The women of Bethan and surrounding villages are subsistence farmers. The husbands of any married women either work away in other countries or are farmers themselves.

The majority of the population is under the age of 35 and has no available transportation. The nearest hospital is 3 hours away but, as this is a private hospital, most people travel to Kathmandu, 4 hours away by bus.

A shortage of trained nurses in these remote areas is a serious problem, which places the children who live there at great risk and results in a high child mortality rate.

The Bhwasa Community Medical Centre (BCMC) is located in Bethan, a remote village in the mountainous Ramechhap District of northeastern Nepal, and services a number of nearby villages. The total population served by the centre is around 14,000, mainly women, children and the elderly. The centre was founded by the Buddhist nun Venerable Lobsang Khando, whose intention was to make it a ‘living building’ which serves the community’s spiritual and physical health and well-being.

The BCMC consists of a room used to store medical supplies and sterilise equipment, and a further two rooms used for medical examinations and treatment. There is also an office for the local nurse, who runs and oversees clinics, as well as rooms used as living space for volunteer workers. The centre provides a focal point for local child vaccination programmes, and other basic medical treatment. The centre’s educational aims include fire and burns prevention safety, women’s health issues, care of babies and the aged.

The Mandala Trust has supported this wonderful organisation through the provision of medical equipment and medical supplies. The grant was made possible thanks to our sponsor Rehabilitation Network Ltd, who generously donated the full value of the initial grant sought by Bhwasa.