Project Concern International Laud My Himachal’s Health & Education Initiatives

San Diego, CA, USA: My Himachal was among the 29 Non Government Organizations (NGOs) that Project Concern International (PCI), a San Diego, California based health and humanitarian organization honoured at the 18th Annual Hands Across Borders event on November 6 to celebrate the tradition and culture of South and Southeast Asia.

Avnish Katoch, president My Himachal and Payson R. Stevens, advisory board and a founding member of My Himachal received the award on behalf of the NGO that is mainly focused on development and well being of hill societies in North India.

Among others Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Laureate 2006 was honoured with 2008 Humanitarian Award by PCI at the event.

Dr Yunus recognized for his work with the Grameen Bank, for making microcredit one of the most effective tools for poverty alleviation and social change, spoke via video at the fund-raising dinner on November 8 as he was unable to make it for the live event because of pressing engagements elsewhere.

Speaking after receiving the award Avnish Katoch said, “It has been a rare honour for an Indian NGO and more so for an Himachali one to receive such an award on a global platform.”

As a relatively young organization we greatly appreciate being recognized by Project Concern and all the effort people like Karen Mercaldo, who co-chaired the event, to welcome us and expand our horizons”, said Katoch.

“The gathering also provided a wonderful opportunity for My Himachal to interact with other individuals and learn about achievements of other dedicated NGOs in the United States,” he added.

As we communicate and build relationships with other members of The South Asia Forum, it would hopefully translate into opportunities for collaborating with some of them on our running projects like child health care and nutritional awareness,” said Payson R. Stevens.

It would help us to focus our efforts in sphere where we are strongest, learn more where we are weak, help to avoid redundancy and be more effective in using donations,” added Payson.

Katoch and Payson also participated in a day long workshop at the event that brought together donors and other honoured NGOs such as TiE Global-The Indus Entrepreneurs, Center on Pacific Economies, IR/PS, UCSD, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and others.

Discussions at the workshop hovered around poverty alleviation, micro-credit financing, global warming impacts and technology development.

International corporate guru Dr CK Prahalad, in his lecture at the workshop said, “most of the poor in the world are in reality hard-working entrepreneurs running their own businesses and acutely aware of supply, product and cash flows.”

A San Diego technology company, CircleLink, donated a special on-line media service for the delegates at the event so that they could remain in touch with each other using a secure network.

The annual fundraiser, themed One Night, One World, has become one of the premier fall events in San Diego, which last year raised a record $500,000 to support local and global health, economic empowerment and development programs.

At the event, Project Concern International also did honour cultural ambassadors, John and Cynthia Hardy, founders of a revolutionary education model called The Green School in Bali.

Providing an atypical,one-of-a-kind learning environment, The Green School is completely environmentally sound and promotes creative, hands-on learning for children of all ages.

Major event underwriters include Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Cox Communications, Southwest Airlines, Televisa, Pfizer, Inc., Cubic, VIEJAS, Band of Kumeyaay Indians, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Project Concern International is a San Diego-based health and humanitarian organization dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the world.

With 47 years of experience, Project Concern International reaches more than 3 million people each year in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

My Himachal is a relatively young NGO working in the Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh.

For the past three years My Himachal has been conducting rural health and nutritional awareness camps in the interiors of Kullu Valley.

To support educational initiatives, My Himachal has also started a scholarship program based on a need-cum-merit criteria for school students from primary to high school levels for all streams of studies.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: S Kumar

    Congratulations to Mr Payson for receiving this rare recognition from PCI. It is indeed the privilege of My Himachal to have the guidance of able personalities like Mr Payson and all other members of My Himachal.

  2. says: Payson Stevens

    The Project Concern International Award event helped to expand My Himachal’s horizons and the unique opportunity to interact with other NGOs doing important work in Asia/South Asia. It’s a testament to our small-scale focus in bringing our skills and resources to help the state of HP.

    I encourage all our members to become more involved, in any way that works in your lives, as the rewards are go way beyond anything you can imagine when you help a fellow human being improve their life or protect the beauty of HP’s natural environment.

    SHABASH My HImahchal!


  3. says: Dr. Des Kashyap

    My heartiest congratulations to Payson and he deserves it. This is not only significant to My Himachal but also for the whole Himachal itself that we have had opportunity to be a part of PCI. I would also like to congratulate all the fellow my himachal team members for their efforts in making this happen. We sure are in right direction but we are not there yet. We have miles to go before we can say we did it. So let us keep going. I would also request all other Himachali fellow, who have not had a chance to walk along us. Please be a part of this effort. We assure you, you will not regret your association with us.

    (We Strive for our State)

    Jai Dev Bhoomi

  4. says: Mehul

    Congratulations, My Himachal, Payson and Avnish! Your excellent work is earning the recognition that it fully deserves. This is a testament to the initiative, perseverance and hard work put in by Avnish and the other team members. Great job!

  5. says: Sanjeeva Pandey

    Time to Congratulate Avnish, Payson and My Himachal,
    The Award symbolizes efforts of you all in doing great service to the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. A great job done.

    May there be a lot more efforts to achieve the objectives enlisted on the My Himachal website.
    Sanjeeva Pandey

  6. says: Vishal Rana


    myHimachal has done it again! its our pleasure to have myHimachal on the list of honors at Project Concern International at San Diego and this all has happened with the consistent efforts of Mr. Avnish Katoch and other teams member of myHimachal… Keep the spirit up!

    Heartiest congratulations to Mr. Payson, Mr. Katoch and others for the award…


  7. says: Kausik Bandyopadhyay

    Heartiest congratulations to Avnish, Payson and all other members of MyHimachal. This gratitude from PCI truly stands for your hard work, commitment and care for the Himachal residents.

    Excellent job! Keep up the good work!

  8. says: Deepak Sharma


    Best Wishes and Regards
    Deepak Sharma

    Heartiest congratulations to Avnish, Payson and all other members of MyHimachal. This great job truly stands for your hard work towards the Himachal residents.

    Good Luck!

    Deepak Sharma
    Technical Assistant Computers

  9. says: jim turpin

    My “My”,

    You make me still more proud , blessed , to be in the challenging work of service to humankind . Our medical relief would be of limited meaning in the midst of such poverty- that you and your effective brand of micro-enterprise is helping to eleviate. (Poverty eleviation in the midst of unnecessary disease , debilitation, is equally “half-care” . We have a symbiosis of significant proportion !)

    May your endeavors continue to eleviate the hopelessness of abject financial resources – -.

    Jim Turpin, MD , MPH Founder PCI

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