Allison Houtz | Scroll Illustration

Make a CHOICE to make a difference.

For the first time, Choice Humanitarian is coming to Rexburg and holding two fundraising events to aid impoverished people and raise awareness for their cause.
Tim Richards, a volunteer for Choice Humanitarian and a sophomore studying economics, said Jim Mayfield, a co-founder of the organization, will be speaking in the Romance Theater Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. It is requested to bring a $3 donation to give at the door.

On Tues, Mar. 22, Choice Humanitarian is hosting a massage night for students specifically, Richards said. It will be held at Heritage lounge from 5-8 p.m. Students from the Rexburg massage school will be giving the massages for $3.

Richards said the money raised by these two events will be used to aid people in Nepal who are lacking basic essentials for a healthy life.

“Nepal is a very poor country, so there are lots of things that need to be done,” said Nick Shrestha, a volunteer for Choice Humanitarian from Nepal and a sophomore studying communication. “Choice is an organization that is trying to help people that don’t have much.”

Richards said Bishnu Adhikari, from the documentary Meet the Mormons, is a family friend and works for Choice. He said Choice Humanitarian helps give metal stoves to families in Nepal, and this helps eliminate the need for open fires and stops CO2 emissions which cause respiratory disease.

The Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Inter-Cultural Exchange (CHOICE), is a strategic non-governmental agency, according to the Choice Humanitarian Web page. Choice is currently working in five countries, Kenya, Nepal, Bolivia, Guatemala and Mexico.

“Our overriding goal is to end extreme poverty and improve quality of life through a bottom-up, self-developing village-centered approach,” according to the Choice Humanitarian Web page.

Shrestha said Choice helps villages with many things that we take for granted. Choice builds water towers to store clean drinking water, they help develop schools, and they provide other means to improve the quality of life for these people.

“What’s unique about Choice is instead of working from the top down and creating some sort of plan with the government, they work from the bottom up and find community leaders like Bishnu and work with them to empower the villagers,” Richards said. “I feel like it is far more sustainable and far more effective because it goes right to the people and gets them invested so they become part of the solution.”

Aarzoo Nepal, a volunteer for Choice Humanitarian from Nepal and a junior studying business management, said countries like Nepal benefit from organizations that make a difference, like Choice, because their burdens are eased and they have a better chance at self-sustained improved quality of life.

“When I saw a child begging for money to survive in Nepal, I questioned myself, ‘What can I do?’” Nepal said. “That question led me to change my life and get an education because knowledge is power.”

Nepal said once she was ready to start making a difference, she was introduced to Tim Richards and Choice Humanitarian and the great work that they do.

“The most important thing students need to know is that with love, anything is possible,” Nepal said. “If you are concerned about the lives of others as Savior was, you can start helping them through some organizations. I believe that Choice is a wonderful organization to start with.”

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