Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is The Umbrella Foundation?
    The Umbrella Foundation is a non-profit NGO based in Nepal and also a registered charity in Ireland, Holland, Hong Kong, UK, USA and Australia.
  • When was it set up?
    Umbrella was founded in 2005 by Dave Cutler, Harry Coogan and Viva Bell.
  • Why was it set up?
    The Umbrella Foundation was established in response to the growing number of corrupt ‘orphanages’ in Kathmandu, homes neglecting the children’s most basic rights – food, education, safe shelter, healthcare and love. We are a family-first organisation that rescues vulnerable children and reintegrates them with their families and rural communities. When reintegration is not possible, we support these children in our homes until such a time when they can stand on their own two feet. As a responsible and ethical organisation, we strive to prevent further trafficking and illegal homes from operating.
  • Do we make a profit?
    No, we are a for-impact, non-profit organisation.
  • What is our mission?
    The Umbrella Foundation is a family-first charity working to relieve the impact of trafficking, poverty and war on the children of Nepal through projects which promote education, reintegration and community development.
  • Are we registered?
    The Umbrella Foundation is a registered charity and orphanage in Nepal (CHY17247), as well as in Ireland, Holland, Hong Kong, UK, USA and Australia.
  • Can anyone visit us?
    Children are not tourist attractions. Since the release of Connor Grennan’s ‘Little Princes’ book, our homes in Kathmandu have received a lot of attention from people wishing to visit us. To fully protect our children, we must insist that people do not do so. The Umbrella Foundation is a safe place for children who were victims of trafficking and neglect. To allow visitors to enter our homes, interact with them and take their photos would be inappropriate and insensitive. Our volunteers are given child protection training and guidance as to the necessary boundaries that should be maintained with children. It takes each volunteer time to build up a level of trust and this process would only be aggravated by external visitors. BEWARE Please do not accept the help of anybody offering to bring you to our homes or to accept a donation on our behalf. Many illegal organisations exploit the generosity of visitors, keeping their homes in the poorest conditions possible to manipulate contributions from visitors. Please be wary of these tactics and avoid visiting ‘orphanages’, as it only perpetuates the problem rather than solving it!
  • Are we still rescuing children?
    Umbrella has had experience in rescuing over 388 vulnerable children from dangerous circumstances, 74 of whom are currently living in our homes, 172 are reintegrated into their local communities, 72 young adults are enrolled in the Next Steps Youth and Education Programme, with 43 having already gone through and signed out from the NSYEP. We now offer our support in an advisory capacity to other organisations and the Child Welfare Board in further rescues. This ensures our knowledge and expertise still goes to good use in actively fighting the growth of illegal ‘orphanages’ and the negative effects of child trafficking.
  • How long are the children able to stay in our homes?
    They are taken care of up to the age of 18 or until they obtain their School Leaving Certificate. After that, they may join the Next Steps Youth and Education Programme (NSYEP) where they are provided the opportunity to take further studies or training, and are supported in learning to live independently.
  • How can I get more information?
    Please address any questions to info@umbrellanepal.org.
  • Where do our funds come from?
    We are an independent charity relying solely on the generosity of individuals who contribute to the children and our work through sponsorship, donations, fundraisers and volunteering.
  • How are the accounts managed?
    Records are maintained in a double-entry bookkeeping system audited to international standards. For further details, please see our Financials page.
  • How are the homes managed?
    Households are run by our dedicated Nepali staff, under the leadership of the Child Protection and Development Officer (CPDO). There are weekly staff meetings to review issues and activities relating to the homes. There are also regular meetings with children to talk about their views and needs.
  • Why should I pay to volunteer?
    Umbrella is financed entirely by donations, child sponsors and fundraisers hosted all over the world. We are a non-profit charity run almost entirely by local Nepali people, providing the highest level of care, education and shelter to abandoned, trafficked and displaced children. We appreciate that as a volunteer you will be giving of your valuable time, but we also ask that you fundraise so as to raise awareness of our work internationally and provide much-needed funds to sustain our projects. After covering the costs of your placement, all remaining money is used to support the children in our care.
  • How long do I have to sponsor a child for?
    Sponsorship enables us to provide shelter, education and emotional security to the children in our care. Since your contribution allows us to best budget for the programmes we offer, we ask you to commit to a minimum of 12 months’ sponsorship. However, the longer you can support a child for, the better!
  • Can anyone fundraise for Umbrella?
    Yes, that would be fantastic and greatly appreciated! Your efforts can make a big difference to the lives of our children. However, before doing so, please communicate with our main office (info@umbrellanepal.org) so we can authorise your fundraising activity and provide you with a permission letter and promotional materials.
  • How can I make a donation?
    You can either deposit money directly into one of Umbrella’s international bank accounts or use one of our secure online contribution methods. See our Donate page for more information.
  • What kinds of donations are needed?
    Our main priorities are medical supplies, children’s clothing, school stationery, office equipment, second-hand computers or laptops, educational software, teaching resources, arts and crafts materials and sports equipment.