Because everything is Context Dependent.
UTTHAN: A Multidimensional Investment
Welcome to Utthan
Uplifting lives economically, socially, and sustainably
After the devastating earthquake hit Nepal on April 2015, while a lot of people and organizations were focused on relief and rescue–which was important for immediate action–there was very little discussion about long-term rehabilitation. Once the flow of aid would decrease, people would eventually need to look for other mediums in order to survive. We at Utthan felt that the best way to help those deeply affected by the earthquake is by creating employment opportunity for them. Donations might run out but long-term economic investment can address not only monetary issues, but also social issues such as hunger and often violence, that are caused due to unemployment.
Utthan, which means uplifting in Nepali, was founded with the aim to uplift the quality of life of Nepalese. Since the term itself is multidimensional and context dependent, our aim is to invest in income generating projects that are tailored to meet a particular community's needs.
What We Do
In Summer 2015, we launched our pilot project in Pakwadi Village, Syangjha.
Create a continuous cycle of income through goat farming
Many lost their cattle, a big part of their daily lives, in the earthquake. We gave two female goats each to 20 families in Pakwadi, and purchased two male goats for breeding. The male offspring can be sold for around Rs 30,000(USD 300) while the female offspring can help their herd grow, creating a continuous cycle for income.
Every family was asked to return one healthy female offspring to Utthan while they could keep the rest. We can then distribute the female goat they return to another village, and expand our project.
Build a Community
In order to empower the community members in another way, we also established a collective fund known as the ‘Kalyan Kosh,’ which will be managed by the head of the village, and funded by external sources along with the community members themselves.
This fund will be used to uplift the quality of life of the villagers, by investing in tangible and intangible areas such as building basic infrastructure and sponsoring schooling for underprivileged. We hope this collective fund will create a strong sense of community.
Strive for Equality
Most of the men in Pakwadi have left the village to go and work abroad in order to provide for their families. With an ample population of women who arguably run the village, working in Pakwadi can be a great way to work on wome empowerment.
If our pilot project becomes successful, then women will have access to a stable income, and once their quality of life improves, so does the entire household’s quality of life. That way we can create a make a bigger difference of the lives on people in Pakwadi.
Our Pilot Project
We're on a mission to launch economically beneficial projects tailored to specific communities .
The Location: Pakwadi
Pakwadi village is relatively unknown since it is not a common tourist destination. The village's population is dominated by women.
Meeting the Local Partners
Our founder, Shaibyaa Rajbhandari, met with the board members of Lions Club of Waling City to discuss about the project in Pakwadi Village
Inaugurating the Project
There was a traditional local welcome ceremony where I got an opportunity to address the members of the Lions Club as well as the people of Pakwadi village.
Handing Over the Goats
After signing the contract with the people of Pakwadi and the Lion’s Club, I handed over two female goats to members of 20 households.
Who We Are
We're on a mission to be the change we want to see.
Founder and Director
Shaibyaa Rajbhandari is a sophomore at Cornell University. She is pursuing a Bachelors in Science concentrating in Economics and Development, and Minoring in Business. She was born and raised in Nepal and is passionate about social entrepreneurship and hopes to eventually work on an infrastructure development project with the Government of Nepal.
Local Partners for Pilot Project
The Lions Club is extremely active in Pakwadi and nearby villages. The Pilot Project for Utthan– launched under tha same name– is a joint partnership between Shaibyaa and the Lions Club of Waling City. The Lions Club is responsible for monitoring the project and assessing it at the end.