Sangita profiles Nirmal Kumar Paundel, a fellow Nepali FK Fellow. She documents the experiences of Nirmal in Norway and gives an insight about the FK Youth programme, Norway.
It is worth mentioning that through the FK Youth programme, FK Norway funds the mutual exchange of young volunteers between civil society organisations. Their website informs about the FK Programme. It is an international youth exchange enhances youth leadership and meaningful youth participation in civil society by providing organisations and volunteers with unique skills, knowledge and experiences. Learning across borders is an important tool for development and contributes to strengthening actors both on individual and organisational levels.
FK Youth funds more than 20 different exchange programs, including south-south exchanges. The different partners of FK are in charge of recruiting, and have the executive responsibility of participants and projects.
An exchange consists of three different parts: Preparation course, the stay abroad, and follow-up work in the participant’s home countries.
The objectives of the exchange are: developing young leaders; increased capacity in partner organizations; in addition each partnership agrees on goals related to their thematic field (e.g. advocacy, health, education, entrepreneurship).
Informing about a FK Youth exchange, the website adds: Exchange of volunteers between two or more civil society organizations; Group program (at least 2 and 2 travelling together); Exchange period: 3 to 10 months (each project decides on a preferred exchange model) + two months follow-up work.
Furthermore, the partners are responsible for preparatory course, managing the exchange, homecoming seminar, and follow-up work
FK Norway supports training, travel and lodging, insurance, pocket money, and two months follow-up work. In addition FK Norway supports administrational costs and salary for one coordinator.
In accordance with the programme, there was five days preparatory training. After completing his preparatory course in Kathmandu, Nepal, Nirmal went to Oslo, Norway for the youth camp training. He had transits at Indira Gandhi Airport of Delhi, India and Moscow, Russia, en route before reaching Norway. He reached Hotel Simorka, in the afternoon, enjoying the view of snow on the roadside. It was the first time he saw snowfall. Tora welcomed them with hot coffee at the hotel.
The program started two hours later at 5 PM that day. People from various countries had gathered in the hall for the programme. They introduced themselves and the first day concluded with brief summary of what they would be doing during the training period.
In the session, youths from various places shared their lives, culture and way of living. Getting to know with so many people from so many backgrounds was very interesting and inspiring. Also the training on Communication as Change session, the session on Development issues and challenge, Millennium Development goal were very useful. The speech session especially taught the participants a lot about debate and speech delivery. The cultural programme was great way to share their culture and get to know the culture of others. Everyone was in their national attire and they also shared the gifts they brought from their homes. Despite the learning, this training session also gave them opportunity to meet friends from all around the world and be aware globally about the political and economic issues.
Now, Nirmal is in Varanasi, India, for four months, working for the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR). This organisation is concerned about child rights, women rights, torture, quality education etc. and the works include: programs to control child marriage, awareness program about safe motherhood, awareness on torture and abuse, give computer classes to Muslim children of Madarsa, etc. During his stay in the city, he hopes to get experiences in the above mentioned fields and be able to help people.
Pix from Nirmal
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