Akka Lama, the founder of DCWC Nepal, came from the rural village of Rajbash in 1997 for higher education in Kathmandu. After completing his University studies and working as a Thangka painter in the Thamel tourist district, he decided to follow his dream of supporting poor women and children in the village by bringing them educational opportunities and access to healthcare.
Soon Akka found support for his vision from foreigners who came to his newly opened Thangka shop. In the year 2000 a Swiss couple, who had trekked in Nepal, collected 100 kilos of 2nd hand clothing and school supplies in their home country and sent these to Akka for distribution in various villages and schools. Thus Akka’s charity was born, and together with 6 friends he registered it with the Nepal Government under the name: DCWC (Development of Children and Women Center). A couple from the US provided funds for a small office in Kathmandu. The DCWC now had a physical place from which to plan and organize their activities to support rural Nepal.
The Thangka store had become an important place of contact with subsequent supporters of Akka’s charity. Many a traveller stopped in for the beautiful Thangkas and ended up discussing the dire needs of people in the backcountry of Nepal.
In 2004, Gary Collier, an antique dealer from the UK came to the store on his way back from Tibet. After discussing Thankgkas and then the charity, Gary decided to help. Upon his return home he registered DCWC NEPAL in the UK to support Education and Healthcare access in rural Nepal. You can find more information at www.dcwcnepal.org.
Tomas Beranek from the Czech Republic had been a friend of Akka’s since 1999. Tomas used to organize tours to Tibet, Nepal and India. Many of his clients were curious to learn more about the art of Thangka painting and so he brought them to Akka’s store. While it took a little while to get Tomas on board, in 2005 he decided to register the Charity in the Czech Republic under the name Namaste Nepal-DCWC-CZ .You can find more information at www.namastenepal.cz.
Patrick Graney and Steve Gross from the US, both acquaintances made over Thangka’s, decided to become active on behalf of DCWC in the United States and are in the process of applying for tax exempt status for the DCWCNepal-US. You can find more information at: www.dcwcnepal-us.org.
The goal of our charity, established in the year 2000, was to bring access to education and healthcare to the poor and marginalized of Nepal. Guided by a spirit of love and empowerment we have steadily worked to fulfill this mission.
As of this year (2013) we have build 30 schools; we sponsored more than 200 (?) Children to allow them to get an education; we have been holding workshops that teach women to read and write; we opened the 15 bed DCWC Community Hospital, and we held regular health camps to bring medical care into remote areas.
All decisions regarding present and future activities are made by the 7 member central DCWC board in conjunction with the various committees representing the interests of our communities. We see our work as a service to our local communities and hope to foster a feeling of ownership for the changes we create together.
The DCWC Village Community Hospital was established in September 2010 with the financial assistance from Development of Children and Women Centre (DCWC) Nepal, UK, MODUS UK, Namaste Nepal, Czech Republic. With funding from our American supporters a pharmacy and an injection clinic were added in 2011. The hospital is operated and managed by Development of Children and Women Centre, Nepal and local members of the Nagre Gagarche Village Development Committee, Kavre District of Nepal.
Nagre Gagarche lies at the center of several districts with a combined population of approx. 120000 poor subsistence farmers. Until 2010 the area had no direct access to even basic medical care. Now the DCWC community hospital staff provides 24 hour emergency service, minor surgeries, X-rays, lab tests, immunizations and health check-ups. Our newly donated ambulance allows us to transport critical patients safely to hospitals in Kathmandu. Our birthing center provides peri-natal care and delivers critical health services to home bound expectant mothers.
Our goal is to bring medical care to all 120000 people in the Kavre/Sindhupalchok/ Dolakha/Remechhap districts. We plan to expand inpatient capacity from 15 to 51 beds. The establishment of a tele-medicine center with on-line assistance from specialists will enable us to treat even complicated medical cases in the village and facilitate training of local staff. It is our belief that health security combined with educational opportunities will provide a greatly improved quality of life for poor Nepali villagers.