Nepal is located in Southern Asia in the northern hemisphere. It is a relatively small, landlocked country sandwiched between giant India to the west, south and east and to the north by China, which forcibly invaded and annexed Tibet in 1959. Nepal is roughly the size of North Carolina. The distance across Nepal from south to north is sometimes as little as 100 miles. Nepal's latitude is on the same plane as Miami, Florida.
Nepal's elevation varies from sea level in the Southern Terai region to 4,800 feet in the mid-Kathmandu area. The highest point on the planet, Mt. Everest, is located in the northeastern region as part of the Himalayan range. It towers at roughly 29,000 feet (8,848 meters).
With many distinct ethnic groups and well over 35 languages, Nepali is the common language. Kathmandu, the capital and largest city, is the home for our HIO program. Nepal has the densest number of world heritage sights in the world and unsurpassed natural splendor in its landscape.
It is the poorest country in South Asia, with a mean annual income of $350, a literacy rate of 35% and a jittery government and economy with unemployment hovering near 50%.
Because Nepal is a patriarchal, largely Hindu society that treats women as second-class citizens, girls and women are positioned to have no voice and are marginalized in every way. Even in relatively enlightened Kathmandu, the capital and largest city, religious and societal traditions dominate.
Access to education is the single most important aspect in the life of a young girl in Nepal. With education comes the possibility for the poor to improve their lives—to break an endless cycle of poverty that moves from mother to daughter and on and on for generations. Our aim is to provide the tools for families to change this narrative.