IDEA Skilled Birth Attendant (SBA) Training in Nepal

Project 345 – 2022 to 2026

There is a shortage of Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA) in the rural health posts and centers throughout Nepal. The presence of a SBA can dramatically reduce the chances of maternal and neonatal mortality.

The SBA course is organized by the Nepalese Ministry of Health, Nepal Nursing Council and is a three month long course (360 hours) for qualified medical personnel so that they can augument the midwives’ work by intervening when difficult deliveries mean mother and baby are at risk.  TRAS has supported the successful midwifery training through the Innovative Development Education Academy (IDEA) in Pokhara, Nepal since 2019. IDEA is a non-profit developmental organization registered with the Ministry of Health, Nepal. Since its establisment, IDEA has been involved in various types of education and training.

IDEA will be selecting 15 students every three months for this advanced SBA training with the requirement that after graduation they will be returning to their rural communities to help improve safe deliveries for mothers and babies.

The results of this program have been successful, and the Ministry of Health is satisfied. TRAS has agreed to support 15 students for the SBA training for four more years (2023-2026) and currently needs $17,000 for the 2023 year.

Any donations you make to this project will be matched by a generous donor.

To donate to the Skilled Birth Attendant Training go to Donate

Munsel-ling School Passive Solar Heating

For more than 20 years, TRAS has supported the 500 students and staff at Munsel-ling School in the Spiti Valley in northern India. Residents of Spiti Valley experience harsh winter conditions, with temperatures often plunging to -30°C and below.

For the students at Munsel-ling, staying warm is a daily challenge for many months of the year. In mountain deserts like the Spiti Valley, firewood is expensive and hard to come by. Although the smoke-free, fuel-efficient rocket stoves have massively improved the living conditions at Munsel-ling School, the temperatures in the Spiti Valley are so frigid that polythene sheets were laid along the side of each

building each year to generate solar heat. Because new sheets needed to be purchased and installed each year, this was not a sustainable solution.

TRAS is fundraising to support the installation of a passive solar wall to heat the junior girls’ dormitory, which houses around 80 students. This fixture will create an 80×8 ft. buffer zone of stone, concrete, and very large windows, which will heat the interior of the building and provide a bulwark against harsh winter winds.

Being a desert, there is little precipitation during the coldest months, but lots of sunshine. When the dormitory was built, the long wall was positioned to face south; the new buffer will act as a conservatory to warm the actual dormitory building. A similar wall has already been built against the boys’ and senior girls’ dormitories with great success.

Please consider donating to TRAS to support the health, education, and wellbeing of these children.

Total funding required: $18,436

Will you help?

To donate to the Passive Solar Heat Project click here

CTA Nurses Vocational Training Project

Since 1995, TRAS has been supporting the training of nurses in Dharamsala, Northern India. In partnership with the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile), and with the full support of the Dalai Lama, TRAS’ longest ongoing project continues to improve the lives of many bright young women.

Each year, TRAS supports up to eight students who are studying for their general nursing (BSc Nursing) degrees. We remain in contact and monitor each of our students’ successes throughout the four-year study program and two-year internship. Training includes curative and preventative treatment, health education and traditional Tibetan medicine. We are proud to report that nearly every student that we have supported have graduated, with many then returning to their home towns to work.

Nearly all of our graduates have immediately found work in one of the seven hospitals, four health centres, or 43 clinics run by the Tibetan communities in India and Nepal. They have been able to enrich their lives through their new profession, and most importantly, give back to the community that is consistently in need of health care professionals. These young professionals have developed the skills and confidence required to make a real difference and positive impact in their communities.

Every year, students for all the Tibetan settlements can apply for the scholarship, and as each one graduates, she is replaced by a new bright young pupil. As an ongoing project, with no plans to end in the foreseeable future, TRAS has already helped well over 100 nurses, and we look forward to each new graduate!

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our eight scholarship students attended classes online.
They will return to in-person lectures in February and March 2021.

As frontline workers, many of them have already received their COVID-19 vaccines. Although some of their exams and graduation dates have been pushed back as a result of the pandemic, each of these young women is enjoying her studies and making new friends. In the words of one student, “[I am] humbled to receive this scholarship and would like to express my heartfelt thanks for your generosity … [it] will not go unappreciated.”

Funds needed for 2020/2021: $5,740 ($5,464 already raised. Thank you!)

2020-2021 Interim Report



Humla District

Rural Empowerment and Development Initiatives (READI) Nepal is a local NGO in the Humla district of Nepal. One of the poorest districts in the country, Humla struggles due to its remote location, lack of infrastructure, and the historical disregard for its population made up largely of the Dalit (untouchable) caste. There has been little government support throughout the years.


In 2011 TRAS and READI partnered  to create the READI hostel in Simikot. There, 20 underprivileged children from all castes have been brought together to be supported with the necessities required to be able to attend a well-regarded government school. The hostel also has its own teachers to support the children in their education, and READI’s workers help to meet the students’ healthcare needs. An additional ten children have returned home and attend local village schools now that their families can afford to do this. READI continues to monitor them.

In 2016, 10 children returned to live with their parents and are regularly monitored to ensure that they continue their education and are enjoying their successes. These children now attend a local public school and are still supported with the clothes and stationery that they need.


To show their gratitude, many families have begun donating firewood and cereals to help the hostel. Together, this creates a greater sense of community and reciprocity that empowers the families as well as their children. In addition to this, READI has also provided apple and apricot saplings to the families. These trees are now beginning to bear fruit, and the harvests are shared between the families and the hostel. This not only directly aids the hostel by reducing its reliance on food imports, but it has also empowered the families and created a new source of income. For instance, five families were able to start their own tea houses and apple processing businesses.

READI Nepal has extended its philosophy of cooperation to many other agencies, both government and private. This includes cooperation with the district health officer, to create the “Little Doctor” program, teaching basic first aid knowledge to the children. Similarly, the recent mayor of Simikot has expressed a great interest in the READI hostel, and plans to continue supporting their goals. READI has achieved more and more each year. We’ve included the major highlights of the 2017/18 annual report in our Spring 2018 Newsletter here.

We are proud to have witnessed READI Nepal’s flourishing that has brought education and agency to many of the most underprivileged in Humla. Furthermore, we look forward to their next promising steps with excitement, and wish them the best!

Read about their April 2020 to March 2021 challenges and achievements

Read their  half yearly progress report for Nov 2020

Donations needed for 2021 $18,700

The READI Hostel

Voice of Children

One of the major projects supported by TRAS is the Voice of Children (VOC) project. VOC is run by AMAN (Facebook) and Vimarsh (Facebook), two Indian non-profits in the Almora and Nainital districts of northern India.

AMAN and Vimarsh are currently working in 12 rural villages, all of which are anywhere between 2km to 27km from the nearest road. These villages face many challenges to access education and health services. The isolation of these villages makes it difficult to attract qualified teachers and staff, so many village schools are forced to close. Even if children are able to get a primary school education, going to secondary school is often impossible as they can be too far away. Health services are often minimal or nonexistent, so many villagers also suffer from health problems.

In addition to these issues, women and girls face even more barriers to getting an education. Since there are few opportunities for income generation in the villages, men often leave to find work in cities. This means that women and girls are left to do all the work at home. Their work is very physically demanding, and leaves little time for getting an education or taking proper care of themselves. The literacy rate of women in these villages is much lower than that of men, and many women and girls develop health problems related to their labour.

Faced with these challenges, the goal of Voice of Children is to improve the lives of the people in the villages where it works by promoting education, keeping kids in school, and ensuring access to basic health care.

VOC provides a range of initiatives, loosely grouped into three categories: direct education to children; resource centres to support and complement education; and capacity-building initiatives to make sure that villagers know their rights, especially children and women.


In rural villages, education is often under-valued, and families would prefer that their children remain at home to work. Furthermore, the barriers to education including cost and distance are major deterrents. VOC aims to solve these issues with their Education Support Centres, Tuition Classes, and Computer Literacy Programs.

The Education Support Centres are geared towards low-income families that are often not given the opportunity to excel in school. Five centres are now in operation with 178 students regularly attending (79 male, 99 female). These centres provide educational extra-curricular activities that foster an appreciation and love for education, motivating the students to continue their studies.

The Tuition Classes provide a more direct and applicable education for the children. These classes focus on local issues and teach subjects that are more directly relevant to the students. These include general knowledge, health education, and environmental studies. There are currently five tuition centres with 114 children (55 male, 59 female).

Computer Literacy Programs are increasingly relevant and important for all students. There are currently two centres with 59 children where they are taught skills including how to use the internet, MS Office, and typing skills in both English and Hindi.

Resource Centres:

The different resource centres are designed to assist students with their studies, as well as have a place for women to learn about their rights. These include the Special Coaching Centre, the Women Counseling and Resource Centres, and the Fellowship program.

The Special Coaching Centre, located in Govinpur, links 29 students from 9 nearby villages. The students, (from classes 9-12) are provided with coaching and tutoring to aid them in their studies. The coaching includes sciences, math, and English. This service is currently provided by Aman, while Vimarsh looks to begin its own centre in the near future.

The Women Counseling and Resource centres are put in place to educate and support women with regards to protection from violence, health issues, and ways of legal recourse. These groups of 161 women have achieved remarkable success including getting the Ministry of Natural Gas and Petroleum to implement LPG connections to women in rural, low-income areas. This has greatly reduced the work required to cook. Two families began the Certificate of Marriage registry, and the Domicile and Caste Certificate. These give both women and children easier access to social security, including some schools that do not accept students without a legal domicile status.

Lastly, the Fellowship program supports 46 children that were deemed to be at risk of dropping out of school due to the financial burden. These children were given school bags, notebooks syllabus books and shoes.

TRAS now partners with Voice of Children through the TRAS Scholarship Fund to provide three-year scholarships to students entering university or other institutes of higher learning.  TRAS currently provides eight students with these scholarships.

Capacity Building Meetings:

Both AMAN and Vimarsh organise regular meetings to listen to the needs of the communities, and to educate them about their various rights. The three meetings are the Community Mobilization meetings, meetings with Mahila Sangthan, and the Collective meetings.

The Community Mobilization meetings are directed towards local children. The meetings educate them about their rights, including child’s rights, gender issues and discrimination, personal hygiene, right to education, child labour laws, child help lines, environmental rights, republic day, sustainable development goals, and many more. These meetings have been highly successful with more than 400 children participating.

The meetings with Mahila Sangthan are a collaboration that unifies local women to have their voices heard, and to educate them about a variety of topics. The discussions focus on education about gender issues, PCPNDT, local self governance, domestic violence, relevant government programs, water-sharing, and many more. These have also been very successful with over 500 women participating.

Lastly, the Collective meetings bring together both children’s and women’s groups to discuss mutual issues. Most recently they celebrated International Women’s Day and had an an amazing turnout!

Donations needed for 2021 $38,500.00

Watch this YouTube video to see the amazing people this project has helped.

Read about VOC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of TRAS funding.

Read about Hear Their Voices – A Zoom Event March 3, 2021

Voice of Children Mid-Year Progress Report Nov 2020 – Apr 2021