True Grit

Magda King (on left)), Kanchi Sherpa and Aruna Thapa

Magda King (on left)), Kanchi Sherpa and Aruna Thapa

These days non-profits are popping up all over the place.  If this leads to a better, more equitable and sustainable world, that’s a good thing.  The one thing that sets Namlo apart from many other organizations is it’s authenticity; it’s integrity.  When Magda King began Namlo fourteen years ago, she was setting out to do something simple and direct.  She wanted to find a way to thank the Nepali people for helping her in her efforts to become the first woman from Spain to climb above 8,000 meters.  “I didn’t set out to build a non-profit,” she told me months ago, “I just wanted to build a school!”  She started with her own hands, spending months in remote villages, talking to many people and trying to figure out how to work effectively, and efficiently, with community participation and ownership. So she built a school, and another, and another…Magda was the epitome of true grit.

Over time she realized that building schools was not enough to build sustainable communities, so she started Namlo on the path of income-generation and economic development activities.  Of course, Magda didn’t do any of this by herself, and credit has to be given to her husband Hugh, Namlo’s tireless Nepali coordinators, Namlo board members (in Nepal, Europe and the U.S.), and of course Namlo’s many supporters.

Namlo Coordinator with Dhuskun women's group

Namlo Coordinator with Dhuskun women’s group

This down-to-earth, practical approach to development gives Namlo the authenticity, integrity and determination that it needs to create its own sustainable future.  Over the coming days and weeks, we will looking for ways to provide you with opportunities to become part of our authentic approach to international development.  Not only opportunities to invest in projects through donations, but also opportunities to get directly involved as a volunteer, helping us build schools, improve village infrastructure, teach in schools, engage in environmental education and a host of other project.  Some of our current projects are ideally suited for someone who wants to see a return on investment, such as

  • helping ginger farmers in Nepal learn how to distill essential oils to sell in international markets,
  • helping farmers in Nicaragua build greenhouses in their homes to improve their household nutrition and incomes, and respond to the increasing local demand for fresh vegetables.
  • introducing livestock as an economic activity in villages in Nepal as well as provide helping to establish veterinary services on a fee-for-service basis

Volunteers helping farmer in Nicaragua

Some of the projects are perfectly suited for people who want to learn about international development directly, and have a chance to experience the joy of helping others:

  • school construction
  • greenhouse construction and organic farming techniques
  • teaching conversational english
  • environmental education and village cleanups
  • knitting, sewing, weaving, and handicrafts
  • school sports
  • hygiene education

Remember, it’s not all hard work. Our projects are located in some of the most beautiful, culturally rich and exciting locations on earth!


Nicaragua Volcano

For more information on volunteering, investing or supporting Namlo, please e-mail,, or call 303-399-3649,

Evening rain in Mankha

Evening rain in Mankha, Nepal

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