Tsering’s Fund emerged as a formal charity in 2005 out of the private work Karen Fellerhoff and Tsering Dolkar Lama had been performing for years in Nepal. The two women recognized hardships young girls faced due to a lack of education in a patriarchal culture in one of the world’s poorest countries. Known for human trafficking and arranged marriages, the future for young women from poor villages in Nepal can be very bleak. Their goal was to sponsor young, bright girls in school and change not only their lives, but the lives of their extended families and entire villages. With the sponsorship of just a few girls in the 1990’s the program has grown into today’s Tsering’s Fund and its mission to help educate hundreds of young girls in Nepal.
Tsering's Fund began when Dr. Peter Schmieding, a dentist from Bozeman MT, traveled to Kathmandu with plans to adopt a little girl. His wife, Karen Fellerhoff, has had a long career as a high altitude climber and was the first woman ever to lead an expedition to Mt. Everest. During her many visits to Nepal she dreamed of having a Sherpa daughter. Karen and Peter's plans went well until the return trip. U.S. Immigration held up the return; Pete was stuck in Kathmandu for over six months.
He realized that if a Nepali girl were to receive an education, it would forever change her destiny and that of her entire family. And he realized that he could do it. The dream of Tsering's Fund came to life.
Tsering's Fund is named after Tsering Dolkar, a wonderful Tibetan woman who lives now in Kathmandu. A friend of Karen's for nearly 30 years, her family fled Tibet with the Dali Lama in 1959. She owns and runs the Hotel Tibet and is a tireless volunteer who overseas the day to day work of Tsering's Fund in Nepal. She is well known throughout the community as a caring, generous and deeply spiritual woman who has great concern for the less fortunate in our society.