On the 9th of March, the Nepal Team was looking forward to our regular bi-weekly meeting between our staff in Nepal and the US Advisors. The major difference about this meeting was that we were going to meet a few of the US colleagues that we only got to see on our computer screens. We were very excited to get to meet in person with Foundation President, Bibhuti Aryal and Special Advisors: Laxmi Aryal and Basu Aryal, who visited from the US. We also got to catch up with Dr. Nabin Aryal, who was also with us. Even though he is based in Nepal, he has to travel a lot for work, so we do not get to see him very often.

We all gathered at a local café in Pharping in the evening and had small talk while ordering our favorite snacks. Because it was the first time, we were meeting with everyone, there was a lot of silence in the beginning as we did not know where to begin. However, Dr. Nabin had the idea of an icebreaker where each of us had to use the first letter of our first name to come up with an adjective that best describes us. This simple game forced us to think on our feet and to share openly with each other. We heard some great examples, such as Laxmi Maa calling herself “Lion Heart Laxmi for being adventurous and Usha Ma’am calling herself “Understanding Usha,” Roshani Rumba as “Rangin (Colorful) Roshani”, because of her talents and personality, Dipa as “Delightful Dipa,” for always smiling and laughing.

After the introductions, we seemed to be much more comfortable in talking and proceeded to discuss what was happening with the foundation while also enjoying our snacks and coffee. We talked about some of the biggest challenges and some of the biggest successes. We also shared more about our own backgrounds. Laxmi Maa shared her personal story of feeling isolated and shy during her school years when she was the only girl from her village to attend school. She expressed how programs like the Didi program could have significantly impacted her life positively if she had access to such things when she was growing up. She expressed happiness in witnessing the growth of confidence in our girls through such programs.

Laxmi Maa emphasized the importance of including feedback from our girls and their learnings in our program reports so that we can better explain the impact of what we do. The Nepal Team shared how we wanted to get better at sharing our stories with our supporters, and we discussed some ideas. We hope to share more and better stories of impact in our future blog posts and newsletters. During this conversation, the Nepal team also learned more about the fundraising efforts of the US team and how the stories we share about the impact of our work can help us better connect with our donors and supporters. We are all excited and motivated to connect with our supporters.

As we were finishing up our lovely meeting, we also deliberated on the well-being of our Bahinis (younger sisters) and talked about our planned home visits after their board/final exams. It was great to be able to talk about our work and ourselves with each other in person. While we love our regular video calls, it was much more interactive being in person, and we all felt a lot more comfortable with the US team after having met them.

After our meeting in the cafe, the Nepal Team also got to attend a Quarterly board meeting with the Foundation Board who were based in the US (Preeti Khanal, Tara Matthews, Linda Githiora, and Thayjas Patil). For the Nepal Team, it was very late in the day 8:45 PM, but it was a great opportunity to hear from the Board and to share our point of view with the foundation leadership. Bibhuti Dai led the meeting, presenting our Q1 report and then Usha Ma’am addressed questions from the US team. Each of us also got to share some of our thoughts and ideas with the team. The meeting was great, and we even received some interesting ideas for fundraising, such as creating a cookbook of typical Nepali foods and an art book featuring our beneficiaries that we could sell to raise money to support our work.

Fundraising was a big focus of our conversation because this year we had a reduced budget for the first time in many years. This reduction is impacting on our ability to support needy beneficiaries and expand our programs. Despite these challenges, we know that we have an amazing team in Nepal and the US who will continue to work hard to empower girls through education, and we are so grateful for the support from people across different countries and communities for making it possible.

After the meeting, we took a group photo before heading back home at 10:15 p.m. Even though it was a long day and a late night for many of us, it was a very motivating experience to get to meet all together and to share our thoughts and feelings. We feel closer to each other as colleagues whether we are from Nepal or from the US. The Nepal Team looks forward to more interactions like this in the future.

About Dipa Kuikel-Pudasaini

I live in Gopaleswor, a place just a bit outside Pharping. I live with my husband's joint family of 8 including our little baby boy. I earned my Masters’ degree from Tri Chandra College in Kathmandu and I have worked as a Primary school teacher at Shikharapur School and also as a +2 Level teacher at Shikharapur Open school. I really love teaching, and in the little free time I have I love reading books (especially novels) and listening to music. At the foundation I am excited to take on the challenge of leading our GLOW Club Nepal program as a Partnership Coordinator. This fantastic program, which is supported by our amazing partners Global GLOW is an important part of our overall program and we have clubs in many different schools and communities, and I am excited to do everything I can to continue it success.
Newsletter Subscription

Newsletter Subscription

If you believe in empowering girls through education and want to know what is happening with these scholars, please consider signing up for our monthly newsletters.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This