I’m heading off to Kathmandu, Nepal on a Leave for Change project in July.
Uniterra, a joint initiative of WUSC (World University Service of Canada) and CECI (Centre for International Studies and Cooperation) offers a program, Leave for Change, which enables organizations and their employees in Canada the opportunity to help reduce poverty by working towards achieving the UN Millenium Development Goals. Employees of the participating organizations volunteer their holidays along with their technical skills and experience to short-term (two to three weeks) international assignments. The employer contributes to the pre-departure training and some of the logistical costs, while Uniterra (through funding from CIDA) covers the rest. Uniterra carries out the volunteer selection, training and project matching as well as host country support for the volunteers.
I have always been fascinated by Nepal so I’m looking forward to experiencing it first-hand. I will be working for a micro-finance group helping them to organize their electronic resources. Anyone who has seen my desk at work will agree that I am an unlikely candidate for organizing files, but it is never too late to mend my ways. Luckily I work with a number of well-organized people and I have been studying their methods since I learned about this project. Hopefully I will actually be able to help the Centre for Micro-Finance.