Sunday, August 3, 2008
Last week I completed my project for READ Nepal. I wrote a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for them and then held a series of trainings/workshops with them to populate the plan with information specific to the targeted outcomes of READ. They have already collect a lot of data on the activities of the libraries but had not tied it to the strategic plan or written expected outcomes.
During my time there I also helped with a number of grant proposals, gave input into their annual report (now linked through the evaluation process.) I also set up a meeting between READ and Heifer International to consider collaborating in the villages where both have projects..."creating synergy" as they call it here in Nepal.
Tuesday night, the all of the staff, except Indra who was out of town, took me to dinner and gave me gifts. In this photo from the dinner are Pushap, Pratima and Sanjana. That same day I brought ice cream/cake rolls into the office so that I could thank the volunteers as well.
My one regret is that they were not able to get me out into the field to see more of the libraries. This experience has confirmed what I already suspected. I do not want to be a "desk jockey" in the developing world. I want to work in the field more often. I plan on formal Nepali language training both before my return to Nepal and during my stay here.
Finally, I have learned so much from the people I have worked with. They are all dedicated superstars and all work so hard in a difficult situation. The READ libraries are really community development centers where children, women, parents, housewives, teachers, youth, and others work together and learn the art of self-determination and empowerment. The libraries are open to all and indeed, have remained zones of peace during the time of the conflict, political transition and the new days of this young Democratic Republic of Nepal.