Nepal - RICOD

 Nepal – Rural Institution for Community Development

Organization:Rural Institute for Community Development (RICOD)

The Rural Institution for Community Development (RICOD) is a non-profit and non-governmental, social organization working with children, youth and women in the areas of basic health, education, disaster management, peace, development, food security and nutrition in Nepal since 1994. It was established with the fundamental aim to empower women, youth and children to fulfill their human rights by organizing and empowering them through participatory processes. The organization works to raise awareness and enhance women, youth, and children's access to basic health services and nutrition, support early childhood development and basic education, empower youth to engage in social transformation that enables them to work for dignified, peaceful families and communities, support focus groups to improve livelihoods through environmentally friendly agriculture and non-agriculture interventions. RICOD also works on disaster risk management for women, children and youth. Altogether, there are 22 full-time staff, 21 peer educators, and a variety of both national and international inters working at RICOD. Anyone applying for an internship with RICOD must be willing to work within these core organizational values:

Dignity and Justice:RICOD respects the dignity of every person and supports vulnerable communities in their efforts to achieve justice, human rights and sustainability for the human families

Commitment and Patience: RICOD is committed to people at risk. They believe and acknowledge the need for sufficient time for the achievement of the desired changes

Inclusiveness and Participation: RICOD believes that change is a collective effort. In the organization and in its programs equal opportunity is given to people of all sex, caste, ethnicity, religion and political conviction

Accountability and Transparency:RICOD cares about transparency in its work and financial transactions by applying appropriate systems to ensure accountability and transparency

Environmental Sensitivity: The activities of RICOD will help to promote the environment or it will not deteriorate the environment, meaning that their activities will be directed towards environmental protection including the practice of protecting the environment, on individual, or organizational levels, for the benefit of the natural environment and (or) humans

Project Summary:

RICOD is currently implementing two projects in 13 wards of Nepal's Lalitpur District, covering the semi-rural and rural areas of Lalitpur. RICOD has been implementing projects on nutrition and food security since its establishment in 1994. The Improving Mother and Child Nutrition Project in rural  Lalitpur is the existing project being implemented with the support of the Canadian Food Grains Bank and Mennonite Central Committee. The project aims to improve the nutritional health of women and children under the age of 5. 

The Earthquake Response project is the other existing project that is supported by the Mennonite Central Committee and implemented in 5 wards of Lalitpur. The main objective of this project is to support the construction of earthquake-resistant houses and improve livelihoods of marginalized families affected by the earthquake.

RICOD Program Support Intern (4 Positions):

Interns will be placed both in RICOD's head office as well as in the project areas. Within the four months of cycle they will assist RCOD's staff and will contribute based on their respective expertise, experiences and also on their interested thematic areas.  Interns will work in collaboration with the field level staff and also the peer educators of the implementing projects. The most specific work that interns will be performing in the community will be discussed prior to their departure to the field. As to their interest, they have an opportunity to work in collaboration with the schools, mothers group, children and also the young people on different themes. Interns can jointly make plan with partner organization on choosing the thematic areas as to the existing projects. All intern's work should focus on maintaining RICOD's core values. 

When interns arrive they will be oriented about RICOD Vision, mission, goal and objective including its core values. They will be also facilitated with the Nepali language class of four hours per day, Sunday to Friday for four weeks. This would help them to understand some of the basic words and sentences. This learning will help them to create favourable environment of adjustment being within their host families and also when they are in the field level activities. This language class will be helpful to them to build relationship and understanding different people of different communities. To get the most out of the class, interns are expected to refrain from mobile use and give full attention to instructor.This language skill will support them to have proper communication wherever they are engaged within the community or being within the country. There are different castes, cultures and religions in Lalitpur. So this skill will support interns to create an opportunities to increase cross cultural learning as well.

The interns will be given the calendar of the project cycle. Project planning for the cycle will be shared and discussed with them. This will be an opportunity to interns to revise the activities or to choose the thematic areas that they are interested to work on. During this planning they will be discussed on the need assessment. This will be helpful to interns to identify the needs of the community so that they could make plan of activity in collaboration with RICOD's existing projects. The need assessment orientation will be also helpful to RICOD to plan the different activities that are helpful for the communities and could be plan further in project plan. The need assessment period will be of three weeks, interns will visit the project areas. The field staff will support them to introduce interns with the geography and also with the different stakeholders in the community. They will have an interaction and meetings with them. During this period they will also visit the schools and meet children, teachers and other young people to make sure what could be the possible activities for them. Interns will have to prepare a need assessment report and submit to RICOD after they return from the field.

One month period of implementing their activities in the field will be the major highlights for the interns. Interns will be involved in the activities that they plan to work with. The activities differ as to the target people. If they identify needs to work with the students they will be placed in the school and if they prefer to work with the women and children they will be placed in the communities. Interns will decide which area they wish to work in once they complete the need assessment. Within one month time period interns will be able to understand the geography, the context and various aspects of the cultures. Further planning of the activities and strategy will be discussed project manager and advisor once intern shares the findings of the need assessment. 

It is only considered completion of project cycle when interns submit the final reports to the line manager. Interns will be shared with the reporting templates so that it will be helpful to maintain uniformity and consistency in the documentation. The report contains the major activities they performed within the time period, major progress, learning and challenges along self case study of an individual. The individual case study will help themselves to review the time spent and could be helpful to analyze if some skills or capacities have added on them. The progress or narrative report will be helpful for organization to hand over the progress or remaining activities if the upcoming interns would like to take up as an activity in the coming cycle. 

Required Skills/Characteristics:The internship team will need to collectively comprise of the following:

  • (Required) Able to adapt to new and different cultures
  • (Required) Ability to develop working relationships with RICOD staff members and community 
  • (Required) Inter-personal and strong communication skills 
  • (Required) Willingness to learn to communicate through language barriers
  • (Required)A strong interest or experience in

    • Agriculture, 
    • Environmental Sustainability, 
    • Social work or Social/Community Development,
    • Or a related field
  • (Required) Willingness to learn about international development theories, applications, and contributing themes
  • (Essential) Ability to travel on rough unpaved roads by public bus and/or motorcycle and walk for up to one day on steep trails getting to and from communities
  • Ability to relate to a wide variety of people from different cultural and religious backgrounds
  • Ability to actively engage in project planning
  • Fluency in English
  • Skills in writing and editing an asset
  • Confrontable with public speaking, giving presentations, and facilitating discussions
  • Ability to write proposals and reports
  • Ability to document program activities and community feedback 
  • In rural communities, very few people can communicate in English, so learning Nepali as an ongoing activity is very important for this assignment

Placement Characteristics:

RICOD’s main office is situated in Godawari Municipality ward #11, Chapagaon, Lalitpur. It lies to the south of Kathmandu valley, 8 km away from the Satdobato. RICOD has also established a project office in Mahankal Rural Municipality ward #3, Gotikhel, which is 45 km away from RICOD's main office. The interns will be staying with host families situated in Chapagaon and, while they will be based at the main RICOD office, the interns will also have the opportunity to travel to the project office and project areas in the remote part of Lalitpur district.   

The project areas are scattered, and most of the roads are rough and dusty, as only recently have roads and vehicles reached the project areas. Most travel is by foot. Limited public transportation is available, which the Intern should expect to use for field visits.  Temperatures will range from below freezing in winter to above 30o C in the hot season. While visiting rural areas, the Intern may not have cell phone communication due to lack of mobile network. 

Arriving in August will allow interns to be in Nepal for both Dashain and Tihar, 2 major religious festivals here in Nepal! Dashain takes place from October 6-11 and Tihar takes place from October November 27-30.

RICOD would love to work with someone who is filled with enthusiasm and carries a lot of creativity and initiative! Together interns will be working with communities to explore new ideas and innovations in community development. Interns will drive the projects forward with their creative ideas and will generate enthusiasm for the projects within the communities that RICOD works with.

Interns will be living with host families so it is essential that they work to maintain good relationships with the families and communities we live and work alongside. This will entail adjusting to the local context, community, and food. Interns will also need to be willing to learn the Nepali language and Nepali culture, which includes respecting different Nepali cultural values, through the duration of their internship.

Nepal interns

Cohort 1 interns Shanis Simon, Cory Nicotine, Violet Kimiksana and Kuduat Shorty-Henyu pose for a photo with RICOD program staff in Nepal.

Tags: Program 2019