SISTEER Study Group Session 7

During Session 7, we first listened to a sharing on the various natural resources available in Nepal and the challenges behind allowing for resources to be accessible to the Nepali people. One of the problems with effecting change within these communities is the problem of allowing solutions provided to the people to be sustainable. He made a compelling statement on how it is important to build relationships with local communities in order to understand their needs and difficulties when it comes to making solutions permanent and efficient. 

Further into the session, the team learnt about experiential learning tools, essential tools we would need when we venture into Nepal and learn in-depth about Nepali culture. Dr Kankana took us through that understanding different cultural competencies is essential in interacting with communities. We can bring about understanding by having both cultural humility and active listening.

Being humble and listening respectfully are the two things we must have imperatively if we were to engage and understand Nepali communities effectively.

Benson continued the session and shared about Asset-Based Community Development, a tool where we recognise that a community has its own capacities instead of deficiencies. It is up to us to see the different assets available and for us to be the bridge in empowering local communities through engagement.

To round up the session, Benjamin shared about the motivations behind Nepal Innovation Lab, one of the organisations we will be visiting in Nepal. What was borne from a motivation to contribute to national recovery and inspire the humanitarian and development sector is now an incubation platform to support effective humanitarian and development action. Some things we can look as we learn more about them in Nepal would be whether their work is applicable to Singapore’s context and whether it would be sustainable and effective. What an enriching journey it would be ahead.

Written by Stella