Home > International > How £5 a Month Provides Healthcare for 30 People
nepal health

Since its inception in Nick and Marie’s (PHASE founders) kitchen almost 8 years ago, PHASE Worldwide has steadily grown from a small group of friends to an organisation with at least 3000 supporters and an annual budget around £500,000.

Our biggest success is supporting our partner PHASE Nepal to become a very creditable organisation in its own right, so that it now only relies on us for about 60% of its funding.

Nevertheless, we are still the biggest funder of the work in Nepal, and particularly the health projects.

Income sources

As the pie chart above shows, almost three quarters of our budget comes from personal and corporate donations and fundraising events, and only 15% from Grants.

We are often asked why PHASE doesn’t rely more on grants and trusts for funding our work in Nepal, as this is in some ways much less effort for a higher return.

The Problem with Grants

The fact is that we are attracting more and more grants from bigger funding organisations, as we have a convincing model for partnership working and history of successful projects. – Many of these grants go directly to PHASE Nepal.

Unfortunately, the part of our projects that still takes the most funding – the provision of essential health services – doesn’t fit into the “boxes” of almost all bigger funders.

Projects that are commonly funded are:

  1. New, short term projects with a measurable lasting impact
  2. “Innovative projects”
  3. Aid in crisis situations
  4. Most donors also want accurate budget plans beforehand on how exactly each penny will be spent

PHASE does a lot of work that will fit those criteria, in our education and livelihoods work, and also in the health education and preventive, maternal and child health side of the projects. These aspects of our work are attracting more and more grants.

The Funding of Health Services

Because the communities where we work have NEVER had any essential healthcare, our health care projects don’t fit into box “3” above as providing health care is neither particularly innovative, nor can we guarantee that at the end of, say, 5 years, the government will continue to provide health care if we leave our project areas to run sustainably by themselves. Even though some of the funders say that they will consider funding for essential services of disadvantaged groups, in practice we have found that this is rarely the case.

Furthermore, we are very flexible with the implementation: if the government puts in more resources in any one area, we re-allocate our funds elsewhere, which wouldn’t go down well with most grant givers.

But without PHASE’s projects, mothers and children – and often young adults, too –  would often find it much harder to survive just because there are no simple medications available like antibiotics or re-hydration fluids; or less dramatically, there would be no help for someone with a painful tooth abscess or an injury sustained during field work, or an elderly person with chronic lung disease or arthritis. Nevertheless, large grant givers are not interested in providing money for this kind of life saving health work.

The argument goes that if we provide what is essentially a government obligation, we make it less likely that this will ever be forthcoming. Our experience suggests the contrary: in Southern Humla, where our project villages are still practically the only ones with ongoing healthcare provision, these villages now also enjoy the regular presence of government health workers for the first time ever! (More about this in a separate article)

How our regular supporters help us save lives

At PHASE we believe that someone who is born in a very remote, inaccessible corner of Nepal should still have a right to get basic health care when needed. As we can’t build roads to these villages or re-settle the communities, we still rely on YOU – our generous supporter community – to bring this healthcare to them. And ideally, we would like to expand dramatically: At a conservative estimate, there are at least another 500 villages like this in the hills and mountains of Nepal!

The work we do is incredibly cost effective: To provide healthcare to about 5,000 people only costs between £6,000 and £15,000 a year (depending on the remoteness level), and the average is about £2 per person per year! That means that a donation of £5 per month (£60 per year) funds health care for 30 people; 20% of these will be children under 5 and more than half will be women. In the more remote areas, our health workers save at least one child’s life by treating pneumonia or severe diarrhea.

If you believe in our work, the best way to help is to give regularly, even small amounts. A heartfelt “Thank You!” to all those who do this already!

In 2016/17 we are hoping to double the amount of funding we receive from regular standing orders – please help by considering setting up a regular transfer and by sharing this information!