Do not think I forgot about the blog, only at this time I have no news to tell. The countdown continues its march. At this moment, I am uncertain of when my adventure will begin but allow me to present my upcoming fellowship with the Advocacy Project (AP). The Advocacy Project aims to “help marginalized communities to tell their stories, strengthen their organizations, take action, and mobilize new support.” And in less than two weeks, I hope to be departing for Nepal to support a community-based organization known as Backward Society Education (BASE) and help their campaign in fighting the practice of domestic slavery of young girls known as Kamlaris.
The program I intend to participate in, for which I hope to travel to Dang district in western Nepal, is with BASE. BASE is committed to “building an equitable, peaceful and advanced society in Nepal through advocacy, socio-economic development, human resource and institutional development, cultural, environmental and human rights protection and preservation.” I decided to participate in this program for two main reasons: it will give me an opportunity to apply the critical thinking skills I have acquired through formal instruction in a real-world setting, and it also will give me an opportunity to engage with young Nepalese girls and hear their stories. As an added bonus, I will be able to visit a different part of the world and diversify my experience outside of the African context.
While in Nepal, I will tell the stories of a couple girls who have been freed from slavery and give them a platform to air their less privileged voices. I will support the host organization (BASE) in the four main ways AP builds capacity. That is through telling the story, strengthening organizations, taking action while producing change and through mobilizing support. It is going to be a fast-paced fellowship, but I am confident that after the rigorous week of skill building and training by AP at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, I have the necessary tools to keep up with and adapt to the different environments I will be experiencing.
Perhaps the greatest day-to-day challenge will, in fact, be the environment. Monsoon season is coming! It is summer time in Nepal right now, but it is also the rainy season. Kathmandu will be warm, but most of the other cities we travel to will likely be cool and wet due to their high elevation. I will be staying in Dang for the majority of my journey, with a couple of weeks being spent in Kathmandu. Layered clothing, rain gear, and hydration will be essential!
I hope you’ll join me on this journey by following along with my latest blog! I plan to post at least once a week over the course of 10 weeks, but I will of course have to work out all of the details once I’m on the ground in Nepal – Wi-Fi availability and our travel schedule may vary.
This blog is intended to be both a catalog of my adventures as well as a critical analysis of the places and peoples I will come into contact with. I will explore cultural confluence – be that between myself and modern Nepalese people – through personal encounters and observations in the classroom and on-site in Dang, Nepal.
Thank you very much for reading and please stay tuned for more!
Posted By Michelle Nyaga
Posted Jun 7th, 2018