American Himalayan Foundation

San Francisco

American Himalayan Foundation

The American Himalayan Foundation works to keep young Nepali girls safe in school with their Stop Girl Trafficking project.    Photo: Bruce Moore

BY THE NUMBERS: 300,000 Nepalis, Tibetans, and Sherpas served by 140 education, health care, and human-welfare ­programs this year alone
WHO'S IN CHARGE: Erica Stone, 60, a University of California at Berkeley MBA and former documentary-film production manager who has trekked extensively in Nepal
WHAT IT DOES: The American Himalayan Foundation (AHF) was established 30 years ago when financier Richard Blum and a group of climbers and trekkers recognized threats to Himalayan culture from ­unstable governments and a lack of basic ­services. AHF supports local partners with the funding, ­technical ­assistance, and strategy advice they need. In 2010, the organization provided $3.3 million to these partners for projects in ­education, health care, and cultural preservation in ­Nepal, Tibet, and Tibetan refugee settlements in India. ­Projects range from establishing a hospital for disabled children in Kathmandu to training locals in the Nepali region of Mustang to preserve 15th-century Buddhist temples. One notable ­current issue: an education-based prevention program ­fighting human traffickers, who lure as many as 20,000 rural ­Nepali girls into prostitution or ­oppressive ­domestic-servant jobs each year. Board member Jon Krakauer has donated 100 percent of the proceeds from his 2011 e-book “Three Cups of ­Deceit”—an ­investigation into the practices of ­Central Asia ­Institute founder Greg ­Mortenson—to the ­foundation’s anti-trafficking ­program, which sponsors the girls’ schooling and has assisted more than 10,000 girls over the past 15 years.
EXTRA CREDIT: AHF is creative and committed; spending on programs is consistently high at more than 80 percent.
LOOKING AHEAD: One of AHF’s newest projects is the Tibetan Enterprise Fund, which offers grants and small loans to Tibetan refugees who have viable small-business and farming ideas.

Filed To: Nature, Nepal
From Outside Magazine, Dec 2011

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