Nepal Community Development Project

The Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak is pleased and proud to be working on this community development project in Nepal with the Swoyambhu Rotary Club in Nepal (District 3292), along with Rotary Clubs in the Central West of NSW (District 9700), and with local businesses and corporate organisations. The Australia-Nepal Mental Health Network web site can be found here.


If you would like to donate directly to the Mental Health Training and Support, Nepal Friendship Project, Kathmandu & Maidi Area, Dhading District, then you can do so here. Your donation will go to RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) to be distributed in Nepal by Hike Himalaya Adventure (when donating add a note that indicates how you would like your donation spent).

Australia - Nepal Mental Health Network
  • Under the auspice of RAWCS with RCOD as Sponsor Club the Australia Nepal Mental Health Network (ANMHN) supports services and colleagues in Nepal with training and skill development.

  • The aim is to improve the lives of Nepali people experiencing mental illness.

  • The Network is ‘home-grown’ in Orange with clinicians from the local mental health service, and with colleagues from Sydney.

  • The team works with services and universities in Nepal building their skill base and participating in learning exchanges.   

  • The team pay their airfares and accommodation each year to spend time in Nepal and they work with their Nepali colleagues throughout the year to ensure any teaching is targeted and useful.

  • Funds are raised to support small service projects such as for street-front mental health services in Kathmandu and for piloting a mental health literacy program in remote village schools.



  • The annual fund-raising event this year is on Saturday 15th September at 5.30pm, Orange Aero Club.

  • Michael Caulfield, internationally recognised film producer and writer will be MC.

  • Dr Nick Burns, Network clinical director and Robyn Murray, executive director will talk about the work of the team.

  • The film is Sherpa and there will be a three-course dinner and Famous RCOD Auctioneer Michael Milston will run a Boutique Auction.

  • Sherpa is a BAFTA Award winning film by Australian Director Jennifer Peedom.

  • Sherpa is a visually magnificent documentary about the Himalayan guides who have led foreigners to the highest place on Earth since 1953 and is a film ‘not for the faint-hearted’! A daunting and inspiring film.

  • Michael and Liz Butler will show a short cut from their recent film on the Washington Vietnam War Memorial.



$40 per ticket Lynette Bullen or 0411 420 794

A team of mental health practitioners initally travelled to Nepal at the end of 2015 and, with their local colleagues, focused on mental health issues in the city of Kathmandu and in the villages of Maidi in Dhading. A key focus was the support needed to cope psychologically with the trauma of the earthquake. A team has returned each year since 2015.


The ANMHN, with support from RCOD and the RCOD members who came to the fundraising dinner (see slides on the left), helps small street-front NGOs who are raising awareness about Mental Health.  $250 was donated to Chharhari for a fun run.

Dear all, Namaste!


Thank you all for you support and making this event a great success!


All of our Chhahari Team members completed the run, we are so proud of them! Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health wants to congratulate all of the runners and supporters.


Again we would like to thank Australia-Nepal Mental Health Network Team for sponsoring Chhahari Team t-shirts. It was great to see the mass of green run. So easy to pick out the Chhahari runners. Saturday Chhahari raised the profile of Mental Health. And the Chhahari Logo on the certificates is fantastic exposure….. see the attachments.


We hope you will join us for the next year also. Kathmandu Marathon 2017 will take place on 16th September 2017. See you then!


“Physical strength will get you to the start line. Mental strength will get you to the finish line.” –Anonymous


Best regards;

Maija Vihermaa, intern for CNMH,,


Further information can be found at the web site

To read more about the 2015 trip to Nepal and the thank you from Dr Nick Burns click here.

Nepal Mental Health Project - Rebuilding Hope

by Robyn Murray (see more about the project below)


Rotary, along with many others is working to help rebuild the houses and infrastructure of the Nepali people affected by the massive earthquake of 25 April and those that have followed in May. Aid in the form of food and clean water then building materials is critical. Aid is also critical in the giving of scholarships for children to continue to go to school while their parents are struggling to replant their fields and bring in an income.


We are assisting our colleagues in Nepal to deliver psychological first aid. This aid is essential in the rebuilding of hope for the future, in the understanding and support of the trauma that people have experienced and continue to experience. A senior physician has said to us, “My whole world has turned upside down. I no longer feel safe to go into my house or my office. Every day I feel afraid”. All these feelings are normal for the trauma that has occurred. However, these fears, unless addressed in an appropriate and understanding manner can become permanent and lead to feelings of hopelessness, lack of personal control and mental illness.


Through Rotary and the Australia-Nepal Mental Health Network we are helping to fund local mental health trauma specialists to implement psychological first aid. This is evidence based support developed here in Australia in the aftermath of our own catastrophic events such as our massive firestorms and floods. It is work endorsed by the World Health Organisation. It is aimed at normalising people’s feelings and helping them to regain a sense of their own power and personal strengths. There are specific programs aimed at children, young people and teachers.


Rotary is also targeting people with serious mental illness, those with schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar illness who are homeless and more vulnerable now due to the destruction of their street-front shelters and networks. We are supporting some key, established mental health services to provide one main meal a day and to source shelter for these folks. Photo at left shows the main team at Chhahari Nepal a MH service working with people with mental illness who are homeless.

Girls at School sewing project for Nepal 
The women of RCOD  met regularly until 2017 to trace, cut and sew colourful fabric sanitary pads for schoolgirls in Nepal to ensure they don't have to miss school or be banished from their community while they have their periods.

We have a project called Girls At School, explains group co-ordinator Lois Willing. It's aimed at providing girls in some of the mountain villages in Nepal with personal hygiene products.


The lack of sanitary products for girls in these villages north west of Kathmandu was noticed by members of the Rotary Club who have been going to Nepal for several years. Not only was this affecting their education but it is a time when they are very vulnerable because they are sometimes shunned by the families and are out on the edge of the villages during this time. Lois says disposable sanitary products are not suitable for these villages because they can't access shops and don't have good waste disposal systems. Instead the club has created the hygiene kits which are provided in a drawstring backpack in bright fabrics so the girls can take them to school every day to carry books and other belongings. Inside are several pairs of underpants, a fabric shield similar in shape to a disposable sanitary pad which can clip underneath the underwear and several washable fabric liners.


Lois said the kits don't cost much to make and most of the goods and materials have been donated but they have far reaching implications.

When these kits are actually distributed to the schools the Rotarians have made sure the boys of the school, and the woman and even some of the men, although they're not that interested, are being educated as to periods, menstruation and issues with women.

"I think it has been quite a taboo subject in Nepal in the past.

"Hopefully this is helping the girls by providing the products and making the whole topic more open.


For further information go the the Central Western Daily article here.


Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak

(RCOD) Orange NSW Australia

District 9700

Rotary International

Rotary Showcase