a colourful journey

ausaidWell, we have been dropping enough hints and now we can spill the beans!

The Australian Embassy, representing the Australian Government in Nepal, have a grant program called the Direct Aid Program which provides small one-off grants to specific programs all over the world.

Some months ago, in very close consultation with the ladies we work with, we developed a longer version of the program we called the “New Start Program” which we hope to run at least twice next year and have mentioned in earlier blog entries.

We submitted the plans and lots of other documentation to see if it fitted the Embassy guidelines for funding. It did but we were told that the funding was very competitive and that we’d have to wait to see which programs, out of many submitted, could be funded. To our absolute delight we were told that we’d been accepted. Kopila went to Kathmandu last Thursday to sign contracts and receive the initial cheque.

We plan to start the program early next year and are now “talking turkey” with our prospective trainers and applicants! We planned to run a very pared down version of this whether we got the funding or not, thanks to donations received already. Now we can include many more components that the women identified as important and can include some more expensive training options (such as Introduction to Computers, Mobile Phone repair) with real prospects for income generation.

There is a very big emphasis on practical training in goal setting and planning and each woman will set individualised weekly goals and practise evaluating them with a mentor. This will be in readiness for setting a personal six-month goal at the end of the course that will be regularly monitored so they can determine:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not?
  • What needs to be done differently?

A remarkable American called Mark Ylvisaker, with his colleague Tim Feeney, used these questions in helping a very different population to establish meaningful life goals. He tragically died this year and his influence truly continues in activities like this. Vale Mark.

Ongoing evaluation and tangible, measurable outcomes were a big requirement in the proposal. Part of this will be the production of a DVD covering the journey of some of the women through the training.

We are very excited about this and as always, want to say a massive thank you to all our supporters and readers for their ongoing practical and emotional support! We will keep you posted via the blog as to how it is all going. Now the tricky task of time-tabling lies ahead.

Where will the program be held we hear you ask? Wait until next blog’s exciting instalment!

A Colourful Journey

A Colourful Journey