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Volunteering in Nepal


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Presentation given by Bhupendra Ghimire, MD of Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN), at University of Sussex, May 2010

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Volunteering in Nepal

  1. 1. “ Empowering marginalized communities”
  2. 2. Namaste!
  3. 3. An Enchanting Land <ul><li>Landlocked between China and India </li></ul><ul><li>Landscape rises from the lowland plains of the Terai up to the peak of Everest in the Himalayas </li></ul><ul><li>Population of 28.3 million </li></ul><ul><li>100 different ethnic groups, languages, and religions </li></ul><ul><li>Nepal is a beautiful country that is both geographically and ethnically diverse. </li></ul>Source: HDR 2009, WaterAid Nepal website.
  4. 4. In Need of Support <ul><li>55.1% under the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day </li></ul><ul><li>30.9% under the national poverty line </li></ul><ul><li>Reliance on agriculture (employs 80% of the workforce) and vulnerability to climate change not helping </li></ul><ul><li>It is also one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with a Human Development Index (HDI) rank of 144 (out of 182) and widespread discrimination and inequality. </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>Adult illiteracy 56.4% female, 29.7% male </li></ul><ul><li>40% of teachers do not have formal teacher training </li></ul><ul><li>Over 18% of children are lacking education </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Education </li></ul><ul><li>Sanitation coverage only 27% </li></ul><ul><li>11% without access to an improved water source </li></ul><ul><li>Diarrhea based diseases kill 9,000 children each year </li></ul><ul><li>Hand washing with water 37%, and 12% with soap at critical times </li></ul><ul><li>Poor Health, Hygiene & Sanitation </li></ul><ul><li>Patriarchal society: Gender-biased practices, related primarily to access and control over resources have lead to greater poverty and diminished capabilities among Nepalese women </li></ul><ul><li>Caste system: In most castes and ethnic groups, Nepalese women have both lower status and heavier workloads than men </li></ul><ul><li>Gender & Social Discrimination </li></ul>Source: HDR 2009, UNDP website, WaterAid Nepal website. <ul><li>The decade long Maoist insurgency left 13,000 dead and 100,000 misplaced </li></ul><ul><li>A Federal Democratic Republic since 2008 but with ongoing political instability as the new multi-party Parliament attempts to draft a new Constitution and the Maoists continue to cause disruptions </li></ul>Political Instability
  5. 5. VIN – Improving Lives <ul><li>Mission: to empower marginalised communities, with a focus on women and children, through enhanced educational programs and community training to promote equality, economic well-being and basic human rights. </li></ul><ul><li>VIN is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation founded in 2005 by a diverse group of development workers, specialists in education, social activists and other professionals to improve the lives of the Nepalese people. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Where We Work <ul><li>Jitpurphedi is a rural community 11km from the capital on the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley </li></ul><ul><li>The community consists of 9 Wards, being home to approx. 950 households, with a total population of around 5,000 people </li></ul><ul><li>8 schools </li></ul><ul><li>9 Early Childhood Development centres </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2007 VIN has been working in the Jitpurphedi VDC, piloting its integrated approach to community development. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Our Approach <ul><li>To empower women to improve their quality of life by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplying them with economic tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educating them on their rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing their life skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VIN uses an integrated community-based approach with four programs, each focusing on a marginalized group and with clearly defined objectives. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>To empower youth by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Educating them on their rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing their life skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating career development opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulating community volunteering </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Youth Empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>To protect the rights of all children by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing them with access to basic education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing their life skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Child Development </li></ul><ul><li>To significantly improve the basic health conditions of all by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improving access to health services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing sanitation facilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing awareness of health & hygiene </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community Health </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a microcredit (savings and credit ) cooperative </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure 80% of families have year-round income </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure 95% of women have attended literacy training </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a Youth Club that all youths aged 16 to 30 are able to attend </li></ul><ul><li>Raise awareness amongst the youths about their human rights </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage community volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure every child 3-5yrs has access to ECD </li></ul><ul><li>Improve teaching methods in schools </li></ul><ul><li>Improve graduation from primary school to 100% </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a Health Post, permanently staffed by a medical doctor and nurses </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure every family has access to a toilet, waste removal system, and clean drinking water </li></ul><ul><li>Raise awareness of health, hygiene and sanitation </li></ul>Program Goal Objectives
  8. 8. Our People <ul><li>VIN consists of an experienced local staff, backed up by an advisory board, executive committee, and volunteers. </li></ul>Board of Advisers Board of Directors Executive Director Bhupendra Ghimire Program Manager Babita Shrestha Office Assistant Yeshoda Gautam Volunteer Coordinator Dinesh Maharjan Program Officer Om Shrestha Income Generation Program Officer Pramila Dhakal Community Health Program Officer Dr Laxmi Prasad Ghimire Program Assistant Shyam Koirala ECD Teachers Sarita Aryal Bimala Ghimire
  9. 9. Our Achievements So Far <ul><li>Provided technical support for government-run literacy campaign in Jitpurphedi </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitated orientation and supported education facilitators who gave classes to 230 women </li></ul><ul><li>22 women’s savings and credit groups established and set up a government registered cooperative to provide financial solutions for the community </li></ul><ul><li>Training in agri and non-agri income generation ideas delivered to 19 women’s groups </li></ul><ul><li>Over the past few years, VIN has had significant success in the Jitpurphedi community, establishing social groups and delivering training programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Empowerment Program </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Club formed and management training delivered </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership and goal-setting, computer technology and English language training provided </li></ul><ul><li>Community volunteering encouraged (community clean up, cultural event, assistance with health survey) </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Empowerment Program </li></ul><ul><li>8 Children’s Clubs (CCs) and a United Children’s Club established and events organized </li></ul><ul><li>Child Rights and Responsibilities training delivered to CC’s representatives and students </li></ul><ul><li>44 children received sponsorship to enable them to attend school </li></ul><ul><li>ECD teacher training conducted, improved 4 ECD centres and ECD curriculum draft started </li></ul><ul><li>Primary and ECD English Teacher training provided </li></ul><ul><li>1 school compound and toilets constructed to provide a safe learning env. for 500 children </li></ul><ul><li>Child Development Program </li></ul><ul><li>Oral Health Care training sessions for VDC-level health workers </li></ul><ul><li>Health and sanitation orientation for members of women’s groups and their children </li></ul><ul><li>Health Post facilities improved </li></ul><ul><li>Medical doctor appointed to Health Post </li></ul><ul><li>Toilet construction pilot project - 26 toilets constructed </li></ul><ul><li>Community Health Program </li></ul>
  10. 10. 2010 – A Year of Consolidation <ul><li>Formally register Women’s Savings and Credit Cooperative, finalise Policy Manual and start loan cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver training to women’s groups in improved agricultural techniques and non-agricultural business ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Continue delivering women’s literacy training </li></ul><ul><li>Help fund the improvement of 4 ECD centres </li></ul><ul><li>Provide hygiene awareness training to women’s, children’s and youth groups </li></ul><ul><li>Construct 70 toilets </li></ul><ul><li>Design and implement a waste management solution </li></ul><ul><li>Commence construction of a Community Learning Centre (CLC) </li></ul><ul><li>VIN has a full schedule of training programs for 2010, combined with a number of much needed infrastructure projects, resulting in a larger than usual fundraising task. </li></ul><ul><li>2010 Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>2010 Budget </li></ul>Funding Gap £155,800 Volunteers Sponsorship
  11. 11. How You Can Help <ul><li>By volunteering your time and skills you can help to improve the lives of the people in the Jitpurphedi community </li></ul><ul><li>Part of your fee will go towards facilitating VIN’s community projects </li></ul><ul><li>Want to help VIN achieve its mission? Here are a few ideas: </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>By raising funds, e.g. within your local community, you will enable VIN to continue it’s work and achieve its objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraise </li></ul><ul><li>Monetary donations of any size are much appreciated and enable VIN to continue implementing its community programs </li></ul><ul><li>Donate </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor a child to help VIN achieve it’s goal of every child attending school </li></ul><ul><li>$230 can send a child to school with supplies for an entire year </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor </li></ul><ul><li>Promote VIN amongst your friends and community to raise awareness of the issues in Nepal and the work that VIN is doing to improve the lives of Nepalese people </li></ul>Promote <ul><li>Intern with VIN and receive credits for your university course </li></ul><ul><li>Programs can be tailored to suit your course and your personal skills </li></ul>Intern 1 2 3 4 5 6
  12. 12. Volunteering with VIN <ul><li>Help run microcredit cooperative </li></ul><ul><li>Train women in new income generation ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Organise literacy and life skills training </li></ul><ul><li>Work with 3-5yr olds as an ECD teacher’s assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Teach English in primary schools </li></ul><ul><li>Run teacher training to encourage use of creative teaching methods </li></ul><ul><li>Help out at an orphanage </li></ul><ul><li>Work as a qualified doctor or nurse at the Health Post </li></ul><ul><li>Organise health and hygiene awareness training for the community </li></ul><ul><li>Help with toilet construction and school renovation </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a waste management system </li></ul><ul><li>Work as a volunteer coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Help with fundraising and grant writing </li></ul><ul><li>Work for the environment and agroforestry </li></ul><ul><li>VIN offers a number of meaningful, affordable, fun and safe volunteering opportunities in and around Kathmandu. </li></ul><ul><li>Placements are for 1 week to 10 months and start on the 1 st and 15 th of each month </li></ul><ul><li>3 day induction program to learn about VIN and Nepalese culture and language included </li></ul><ul><li>Stay with a host family to experience Nepalese home life and culture </li></ul><ul><li>VIN prides itself on keeping its volunteer programs affordable </li></ul><ul><li>For example: A 4-week stay costs around 430 euros </li></ul>Within the community Logistics External programs <ul><li>Teach English in a monastery or nunnery </li></ul><ul><li>Intern as a journalist at a Nepalese magazine or other publications </li></ul><ul><li>Teach at a school for the deaf </li></ul>Fee breakdown
  13. 13. Intern with VIN <ul><li>Why intern with VIN as part of a university or college course? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply your learning with a hands-on, direct learning experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hone your field of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance your career potential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Receive course credits and work experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute to VIN’s existing development work and make a difference in our community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What can you do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community health and education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment and conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health and medicine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s empowerment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send us an email to discuss tailoring an internship program suit you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do we help? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly support sessions and programme guidance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Counselling and feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Field support from local staff and volunteers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A final report for the university </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why not consider interning with VIN as part of your university or college course? </li></ul><ul><li>Have the time of your life while receiving course credits, boosting your CV and making a difference. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Fundraise for VIN <ul><li>Organising a fundraising event </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a craft fair or bric-a-brac sale in the local community or school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>an auction or a dinner event with proceeds going to charity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a contest fundraiser - encourage people to take photos, paint, make crafts, design clothes for a fashion show with proceeds going to charity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a bingo event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a sport event or a fun run - seek sponsors or charge a fee for entry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a charity car wash or local community work - ask for small donations for work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sending letters to local businesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to see if they want to donate money or goods and receive a mention in the newsletter and on the website </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Placing donation boxes in public spaces (with permission) </li></ul><ul><li>Developing a campaign </li></ul><ul><ul><li>for example a ‘summer campaign’ including events or sponsored summer activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>add a small charge onto your event entry fees (such as the end of year party) to donate to our community projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Currently our only funding comes from volunteer fees. </li></ul><ul><li>We urgently need extra funds to run our programmes. </li></ul><ul><li>You can help by: </li></ul>
  15. 15. Donate or Sponsor <ul><li>£180 could fund a training session in jewellery making for 20 local women to develop a new source of income </li></ul><ul><li>£235 could construct a toilet for a household </li></ul><ul><li>£30 could facilitate hygiene awareness training for 20 women and children </li></ul><ul><li>£180 could help make an ECD centre child friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Donate by PayPal </li></ul><ul><li>On your own, as a family, as a class or as a group of friends, why not make a donation or commit to small regular payments to enable a child to attend school? </li></ul><ul><li>We have nearly 200 children in need of a sponsor to enable them to go to school </li></ul><ul><li>$230 p.a. full sponsorship </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsorship pays for their fees, uniform, course books and stationery </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage students and their friends/ families to sponsor a child </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor a child on behalf of a class and watch their progress/chart their development/write letters to them as part of a cultural learning programme </li></ul><ul><li>Run a sponsorship campaign in your institution or community; chart how many sponsors each person can find as an incentive </li></ul><ul><li>Donate </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor a Child </li></ul>
  16. 16. Promote VIN <ul><li>Write an article in a local paper </li></ul><ul><li>Twin your school or college with a Nepalese community school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share information and pictures to learn about each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage pen-pal relationships between students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set up a stall at a local fair or university event </li></ul><ul><li>If a friend is thinking of taking a gap year or volunteering – suggest VIN </li></ul><ul><li>Give a presentation to your local Rotary Club, school class, book club, church or community club </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We can help you coordinate this </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Put our leaflet on your school or community notice board or hand it out at your workplace </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The VIN leaflet is available on the website to download and print </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Help to spread the word about the issues in Nepal, what VIN’s doing to help, and how the international community can support the development. </li></ul>
  17. 17. What Next? <ul><li>Any questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Check out our website at for more detail on our programs and testimonials from previous volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Send us an email at </li></ul><ul><li>Start thinking about and discussing what you can do to help educate and empower marginalised communities </li></ul>