Asia – Current Programs


  • Four Worlds
    STATUS: Current
    TIMEFRAME: 2012 to 2015
    TYPE OF PROJECT: Education and the Alleviation of Poverty

    Small Businesses Beginning to Thrive in Northern Pakistani Communities
    Four Worlds helps locals launch businesses in the Hunza Valley.

    Goals & Impact

    Our work in Pakistan has been with on-the-ground organizations in the Hunza Valley of Northern Pakistan. Here, we’ve funded coaching for small businesses, many of them run by women.

    Highlights & Details

    The Hunza Valley of Northern Pakistan is near the Kashmir and Chinese borders. Cochrane’s Four Worlds Center for Learning Development plans communities, coaches leaders, and trains entrepreneurs who take the learnings to 1,000 locals. Four Worlds also provides “quick-win” seed-project grants and ongoing technical support. Three thousand, five hundred and forty-three (3,543) individuals have taken at least one of the six courses thus far offered in the HiMaT Leadership Development Learning Program, which we also fund. From this training, 104 business groups and 73 social development groups (across 45 communities) have emerged. HiMaT has worked for about two years in a post-disaster area and has been able to win the confidence of local leaders and communities, engage significant numbers of leaders (men, women, youth) in transformational learning processes, reinvigorate area and local institutions, and facilitate the mobilization of many small economic and social initiatives, most of them unfunded. In recognition of these impacts, some 70 communities south of the initial pilot area in central and southern Hunza have asked to become part of our project. Initial MoU’s have been signed.
    Four Worlds Center for Learning Development


Asia – Completed Programs


  • Nepal Project
    STATUS: Completed
    TIMEFRAME: 2001

    Health & Education Projects

    In November 2001, the foundation sponsored an eye camp near Kanchenjunga, Nepal with its partner Operation Eyesight International. The medical team was made of Dr. Kishor K. Pradhan, Dr. Sabina Shrstha, Armit Shestha, Tika Pradahan, and Padam Chhetru, paramedics in Nepal. Over 100 people had cataract surgeries.


  • Prolapsed Uterus
    STATUS: Completed
    TIMEFRAME: 2005

    Dr. Liane Belland, a Calgary gynecologist, made her second trip to Nepal in November 2005. Her work focused on education at the Tansen United Missions to Nepal (UMN) Hospital including residents-in-training, the staff gynecologist, and the expatriate group of surgeons who were not trained in Obstetrics or Gynecology. She spent a week in Kathmandu preparing for her work in Tansen, where she spent two and a half weeks working in clinics, teaching in the operating room, and giving rounds. She also audited the maternal mortality cases from the previous six months and presented her results to the hospital staff with management recommendations. This was a sobering job, but it gave Liane numerous ideas of how to affect “health” with very simple measures. She left Tansen with an aim to return on a regular basis. The gynecologist there, Dr. Savana Sharma, is a dedicated Nepali surgeon who is enthusiastic and wanting to do much more than what she has the resources to achieve. Liane is committed to her and all Nepali women in their quest for a better life.

    Mike Tolfree (husband to Liane Belland) also made the trip to Nepal to do very different work, which was to facilitate the transfer of funds received in Canada to The Nepal Project headed by Samaritan’s Purse. The Canadian government has some of the strictest laws for money earmarked for international work. This makes the transfer of money and accountability for its use difficult, but vital for ongoing donation. Mike prepared a full day seminar for the Nepalese workers from the Human Development and Community Services (HDCS- the renamed United Missions to Nepal) so that they could understand the requirements of the Canadian government and take steps to facilitate the transfer of money in addition to providing adequate documentation for accounting purposes after the money was received. At last communication, the steps that Mike put in place were still being used and the first transfer of money went through without a hitch!

    The Foundation supported Liane and Mike by providing tax receipts for their expenses while traveling.




  • Operation Eyesight

    STATUS: Completed
    TIMEFRAME: 1998

    This was our first Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation program. Volunteer Norm Johnson and Mary Tidlund traveled to Deli and Palampur in India and witnessed the cataract operation camps that the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation funded with its partner Operation Eyesight International. Three years later, we funded further cataract operations in Nepal with Operation Eyesight International.


  • Ladakh - Health, Environment and Literacy in the Himalaya
    STATUS: Completed
    TIMEFRAME: 2007 to 2012
    TYPE OF PROJECT: Health and Education

    Ladakh is high in the Indian Himalayas. Here, we supported HEALTH Inc. (Health, Environment and Literacy in the Himalaya). Health Inc. works with local people to improve agriculture, literacy, and health. It produces educational materials with titles such as “How to Grow Vegetables Year Round.”


  • Scholarship
    STATUS: Completed
    TIMEFRAME: 2007 to 2008
    TYPE OF PROJECT: Education

    Support For University Education

    We funded a student, Dara Kheang, in his studies at Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Dara studied a Bachelor of Education.


  • Tibetan Kid's Education Fund
    STATUS: Completed
    TIMEFRAME: 2008 to 2013
    TYPE OF PROJECT: Education

    Goals & Impact

    Life is a challenge for the children living on the Tibetan Plateau (Sichuan & Quinghai provinces, China). Here, we’ve helped to fund educational infrastructure and underwrite scholarships for individual students.

    Highlights & Details

    In 2006, the Tara Café Project initiated a program to fund the education of children living in the nomadic encampments and rural villages of the rugged eastern Tibetan Plateau. In 2009, we helped Tara Café expand to include four other schools in the communities of Mangra, Yonru, Silang, and Chabcha. In addition to scholarships for children to attend school, funds have gone toward capital expenses such as desks, chairs, kitchen supplies, basketball nets, and books. Money has also paid the salaries of Tibetan teachers and scholarships for promising school graduates to attend college or university.
    The Tara Cafe Project