Wondering how you can make a charitable gift to Nepal and be confident that it will get to the right place?

UK-registered charity Pipal Tree provides you with advice and guidance to ensure that your donation, however modest, gets to the point of greatest need in our Nepal projects. Together, we can transform people’s lives and also restore the natural environment.

We may even be able to double the value of your gift through finding you a match funder.

The challenges we'll help you overcome

If you'd like to support grassroots projects in Nepal but you don’t know where to start or who to trust, Pipal Tree can act as your guide and make sure your money is used for the intended purpose in our agreed projects.

Let's explore the options.

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Seven essential tips to avoid charity pitfalls in Nepal

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Meet your Nepal guide, Philip

“In November 1999, aged 39, I resigned from my career as a British Army officer and visited Nepal for the very first time. I was determined to invest £35,000 of my pension pot in helping children. This was to be in memory of my first wife, Esther Benjamins, who had tragically taken her own life the previous January. I was convinced that I could make a difference with a sum like that (although you can make a difference with a thousandth of that!). But, through the wrong advice, those precious funds did not have the impact that they could have done. If only I’d had a proper guide!

I didn’t give up. In spite of the setbacks, I went on to live in Nepal for eight years with my second wife, Bev. During that time, I personally led an anti-child trafficking programme that involved our launching dangerous child rescue operations into India. The outcome was the permanent closure of two cross-border child trafficking routes. This is an unprecedented achievement that, unlike money, can never be taken from me.

I can help you to achieve lasting results and a sense of fulfilment too.”

Read more about Philip

Email Philip

Philip Holmes, Founder of Pipal Tree

Our testimonials

Gemma Testimonial

Gemma McGough is the Chairman of The Gemma and Chris McGough Charitable Foundation, Pipal Tree’s major donor.

“Intense dedication”

“A realist when it comes to Nepal”

“Trusted to deliver”

“Highest integrity”

"Inspiring to see such passion"


Your 3 steps to success

  • Step 1 - Get in touch with Philip by email. He’s happy to schedule a call, if you so wish.
  • Step 2 - Share your interests with Philip and select our Nepal programme that most appeals to you. Philip can explain the project options and answer any questions that you might have. No gift is too modest to discuss and he’s open to hearing new ideas. And we can explore how you’d like to hear from us for project updates.
  • Step 3 - Make your donation, ideally through our Big Give appeal. We’ll keep you closely informed on progress until we achieve the goal.

Contact Philip

Your choice of projects

The environment and climate change

Nepal is home to some of Earth’s most remarkable ecosystems and biodiversity and its under extreme threat. It’s vital to restore, protect and take up the fight against environmental degradation and climate change before it’s all too late.

Education and community support

We are supporting the most marginalised and stigmatised people, including untouchables and religious or ethnic minority groups, who have been discriminated against and frequently exploited in their daily lives. You can help those who have been betrayed by society and fallen victim to terrible injustices.

Vulnerable and abused children

You can help us tackle the specific issues of child abuse and rape which are endemic within the region. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault as well as burns violence, child marriage and dowry violence. Child rape is on the increase with the incidence of reported rape soaring four-fold in the ten years up to 2018.

Empowering girls and women

Women who lack skills and education will always be more vulnerable in Nepal. But many are trapped by poverty, stigma and lack of citizenship that means they cannot access services. Also, skills and education are important ingredients in the rehabilitation of the victims of violence.

Commission a mosaic

In our Dhanushadham Bird Park project, launched in September 2021, we are rewilding a barren public space in Dhanusha District, southeast Nepal. Our aim is to create a verdant "tiny forest" using the Miyawaki rapid-growth method for the first time in Nepal. The Park will be an attraction to wildlife, scientists and tourists and provide an environmental and artistic insight for the many schoolchildren who visit on field trips. Let's hope we can inspire the eco-warriors of the future.

At various points in and around the forest we will be siting colourful bird mosaics, made by Philip Holmes who is a passionate mosaic hobby artist. The mosaics are made from glass tiles (smalti) from Venice and Mexico, with fused glass inserts that Philip makes in his kiln. He aims to bring the birds that visit the forest close to the visitor and that the artworks are every bit as dazzling as the feathered originals.

You can become part of this exciting project and leave your mark in Nepal by commissioning one of these mosaics. You can commission in celebration of a special occasion such as a birthday, wedding or anniversary. Or alternatively, you may wish to commemorate a loved one through a lasting piece of beautiful art.

To find out more and discuss possibilities with Philip, follow this link.

Recent successes

Restoring a community forest

In July 2020 we launched a 2.5-year project to restore a 32-hectare community forest at Bhatighadi, Dhanusha District southeast Nepal. In March 2021 this was extended to incorporate an additional 12 hectares.

Supporting home study

We support “untouchable” children in Dhanusha District with home studies and especially with completing a degree of homework that would otherwise be daunting for children from very poor families.

How matched funding donations have saved lives

In both 2020 and 2021 we have used matched funding appeals through The Big Give to raise the funds we need to feed thousands of desperate people during COVID lockdowns in Nepal. We have also collaborated with other small charities to pool resources and avoid duplication of effort.

Empowering a trafficking survivor

This is Chukkit, a young woman who hails from Humla in northwest Nepal. She is giving a presentation as part of her Bachelor of Social Work degree course. She is a trafficking survivor, whose education is being funded by us.

Support our work in Nepal

Please support our work in Nepal and we'll ensure the funds raised will get to the right place

You might like to remember us through a birthday, marriage or other special event. Or set up an in memoriam page remembering a loved one. You can also set up your own event or challenge through our site. All donations can be collected securely and, for UK taxpayers, Gift Aid can be collected automatically.

If you need any guidance, just ask Philip, and he'll be very happy to advise you.

Support us


Events and challenges

Dhanushadham Bird Park

Find out how you can help us pioneer a rapid-growth reforestation method in Nepal.

The Pennine Way Challenge 2022

Join our Founder, Philip Holmes, on his Pennine Way Challenge from wherever you are in the world.

Nepal Summer Appeal

Donate now towards our new education project and your gift automatically doubles in value.

Gurkha Memorial Forest

Your chance to remember heroic Gurkhas by planting saplings in their memory.

Why Pipal Tree?

You will find a Pipal Tree (also known as the Bodhi tree) at the heart of many Nepalese towns and villages. Sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, it acts as a focus for the community to meet for worship or just to chat.

The tree is a perfect symbol of our work in Nepal that embraces community and environmental interests, as we engage with local people to hear their needs and hopes for the future. The gorgeous Pipal leaves have provided inspiration for jewellery and for fabric design. The young women whom we support in south Nepal also love to use the leaves as canvasses for their delightful artwork. They depict their lives and aspirations in the traditional "Maithili" style that we find so enchanting. Especially when you know that these striking, radiant images are also painted on the walls of the mud huts in their villages.

The Pipal tree is also a metaphor for the community of supporters that we connect with by letter, email and through social media (according to supporter preference).

The Pipal Tree
The Pipal Tree
The Pipal Tree

Our partners and testimonials

Find Out More

And finally (so to speak)

We much prefer you to see your legacy of good unfolding while you’re still alive. But please do think about how you might continue to support your charity community well into the future through a gift in your Will.

And then this: It’s important to understand that Pipal Tree receives no government funding in either the UK or Nepal. We are entirely reliant upon grants from corporates and Foundations along with gifts that arise from our community of individual supporters and through their fundraising activities. It would be great if you could recognise our transformative work when you are writing or updating your Will. Even gifting 1% for Pipal Tree after you have made provision for your main priorities could be made to go a very long way in Nepal.

For further information on how we spent donations last year please check this summary of our accounts. And to find out more, just contact Philip.

Gemma Testimonial