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.


We work with communities from the Panchgaon villages of Lower Mustang in a spirit of learning and mutual respect. Rural farming villages are often overlooked or regarded as backward and underdeveloped. This judgment fails to see the cumulative knowledge and wisdom held in these communities. Life in Lower Mustang continually teaches us the importance of cooperative work, community, family support systems, food and water autonomy, stewardship of natural resources, and our role in consumption and waste generation.

Our Work

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

Our contribution to this 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 critically 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