Compassion, Health, Education, and Connection (CHEC) are what we value the most. This is why we apply this CHEC model in all the projects we undertake.
The name of our organization “Metta” comes from the ancient Pali language which means loving-kindness or compassion. We believe that as humans we have the capacity to discover, express and expand on this virtue. With compassion at the core of everything we do, we hope to also touch and impact the core of all individuals we serve through our non-profit, inspiring them to do the same to others.
Health is a crucial factor to develop the living standards for people in far-west Nepal due to geographic and cultural isolation from other parts of the world. We believe healthy standards and living is a necessity.
Children and adults in far-west Nepal still lag behind the general population of Nepal in terms of educational qualifications due to lack of access to formal education systems and certain cultural/gender discriminations. Providing education through creative and collaborative efforts is a top priority for us.
For generations, people in far-western Nepal have been isolated from the rest of the country due to cultural, geographic and historical reasons. As humans living on one planet, it only makes sense to be able to connect, mingle with people from different parts of the world. This act of meaningful connection brings progress through mutual respect, genuine care for others, and collaboration.
This is why these four values of compassion, health, education and connection (CHEC) are also the four criteria we apply to all of our projects.
We fully support the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world – a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.
Who We Are
Upen Singh, Director and Co-Founder
Native of Bajhang district, Nepal, Upen is passionate about rural development. It was in 2017 when he first traveled to his father’s village in Bajhang with his partner Aboo, they were inspired to start Metta Valley.
Having traveled over to 25 countries he is always seeking new adventures to learn from and share. He has an M.A. in Developmental Economics from West Virginia University and numerous experience in non-profit organizations based in Washington, D.C.
Currently he lives and works in Nepal, Thailand and the United States.
Aboo, Creative Director and Co-Founder
“I was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My dad was of Indian-Muslim origin and my mother a Buddhist-Chinese. My father passed away when I was 3 years old. Growing up with diverse experiences in culture and religion, I never felt I belonged to a particular place or religion. But I knew I needed to travel the world. I loved art, animals, nature, and traveling.
I met Upen, my partner, during my travels. He took me to many places in Nepal and I fell very much in love with the people, animals, and nature there. While it wasn’t easy to live here, I don’t know why but I felt like this was my home for the first time.
After visiting many countries, experiencing numerous cultures, eating a variety of food, now I can say – love, compassion, freedom, sharing, and joy is my religion. This is why I am so passionate about my work with Metta Valley.”
Kamala Singh, Field Coordinator
Born and raised in Bajhang district (far-western Nepal), Kamala has dedicated her profession to social work in her home district. A mother of two children, a wife, and an advocate for rural development, she fully enjoys her family and work.
As a local woman in far-west Nepal, she has experienced the normal lifestyle there and very well understands the hardship a woman has to go through. In her world as the Field Coordinator for Metta Valley, she dedicates herself to working directly with people in the villages and bringing smiles to their faces.
Eric Lyons, Board Member
Eric Lyons is the Founder and President of Hope for the Silent Voices, an international NGO committed to combatting child exploitation & vulnerability. Sprung from his time as a tsunami relief volunteer in 2005, Eric and HFSV are on a mission to be a “voice for the vulnerable” while putting to good use one of his greatest blessings – his own personal childhood sexual abuse.
Much of his time is spent in Southeast Asia safeguarding children and serving in this capacity. Having honed his protective and investigative skills over many years as a security contractor he also provides security consulting in some delicate situations.
His trajectory is one of a constant dire to leave a positive impact on some of the world’s most vulnerable, exploited, abused and discarded.
He lives by the adage “we are responsible for what we know.”
Jennifer Henrickson, Board Member
Rajani Thapa, Board Member