We mourn our friend Sara Coombes.

Sara CoombesBeautiful, blond Sara died Sunday morning, August 27, from an asthma attack.  She came to New Life Foundation as a volunteer at the beginning of this year and in June, because of he extraordinary marketing expertise, joined our staff to lead the New Life Marketing Team.

A skilled videographer, Sara was frequently seen around the Foundation with her professional video camera and microphone in hand.  Because of her talent and dedication, we have a video record of our recent (and hilarious) New Life Olympics.  She had also just completed a video explaining our mission. It debuted at an August retreat hosted by the Venerable Lama Rinchen Phuntsok from Nepal.  Sara is responsible for all the videos on our website and Facebook pages.  She also took and posted many of the still photographs on our blog, as well as worked tirelessly to find ways to bring more residents and volunteers to New Life.

Sara was a native of the Isle of Wight off the South Coast of England.  Before beginning her world adventure, she owned and managed a digital publishing company specializing in videos and print for the sailing world.

From June through August 2011, Sara volunteered in Ghana, shooting and editing videos for the non-profit Volunteer Partnership for West Africa.  One of her videos on Morianga as a nutritional supplement to help alleviate starvation in Africa was named one of five finalists in a UN Women video competition for practical ideas on how to change the world.

Sara CoombesFor three months last winter, Sara volunteered in Nepal where she produced a documentary detailing the plight of lower caste Hindu women with no rights in society or marriage.  She hoped by publicizing their hardship she could help bring justice to these disenfranchised women.

Sara called the table in the New Life dining hall where she gathered her marketing team the “Corner Office.”  She loved good, strong black coffee; her French press was usually at arm’s reach. She adored our Foundation dogs, Foxy and Jack, and took it upon herself to buy them food and fill their bowls every evening.

She was also our own special “bread fairy.”  Often on weekends, she’d rise at two or three in the morning to make fresh bread for breakfast.  With her computer playing her favorite music, she mixed, kneaded and filled her dough with sweet and savory flavors.  None of us will ever forget the glorious smell of fresh baking bread in the dining hall.

This week local monks came to New Life to conduct a Buddhist ceremony to give Sara safe passage to her next destination. It was a lovely ceremony.  No doubt, if she had been here, she would have recorded it all.

Sara was a brave, smart and strong woman who chose to give her talents to helping make the world a better place.  We are grateful for all she gave to New Life.  She certainly made this a better place and us better people.

Sara Coombes will live forever in our hearts and minds.  She is too special to be forgotten.

We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends back in England.



  1. Thank you for such lovely words – Sara will be missed across the world by all her wonderful friends and family and it is so good to know that she had the opportunity to help many others who might not have had the chance to be heard without her hard work and commitment. Sara loved cooking and dancing and laughing and being a great friend. Never to be forgotten and always an inspiration.
    Love to you all at the foundation,

  2. Let your heart be at peace.
    Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings,
    observe how endings become beginnings.

    Things flourish, each by each,
    only to return to the Source….
    to what it is and what is to be.

    To return to the root is to find peace.
    To find peace is to fulfill one’s destiny.

    Verse 16 of the Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu.

  3. I used to work with her 2 mounts , She such a good friend and good leader . I always sit in front of her at “Corner Office” and her bread is yum , I miss her , RIP my dear Sara.

  4. Sara

    You will be missed how you always looked out for me with my asthma..

    A woman of extreme strengths and inner spirit of courage.
    She touched many of our hearts and gave us laughter,a beautiful person,and now is at peace.

    Your memory is our keepsake with which we’ll never part.

    Jules x

  5. So pleased to hear about the buddhist ceremony, so fitting.
    Thank you for making her last months so fulfilling, she truly was happy with you.
    We miss her terribly too.
    Rosy in Cowes

  6. So lovely to hear your wonderful thoughts and to know that Sara spread her amazing personality all around the world. We have all been so touched by her and she will continue to inspire I am certain.

  7. it brakes my heart to read the sad news about sara i had many good laughts over coffie i hope sara is laughing now cheers sara thanks for your suport in good times and bad times allways agood friend you will be sadly missed by all those you touched

  8. Thank you for sharing your words and your love for Sara.

    Thank you for looking after Sara whilst she was with you.

    I know she loved the time she spent with you. I believe it was a great joy to her. I would like to share your tribute with others as I believe her quest was to enlighten others on many things.

    I hope if by doing so others can see the good work she did and respond .. or at least reflect. I hope the inspiration she found with you and your work will shine. It will with the ones she loved I know.

    She was so wonderfully happy whilst she was with you. Thank you.

    May the Universe take her and the Gods keep her as a truly beautiful angel.

    With Love to you all at New Life Foundation. Lx

  9. I knew Sara during the five months that I spent at the New Life Foundation. The day I arrived at New Life and introduced myself as a resident for alcohol addiction, she welcomed me. When I was having very hard times during my first month, she walked with me and listened to me. I also had the great pleasure of joining the Marketing Team a couple of months later, with her as our Team Lead. As such, I always respected and admired her. And when I learned that she had passed away, I cried. I have thought of her many times since then. And even today, reading this blog, I cried again. She was a woman of great honor, and I only hope that one day, I shall aspire to be a woman like her.
    In her memory,
    Julie (New Life resident 4 months, volunteer 1 month)

  10. It was a shock to hear that Sara is gone especially when you know that she was doing such great stuff. It makes you sit up and look at life differently and brings back so many funny and enjoyable memories, for me in Cowes as that’s where I knew Sara from in her various roles, whether in Cowes Corinthian with cocktail in hand, up a ladder with paint brush in hand, with the girls with tiller in hand, an entrepreneur taking risks on with both hands, BBQs, dinner parties, dressing up parties, cheese and wine parties, you name it parties. We all had fun, and I can look back with fond memories. For me you say goodbye in your own way, but it’s nice to sit and read such great things about a great person. You are missed. Love Rob, Tabs and the girls xxx

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