D2N's mission is to improve public health, health and educational opportunities for children in remote Himalayan villages of Nepal and in the greater Detroit area through their communities.
Dr. Richard Keidan has been travelling to Nepal since 1983. Although he initially went to the Himalayas for the mountains and adventure, he soon fell in love with the people populating the villages scattered throughout the mountains. The nature of his trips changed in 2009 when he met Namgyal Sherpa, his sirdar (lead guide) on an exploratory trek in the Kanchenjunga Region of Eastern Nepal. Namgyal asked Richard to come back to his home district of Khotang to provide medical relief work. Richard and Namgyal went on their first fact-finding trip to Khotang in Eastern Nepal in the summer of 2010. Richard learned that Khotang was one of the poorest areas in Nepal. The district was cut off from roads and communication, without power, without waste management (toilets) and without clean drinking water and had limited access to health care and educational opportunities.
After seeing the significant needs in this region and the determination of the people, D2N: Detroit2Nepal Foundation was founded in 2010. Recognizing similar needs in the Detroit area, D2N created it’s local Detroit arm of the foundation in 2012. D2N is a 501 (c) (3), a non-profit organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service.
D2N provides the tools for people to improve their lives. Toilets, bikes, books, schools, camp, medical clinics, electricity, vegetables, scholarships, libraries, benches, mentors, parks, radio and clean water – all represent the opportunity for a better life. To learn about specific projects see the “Initiatives” section on this website.
In rural, mountainous Nepal, D2N started working in three villages- Dipsung, Rakha, and Sungdel. These villages account for approximately 10,000 people. All projects are initiated by the Nepalese. After identifying priorities, they submit a proposal and budget, resulting in a contract. All projects are managed and maintained by the Nepalese, including the initial education and awareness process. This approach creates jobs for community members and allows them to learn project management. As of 2015 D2N is working in three additional villages.
In Detroit D2N’s efforts are centered around health and education. We partner with a wide variety of organizations that advance this agenda. D2N has raised awareness and funds for two children’s programs at Beaumont Hospital through the Birmingham Bike Fair. “Bike Day” is a program run through the Beaumont Pediatric Rehabilitation Department which builds customized adaptive bikes for children with significant disabilities so they may safely enjoy one of life’s great joys – riding a bike. Financial resources were also provided to the Beaumont Pediatric Oncology Long Term Follow Up Clinic, which provides medical care for pediatric cancer survivors suffering from health problems related to prior life-saving treatments. American Promise Schools and DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-CollegeEngineering Program) were the receipients of funds, respectively, in 2016 and 2015.
EVO DETROIT, D2N’s new initiative in Detroit, stands for Empowerment, Vestment, and Ownership. It also stands for “Evolution Detroit.” This initiative embraces lessons learned from D2N’s work in Nepal. EVO DETROIT recognizes the challenges to communities in Nepal mirror the challenges that face under-served communities in Detroit. Thus far the program has brought benches to bus stops in Cody Rouge, community radio in the form of WNUC 96.7 FM to Highland Park, Hamtramck, a section of Southwest Detroit, North End, Midtown and downtown Detroit, restored pocket parks to Piety Hill and camp and vegetables to Highland Park. Click here for information about applying to the program.
For information on all our programs please refer to the “Initiatives” section of this website.