The valley is beautifully walled by steep, fertile terraces that merge hazily into the taller Himalayan foothills behind. This backdrop, coupled with the sight of some affectionate nose-rubs and head-bumps of companionable cows and buffalos, as well as an excitable reception from our brightly-dressed future host mothers, comprised our formative impressions of this community. Having now lived here for just over two weeks, there is an underlying consensus between us that a minor amendment of our team name to “NC won” wouldn’t be inappropriate, given the setting and the people within which we have been placed to carry out our livelihoods project.
We are here as Raleigh Nepal pioneers, the first cohort and primary architects of a three year-long economic empowerment project in Makwanpur district. In partnership with the local NGO, RADO Nepal, our aim is to lay a strong research-based foundation for the future of the project by carrying out detailed needs assessments across the community. Once this is complete, we will use the compiled data to inform the direction of the whole project. The current aim is to promote the diversification and innovation within existing and potential industries. Simultaneously, we will also facilitate coaching and training of key business skills, to encourage the local community to further diversify their livelihoods in a sustainable manner.
Please keep following this blog for regular updates and thoughts from our team. What we call home ranges from capital city Kathmandu all the way to Scunthorpe, so don’t fear monotony! Coming up, we have more on our project partners RADO Nepal and everything they have done for rural agricultural development in the region.
Author: UK volunteer Vicky Bennett