Designer T-shirts for all our supporters!

Asian Boy Girl Model

We’d like all our friends to show their support for Norlha in the coolest possible way. Each T-shirt and Hoodie bought via Fabrily with include a donation of €8 for our Nepal projects. How easy is that? Please share our campaign on your social media with your friends. The campaign will only last for one month, so buy now before they sell out!

Why Himalaya?

We help communities who live on the roof of the world. Life at 5000m is not easy. The environment brings constant challenges, the ecology is delicate and increasingly treatened, it’s people’s are diverse in ethnicity and socioeconomic background.

The region is undergoing rapid change, environmental and economic problems are complex. Rural minorities are finding it difficult to move forward in this new global age. We have projects in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. We’ve built greenhouses, schools, care homes and health clinics. We train nurses, we teach children, we train mothers during pregnancy, greatly increasing infant mortality rates after birth. We change farming techniques. We help women carry leading roles in rural communities. We feel people are already empowered. We try to listen, reach out and help them.

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We decided a great way to kick off our 2014 fundraising campaign was to sell on Kingsday. We’ve done this in past years, it’s a great way to meet the public and to increase awareness of Norlha Nederland in general. Previously we raised €140, but this year we nearly doubled that at €260. Putting yourself in front of the public and asking for money is both a profound and crucial experience. It forces you to question what you actually know about the charity and it’s projects, but more importantly it checks your own motivation about doing such work.

The public were generous, surprised, and delighted – to see people using the festival, not just to make money or have fun, but to work for others. It was amazing to see how many children donated money, how many teenagers were generally intrigued by our projects. One young Asian girl gave a very generous donation, a group of young Dutch ethnic guys loved the jewelry on sale, the length and diversity of inter-actors was inspiring. And that was what the event was about, inspiration! The money should always come second and the people first. So was it.


We at Norlha Nederland are volunteers, proud but few. Increasingly one reads how life changing it is to do voluntary work, research indicates volunteers are happier people. Adding a deeper meaning for individuals, it means we begin to worry about others and not just our own problems, finding that job, the new client or just paying the rent. This blog update will soon appear on my linkedin profile, I’m happy to show others that my sole purpose in life is not purely the pursuit of a ‘career’. It says more about me as a person than all the lengthy experience listed on my Resume.

Wij zoeken donateurs en vrijwilligers voor projecten. Wordt actief!

Norlha HQ in Switzerland does have a small team of paid employee’s, but the majority of project management and fundraising is by volunteers. Some of our sponsors like that we are a predominantly voluntary organization, some see it as limiting in scope. Regardless we need both.

Do you want to be happier, do you have a connection or affinity with the Himalayan people. Are you Dutch? Are you other? We would just love to hear from you.

Pearse Gaffney


Support Himalayan farmers!

We (Norlha International) have decided to try a new fundraising tool and use a crowd funding platform to raise the missing amount. These platforms work by strongly activating our communities and networks, spreading the word around via social networks, emails etc. Thanks to this platform, everyone can contribute small amounts of money and be part of a collective effort which will lead to the launching of our project! For each donation, everyone will receive a contribution, and of course regular updates on the project!


Please make a donation and/or share this link.

Dzagyel 1+1 = 2

Those of you who have been following our work will know that 2011 was a busy year….we built a school in Dzagyel! In 2012 we went one step further, we build a dormitory to sleep 30 children from Nomadic family’s in the region. It has taken time to be able to provide you with an update. It’s a remote area and our Field Officer has vast ground to cover and many projects to oversee. With such a grueling schedule it is all to easy to loose a USB stick with the last field trip foto’s…these things happen! But finally we’re able to show you the progress that has been carried forward from 2011. And indeed, what a progress.

Take a look at how remote Dzagyel is on Wikimapia…

The major funds (€10,000) donated by Stichting Overal were actually allocated to to this phase of the project. The initial plan was to build the dormitory as a separate building but in the end, it was considered most cost effective and easier for heating and maintenance to add a whole new floor level on top! We at Norlha build trust with the communities we help, we don’t dictate the details to them. We know it is the project managers on the ground who know best, and seldom do they let us down.

So what now? Well, Norlha Nederland discussed this at length with Agathe Paron (Field Officer) and management, recently at our Switzerland HQ. Problems remain. The school running cost and salaries are still difficult to find, over 50% of the money for the total building of school and new dormitory was gathered by the local community, it hasn’t left them with much in the pot.

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Additionally we been asked to find funding for the salaries of two doctors for a clinic in the same region. That will cost €500 per month. So that’s it, we’ve made a success story in Dzagyel and in this remote region of Western China but there’s still lost more to do.

So we need to find more funding for both teachers and doctors, not forever, just for a while until they can get things working smoothly themselves. So far they’ve done us proud…lets keep it that way…keep donating, keep supporting us, keep the good work going.

And thank you Stichting Overal.

Activity Report for 2011

Our activity has been somewhat slow this year, we’ve been consolidating on existing contacts and projects, moving them forward. Fundraising has been minimal, but we hope to connect with some fruitful income sources before the year closes. More updates to follow, but for now, please take a look at what Norlha did achieve last year…we think it’s pretty impressive.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Activity Report 2011

Dzagyel – updates from our Field Officer


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“Dzagyel school was the only school supported by Norlha which didn’t close during the Caterpillar Fungus season! This shows a real motivation from both the teachers and the parents to give to their children the best chance to build their future. In all the other villages, the schools closed during two months (from end of April to beginning of July), because all the families move to the hills to pick up the Caterpillar fungus (a fungus with medicinal properties which is sold at a very high price in all China).”

“The construction of the building has already started, and the children have now their classes in a big tent. The walls have been built (all in stones) as well as the windows frames (very beautiful!). They think the construction should be finished in October.”

“As you all know, there are currently only Tibetan courses in the school, and no Chinese course. Actually, it is very difficult for Dzagyel school to find a Chinese teacher willing to live in such a remote area, without a reasonable salary and good living conditions. This is why building this teacher resident room is very important for them, for the school, and especially for the children, if we want them to have all the necessary “tools” to build their future!”


Video: The children of Dzagyel and the old adobe mud school before the new building commenced.

“When we arrived, all the parents were at the school as the headmaster, Sonam Darje, was explaining them the importance of encouraging their children to do their homework, as well as to wash their children clothes (who are very dirty). So it was perfect time to start our workshop on hygiene! The parents all stayed at the school and they were all very curious about what we were doing so, the workshop aimed at the children ended up to be also beneficial for the parents! Some soaps, towels, nail clippers, tooth brushes and tooth paste were distributed to the children and Lochoe explained to them the importance of keeping a good hygiene, and how to wash hands and wash teeth. All the children participated with enthousiasm to the activity, which ended with a quick cleaning of the garbages around the school.”

“Dzagyel school leaders and teachers are highly motivated but they do lack the financial resources to realize all the projects they have in mind. This year, thanks to Norlha support, they have all the financial means necessary to build the two classrooms and the teacher office. But for next year, they still lack some money for the dining room, kitchen and teacher resident room.”

Cosima Thommen – Field Officer Norlha