Lumanti Support Group for Shelter was registered in 1994 as a non-government organization dedicated to alleviate urban poverty in Nepal through integrated approach of improving shelter conditions. Lumanti with its approach of providing housing for urban poor is now working for onsite upgrading of settlements with the provision of secure tenure, support in the construction of housing and improved access to sanitation and water supply and credit facilities. Lumanti is also coordinating community based disaster resilience program to promote grassroots women led disaster mitigation activities. Lumanti promotes all these activities through community led finance mechanisms by strengthening of saving and credit programs and cooperatives.
Following the workshop on 'The Issues of Squatter Settlements' in 1990 led by Dr. Ramesh Manandhar (well respected and accomplished architect and planner), this initiative was started by a small group of individual who once were involved in welfare and awareness raising initiatives in the informal squatter settlements in Kathmandu. The group was once again inspired to come together in 1993 after the sudden demise of Dr. Manandhar in the Thai airbus crash. To take his dreams forward of 'Secured Shelter for the Poor' LUMANTI was established which literally means “memory” in the Newari dialect (dialect of local Newari community).
Following this deep belief of late Dr. Manandhar, LUMANTI is dedicated to ensure secured shelter for the urban poor, where shelter means not just a house but connotes a much broader holistic understanding of habitat. It includes cultural, historical, social, economic, political, legal, environmental, physical and territorial aspects. The major initiatives of LUMANTI are settlement enhancement and housing projects, saving and credit activities, water, health, hygiene and sanitation interventions, education programmes, documentation and advocacy, research and surveys on squatter settlements and urban issues including community organization and mobilization activities. LUMANTI operates with the core value and belief of:
- Creating spiritual attitude and behavior not in the religious sense but in a broader sense of empathy and good and pure feeling for each other, for whom LUMANTI works and with whom LUMANTI works
- Creating a friendly environment where work is not taken as a burden but as a contribution to welfare of human being.