Nepal – Can It Compare to Switzerland, Really?

Surely, Nepal has its challenges. The many generations prior leading up to now have been the unfortunate beneficiaries of poor policies and agreements that were sealed less than a century ago with the then British India. Nepal continues to bear the brunt of politicians with no set goals or vision. They will remain corrupt as long as they can. They will give a blind eye and a deaf ear to the country’s problems as long as they can pocket their undeserved earnings. It is high time all these useless, uneducated, and selfish politicians are ousted from their positions. Younger, educated, and visionary leaders have to step up to be in charge of this country which has a great potential for progress.

Nepal is compared to Switzerland with the likes of its natural beauty: the tall mountains, the beautiful terrain, geographic diversity and natural resources. But, with some calculated and committed steps from the right people it could truly  compare to Switzerland in the progressive terms as well.

“Hagen came to Nepal 62 years ago because he felt landlocked and mountainous Nepal had a lot in common with Switzerland, and could be made in its image.”

Photo credit:Toni Hagen

As I write this blog, I am deeply encouraged by some friends who have taken intentional steps to change the face of Nepal’s future. Also to be noted is the education and experience they received in the western countries that have effected in their courageous decision-making. As a result of their western education, they realize that in the hands of the right people, Nepal has every potential to step up to the plate.

Let’s begin with my friend and sister- Bimala Shrestha Pokharel. I met her in Nepal. In the course of her time at Calvin along with a trip to Kenya while in school, she envisioned returning to Nepal to use her skills and education there. You can read about this amazing individual here at

Dorje Gurung is an international educator I briefly met during my last visit to Nepal. He credits his success and “chance at life” to the education he received against all odds. Dorje, too, had an opportunity to pursue higher education in the US. He spearheads a non-profit organization and community development program to create scholarships for kids from poor backgrounds. You can read about him at

And, recently I read about Saluja Acharya, a Nepali woman who resigned her high paying position at Blue Cross Blue Shield in the US and returned to Nepal. The company she started currently employs 60 engineers from within Nepal. Read about her here

I have lived in this States for over a decade. I have been blessed to have friends from all over. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience as well, and grown in many ways but I still long for my native land. I still pray that Nepal would look brighter for its inhabitants. I am surprised at how many Nepalese hold esteemed positions in the area of international affairs, media, and businesses. We have surely been making a huge difference in the international arena. Yet, yet, why aren’t these talented individuals shining in their native land?

1) Could educators motivate and inspire them?
I know of professors who have partnered with their students to start up projects in their students’ home country.

2) Could friends help with networking?
Thomas Morgan, a independent writer and producer, learned about Pushpa Basnet, a social worker in Nepal and connected her with people in his network passionate about the cause. She was able to provide infrastructure and opportunities to children in her domain of social work.

3) Could friends provide spiritual and intellectual nourishment?
My pastor in Nepal and his wife have international visitors all year long. Their friends’ visits encourage them to keep up the great work they do despite Nepal’s grim circumstances. They are intelligent people and sometimes express a lack of platform to have intelligent conversations, explore new ideas and so on. The friends they went to school with tend to fulfill that need as well.

Personally, my husband and I also aspire to move back to Nepal. We have a vision to plant sound, bible-based churches. Despite the unpopular perspective surrounding evangelical Christians, we hope we can still help Nepalese and Nepal with our Christian worldview. I hope our Christian worldview is not a turn-off, but a desire and invitation to partner with everyone peacefully to work toward a common goal.  If time permits, I would like to take some courses in Counseling and Women’s health to serve in those areas that I observe Nepal has a great need for.

Are we materialistically comfortable living in the US? Yes. Are our kids getting free and good education? Yes. After we finish our graduate studies, will we find better-paying jobs? Yes. Have we been tempted to live here? Why not. But we do not want to be swayed. We believe that our faith will help us to face the challenges that we foresee in Nepal. We hope to use our faith, skills, and education to help better the condition of Nepal. I commend more Nepalese living around the world to do the same. I think the younger generations are better-equipped to effect change in Nepal. We need to band together against the corrupt ways of our country. And then Nepal could truly compare to Switzerland. 🙂

Here is my point, but don’t judge those who don’t return because they may not have a good opportunity to go back.

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