How it all began

Happy Nepalese boy in his new fleece jacket from the Tara Foundation USA

In 2007  TARA FOUNDATION USA was formed by Leeli Bonney to enable fundraising  for a variety of projects, mainly in the Khumbu and Solukhumbu regions of eastern Nepal.  Village committees and schools request help from the Foundation and the  local Associate Directors, Chhongba Sherpa and Khari Tulku Tenzin Yonten, guide the Board in the selection of  projects.  The Nepali Directors organize and supervise the  work which is done by the villagers, whenever possible.

Young Nepalese girl wearing her new fleece jacket provided by the Tara Foundation USA


What originally began in 1999 as a trip to Nepal to hike in a new part of the world evolved quickly for Leeli into a commitment to work to improve the lives of people living in the Himalaya and to help to preserve their traditional culture.  The initial project that brought 23 fleece jackets to children that first year continued as the “Himalayan Children’s Project,” and more than 3,000 jackets have gone from school children here to school children there, “sharing the warmth.”

Nepal is a small country about the size of Wisconsin with a population of 27 million people.  It is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world.  Nepal is landlocked, bounded by Tibet to the north and India to the south.  The  enormous peaks of the Himalayan Mountains form the border with Tibet.  This region is drier and colder than the south, limiting the farmers’ crops to staple foods:  potatoes, barley and wheat.

A view of Mt. Everest as seen from the trail on the way from Lukla to Namche Bazar.Stone chortens line the trail toward Ama DablamBodna Stupa Kathmandu

Tara Foundation focuses on helping in the northern part of the  Sagamatha region of eastern Nepal.  There are no roads, so everyone and everything still must travel on foot most of the time.  The country is 80% Hindu, but in this mountainous region Buddhism is prevalent and evident in the villages as trekkers and climbers pass through.

Nepal Administrative Map from the Nations Online Project

Contact Us:

TARA Foundation USA
P.O. Box 379
Meriden, NH 03770


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