In mid-September, Camilla and Didde from the Nepal group were visiting Children-Nepal in Pokhara. The visit was just the second project visit in connection with the Enhancing Rural Livelihoods in Nepal project which started in February. The purpose of the visit was to monitor the project, as well as to attend a workshop on advocacy and communication.
After a longer trip with overnight stay in Kathmandu, we arrived at Pokhora, where Children Nepal (CN) has an office, on Tuesday, September 18. Here we were first welcomed by the staff, after which we held a status meeting and talked about the last practical details of the visit and workshop with Shiva, Ram and Dumanath, who all work in CN.
The next two days went with visits to the project villages as part of the monitoring. Thus we visited on Wednesday and Thursday together with the Shiva villages of Phallapani, Lewade and Gunjara. Here we first met with the local people in the villages, and got to talk with them about the project in relation to challenges, among other things, lack of water, and progress. At the meetings it was told that in the villages a functioning agriculture steering group has been set up, and that they were well in the process of establishing organic farming. Thus, they had built plastic greenhouses, planted various fruit trees, established compost piles, and produced organic fertilizers and bio-pesticides. After the meetings, we were shown around the villages, where we saw the different things that had been built and planted. Overall, we were very impressed with everything that had happened and by the local people's motivation and joy for the project. So it was really good days - and they were only made even better by the absolutely beautiful surroundings, welcoming locals and the (very) warm weather.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the workshop on advocacy and communication, facilitated by external consultant Prashad, was then held. Here they worked hard and engaged in problem analysis and the design of an action plan, and it was nice to see how active and participating CN was in the workshop. Overall, the workshop was a success and allowed for some really good debates, just as we and CN got some good insights into the project.
On Monday and Tuesday we met in the office with Shiva, Dumanath and Ram, the head of Children Nepal, where we discussed various things regarding the project, including budget, next training and project visits, etc. On Wednesday and Thursday the bus rode back to Kathmandu and from there on to Denmark. All in all, it has been a really good and educational trip. We have gained many good insights - both in relation to the project's progress and challenges and in relation to the advancement of the project. We have been greeted by hospitable Nepalese everyday and have had some absolutely fantastic weather for almost the entire trip with lots of warmth and clear mountain views. So it's really been amazing!