Women's Economic Empowerment

We offer young women in Nepal, the opportunity to develop and implement their own leadership project that are integral to addressing issues affecting young women with specialized guidance from Mountain Resiliency Project.

Our local community leaders, mainly men, have failed to openly acknowledge and address women's issues despite the fact that many women in our community are living in fear of gender-based violence be it private or public. Our community’s response to women's issues has always been subdued, perhaps even apathetic. Our women's economic empowerment program works directly with young women to provide opportunities for community leadership that are integral to addressing issues affecting young women.


Mountain Resiliency's first Tibetan Refugee Women Leadership Retreat, 30 Tibetan women, representing 6 different Tibetan refugee camps from Nepal, actively participated in the retreat. This retreat was a kickoff to our yearlong fellowship that will support 15 fellows in Tibetan camps throughout Nepal. Thank you to our partner U.S. Embassy in Nepal.


Meet some of our women entrepreneurship fellows: 


Yeshi ChoNzom, samdrupling Camp, Jawalakhel, Nepal

YESHI is leading a women's health education program for Tibetan communities in rural areas. This is important because Regionally, one of third of South Asian women from ages 15 to 49 has experienced sexual violence (WHO). Survivors often experience life-long emotional distress, mental health problems, poor reproductive health and are at higher risk of acquiring HIV. We face additional challenges of gender-based inequality and social gender barriers; the illiteracy rate for Tibetan men is 19%, while the illiteracy rate for Tibetan women is 33% (CTA Planning Commission). Education and access gap between men and women is prevalent in the Tibetan community. 

Dawa Dolma, Tserok Camp, muSTANG, nePAL

DAWA DOLMA is an organic apple farmer from Tserok Tibetan Refugee Camp, Mustang, at 8760ft above sea level. Mustang region is famous for producing delicious apricots and apples. She is drying and preserving apples to produce apple chips and selling it directly to a larger market. Dawa is also providing fruit preservation training to other members in her Tibetan refugee camp. There is a youth unemployment problem in Tibetan refugee camps. Dawa is introducing mountain agribusiness in her refugee camp and it is inspiring other youths in her community. 




DECHEN is leading an all-natural, handmade candle-making business. She gives training for other single mothers and struggling housewives to gain independence and handicraft skills to create handmade candles. You can find her candles on Ngaden Candles Facebook page. Her candles can now be found in several stores in Kathmandu, Nepal. Understanding the gender-based violence many women suffer due to economic inequality, Dechen expands women's capacity by training them with handicraft skills to eventually become economically independent, and minimizing gender economic inequality in the Tibetan community.  

Meet the rest of our Class of 2017 

Indigenous Honeybees in Rural Himalayas: A Community-based Approach for Conserving Biodiversity and Sustainable Income Generation

Nepal has a rich tradition of beekeeping in rural areas with the native apis cerana bees. Villagers have been using indigenous knowledge in sustainable management of beekeeping in traditional log hives. Apis cerana bees have adapted to Nepal’s mountainous terrain and difficult landscape; it can survive up to 11,500ft and requires little management. It is resistant to cold, predators and diseases. They produce honey twice a year and each hive can yield 20 kilograms. In our pilot site, Dhorpattan, we invested in 25 bee colonies.


The beekeeping project in Dhorpattan Tibetan Refugee Camp, Baglung district, sits at 9,500 ft above sea level; the Swiss Red Cross first established in 1961 for Tibetan refugees fleeing Chinese persecution. The refugee camp is home to 40 stateless households without any legal documentation. The nearest road is 2 days walk and the nearest city, Pokhara, is 3 days away. Agriculture (mainly potatoes and livestock) makes up 90% of the community’s income. The camp cultivates 5 hectares of fields. The environment and availability of organic, non-pesticide pollen makes it very suitable for beekeeping. Beekeeping and honey would add a new source of income for the farmers.


We are expanding to more beehives in Jampaling Tibetan Camp and Tserok Tibetan Camp, Mustang! Join our Newsletter to receive updates!

Resilient Livelihoods with Agribusiness

We are working alongside mountain communities to build grassroots resilience, increase ecosystem and adapt to climate change while creating social, economic and environmental value.