LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A celebration to mark the fifth anniversary of the Food for People (FFP) program in Nepal was held recently in the mountain village of Tasarpu, 25 miles from the nation's capital city of Kathmandu. About 700 persons attended.
FFP Nepal, which opened in April 2008, is operated by The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) and local partner Premsagar Nepal, and is one of three such programs run by TPRF. There is one in Bantoli in northeast India and another in Otinibi, Ghana, on the outskirts of Accra, the capital city.
FFP was established by Prem Rawat in 2006 with the goals of providing nutritious, hot meals for children and infirm adults using local foods; employing local villagers; offering hygienic and agricultural education; and enlisting community leaders to help design and adjust the program.
According to an audit by Premsagar Nepal, during the past year FFP Nepal served over 100,000 meals to schoolchildren and ailing adults. The program also seeks to stimulate their area's economy by using local food sources and to increase the chances of children getting proper education. Since FFP's inauguration in 2009, the local school has seen a 66 percent increase in attendance and scores among graduating students taking Nepal's arduous School Leaving Exam exceed the national average.
"We've seen tremendous improvements in the health and hygiene of the children here in the past five years," said Geeta Bhatta, a local health worker who gave the opening address at the FFP Nepal anniversary celebration. "Before Food for People, we used to have at least 10 children a year who had to be hospitalized for severe malnutrition. This year, we had none."
Kathmandu Engineering College Chairman Hirendra Man Pradhan, representing local contributors, called the FFP program a "model which the government should emulate." Dr. Pradhan announced that the college would donate US$1,000 annually to the facility, as well as offer scholarships for qualifying students from the area.
K.M. Joshi, a Kathmandu resident who was also celebrating a birthday, covered the cost of the program, which he credited with improving the lives of the villagers. Children and teachers sang songs written especially for the event, after which students, coordinators and guests headed for the dining hall for refreshments.
About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)
The Prem Rawat Foundation promotes Prem Rawat's message of peace and his vision of addressing fundamental human needs so that people everywhere can live with dignity, peace and prosperity. For more information, visit: www.tprf.org.
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation