Today was our first full day in Dhungentar and it felt like we gained a good overview of the village and ongoing projects.
Govinda Joshi, ICIMOD’s program coordinator in the area gave us a presentation about ICIMOD and their 2-year pilot project in the rural village of Dhungentar. All but one of the 96 households ICIMOD works with had their house damaged by the 2015 earthquake. It was honestly amazing to see that they have such a holistic and comprehensive approach in developing the region. They are not only focusing on reconstructing people’s houses but also providing for instance, micro credit programs, livelihood trainings, solar cookers and driers, biogas plants, toilets, rain water harvest system and constant on-site support. The idea of this pilot project is to create a model for other development projects to replicate in other locations.
After the presentation we walked around the entire village and met families, teachers, children, shop owners and workers. We visited a school, a restaurant, a ‘brewery’, a water mill, a brick making facility, completed houses and houses under construction.
The area is beautiful and the people extremely welcoming and kind. I feel grateful to have this opportunity to witness this type of development project in action.
I’m becoming more comfortable with the team, living conditions and village. Life here is very different from life in Finland but people are fundamentally the same no matter where you go.
We have team meetings every evening to wrap up the day and plan the next so today Amrita and I led it. We had everyone write down a word to describe how they were feeling.
We also came up with internal goals to focus on for the rest of our stay here. Mine was to BE PRESENT. I’m really excited for tomorrow and starting our interviews.