As a Kidasha Trustee, I find myself humbled and inspired during my current visit to Nepal.
I am Elizabeth Waterman and I am delighted to share my thoughts from Nepal during Trustees Week 2023. My involvement with Kidasha began nearly 20 years ago, and my first programme visit was in 2006.
My professional background is as an Occupational Therapist and I have over 40 years of experience spanning various specialties, including paediatrics. I understand the pivotal role that early intervention and support play in a child’s life. It’s a perspective that profoundly resonates with Kidasha‘s focus on empowering disadvantaged children and families in Nepal.
As well as considerable healthcare expertise, I also have a range of business skills developed in the private sector which have enabled me to contribute a unique set of skills to the trustee role. My husband and I have been committed to raising funds for Kidasha since its inception, and in 2016, I joined the board.
“I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the impact of Kidasha‘s programmes firsthand. These experiences underscore the significance of the work we do as trustees advocating for the rights and well-being of vulnerable children.”
– Elizabeth Waterman, Kidasha Trustee at a community hub during a recent visit to Nepal
I am currently on my fifth extended trip to Nepal a country I feel a deep connection with. In the area where we live in Wiltshire, UK there is quite a large Nepalese population and my experiences with them have furthered my understanding of their culture and the challenges families face both in the UK and Nepal. During my visits, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the impact of Kidasha‘s programmes firsthand. These experiences underscore the significance of the work we do as trustees advocating for the rights and well-being of vulnerable children. One of the partner organisations I visited had prepared a timeline of all the projects since inception and it really brought home what a difference Kidasha has made over the years.
Our ability to get innovative projects off the ground and clearly show others the difference they make to children’s long-term future means that once proven they can be replicated in other areas. Our aim is always to get the local communities and local government to take ownership of projects and gradually withdraw our support once they can stand on their own.
One such example, is the Asha Health Clinic which was set up with one of our partners in 2004. At the time this was the only healthcare clinic serving the underprivileged population of the area with people travelling for days for treatment.
Above: Elizabeth Waterman, Kidasha Trustee, with staff and children outside Asha clinic in Pokhara, Nepal
A supportive gradual handover was made to the government in about 2016. There are now 24 such healthcare clinics spread across the area. This is just one example of the huge difference and improvement Kidasha has made to improve children’s lives and embed programmes into communities.
I also visited several other projects including a children’s cricket project which has clearly helped children learn many transferable skills in addition to playing cricket. To see their increased confidence and hear them talk of their hope for the future is wonderful. I have witnessed firsthand the transformation of young people’s lives after they become involved in community groups and our education programmes. Read more about how we recently celebrated success through sport.
My visit this time has reinforced the importance of trustee’s work in ensuring that Kidasha’s programmes continue to break the cycle of urban poverty and drive long-term systemic change.
As we celebrate Trustees Week 2023 it is good to remember that working together as trustees together with our staff and partners we can make a difference, inspire change and make the lives of children we work with in Nepal more fulfilling.
If you would like to know more about Kidasha’s unique approach please get in touch.
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