Marpha Foundation is a mindful community initiative that nurtures the whole human being through culturally sustaining education and employment. We act in solidarity to create equity in local jobs, schooling and childcare towards dismantling systemic oppression, resisting cultural erasure and healing the wounds of caste and gender based discrimination.


Located in the Annapurna Conservation Area, rural farming villages like ours are often overlooked or regarded as underdeveloped. This judgment fails to see the cumulative knowledge and wisdom held by our community. Life in Lower Mustang is rooted in cooperative work, family support systems, and local governance. Together we maintain food and water autonomy, sustainably steward natural resources, and confront the growing challenges of rural waste management.

Our Work

Marpha Foundation was founded in response to the expressed need for improved local education. Like much of the country, the pervasive model of formal schooling in our region perpetuates a learning culture based on memorization, grades, class rank, and obedience. Communities reported a lack of motivation among students and teachers and openly wondered, “How can this change?”

Our contribution to an ongoing conversation on education is to provide a fluid framework to explore alternative ways of learning. Marpha Foundation is an accessible space where students, families, and teachers can joyfully engage with learning through inquiry, experience, and reflection.

Our Approach

We are participant-centered. We take a culturally responsive and emergent approach to all that we do, whether working with learners in the classroom or collaborating on projects with community groups and visiting Fellows.

An emergent approach allows us to maintain a fluid framework for interactions and setting goals. This means that we can build upon new skillsets as they arise, and adapt to new situations, in order to chart a course that meets the needs and interests of current participants.

Marpha Foundation