It’s been a slow process, and one which we’ve been contemplating or actively pursuing now for about a year, but it’s now confirmed that Lyndall, Gabe, Jacob and I will be moving to Nepal in September for a few years (definitely two, and probably – hopefully – more).
We’ll be TEAR fieldworkers, volunteers on a cost-of-living (in Nepal) stipend, working with United Mission to Nepal.
I’ll be advocacy advisor to UMN, working with Nepali colleagues to set up an advocacy training and lobbying team. UMN work with local Nepali groups and organisations in a range of areas – conflict transformation, education, disaster management, HIV, agriculture – and want to help their local partners identify and take up policy and political opportunities to benefit poor and excluded communities. UMN also wants to develop its own ability to research, network and lobby at a national level on different issues.
So I get to help out with that! Amazing! Lyndall will be spending a fair bit of time with our new little person, Jacob, but she’s got qualifications in Primary Teaching and ESL teaching to adults, so will no doubt be finding work as and when she’s able.
Lyndall and I were in Nepal for 4 months in 1999, working as volunteer teachers and teacher-trainers with UMN. And it was a life-changing experience. I fully expect that working their again, and this time with a five-year old and six-month old in the family, will be again.
It’s an exciting time politically for Nepal too.
I’ll blog more soon (and have to change the blog banner from Bangladeshi community scene to a Nepali one) but we’re on the way.
If you’d like to keep in touch, or even support us in prayer or financially, while we’re away we would really love that. I’ve created a support page to facilitate that.
TEAR Australia fieldworkers are a pretty rare breed and we feel enormously privileged to be able to work with a partner we have known about and prayed for for a long time now. Because TEAR works almost entirely through local partners (rather than sending Australians to do work that locals can do) it’s only when a partner has a compelling case for an out-of-country appointment that TEAR would send Australians like us to be involved. TEAR wants to maximise the money it gives to local partners (rather than to support Australians) so any donations towards our support help this.