Transformations in Remote Nepal
“Surely retirement would enable a window of opportunity to undertake voluntary work in a developing country, a long standing promise to God?” Philippa has spent most of her employed life working in research and policy as a social scientist, mostly in rural NSW and remote north Australia, so she wondered how this background could help the poor in a needy country without their language.
“Eventually, through my church’s Missions Day event in 2010, God opened a door via Second Wind, to volunteer with International Nepal Fellowship (INF). There was a need to further develop monitoring and evaluation tools for INF’s Community Health and Development (CHD) programmes located in six remote regions of Nepal.” This led to two visits to Nepal last year (2011). The first was to INF Central Office in Pokhara and the second visit involved field work to all six remote programme regions, one region requiring ten days of trekking in the high mountains. The field work was not without its dangers and struggles but God’s support was there as many people prayed for my safety. I felt quite at peace and safe in the midst of a number of dramas.
The field work gave Philippa a first hand experience and full appreciation of the amazing transformations occurring among the poorest and most marginalised people in Nepal, enabled by INF’s CHD programmes. A tribute to the programme outcomes with suggested additional monitoring tools for reporting to donor organisations and for INF planning is now recorded in a final report.
“Many members of (national) staff in INF Nepal are now Christian and the dedication of all staff to their demanding and difficult work is an inspiration. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have participated in INF’s community work and in particular to be walking and sharing alongside such beautiful Nepalese people.”