Who we are
Green Tara Trust was founded in 1999 by London-based GP Dr. Jane Stephens (also known as Dh Karunamati, since becoming ordained in the Triratna tradition). In 1993, whilst waiting to hear from India about a teaching post, 19-year old Karunamati agreed to go to Nepal instead. Even though she preferred to work in the Kathmandu area, her father’s mistake (ticked the wrong box) sent her to a remote area in the Himalayan region. Karunamati loved the place and its people and stayed there for the whole year. On her return home, she went on to train as a Doctor in London and kept going back to work in Nepal at least twice a year. In 1995 she set up the Helambu Women’s Development Association and in 1999 she founded Green Tara Trust. For many years, Karunamati was Director of Green Tara Trust while continuing her medical work. She now works as a GP in London, but is still involved in the governance of the charity.
Green Tara Trust’s Director
Colette Fanning has been Green Tara Trust’s Director since early 2012. She is an Ordained Buddhist in the Triratna tradition and has over thirty years’ experience as a manager of child and youth programmes and as a consultant. She is an energetic and highly capable leader, who manages the charity’s teams based in the UK and Nepal, and ensures the programmes are well-designed and successful.
Green Tara Trust’s Administrator
Jyotismati has been UK Administrator for Green Tara Trust for nearly 4 years and takes care of the day to day paperwork and finances in the UK, as well as supporting the UK and Nepal teams. She is a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order and full time mother. She has a painting practice and is part of a small team running a Buddhist Arts Centre in East London. As a mother she is very keen to support a project which encourages maternal and child health and gender equality.
Green Tara Trust is governed by an experienced team of Trustees, based in the UK.
Green Tara Trust works with Green Tara Nepal, our country partner.
Amit Dhungel: National Programme Director
Amit holds an Erasmus Mundus European Public Health Masters degree from the University of Sheffield, UK and EHESP School of Public Health, France. As well as a Masters of Population, Gender and Development from Pokhara University, Nepal. He has over five years of professional experience in the field of public health and has managed projects of European Commission, USAID, and World Health Organisation and worked closely with government stakeholders at the district and regional level. His work interest and expertise revolves around gender, health and development. As National Program Director, Amit is responsible for overall management, development and strategic guidance of Green Tara Nepal’s health promotion, research, and community development programs.
Sarita Khadka: Programme Coordinator
Sarita has a Masters degree in Nutrition and a Bachelors degree in PublicHhealth from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has also spent over 5 years working in nutrition, reproductive health and HIV/AIDs. She joined the team in June 2013 and has been coordinating the implementation of the field programme in Daxinkali and Nawalparasi.
Manita Sharma: Health Promoter
Manita Sharma is trained as an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife and comes from the local field area. She also has a degree in Sociology. She particularly enjoys working in the community and making connections with local women. She is involved in group mobilisation, support to outreach clinics, performing a home visits, and health promotion for the Daxinkali/Chhaimale project.
Ishwori Nepal: Health Promotor
Ishwori trained as an Auxiliary Health Worker and also completed a certificate in art. She has many years experience working in women’s rights, advocacy and community development. She works on the Daxinkali/Chhaimale project and is particularly skilled at using participatory approaches in community work and engaging the poorest and most marginalised people.
Kopila Shrestha: Field Manager
Kopila has a degree in Health Education and also trained as an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife. She has over 7 years work experience in women’s empowerment, bottom-up planning, community mobilisation and right-based advocacy. She has joined the Nepal team in December 2013 to strengthen and support the delivery of maternal and neonatal health services in the Nawalparasi project.
Pinky Chaudhary: Health Promotor
Pinky has a degree in Health Education and over 5 years experience working in community development, water-sanitation promotion and group mobilisation. She comes from one of the tribal ethnic groups in the Nawalparasi project area and has developed her career from the grassroots level. She supports in facilitation of REFLECT groups, creating demand for health services at the community level through mass events, home visits, coordination with local stakeholders and mobilisation of community health promoters in Nawalparasi.
Aditi Sharma: Research Associate
Aditi graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2014 with a Masters degree in Public Health (Management and Leadership). She recently completed an evaluation of health promotion initiatives in Nepal for GTN and is currently working on health promotion curricula review. She is also in charge of the menstrual hygiene management project currently planned for our Nawalparasi project site. Her main research interests lie in health promotion and women’s sexual and reproductive health.
Pratima Yadav & Bindeshwari Chaudhary, Community Health Promoters, Nawalpara
Pratima and Bindeswhari are from Nawalparasi and have both benefited directly from and were inspired by the positive effect the project was having on the community. They were originally trained in REFLECT and participatory appraisal and now work full time for GTN. They are engaged in organising group meetings, making home visits and coordinating with local stakeholders. They oversee regular meetings of mother-in-laws, mothers and adolescents girls where they encourage exploration of a range of issues.