Humla is considered one of the most underdeveloped regions in the world, lying high in the rugged and remote north-west of Nepal. With long, cold winters forcing harsh growing conditions, Humla is known as a permanent food shortage area. The lack of basic infrastructure means most villages don’t have access to electricity or clean drinking water. Limited road access means Humla is extremely isolated and reachable only by foot or small aircraft.
Following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1949, there has been an influx of refugees across the Tibetan border into the northernmost part of Humla. With no legal documents or recognition of their status as refugees, they are unable to engage in trade with India. Isolated, poor and struggling for basic survival, the population as a whole suffers from malnutrition, low literacy rates and disease.
In 2009, passionate about making a difference in his local community, Pema Topchen established the Kailash Humla Children’s Foundation. With the help of foreign support, he has worked tirelessly for the betterment Humla’s social, cultural, environmental, economic, and educational status.