The Didi Project - Sisters Helping Sisters

Who We Are

Our Story

When Joyce Tapper, Didi Project president, took a group of her women friends to trek in Nepal in the year 2000, none of us knew that we would return to this small Himalayan country year after year. And we didn't know that we would become so closely involved with our work here to help women and children. It all began when, on that first trek, we decided to use the last of our travel dollars to buy clothing and shoes for a group of itinerant farm children in the mountain village of Marpha in the Annapurna region. When we asked what else we could do to help these sweet, smiling children, our lodge owner simply said, "Educate one girl."

So began our journey of sponsoring two of these little girls from this group in a school in Kathmandu and helping another bright boy who was suffering from a crippling disease and unable to walk. Eventually, four of us formed The Didi Project, a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization. "Didi" is the Nepali word for addressing older sisters or friends. We wanted to find a creative and resourceful way for "sisters helping sisters” to reach out to a wider circle of Nepali women and children. 

We invite you to join us as a Didi (respected sister) or a Bhai (respected brother).

  • Joyce Tapper, President: Community Education Specialist, Facilitator
  • Jane Levy, Vice President: Musician, Photographer
  • Heidi Feldman, Secretary: Public Communications Specialist, Environmental Educator
  • Helen Gurung, Program Manager: Kathmandu
  • Pam Davidson, Treasurer: Certified Public Accountant
  • Dr. Benita Chaum, Educational Consultant: Professor of Education, California State, Northridge
  • Mary Ellen Schubel, Board Member: Human Resources Manager
  • Leslie Brown, Training Specialist: Nonprofit Manager, Police Officer