Nicole Farkouh

Nicole Farkouh (Collective Campaign for Peace – COCAP): Nicole graduated from Smith College with a BA in Cultural Anthropology. She also has a Master of Education from the University of New Orleans. Nicole’s professional background is in education. She has worked as a teacher, administrator, and consultant, mainly with middle school students with special needs. She is also a certified community mediator and has studied a complementary model of mediation based on Non-Violent Communication. She has studied abroad in India, lived and taught in Mexico. At the time of her fellowship, she was studying for a Master of Public Policy degree at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. After her fellowship, Nicole wrote: "More than anything, this summer I received a new level of understanding /appreciation for the complexity involved in “development” and “human rights” work…. Particularly being a foreign body trying to work in a new culture."



THE ROLLER COASTER OF CONCEPTS AND PROPOSALS

01 Aug

With a great proposal about voter awareness in hand (written as the product of our regional meeting in Jhapa), I finally arrived in Kathmandu and began to meet with various International-NGOs. Unfortunately the end result of those meetings was disappointing. It turns out that as great as our idea was (which was confirmed by the organizations I met with), we had missed the boat for election-related funds. Even though there is still an intense need to reach and inform people in regional areas, all funds appropriated for such purposes have long since been committed. Lesson one for working with INGOs: no matter how you dice it, the funding process takes A LONG time and to get money for any project requires starting way ahead of schedule.

The good news is that after some extensive discussions about our concept of voter awareness and the funding challenges we faced, the COCAP head office in Kathmandu is keen to launch a slightly transformed voter awareness campaign using its extensive body of volunteers. At this point, the tentative plan is to utilize a group of volunteers from within the existing body in Kathmandu and to also bring in 5-10 volunteers from each of the four Focal Point Regions. This will not only allow these young people to meet each other and work together to develop regionally appropriate awareness sessions, but it will also help strengthen the volunteer base and COCAP’s presence outside of Kathmandu.

So, all in all, some important and hard lessons learned – still with a sliver lining. Stay tuned for more updates as the plan is finalized!

Posted By Nicole Farkouh

Posted Aug 1st, 2014

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