Starting in 2002, Uttam Adhikari worked for thirteen years with the Explorer Scouts of Wimbledon (England) involved in the building of schools and toilets in Africa, Central America, Romania and Nepal. In 2015, Uttam with Ranju Adhikari founded The ColdFeet Foundation Nepal, an unusual not-for-profit based in Kathmandu, Nepal; unusual because 100% of all donations go the rural building projects, grade school education, dental and medical clinics, and the college/university education of rural Nepalese women. Immediately after the 7.8 Richter-scale earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, which killed 9,000 and injured 22,000, The Foundation collected $13,000 from worldwide friends to provide food, medical supplies and shelter for the survivors near the epicentre.
With the government condemnation of earthquake-damaged, rural schools and water tanks, The Foundation started replacing schools and tanks using donated funds from Stichting 112 Nepal and where possible local labour in their construction. As of 2020, The Foundation has constructed three schools and libraries for 860 students. By combining with Educational Capacity Building in Rural Nepal (EDUCAB), The Foundation builds and equips rural schools with library books, computers and projectors to raise the level of education and knowledge in the villages.
In villages with rural hospitals, The Foundation looks after the personnel and logistics of the travelling dental clinic, which uses equipment bought by Volunteer for Life and staffed by Nepalese and overseas volunteer dentists and nurses to treat the needy. At the same time, volunteer doctors look after medical problems and where necessary supply wheel chairs. Over half of the volunteers in the clinics are involved in an educational component for high school students covering dental and medical care, first aid and computer literacy. The Foundation is looking for trained people for these endeavours from overseas countries.
From the United States, the “Back Pack Project” and another donor fund a programme which supplies youngsters in the villages with Nepalese shoes, school uniforms, pens, pencils, paper and backpacks for school books. Without these essentials, too costly for their parents, children, particularly the girls, would not be able to attend school. In 2020, more than 360 students were dressed and supplied so that they could go to school.
The Foundation looks for smart, young students, with preference given to girls from rural areas, whose parents encourage their daughter’s desire to go to college or university. At the beginning of 2020, this education programme has a student in the last year of BSN (nursing), another in the second year of veterinary medicine and a third starting the first year of dental surgery.
Since 2015, for those who wish to contribute time and effort, the Volunteer Programme has placed people to teach English in schools and others to assist in the construction of schools and latrines.