By Angjuk Lama, Humla Programme Manager, Adara Development
Angjuk Lama is the Manager of Adara’s Humla programmes. A local Humli, he has witnessed much progress in the region since Adara began our work their 17 years ago.
Humla is situated in the northwest corner of Nepal lying along the border of Tibet. It is a beautiful, diverse and mountainous region, yet the land is harsh and impoverished. Here, isolation, poverty and illiteracy deprive people of all but the basics of life. The natural beauty of the region is stunning – majestic mountains, crystal clear rivers, and panoramic views that take your breath away. Although there are many different ethnic groups who have their own distinct culture, language, and beliefs, they live side by side with respect and harmony.
I was born and raised in Kermi, Humla. As a child, I helped my parents by working in the field, fetching water, collecting firewood, and grazing yaks and sheep. I was also very fortunate to attend school to get an education. Things were much scarcer and tougher back then. I don’t remember any NGOs helping schools with educational materials, school supplies or teacher support like Adara does now. It would have made huge difference in the lives of me and my peers if we’d had such wonderful support.
I started my career with Adara back in 1999 as a translator and research assistant, working alongside Dr Kimber Haddix Mckay in Humla on the very first baseline study of primary health care. We did a follow up study in upper Humla in 2003, when Nepal was going through political unrest. I also worked with Adara in both Humla and Kathmandu to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked Humli kids in 2004/2005. So I have been working for Adara on and off since its beginning.
In 2013, after several years away from Nepal while I was studying in the US under a Fulbright scholarship, I was presented with the opportunity to work with Adara once again as the Humla Assistant Programme Manager, and leapt at the opportunity.
Returning to Humla, I can see the incredible impact Adara has had over the past 17 years. We are one of the few organisations who work in Humla with a holistic approach to our service delivery. Our work has touched and changed lives of countless Humlis through education, health care, infrastructure development, micro-enterprise and child wellbeing programs.
All the projects we do are great making huge difference in the lives of Humli people, but for me, our greatest accomplishment is being able to win Humlis faith. The community has a firm belief in us that we really work and care for them and won’t abandon them easily. In that respect, Adara is not like any other organisations that come and go. We are different, and over the years we earned that trust.
As we begin our new three year Humla plan, we are narrowing our focus to two main project areas – education and community health. We have decided to put our resources, energy and expertise to these key areas to make them more effective, rather than spreading ourselves too thin. Education and health have a huge long term impact upon the lives of Humli people, and we believe these areas will have the biggest long term change. We will also add one more Humli village to our programme – Muchu – a community with great need.
We are also excited to be bringing the expertise in Maternal Infant and Child health that we have gained over 17 years work in Uganda to the Humli community, as it is a service deeply lacking in the region.
As these programmes continue to grow, we are looking for a new funder who would like to stand with us to improve the lives of the Humli community. If you are interested in supporting this programme, please contact our Partnerships and Development manager, Cabrie Kearns, at email@example.com.