA, RID 7410, Rotary Club of Merritt Island Breakfast, Florida, USA, RID 6939 and Rotary Club of Greenport, N.Y, USA, RID 7255.

Reported by: Rtn Gopal Prasad Panthi, Charter President Rotary Club of Arghakhanchi, RID 3292 Nepal Bhutan. Club id 87446

Cell: +977-9857028103 Skype: gopalprasadpanthi23 Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/gopalprasad.panthi

Email :scdcgopal@gmail.com

Mega Medical Camp at the Arghakhachi.

Dr. Jay Tandan

मिती 2076 कार्तिक 13 गते अर्घाखाँची को नरपानीमा निशुल्क Mega Medical Camp सम्पन्न भयो l उक्त Medical Camp बाट 975 बिरामीहरुलाई बरिस्ट चिकित्सकबाट , सामान्य चिकित्सा, स्त्री तथा प्रसुति रोग़, नाक कान घाटी, बालस्वास्थ, रेडियोलोजी ( ultrsound -video x ray ), ECG, दन्त तथा , नेत्र रोग़ सेवा, हाडजोर्नी, मस्तिस्क तथा नसा सम्बन्धि रोगहरुको स्वास्थ्य सेवा तथा उपचार गरियो l

उक्त स्वास्थ्य शिबिर Rotary Club of Maharajgunj को सम्योजकत्तोमा Nepal Medical Association, the Asha Project, Rotary club (RC)of Arghakhanchi, दिगो विकास केन्द्र अर्घाखाँची, RC New York Queens USA, RC South Hampton USA, RC Branchburg, New Jersey USA संगको सहकार्य बाट गरियको थियो

साथै उक्त शिविरको लागि सन्धिखर्क नगरपालिका नरपानी वडा 6, स्थानीय स्वास्थ्य चौकी, स्थानीय सस्थाहरु र स्थानीय बासीहरुको बिशाल जनसहभागिता तथा सहयोग बाट सफलता पूर्बक सम्पन्न भयो I

उक्त शिविरको लागि Universal Medical College Bhairahawa, Tinau International hospital बुटवल, आले डेन्टल अस्पताल, लायन्स क्लब पाल्पा तथा काठमाडौँ, बुटवल का अन्य बिशेषज्ञ चिकित्सकहरूको प्राबिधिक जनशक्ति सहयोग प्राप्त भयको थियो I
यस शिविरलाई सफल बनाउन सहयोग गर्ने सबैलाई आयोजक Rotary club Maharajgung तथा मेरो तर्फबाट हार्दिक धन्यवाद दिन चाहान्छु I
साथै यस शिबिरमा हामी तथा बिदेशी Rotarian पाहुनाहरूलाई नरपानी स्थानीय बासीहरु तथा RC अर्घाखाँची बाट अपार माया सद्भाव का साथ भब्य स्वागतको लागि आभार ब्यक्त गर्दै हार्दिक धन्यवाद दिन चाहन्छु I
यस कार्यक्रममा स्वास्थ्य शिबिर को साथै BP park नरपानीमा बृक्षा रोपन, भृकुटी आधारभूत स्कूलका छात्रछात्रा हरूलाई शैक्षिक सामाग्रीहरु वितरण पनि गरियको थियो I

We would like to thank representatives from RIDS 7475, 7255, 7410 and 6930 for their support and participation.

जय रोटरी

डा. जय ब टन्डन
अध्यक्ष , RC Maharajgunj

Collaboration at work

Rotary Club of Maharajung, RID 3292 in cooperation with the Rotary club of Arghakhachi, RID 3292 along with eighteen Humanitarian mission team members from Florida, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, Rotary International Districts 7475, 7255, 6930 and 7410 helped to organize a mega health camp at the Arghakhachi district as part of the Asha Project’s 2019 Rotary Humanitarian Mission to Nepal. About 1200 people were examined for various health issues by a panel of doctors and also distributed medicine and reading glasses provided by the RestoringVision USA.

Humanitarian mission team received a royal welcome by the local Rotarians and community people in the Arghakhachi district. At this event, our Color of Kids Founder Bethany distributed coloring supplies and mission participants also distributed school supplies to all local students who participated in this special event.  Interested in learning about the Asha Project Nepal visit www.theashaproject.org

We would like to thank participants and supporters for making this health camp a grant success.

Interview with Bethany founder of the Color for Kids.

By Indu Paudel, Rotaract Club Of Tinau Butwal, Nepal

Given the choice between crayons and pencils, I’m sure most kids would go for the crayons almost every time. We hope in color, we dream in color and we are happy when the world around us is colorful. But what happens when children don’t have access to crayons? When they don’t even know what a colored pencil is? I can only imagine their world is a little darker, theirs dream are a little smaller and their hopes aren’t quite as hopeful as their coloring peers. But all children deserve bright, colorful future, right? which is why 14-year-old girl from Pennsylvania has made it her mission to bring color to the lives of children everywhere to promote individual expression and creativity through arts. Her dream is for every kids to have their own box of crayons.
I was really blown away by this young girls altruism and compassion that we had special conversation regarding her dream, ideas and story. Talking with her she’s even more amazing than I thought. And here’s our conversation during her visit to Lumbini as part of the 2019 Humanitarian Mission to Nepal.

Indu: when did you start COLOR FOR KIDS, and why?
Bethany: I realize that not all kids have their own crayons, and that made me very sad and I wanted to do something to change that so, I was able to start COLOR FOR KIDS -a charity that’s helping kids all around the world experience a life full of color in November 2015 when I was 9 years old.

Indu: what inspired you to start it?
Bethany: I believe that all kids should be able to create art. The best part of art is that anyone can just do it and do it right, because there is no such a thing as wrong art. You don’t even have to show it to anyone. Coloring can be therapeutic, it can bring joy or it can just be fun. It helps to express their feelings when they are mad, sad, or excited. They can color -its easier to write things down or color something instead of talking to someone. Some feelings just feel like color more than they feel like word. I was inspired to start the program when a pen pal informed me that students in Alabama did not have access to basic art supplies. with help of classmate, we collected two big boxes and sent them to a class in Alabama -they were so happy and excited.

Indu: what’s your favorite color?
Bethany: I love all types of color but choosing one green is my favorite, it’s beautiful, relaxing, and fresh like plant.

Indu: what do you like to do for fun in your free time?
Bethany: I love art and coloring but reading might be my favorite thing of all to do. I read every chance I get. I love to read all the times, I also like to play golf, field hockey and tennis. I love to travel and visit all cities kids with carrying crayons . I keep changing my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. Sometimes, I think a bookstore owner other times a park ranger. I even think being a cultural anthropologist would be cool.

Indu: can you share your favorite moment that made feel really good about what you are doing?
Bethany: Every moment sharing a colored pencil to a kids, seeing their excitement and jolly face, coloring together with them makes me feel happy. I also get beautiful thank you pictures and letters that kids make and send to me, they were so amazing that I cried but it was happy crying. I have met a lot of kids who have never owned their own box of crayons or had their own coloring book. I couldn’t imagine that before I started sharing colors.

Now I see, how special it is, and how much it means to have a way to express yourself through art. The huge smiles and hugs make me want to do it again and again, more and more.

Indu: what do you feel about Nepal ? What did you do with color for kids here ?
Bethany: Nepal is amazing and a gorgeous and a colorful country combines with beautiful Himalayan views, golden temples, charming hill villages and Jungle wildlife watching to offer my attention and love. I didn’t want to leave such a gorgeous country filled with beautiful innocent and kind people. I carry 6000lbs of color supplies with me when I came here almost half is shared with kids and remaining we will share all over Nepal and there will be more kids having Color to art supplies and have a colorful living.

Indu: What are your future goals for color for kids?
Bethany: I don’t want to stop sharing color until every kid has his or her own box of crayons but more kids who need color are born everyday -it would be difficult to catch up with every single one.
For now, I just plan to keep sharing color for as long as I can. I love helping make other kids happy and I really hope to never stop.

Indu: Do you have any advice for other kids who want to help make the world better place, just like you?
Bethany: My advice would be to always speak up. If you have an idea dare to share it. More than anything just be kind by being kind you can change the world and make it better place to live.

Thanks to totally awesome kid, Bethany. She is an inspiring young lady who has vision to see underprivileged kids create with color . I would like to thank her for her precious time sharing her thoughts and visiting Nepalese kids with crayons and love. Also, I am thankful to Dr. Tulsi R. Maharjan, PDG RID 7475 sir for providing me such a tremendous opportunity to share the school supplies and love to kids. And also thankful for the 2019 The Asha project Humanitarian Mission team.

ROTARY Connects the World

We would like to thank everyone who were involved in this 2019 Nepal Adventure and Humanitarian Mission planners and participants for making a grand success program.

Being a first large mission we had many challenges, however the Nepal team made it look easy and enjoyable.

Happy to be back home but I feel

like a left a little part of my heart in Nepal. Even though I’ve spent time in other developing countries this was a deep immersions into the culture and landscape of the Nepali people. Emotions and ideas are stirring within from this experience. I’m excited to see what manifests and how I’ll translate that into action. Thank you again to Tulsi MaharjanJyoti PoudelKishor Tripathi, and all the Rotarians and Rotaract members for being such gracious hosts and making the trip an amazing experience💗

Pamela Roger Guldi.

Our gratitude and Thanks goes to Dr Jay B Tandan- Rotary club of Maharajgunj President, Mayor Bansha L Tamang ( Indrawati VDC Sindhupalchock), Dr Mukti R Shrestha -Nepal Medical Association President , Mr Krishna Gurung – EGBOSA Nepal, Rotary Club of Arghakhachi, the ROTARY Club of Maharajgunj, Rotary club of Pokhara-New Road, Rotaract clubs of Rudramati-Babarmahal, Monohara, Rudramati and many more.

The travel arranger Mr. Kishore Tripathi, Teenkanya Travel & Trek and all other supporters. Rotary club of Queens New York for their support.

Building international partnerships and making new friends in Nepal during our 2019 Humanitarian Mission.

Rotary is a global community of 1.2 million members who share similar values and want to make the world a better place. Our 2018 Humanitarian Mission to Nepal with 18 Rotarians from 4 districts (7475, 7255, 7410 and 6490) in the USA was a grand success.  We had a chance to network with Rotary members from Nepal and share our passions and interests. We had opportunity to make a global impact by connecting with Rotary members outside our club and district and distributing 1000 pounds of school supplies as well as conducting 2 mega health camps in Nepal. Our special participant Bethany from the “COLORS FOR KIDS” provided most of the school supplies for this trip.

We had opportunity to:

  • Explore our passions and hobbies with fellow Rotarians in Nepal. This fellowships enhanced our international network, interests, and developed greater global perspective. We hope to develop at least three international projects in different fields.
  • We had a chance to explore new cultures and make new friends in Nepal. Through this visit participants deepen their international understanding, foster goodwill, and explore professions in a different context while building lasting friendships and a foundation for peace and service. We hope to send VTT team to Nepal to explore different new agriculture projects.
  • Our trip connected clubs that are seeking international service projects and hope to sign sister club agreements with various clubs with those clubs that are interested in collaborating with global partners.  
  • We had great opportunity to foster inter-cultural understanding through our visit. Although our members got tired eating Dal-Bhat ( Nepali meal), they had opportunity to work together to promote peace, friendship, and strengthen relations.  Long bus rides and without adequate services our members learned about how we take for granted many things in America.  However, welcome by 1000 of Nepalese community members with 100 of garland made us forget the long bus rides and adequate food.

We hope to continue our friendship and work with many new projects in Nepal. To all our new friends in Nepal, see you soon. NAMASTE.

Building Friendship and Fellowship in Arghakhachi.

Winding along the bumpy and dusty roads from Lumbini  to Arghakhachi, Nepal with our 2018 Humanitarian Mission members with the ASHA PROJECT volunteers and supporters, we learned lot about our friends in Nepal.  But as we walked to the top of the School building, we got a first glimpse of the village’s welcoming committee, from old ladies to young school children were lined up with thousands of garland ad national flower to welcome us.

It was a very impressive for our team to see such a welcome. As the bus load of mission members reached to the top all the villagers were waiting for our arrival for a whole hour.  By the time we reached the entrance of the School, the entire villagers had assembled to welcome us.

For the last five years we have been visiting many schools, communities to learn about their needs and how the Asha Project could possibly help.  Our delegates got a firsthand experience of what the conditions and needs are.

It has been our privilege and honor to be part of this great Mega health camp, tree planting event. I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Arghakhachi Management Committee, Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of Arghakhachi and Maharjagunj for arranging this great mega camp, Tree planting and school supplies distribution, in particular, I would like to thank the coordinator Rotarian Dr. Jay Tadon,  President of the Maharajgunj and President of the Arghakhachi club for their great friendship and fellowship.

2019 Humanitarian Mission

Hope Project

The Asha Project

One unique highlight of the trip was when we arrived at the Mha Puja Celebration organized by the Rotaract clubs of Babar Mahal, Rudramati and Rudramati-Babar Mahal at the A-1 cafe in Sankhamole.

Mha PujaMha Pujā (Devanagari: म्हपुजा) is an annual ritual performed by the Newar people of Nepal to purify and empower the soul as part of New Year celebration. It is performed on New Year’s Day of Nepal Sambat, the national lunar calendar of Nepal, which occurs during the Swanti/Diwali festival.

The Rotaract students and Interact students performed native dances and did the Mha Puja worship.

A nice ceremony was done to hand the children the supplies which made it feel like an even more special time. Bethany, our youth participant from the Color for Kids handed out school supplies.

Each stop we gave out the supplies but they were all so grateful and happy that…

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2019 Humanitarian Mission

One unique highlight of the trip was when we arrived at the Mha Puja Celebration organized by the Rotaract clubs of Babar Mahal, Rudramati and Rudramati-Babar Mahal at the A-1 cafe in Sankhamole.

Mha PujaMha Pujā (Devanagari: म्हपुजा) is an annual ritual performed by the Newar people of Nepal to purify and empower the soul as part of New Year celebration. It is performed on New Year’s Day of Nepal Sambat, the national lunar calendar of Nepal, which occurs during the Swanti/Diwali festival.

The Rotaract students and Interact students performed native dances and did the Mha Puja worship.

A nice ceremony was done to hand the children the supplies which made it feel like an even more special time. Bethany, our youth participant from the Color for Kids handed out school supplies.

Each stop we gave out the supplies but they were all so grateful and happy that we were there to help. These types of moments resonated within us as we made our stops to different areas.

Seeing a smile and brightened wide open eye is my sense of happiness. We see the profound power and promise brought through something as small as giving a pencil, a pen or a notebook. That is our ASHA project- A Promise of Hope and providing opportunities for less fortunate people. ”

Dr. Maharjan

● OUR impression 

Each part of the trip had its own flavor yet there was one thing we could always count on: an overwhelming kindness and helpfulness orchestrated by OUR GUIDE host club members.

● So far the most memorable portion of our trip was our time with Rataract members and Mha Puja. They were extremely welcoming and very organized in putting together the program.

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