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Big Sky nonprofit supports female empowerment in Nepal

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Tsering’s Fund is a charity based in Big Sky that works to educate children and young women in Nepal. Founded in 2007 by local dentist Pete Schmieding, his wife Karen Fellerhoff, and their friend Tsering Dolkar Lama of Kathmandu, Nepal, Tsering’s Fund locates deserving young girls from poor families and places them in private, English-medium schools in several areas of Nepal.

The threat of child trafficking puts young girls at risk in many regions of the country and Tsering’s Fund attempts to eradicate the scourge by going into remote areas and providing access to an education. The organization has found that girls who receive an English education through high school are far less likely to be enticed, sold or taken away by child traffickers and can become leaders in their villages and their country.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing young, at-risk girls, many the first in their family’s history to get a formal education, thriving in school just because someone half a world away decided to make a difference in their life,” Schmieding said. “Tsering’s Fund merely provides the means for concerned people everywhere to change the life of a perfect stranger—because they can.”

At present, Tsering’s Fund has approximately 150 children in classes K-12 and many girls in college studying business and hotel management. A recent donation to Tsering’s Fund has also helped fund several young women studying to be registered nurses, nurse practitioners and one, a dentist.

Because Tsering’s Fund is closely associated with the Big Sky Rotary Club, the local Interact Club at Lone Peak High School has been taking an annual trip to volunteer and experience the work being done to change the lives of Nepal’s children, the most recent of which returned to Big Sky on April 22.

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Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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