Experience of International Volunteer – VANESSA ZOGBI
I came to Nepal with very high expectations, but I did not know exactly what to expect. I was supposed to work in the Women’s Empowerment project with microfinance and entrepreneurship in a community close to Kathmandu called Kavresthali. During my first week, I joined a French and some local volunteers to help a group of women with their enterprise. It was amazing to work and interact with people from such different backgrounds! The exchange of culture was very rich!
However, I felt that something was not going very well because women were not very motivated to improve their enterprises. I contacted the coordinator of the project and she arranged a meeting with all the volunteers. Some of them were feeling the same so everyone shared some ideas of how to improve the project and to really create an impact on Kavresthali women. We have decided that it was important to do a research to gain a better understanding of the actual needs and interests of women in Kavresthali.
An international volunteer and two local ones joined me in the research and we developed a qualitative questionnaire to interview members from most of the women groups in Kavresthali. We started to interview women around the community and they reacted very well to the research. Most of them were very open to welcome us and to help VIN because they were very thankful for what VIN has already helped them. They are such inspiring women! Every day of work was a new learning for me. More and more I understand the importance of projects like this to increase women awareness, to help them to go forward and to make them feel confident about the wonderful and powerful people that they are.