Visiting our partners and seeing their amazing work firsthand is an activity our team members and community regularly enjoyed before the pandemic. This helped us to stay engaged and connected as a community, showing what roles we could all take part in to support a more just and equitable world.
For over 2 years, we have endeavored to stay in touch with our partners through regular check ins, reports, and regional calls. Now that many of our GoPhil partner’s and their communities have been able to access vaccines, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to start making trips to see how our partners have been so resilient and impactful on the ground, despite the many challenges and setbacks caused by the Covid-19 outbreaks.
In March, our Communications Specialist, Kathryn, who is based in Cambodia, kicked off this year’s partner visits with a trip to Nepal! During her trip, she got the opportunity to meet with all 3 of our Nepali partners, learn about their current challenges, and collect footage for the GoPhil community. She was looking forward to learning about the services, developments, and history of each organization, but was pleasantly surprised to have received so much hospitality, warmth, and kindness from each of our partners. While on the site tours, Kathryn was welcomed with a Tilaka ceremony and was able to join the teams for a delicious dhalbhat (traditional Nepali food consisting of vegetables, rice, and lentils) meal.
“While I was excited to meet with each partner, I was not prepared for the amazing energy and unique experiences that came with each site visit. I left feeling inspired and in awe of our partners’ teams and their work and I feel very honored to amplify the voices of the GoPhil partners,” Kathryn shared.
Our three current partners in Nepal are Child Rescue Nepal (CRN), PHASE Nepal, and Collaborative Schools Network (CSN). Each partner conducts grassroots development projects addressing challenges and barriers in at least one of our key areas of focus: education, health, and human rights. CRN exists to rescue and rehabilitate vulnerable children in Nepal. PHASE works to break the cycle of poverty by providing practical help, health facilities and education to remote communities in the high Himalayan region of Nepal. CSN is an organization that manages several public schools in Nepal to transform the quality of education they provide to some of the country’s poorest children.
These organizations all had many inspiring and impactful stories that they shared with us during our visit. One example that stood out to our Communications Specialist during her trip was about a teacher from one of CSN’s partner schools. When CSN first partners with a school, they find that many teachers do not have pride in their work or passion for the institution they are working in since the school is not respected or valued in the community. With the support of CSN’s School Leaders, school staff members are able to work in partnership with the community and local governments to improve the quality of the classroom lessons, increase enrollment, and improve the school’s infrastructure.
Now teachers have a lot of pride in their work and one teacher, although he faces many health challenges, is determined to come to school every day. After having some recent health issues, his doctor told him that he should come in during the week, however he shared his commitment to the school and students and asked the doctor to move it during the school holiday. The doctor was so moved he gave him treatment for free!
For our Communications Specialist, this story really exemplified the importance of NGOs working alongside and within the community to enact change. By working in partnership with the teachers, CSN is creating a new work culture and energy in public schools that all community members, like the doctor, respect and appreciate. This is just one of the many great stories of impact we heard during our trip!
We invite you to learn more about each of our partners by checking out their site tours and interviews with Kathryn: