March 21, 2017

Last month, when BMKF scholars were invited to meet U.S. immigration attorney and social entrepreneur Tiffani Sharp, they didn’t know what to expect. Tiffani was visiting Kathmandu to launch a new project for Willow Tree Roots (WTR), the nonprofit she founded and directs to help women in developing countries gain socioeconomic independence through entrepreneurship. In Nepal, WTR is partnering with Shakti Samuha, an organization that rescues women and children from brothels and entertainment industry. The project will teach income generating skills -- including tailoring, design, and business... read more >>

February 26, 2017

In 2011, a little girl named Phoenix started a penny drive for the BMKF. She was six years old and wanted to help raise money for the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation, the organization founded by her grandmother Sonnia in 2004. During one of many conversations between the two of them, Phoenix learned of the difficulties women faced in Nepal and she wanted to do something to change all of that. "What can I do, how I can help?" she asked one morning over breakfast. Since Phoenix was very young at the time, her grandmother, Sonnia, suggested starting a penny drive by asking friends and family to donate... read more >>

December 31, 2016

Thank you to everyone who supported our Jyamu, Lhamu and YOU campaign, BMKF’s end-of-year fundraiser for 2016. Our goal was $10,000 and we collected $8,500 -- enough to pay for two years of undergrad study for Jangmu Sherpa (BSN) and Lhamu Sherpa (B.Ed.). Both young women are working hard on their education and careers are they are about to start their second year of college. The two scholars aren't sisters, but share the same Sherpa surname and ethnicity. Read on to learn more about Jangmu's and Lhamu's personal stories and professional goals. Lhamu Sherpa Hometown: Bamti Bhandar, Ramechha... read more >>

July 22, 2016

BMKF scholar Grishma Manandar ’11 is interning at GIZ, a German company that specializes in international development, while she conducts sustainable energy research in Jakarta, Indonesia. Grishma, who majored in mechanical engineering, previously spent several years working as a renewable energy consultant for an international nonprofit organization in Nepal and India. She says she loved being able to make a difference for people in Nepal's remote communities. In 2014, Grishma was awarded a scholarship for a master’s degree in environmental leadership at the University of Flensburg in nor... read more >>

April 16, 2016

In March, Seattle residents Sanju and Suren Shrestha traveled to Nepal to renew their wedding vows. Suren is founder of 206 Burgers in downtown Seattle, which Sanju manages. He is also founder and CEO of Rain City Burgers in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood and a longtime Bo M. Karlsson Foundation supporter. Sanju and Suren serve as BMKF advisors. They also sponsored a scholarship for Rama Poudel, BMKF's new accountant. During their recent trip, the couple were able to celebrate the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation's 12th anniversary with BMKF scholars and board members in Kathmandu. "It was a hu... read more >>

January 24, 2016

Originally posted at on January 24, 2016 I love when things are so right that they flow effortlessly.  My Bowen Island friend Bev introduced me to her long-time friend Cathy.  Cathy and her husband had lived in Dhaka for a few years and it was they who connected me with a few folks in the microfinance world whilst I was living in Bangladesh for part of 2014.  We have since become fast friends Cathy and I.  We’ve discovered much in common which is just delightful.  My love for Nepal is known far and wide... read more >>

January 11, 2016

Celebrating new, current and graduating BMKF scholars January 2016 —  Bo M. Karlsson Foundation scholars and our volunteer board from Mahilaa Sikshya Nidi, BMKF's Nepal sister organization, gathered earlier this month for a picnic at Balaju Gardens in Kathmandu. Board directors Bimala Manandhar, Om Prakesh, Poonam Karki, and Neema Sherpa '14 joined program manager Sabita Tamang '14 to honor 11 BMKF scholars who graduated in 2015 — and to celebrate 14 new and continuing scholarship recipients. This year's scholar selection process was an international effort. BMKF's U.S.-based education co... read more >>

August 9, 2015

"A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou" -Omar Khayyam Washington State ranks second in the United States in the production of wine after California and wine tasting is very popular in my hometown with many Seattleites hosting parties and fundraisers around it. A wine tasting party is a very enjoyable social occasion anytime but incorporating the fundraising aspect adds a special meaning to the event. As cash is raised for our favorite non-profit, we enjoy getting to know the community that supports its mission. Two years ago Leslie Lippi and Angela Jayo, two great supporters of the Bo M. Ka... read more >>

July 18, 2015

“The earthquake was like a snake “Some villages destroyed. Some not.” Ngima Gyalgen Sherpa The earthquake of April 25, 2015 devastated these four rural villages, including homes, schools, shops and monasteries. Located much closer to the epicenter of the second 7.3 earthquake of May 12, 2015, all structures received further damage and all villagers are homeless. Devastating landslides closed trails, isolated villages and created dangerous conditions. All 300+ villagers are living in tents and the monsoon is upon them. Off the main Everest trail, these villages are easily forgotten by the... read more >>

April 11, 2015

I want to share with you a story about a little girl who I met at the Gig Harbor YMCA yesterday. I do not know her name so will just call her Jenny (which sounds like generous.) Jenny came up to me and gave me two nickels, saying that she would like me to have them. I suggested that she save the money in her piggy bank but she insisted on giving them to me. Her friend who was with her said that she had found the money and gave it to her friend Jenny, and now Jenny wanted to share it with me. At this point, I looked at Jenny's mom, saying how uncomfortable I felt about taking ten cents from the... read more >>

March 9, 2015

While books like Lean In and Girl Boss have helped to renew a positive conversation about feminism in America, movements like Girl Rising, Half the Sky, and the Malala Fund, are pushing the plight of girls in developing countries further to the forefront of the public eye than ever before. To the benefit of millions of girls, the resulting discussion is evolving from viewing the gender gap in education less as yet another social ill for charitable giving to alleviate, and more as a global responsibility to eradicate. Because it is more complicated to change the hearts and minds of those that h... read more >>

March 6, 2015

Looking for a way to make an impact in the coming year? Consider sponsoring a Bo M. Karlsson Foundation scholar. Sponsorships help guarantee funding for BMKF scholars and offer something more. Students say it is profoundly uplifting to know that someone else cares and supports their goals. Donors like Marisa Schoen say the experience is inspirational for them, too. Longtime BMKF donors, Marisa and her husband Darren previously sponsored Sarita Sharma (Class of 2014)--a recent graduate and one of Nepal's first women electronic engineers. This year they chose to sponsor Sarita's sister Babita, a... read more >>

March 18, 2014

Namaste from Nepal! Now midway through March and our one-month trip to Nepal, Sonnia and I have had a group meeting with nearly all of our current scholarship recipients. We are continuing to meet students and alumnae one-on-one and in small groups to learn as much as we can about these young women and their personal circumstances. In our free time, we dash hither and thither to meet with other NGO organizers and help problem solve with BMKF’s fabulous volunteer Nepal Country Director, Daya Rimal, and the Mahilaa Sikshya Nidi board (BMKF’s Nepali sister organization). BMKF Tenth Anniversar... read more >>

October 10, 2013

The linked article was published on October 10th 2013 read more >>

February 1, 2013

The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation is a beautiful example of how individuals are inspired to support the dreams of others they may not only have never met but that live in parts of the world they may have never been to.  They are drawn to connect through a simple human compassion that transcends geographic boundaries.  The feeling is perhaps not dissimilar to the way people are moved to emotion in response to art from cultures that are totally foreign to them.  The fostering of this appreciation is one of the values that connect the Friends of Asian Art Association and the Bo M. Karlsson Foundat... read more >>

November 30, 2012

Each year in Nepal, the Hindu holiday of Diwali, also known as Tihar, is celebrated over five days. Tihar is also known as the celebration of lights, and for one night, the entire city of Kathmandu lights up in festivity with thousands of strings of lights and candles allowing the city to glow. Lorrie and I landed in Kathmandu just in time to savor this festive occasion. I should right away extend a huge thank you to Lorrie McKay, BMKF donor and volunteer photographer for this trip to Nepal. For her effort in capturing so many incredible moments and candid shots of all the wonderful people we... read more >>

August 18, 2011

Last weekend I attended the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation's Mahilaa Night and "spent" a little over $500! What on earth did I spend it on you may ask. I'll get to that in a minute. Let me first tell you a little about the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation. It's an organization whose sole mission is to provide funding to young women in Nepal seeking higher education. Plain and simple. Part of their mission statement reads "As we support women in their educational pursuits, our desire is that this also helps them build character and strength, making them self-reliant, confident, and productive citizens in t... read more >>

August 15, 2011

I loved Mahilaa Night as it was an inspiring way to be together with a group of like-minded, fun and nice people who wanted to do something about educating women in Nepal. I love these kind of events as they are a wonderful way to hang out with old friends, make new friends, have good laughs, smile, share stories, get inspired, and watch moving presentations, dancing, look at amazing art and lush carpets and tapestries, hear gifted speakers, eat yummy food, and do something for a good cause. I love Nepal and the Himalaya and her people and environment, and I can't think of any better way to so... read more >>

August 13, 2011

This year’s Bo M. Karlsson Fundraising Event was nothing less than an enchanting and inspiring experience. Arriving on a warm summer evening, prayer flags fluttered over the threshold of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center to mark the transition from normal every day to something much more magical. Embroidered and bejeweled saris glittered in the light as they floated down the hallway towards the registration desk. Beyond, music and bubbling chatter welcomed guests to a room filled with donated treasure. During the four hours that followed, kindness, generosity, human compassion, excitement,... read more >>

May 1, 2011

Although I am Nepali I am very few of the things that come immediately to mind when most people hear "Nepal." I have had the privilege of growing up globally with sprinklings of holidays in Nepal cocooned within family visits. As I settled into adult life in the US I began to search for a group that would help me contribute not only to the country I left behind but to connect with the large disadvantaged populations of Nepal that are in many ways quite foreign to me. As soon as I heard about the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation, I knew their mission was the one I had been searching for. While I had p... read more >>

March 15, 2011

Before leaving for Nepal, I carefully studied the biographies of the scholarship recipients in the BMKF newsletters. I wanted to get a sense of who these girls were before I interviewed them on camera. On paper their pictures and stories are inspirational, but in person… these young women are power houses! I mean, they SPARK. BIG TIME! Eight of the eleven current recipients, as well as Bindu, the foundation’s first graduate, all convened at a Kathmandu college early on a Saturday morning for the big shoot. This was an incredible turn out considering how difficult it is to travel in the cou... read more >>

March 1, 2011

The linked article was published in the 'Real People, Real Stories' blog on on March 1st 2011. read more >>

March 20, 2010

I'm writing from Kathmandu in between power shortages and internet interruptions. On this my fourth visit to Nepal, my feelings alternate between awe at the natural beauty of the rural countryside, gratitude to the old and new friends who have welcomed me, and sadness and trepidation over the poverty and hardship I have witnessed. Each time I come here, no matter how prepared I think I am the poverty, chaos and pollution of Kathmandu stuns me. The beauty of rural Nepal is incomparable but even there the poverty is painfully palpable, albeit softened by Nature’s beauty. When we think of Nepal... read more >>

April 30, 2009

While I was in Nepal this past December and January, I took a domestic flight on Buddha Air to the city of Nepalgunj to visit one of our scholarship recipients; Sharada KC. Nepalgunj is a city in the southwestern part of the Terai (the flat, moist, food-growing region of Nepal). While it seems like everyone from the hills has moved to Kathmandu in the past 20 years, there has been a large migration to the Terai as well. The main East-West Highway, well the only one in the nation, runs from either end of the Terai. Since much of the food is grown in this region (or coming south from India), it'... read more >>