A Kindred Connection | Sharmila Manandhar, MountainChild Government Liasion
This year, we celebrate MountainChild’s 20th anniversary. While the idea sparked on the trekking route nearly two decades ago, it took time to develop. It took time to build the team that surrounds us today. Sharmila Manandhar joined MountainChild almost 7 years ago. She has worn many hats over the course of her time with MountainChild and much of what we do as an organization in Nepal rests in her very capable care. She currently serves as our Government Liaison and Office & Human Resources Manager, but she’s provided leadership in several capacities over the years. From finance to the first HALO Health Officer, she jokes, “One day I even cleaned the toilet!”
Sharmila is part of the thumbprint of MountainChild and plays a critical role on our team.
Developing the Nepal based team has positioned MountainChild for great local impact. Due to the influx of NGO work after the 2015 7.8 earthquake that shook Nepal, many government policies and requirements changed. Sharmila’s experience and hard work helped us to navigate such a critical season and empowered our emergency response as an organization. Her skill set and compassion to help people in need have set the tone for our developing and robust Nepal based team.
“Back then we only had two chairs and one office,” she says while opening her arms to take in the expanse of the now fully furnished office, “It was just me and two other people!”
As we continued to talk about the beginnings of her time with MountainChild, Sharmila talked about seeing, even in the early days, the potential for what MountainChild would become. She credits where MountainChild is now to the hearts of the leadership and the people supporting MountainChild and finds purpose in following their lead.
With a background in sociology, Sharmila’s desire has always been to help people. After hearing the goals of leadership and the mission of MountainChild to carry hope to children and their families in the mountains, she felt a kindred connection. “I love to help people. MountainChild’s objective was the same as mine,” she shares.
“I love to help people. MountainChild’s objective was the same as mine,” she shares.
Sharmila often finds herself in government offices working on behalf of MountainChild to ensure that we are able to do the work needed to carry hope to the Himalayas. She has a way with people that gets things done! While her desk is piled high with paperwork, weighted with permission forms and official documents, her heart and shoulders also bear the weight of the task at hand.
Work in Nepal isn’t always an easy task.
"My responsibilities can be very heavy," she shares. Humanitarian work is seldom carefree. We daily face the logistics of caring for people in some of the greatest need. We confront dark circumstances and seemingly impossible situations almost daily. But Sharmila’s willingness and aptitude push us to face it with competence and hope!
"My duty is to help," she says.
Sharmila is one of the now many local MountainChild staff members who make us who we are. We're thankful for her heart to go above and beyond in everything she does. She inspires us to carry hope every day.