In December 2020, Human Development Facilitators (HDFs) from our program partner in Nepal began investigations to explore project work expansion. They looked for new communities they could expand their program work to next! HDFs are our world-class international team of talented, brilliant and caring folks who work with our community partners. For instance, they help them get organized, find inspiration, and work together toward empowering results every single day.
HDFs lead communities through the process of development through many steps. For example, they:
- Identify, prioritize and analyze Issues
- Plan development projects that address their community’s issues
- Organize development of their community-based organizations
HDFs support local leaders as they grow into their responsibilities. And, they provide a framework for success in which every participant has an active – and important – role. This is certainly key to Nepal project expansion.
Meet Milan and Reshab – some rockstar HDFs doing project work in Nepal!
They have been ready to begin work in two new communities for a year now. So, they’ve decided not to wait any longer. Although they dealt with ongoing meeting and travel restrictions related to COVID-19, they first started with extensive research and fieldwork. We refer to this type of project work as the “area selection process”. After the area selection process, they then facilitate participatory social investigation (PSI). At this point, community members and HDFs meet together to start to have conversations about the issues that are impacting their communities and families.
For the community of Badhikel, these early conversations and PSI took place in January 2021. And at the very first meeting 40 people gathered – 39 of which were women! Wow! After Milan introduced herself and PSI, everyone then gathered and participated in the various breakout discussions. Then, the community shared information about Badhikel’s population, demographics, education, and transportation infrastructures. Also, they discussed their economic, health and environmental situation. And, they shared their various socio cultural facets and community issues. Participants were eager to meet and excited to share and begin project work. The PSI participants even happily welcomed Milan and Reshab into the community with open arms!
When the day was done, Milan shared her reflection with her staff teammates.
“[I am] very happy and satisfied with the result of PSI and [I am] feeling positive [about the potential] success of [Participatory Human Development process] PHDP in the community and [I am] excited for community entry. This PSI is [a] very good activity to understand the overall situation of community and [to see] opportunities to build initial relationships with the people.”
In Badhikel, Milan will soon begin her project work integration into the community. She’ll conduct house-to-house visits, meet families, talk with mothers, and learn from elders about daily community life. Reshab will also do the same in the new community where he works. This is a crucial and welcome stage in Outreach’s approach to community-led development. We officially refer to it as the “Groundbreaking Stage” of the Outreach process!
And relationships will build and households will discuss issues of the community in the next few months. People will intentionally gather for their very first meetings as a future community group. These project work meetings will “break ground”, setting in motion powerful action planning and solution seeking energy. And this will take these communities to the next level! And Milan and Reshab will continue to support these communities for the next four to five years.