Despite unquestionable set backs resulting from the loss of her Laguna Beach home to a fire two years ago, “goat lady” Rosalind Russell, director of the R Star Foundation, reports that her work helping improve the lives of women and children in rural Nepal is “on the move” with the help of her Nepali “son” Rabindra.
To date, Russell’s foundation has provided over 11,000 goats as a means of livelihood to the women in 27 villages in Nepal. The program also includes providing micro-financing opportunities to the villagers, and has spawned several money-making projects, including sewing classes, candle making, incense making, knitting, literacy classes and chicken farming.
Three women and one man have been hired to teach and manage the school in Wojethar, Kavre, that Russell’s foundation built and opened in May. The school waives tuition fees for girls, whose families would otherwise not send them, and subsidizes supplies. Boys are offered tuition half that of the public school, an hour-long walk away. The school’s daily curriculum includes 20 minutes of peace studies
Future plans include building teacher housing, a kitchen and vegetable gardens, as well as expanding the curriculum with a art and sports classes.
A second school project is underway with the approval of the village elders. The land has been donated and government-sanctioned engineering plans are in hand.
The nonprofit’s ongoing wish list includes: airfare to Nepal, $200 for a goat purchase, $100 for a student’s annual tuition, contacts for presentation opportunities, hosts for fundraising events, volunteer grant writers, and year-end donations that can be mailed to Rosalind Russell, R Star Foundation, P.O. Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. A blog at www.rstarfoundation.org highlights current activities and will soon accept donations via PayPal, thanks to assistance from Soka University interns. Contact Russell at RSTAR@pacbell.net or 949-497-4911.