The Team

The Field Partners and Workers

CORE supports Nepali organizations to carry out our projects and programs. We currently (2023) work with Nepali NGOs, especially Himalayan Human Rights Monitors (HimRights), and are looking at partnerships with new organisations.

CORE International worked with and supported programs with Society for the Urban Poor (SOUP) since 2006. Although we planned a phase out of support, first to the saving-credit program (which had to close due to changes in government regulations) and then the school preparation centres, the closure of schools and activities due to the pandemic forced decisions to be made sooner in 2020.

As the current chairperson of SOUP, Mahendra Shakya wrote: “SOUP has been successful to reach out to the section of urban marginalized communities in such a large way which was impossible without the support from CORE International. As such, we are thankful to CORE International including all those individual Canadians who engaged in the mission directly and indirectly.”

In the past, CORE has worked with rhest, Faselung Social Service society (FSS), Porters Progress, and Womens Upliftment Society (MUS). These organizations had staff or hire field workers for our projects.

The field workers facilitating CORE’s activities are all very committed individuals – some had worked as volunteers for our Nepali partner organisations. They work in the blazing sun, pouring monsoon rain, winter fog… in poor remote villages in dense jungles on steep slopes or previously amidst the chaos of the vegetable market and the squalor of the fruit market and garbage dump of Kathmandu. They are committed to working with these poorest people in Nepal, who eke out a living as day labourers or gathering wild herbs in the forests or selling vegetables, portering fruit, and sorting through garbage for recyclable items in Kathmandu.

Board Members


Frances Klatzel - Chairperson

Writer and photographer Frances founded CORE in 2005. She lived and worked in Nepal for over two decades – first, among the Sherpa people in the Khumbu region of Nepal and more recently, in Kathmandu writing, publishing, and documenting and evaluating development experiences.

Wally Berg

Wally Berg - Vice Chairperson

As a leader and friend, Wally is always enthusiastic. His accomplishments in planning, organizing and leading successful mountaineering expeditions established him as one of the world’s foremost international adventure guides. Now, under his leadership, hundreds of people reach the summits on each continent. His photographs have been published in National Geographic, Time Magazine, Wired Magazine, among others.

Degju Suwal

Degju Suwal - Treasurer

Degju was born in Kathmandu, Nepal and emigrated from there in 1994. He has since lived in Richmond, Virginia, Edmonton and Canmore, Alberta. He currently calls Canmore home with his wife, enjoying the mountain life hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. Degju completed his BComm at the University of Alberta and presently works as Controller at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff.

Jane Lewkonia

Jane Lewkonia - Secretary

Jane is a family physician who studied and practised medicine in U.K before moving to Canada in 1976. She has been in family medicine for 35 years and completed training in Tropical Medicine and Community Health in 2003. She has travelled and trekked in Nepal, India and Africa and recently worked with an N.G.O. for 3 months in remote hill village community clinics in the western districts of Nepal. Jane is married with two sons and four grandchildren.

Fiona Koether

Fiona Koether - Board Member

Fiona has been an admirer of the work of CORE International for many years. Originally from the UK, she raised her sons in the Bow Valley and recently moved to Calgary. She is a Business Analyst by profession and particularly enjoys hiking. On a vacation in Nepal in 2018 she had the privilege to see the CORE International operations first hand and helped to improve our administrative and management systems.

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Carol Walker - Board Member

Carol has been CORE's feet on the ground in Banff-Canmore for at least 15 years - doing our accounting, charitable returns, banking, etc. She knew more than most about our operations, so it was time that she came onto the board.

Manisha Shrestha

Manisha Shrestha - Advisor

Manisha Shrestha was born in Kathmandu, Nepal. She holds a master’s degree in Geo Informatics from the International Institute of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), The Netherlands. She worked in various non-government organizations, UNDP, Population Services International, Habitat for Humanity, and Centre of International Studies and Cooperation (CECI). She continued working with community development programs when she was in Canmore, Canada for over four years. She has now returned to Nepal and work with CECI.