November 22nd, 2019
GoGlobal Reflections: Elizabeth
Elizabeth, our IN Sponsorship Coordinator writes about her recent trip to Nepal, the things she learnt, challenges she faced and more about the Livelihoods Programme.
Hi I’m Elizabeth, a development professional who has been working with IN since earlier this year.
Last month I led my first GoGlobal trip to Nepal. While I have lived and worked in Asia, this was my first visit to Nepal. Leading a team on a GoGlobal trip with International Needs, we flew into Kathmandu.
Our first sight was soaring mountains surrounding the capital. We then had a couple of days of orientation in Kathmandu with the IN Nepal team, which included visiting the main temples in the city to gain a better understanding of the culture and particularly the role of Hinduism within the country. I was struck by the colour and vibrancy that was everywhere where we walked in Kathmandu that reminded me of time spent in Southeast Asia.
Hinduism pervades every area of life
Shops selling a range of colourful fabrics and blankets
We then spent time in a village in the foothills of the Himalaya. It took a three-hour drive followed by a hike to reach the village of Pangretar in the Sindhupalchowk district. The 2015 earthquake wrought devastation in many parts of the country. When a 6.7 magnitude aftershock struck, Sindhupalchowk was one of the worst-affected areas with thousands killed and injured. Thousands of homes were damaged and countless livestock were lost.
Spending time in the village was the highlight of my visit to Nepal. Working alongside beneficiaries in the Livelihoods Programme, we cleared ground for vegetables, fed animals and helped with building work, including laying the foundations for a goat shed which was needed because goats have recently been killed by mountain leopards. This was physically hard work and brought home in a very small way, the struggles that many face. I was struck by their resilience and good humour amid difficulties.
Goats from the Livelihoods Programme
It was wonderful to see the Livelihoods Programme in action. Run by IN Nepal this programme reaches out to the most vulnerable families in the area enabling them to generate a stable income for their families, as well as nutritious food through vegetable gardening and raising livestock. We saw how the programme enabled one family to develop a profitable business raising chickens to sell to the local market. Another family purchased a grain mill. Not only are they able to generate an income but it has meant that the community benefits from not having to travel far to have their maize and rice milled.
I found the scenery breath-taking and I would love to return to Nepal one day. I was challenged and humbled by the amazing hospitality of the Nepalis we met, and their kindness shown in many ways. Leading my first GoGlobal team was challenging but enjoyable. I will be leading a team to Uganda next year; it will be fascinating to see what the similarities and differences are between the two countries.
Views over Pangretar
To learn more about our Livelihoods Programme, please contact Elizabeth, as she’d love to chat it through with you. Or if you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 01883 331332