What we decided:
Just over a year ago in September 2019, we publicly announced our plan to carefully wind down our operations in 2021. This was a difficult decision to arrive at, but we know it was the right one. Our wind down has been planned well in advance and in accordance with all of Nepal’s local laws and regulations. The world is moving away from models of institutional care and we have played an important role in showing how an organisation can responsibly transition towards family and community-based care. With the children we have supported now reaching independance and adulthood, the time has come for Umbrella step away. Our local partner NGO – Umbrella Organisation Nepal – who we have worked alongside for 15 years, will continue on without us after 2021 implementing projects of their own. These projects will continue supporting vulnerable children and their families, providing education scholarships, and supporting schools. They will also keep operating the Chautari Youth Club which is a unique and one-of-a-kind project in Nepal that they hope to re-open in early 2021, when it is safe to do so.
We announced our plans about this wind-down well in advance to also ensure that the process would be as smooth as possible, and so we could fundraise our goal of €50,000. This target was the projected shortfall to our regular funding and would secure the remaining school fees and support for the final year of Umbrella children and youths, as well as providing long-term support for some special cases.
What we have achieved:
Due to the incredible generosity of our supporters, we have now reached our target of €50,000! This is even after facing some setbacks throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which we had to provide extra financial and in-kind support to over 200 of our current children and past-graduated youths. We are so grateful to all our supporters over the years who have helped us reach this milestone.
Where we are now:
Our plan is to carefully phase-out The Umbrella Foundation Nepal by the 31st March, 2021, and hand over operations to our long-time local partner Umbrella Organisation Nepal (UON). We will continue to fund UON for the remainder of 2021 to make their transition to independence as smooth as possible and ensure the last remaining Umbrella children and youths are financially secure. Our team and Board of Directors will also be there to support this transition for some months after the handover in March.
As we have reached our fundraising target, we have now decided to stop our fundraising activities and will also stop taking donations after the 31st of January, 2021. This is so we can consolidate and transfer these funds across to Umbrella Organisation Nepal. For our regular donors and supporters, we will be reaching out to you individually over the coming weeks. For those who wish to continue supporting UON directly into the future, please contact us and we can connect you directly with Shyam Lama who is their Program Director.
We had hoped to hold our reunion event here in Nepal this past October, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic this was not possible. We hope that by early next year we will be able to celebrate our journey together (somewhere, and somehow!) and we will keep you updated over the coming months.
Last but not least, we want to wholeheartedly thank you all in the Umbrella Family for helping us achieve our original goal of supporting 411 vulnerable children, enabling them to reconnect with their families and complete their school-level education. Out of these 411 children and youth, we managed to find 410 of their families. We really could not have done this without you. As many of you know, the Umbrella youths are all vibrant, fun and intelligent young people, and it has been our privilege and joy to watch them grow into kind and responsible citizens of Nepal.
This will not be our last newsletter, and we will keep you updated with news about our wind down over the coming months! For now, we wish you all a safe and wonderful Christmas and New Year.
The Umbrella Family in Nepal