Mountain Children’s Foundation » Supporting the MCF from half a world away

Supporting the MCF from half a world away

Picture of hand cutting a block of soap base

Cutting the soap base

Our PABAM members have a well wisher working hard to support their cause across the oceans in America.

Inika Mehra has been making and selling beautiful soaps with pure, natural ingredients to raise money to support the children of the MCF.

When she was in Class 7, a friend of Inika’s became ill with cancer.

Fortunately, she recovered, but it caused Inika to wonder about the chemicals that go into the products we use on our face and body every day. She learned that many soaps and lotions as well as plastic bottles and sachets they come in had chemicals that could be harmful. So, she and her mother decided to start making their own products.

To make soap, Inika melts soap base into a liquid and pours it into a mold. Then she adds natural colors, little bits of flowers, essential oil for fragrance, and even mica – the shiny substance found in so many of our Himalayan stones – for sparkle.

Inika and her mother, Neelu, add Vitamin E oil to the melted soap.

It is a delicate process. Pour in a new layer too soon and the difference colors and textures will get all mixed up. But if you wait too long and the layer hardens, the soap won’t hold together.

Along the way, she has learned to deal with all kinds of challenges. One of the earliest batches she made melted when the weather was too warm. In one batch, they were too hard, like wood instead of soap. And other times she just doesn’t like how they look or feel or smell.

But she has not let those failures deter her. Instead she keeps on trying, making careful note of how different combinations work out, learning as much from the unsuccessful batches as she does from the good.

But not only does she make the soaps, she also has been working hard to sell them through family and friends and at the market. All the money she earns goes to the MCF to support the activities of our bal sangathans, or children’s groups.

When asked why she chose to donate her time and effort to MCF, she said, “Growing up, I have always cared a lot about others, and when I heard about the the work of the MCF, I was touched and knew I wanted to support them.”

“I believe that everyone deserves a certain quality of life, and it was heartwarming to see how hard my fellow children in the Himalayas are working to change not just their own lives, but also help the entire community.

In addition, the MCF’s mission – to teach children about hygiene and guide them to become agents of change and development in their community – goes hand in hand with my passion for healthcare and desire to make a difference in the world.”

Inika’s soaps on display at the farmer’s market.

This article will be published in the January issue of PABAM magazine.

Note: 100% of the money Inika raises from her soaps reach the MCF thanks to the generous support of Indians for Collective Action (ICA). To make a tax-deductible donation to MCF in the United States, please click here and select Mountain Children’s Foundation from the list of projects..

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