We had the opportunity to interview Birendra Poudel, President at Nepal Friendship Society. In this interview he shares some insights about the outcomes that the organization has reached during the last year as well as his experience with Volunteer World.
Laura: Hello Birendra and thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to know more about Nepal Friendship Society. We would like to address some of the outcomes of your organization during the past year and your goals for the next future.
According to our latest interview, you mentioned that the NGO was running two big projects (One in the community center and one in the rural school) could you tell us a little more about the most significant effects these projects have had on the community?
During the past years Nepal Friendship society has helped out the community of Chitwan in order to support education as a powerful tool for community development.
Currently we have the following programs in place:
- Educational program
- Environment and sanitation
- Youth Empowerment Program
We would like to open a learning center soon where children and youth will get the opportunity to learn English and be involved in the social programs mentioned above. We believe feedback is very important to strength an Organization. Therefore, we always share our work to our partners, friends and volunteers so that we together contribute to develop the projects.
We have a lot of challenges in the community and our main goal is to increase the awareness of the population about environmental conservation by stressing the importance of active participation. We believe education is a powerful tool to change the world.
How are you making these projects sustainable?
It is important for the community itself to be involved in our projects. So we believe working together will make our projects sustainable. For example: within the environmental aspect we had recently a project to reuse bags. We noticed that children used to bring the lunch in plastic bags so we started this project and distributed reusable bags to protect the environment and increase awareness on the population. I believe these small steps can help the community to be aware of environmental issues and also to work together to make big changes.
Nepal Friendship Society
VISION – To improve the quality of life of poor and marginalized people, raising awareness in community of Nepal by enabling Sustainable Development. MISSION- To enable equitable and sustainable Development by improvement of skill management and rising level of awareness in Local level.
GOAL – By empowering marginalized communities with focus on Youth, women through awareness program and community training to promote basic human right, equity and economic well-being. -Improve, support and uplift the education level of poor students in rural places of Nepal.
In 2013 you mentioned Nepal Friendship Society would build a community learning center for orphans, poor and community people. Howe these plans are going?
It was a long way to go; it is difficult to find fundraising, but in a few days time we are going to open a learning center in Parasnagar-9, Chitwan, Nepal where youth and children will have the opportunity to learn many ideas from our volunteers.
Could you tell us 5 things Nepal Friendship Society has learnt while working with the community?
- The community has the social resources, skills and managerial capacity to be able to make these projects sustainable but sometimes they do not know how to use these resources.
- Our role as NGO is to provide support to the community development, specially by stressing participation, awareness and education.
- We can learn from the community too. Sharing ideas is very important to make projects sustainable.
- It is important for us and for the community to work hand in hand with governmental organizations and to build up partnerships to improve social development.
- Each community has its own culture and believes. Therefore, it is important to involve the community in the projects and ensure the cultural factor is respected.
- Could you tell us in what extent the volunteers have contributed to the development of the NGO goals?
Volunteer’s role is unbelievable! They often use their own techniques for approaching issues at a local level. We are very proud of them! English is just one of the tools that they support us with. Their help to the community is unbelievable! We treat volunteers as friends or part of our family.
With the help of Volunteer World and our volunteers we have had the opportunity to set up more partnerships with other organizations at a local level and our projects have become more known at an international level.
What are your plans for the project development in the next future?
We plan to work more and more with governmental organizations and schools in Nepal to support several social areas. There are a lot of challenges like poverty level, gender discrimination, inequalities and low awareness of the population of these problems. Our main goal is keep working to improve the quality of children in different communities of Nepal.
Nepal Friendship Society has suffered financial problems but our energetic and engaged team has always been able to move forward. We are satisfied day by day when we see that our actions result in positive changes and that the community is each time more interested in giving us a hand to make this possible!
We thank Nepal Friendship Society and Birendra Poudel, for sharing their achievements with us, and you guys for reading this blog!
Here’s the second part of the interview