About The Mountain Fund
Founded in 2005, the Mountain Fund aims to create healthy, vibrant mountain communities where people have access to healthcare, education and economic opportunity in an environment where human rights are valued and respected. To achieve this goal, we sponsor community-based initiatives that prioritize respect for the local culture and the environment.
Poverty: its causes and its symptoms are complex. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Education alone isn't enough, healthcare alone won't create positive and lasting change, nor will the sole support of women's or children's programs. As the popular NPR program The Bioneers says, 'it's all connected.'
In mountain communities, the suffering caused by poverty can be overwhelming as the needs for basic amenities far outstrip the local resources. Our approach to sustainable development is to first identify needs that can be fulfilled today, with very little funding and by local protagonists committed to the advancement of their communities. The Mountain Fund then works hand-in-hand with community leaders to develop and implement effective solutions to outstanding problems in their villages.
In many villages, in many countries around the world, good people with strong ties to the community have already identified the need to provide healthcare, build schools, empower women and start micro-finance programs. We build on the presence and success of community-based organizations and help them to grow stronger and accomplish more. There is no need to reinvent the wheel where a perfectly good wheel exists.
Our overarching strategy for all development work is based on a four step model that integrates our values and visions for the future. We undertake every Mountain Fund project bearing the following ideals in mind:
Women must have the support needed to survive childbirth and all children are entitled to a healthy and happy childhood.
All long term sustainable development hinges on the village's own ability to solve its problems. Dynamic and quality education is the key to true sustainable development.
Once educated, micro-finance programs are needed to create economic opportunities in villages. Without a way to put their education to beneficial use, children will migrate to the cities and the village will suffer from devastating "brain drain."
The local culture must be considered when setting goals for improvement in human rights and the local community must see a benefit from protecting the rights of all.
These building blocks are the crucial steps in the journey toward sustainable development. As the economist E.F. Schumaker said in his book Small is Beautiful:
The really helpful things will not be done from the center; they cannot be done by big organizations; but they can be done by the people themselves.