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Obama praises Nepali Social Entrepreneur


California (USA), June 29, 2016: Medication for Nepal (MFN), a volunteer-run health initiative started by a Nepali social entrepreneur Sumana Shrestha, has won accolades at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016, among them an honorable mention by President Obama in a speech to program participants from around the globe.

Shrestha began MFN during the height of the unofficial blockade on the Nepal/India border 8 months ago. Until now, more than 9.5 tons of life-saving drugs have been delivered to 15 districts in Nepal by the organization, effectively saving thousands of lives and building a reach to 2.5 million of the poorest Nepalese citizens.

“MFN utilizes an innovative, technology-based peer-to-peer network that captures transparent data sets about medicine shortages in remote areas of Nepal, and delivers donated medication through the coordination with numerous organizations, volunteers, and district health communities,” press release issued by the organization. “A web-based platform also allows micropayments for as little as fifteen rupees, which enables broader participation and reach,” the statement further said.

Talking about the works by the initiative, Shrestha shared that the strength of MFN lies in the use of technology to be transparent and reduce the cost of service delivery, in addition to a method of social innovation that takes an inclusive approach to engage people to help. “The key is in collaboration and empowering locals to take charge of their problems. It is high time the model of charity changes. It needs to be more transparent, it needs to strive to be non-relevant in the geography it exists,” she said.

MFN was one of the eight participants from Nepal, 700 out of 7000 startups that applied from around the globe, to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) hosted by President Obama.

“We look forward to continued innovation through a micropayments system set up in the peer-to-peer network, and creating lasting connections between marginalized communities and individuals in the cities to strengthen the institutions,” said MFN in a statement.