our history

our founder


Dr. Aruna Uprety is a seasoned healthcare professional with a passion for improving the lives of underserved communities. In 1993, she founded the Rural Health Education Service Trust, an organization dedicated to providing better healthcare and education to rural communities in Nepal, with a focus on empowering women and girls. With her extensive experience in the health sector and deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by Nepalese women in rural areas, Dr. Uprety has successfully led the organization to provide financial support  for at-risk girls and improve access to healthcare for thousands of people.

In addition to her work in Nepal, Dr. Uprety has also served as a health advisor in other developing countries such as India, Laos, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Iran. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Kharkov State Medical Institute in Ukraine and a Master's degree in Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands. With her exceptional leadership and dedication to improving the lives of those in need, Dr. Uprety is a true champion for social change.

foundation history

While attending a seminar on HIV/AIDS in Mumbai, India, Dr. Aruna Uprety was deeply impacted by the stories of the women and girls she met in the brothels. One particularly devastating encounter was with a young Nepalese girl who had just given birth and was hospitalized with a positive HIV diagnosis. Tragically, Dr. Uprety later learned that the girl had passed away.

These experiences, combined with her visits to rural areas of Nepal where she observed the dire socio-economic conditions and lack of education and healthcare for women, compelled Dr. Uprety to take  action. She was particularly troubled by the high rates of domestic violence, child marriage, and human trafficking facing girls in these communities.

Determined to make a difference, Dr. Uprety founded an organization dedicated to empowering women and girls through education and healthcare. With the support of her family, she began by providing education and resources for 25 marginalized girls in the Syangja District of Nepal. She also worked to raise awareness about issues such as girl trafficking and violence against women, and the importance of education for women.

Through her efforts, Dr. Uprety connected with the American Himalayan Foundation (AHF) and together they expanded their work to 18 districts. Today, RHEST and AHF continue to work together to empower and improve the lives of women and girls in Nepal.