About Us

Bright Futures Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded on the belief that we can work together to provide meaningful change for people living in far less abundant circumstances.

Our mission is to improve lives in Nepal by empowering women and children through quality healthcare and education.

Our programs are further informed by the following guiding principles: 
  • We work with respect for cultural values and customs that support the larger community.
  • We believe education is essential for positive change.
  • We seek to inspire and support local leaders to become effective and serve in their own communities and countries.
  • We encourage equality and empowerment.
  • Sponsored students "pay it forward" by sponsoring, supporting, and mentoring younger students.
  • Our board members are active, involved, and hands-on participants.
  • We minimize overhead by maximizing volunteer resources.
  • We extend our impact through partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, volunteers, private businesses, and others who support our mission.
  • We assure performance and accountability through close communication and regular site visits.
  • We observe the highest standards for nonprofit business management and business ethics.
Essentially, projects are funded by donations from individuals and by longer term commitments made by individuals to sponsor students. Bright Futures Foundation also collaborates with other nonprofit organizations to fund and complete projects which further our mission, including Rotary Clubs, Zonta, and other organizations.

Contact us for more information about our projects. Send your email to brightfutures@charter.net.

This old building...
...was transformed into this bustling medical center
Samip, shown below in 2000, was our first scholarship student.
He earned a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2013 and is now pursuing a career in his chosen field in Kathmandu.
The History of Bright Futures Foundation

It all began when the Rogue Gateway Rotary Club of Grants Pass partnered with the Rotary Club of Kathmandu, Nepal, to renovate a dilapidated building and create a healthcare facility in a remote rural area outside the capital. Rotarian Catherine Wood traveled to Nepal on a fact finding and planning mission in September 2000. Trekking to Bhotechaur, Catherine saw the old building first hand and met villagers, who were all eager to have a healthcare facility. In that initial visit, Catherine laid down the foundation for local oversight by forging working partnerships with the Rotary Club of Kathmandu and the Bhotechaur village council.

The old shell of a building was transformed into a beautiful facility in late 2003, despite difficult terrain, inclement weather, political instability, and the frustrations of working in one of the least developed nations in the world. The Bhotechaur Health Clinic opened for business in December 2003, the triumphant product of a grassroots effort by villagers with a dream, an inspired collaboration between Rotary Clubs on opposite sides of the globe, and Catherine's tireless leadership.

During her stay in Kathmandu, Catherine was befriended by Samip and two other young boys who spoke a little bit of English, and became her unofficial guides. She spent time with each of the boys and their families, witnessing for herself the grueling hardships of life in Nepal and marveling at the hospitality they offered in spite of their circumstances. She learned that the public education system was hamstrung by lack of funding for basic supplies, books, electricity, and sometimes even lacking teachers. She was dismayed that her new friends had no real hope of a meaningful education -- or a future -- unless they could somehow get into a private school.

Catherine investigated a number of private schools available in Nepal, eventually discovering Galaxy School, an exemplary institution with a visionary founder and head mistress. She learned that $1,500 would pay for everything for one year for one boarding student. Recognizing that this amount was far beyond the reach of most Nepalis, she decided to help Samip by paying for his education at Galaxy School.

Opting to give a hand up, not a handout, Catherine entered into an agreement with Samip who signed a "Moral Contract" to formalize her expectations. In return for a promise to pay for his education at Galaxy School to Grade 12, Samip promised to be a good student, to never in his life beat or otherwise abuse a girl or a woman, and someday to help a young Nepali girl get an education. In this manner Catherine hoped to educate a child, affect a shift in a young man's thinking about women, and help a girl.

Back home in Oregon, when friends learned what she was doing, they wanted to help, too. Soon there were several generous people who had signed on to help other children attend Galaxy school. Catherine found that people were enthusiastic about making direct personal commitments to bright young kids. This realization lead to the founding of Bright Futures Foundation in June 2002.
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