Project 1:  Women's Vegetable Garden Income Generation (2000)
Project 2:  Cutting, Sewing and Knitting Training for Widows (2002)
Project 3:  Assistance Program for War Refugees (2003)
Project 4:  Non-Formal Education Training and Income Generation for Illiterate
      Church Women (2004)
Project 5:  Training on Manufacturing of Candles for Disabled People
NGO Recipient:
Mary Guruama Foundation
A registered NGO under Gyaneswor Church of Kathmandu

Grant: $460

Project Objectives:
  • Provide non-formal education classes for illiterate women of the
  • Provide opportunities for income generation projects for the women
    who became interested

The Project:
The Mary Guruama Foundation was named in honor of the late beloved
wife of the senior pastor of the oldest and most influential church in Nepal.
"Guru-ama" literally means "wise old mother." it was recognized that many
women in the church were illiterate, as is true in all of Nepal. Leaders of
this foundation had experience in organizing non-formal education (NFE),
a literacy methodology utilized and adapted for Nepal by the United
Mission to Nepal (UMN). NFE facilitators were selected and trained. A
class was started in Gyaneshwor Church and another in a daughter
church in Kathmandu. Later a third site was added.

The training was very successful. In the initial two programs, seven
women articipated. One of the best "students" was a 79-year-old woman.
At present, the program has expanded to eight sites for group training.
Learning to read the Nepali language allows these women to read the
bible and hymns for themselves. Their graduation ceremony is an
important event in the church.

This successful project was inspired many other churches to provide
similar programs for their women. The NFE method used also liberates
and empowers them and often they decide to develop their own income-
generating program. One woman is now raising chickens.
Sunday school class for illiterate women
before the project.
Member of the Gyaneshwor Church NFE
group who is now raising chickens for income
Presentation of literacy certificates by high
educational official (and elder in Gyaneshwor