The mission of Wide Open Vistas (WOV) is to help support the educational and health needs of disadvantaged children in Nepal. We turn donations into long-term, sustainable outcomes that are measurable. Currently, we provide scholarships, micro-grants, and assistance with rebuilding in Nepal after the Earthquake in April 2015. WOV is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, all donations are tax-deductible.
About This Cause
What We Do
We help 20 children attend school in Kathmandu. We do this through tuition, uniform, book, and nutrition subsidies. Parents also pay a portion and we check up on attendance and grades. We are focusing on girls in secondary education but we also fund boys. We fund every child in a family unit so no one is marginalized. What else? We are helping college students in Nepal learn how to do research with small micro-grants. And for earthquake relief efforts we have funded temporary shelters and are looking at helping rebuild a school.
Why We Are Unique
We have almost no administrative overhead and the vast majority of donations go directly to the projects. We invite you to come and visit and lend a hand if you want. Unlike large organization, we can show you exactly where your money is going and we can respond in a timely manner with deep connections to the communities where we work.
2011, The Beginning -Dorjee Sherpa and I co-funded Wide Open Vistas in 2011 because we didn’t trust other charities in Nepal. I had recently climbed Everest with Dorjee’s help and wanted to give something back to Nepal. We wanted to know that our money was going directly to those in need and not into big administrative expenses. Our goal was simple – help keep children in school with $10 monthly subsidies toward their tuition. The first five children were supported out of my pocket, the cost was less than my cell phone bill and I was happy to do it. On Dec 19th, 2011, Wide Open Vistas was registered as a non-profit in Washington State (UBI 603166667).
2012, Run Seth Run – In 2012, I ran across the USA – covering 3,384 miles in 107 days while pushing my gear in an old baby jogger. Being a better runner than a fundraiser, I only raised a couple thousand dollars. But this was more than enough to scale up to 9 children and coast for a couple years without any fundraising.
2014, Becoming Official – Things changed in 2014 when I joined John Fiddler and Kathleen Egan for a 1,200 mile traverse across the Himalayas. Before we left on our trip, I had purchased a domain name, registered as a non-profit in Washington, and set up a donation mechanism. We finished the great Himalaya traverse with over $4,000 in donations, and a great desire to give back to Nepal. When I came back to the states in late 2014, we established a board (with Kathleen as founding member) and gained recognition as a formal non-profit with 501(c)(3) status (our EIN is 46-4952663). All of our documentation and finances are available on request. The donations sat in the bank at first, this was more funds than we needed for 9 children; the next step was a creating plan on how to scale up in a sustainable fashion and how to do more to ensure kids stayed in school beyond simple tuition subsidies.
2015, The Earthquake – With the help of board member Dr. Tania Gavidia – we formalized our educational plan during the Spring of 2015. On April 25th, a devastating earthquake shook Nepal. The next week saw very spotty communications with Dorjee and friends in Nepal – I learned that he, his family, and all 9 children were alive and uninjured, two had lost a brother in their home villages, but little else was known. The next week I paid my own way to Nepal to try to learn more about conditions on the ground and to see if there was anything I could do to help. Meanwhile, others were helping WOV and donations started coming in faster than we could say thank you. Please see our annual report for 2014 for more information.