Global Family Village, Inc

Global Family Village's (GFV) mission is to improve the lives and outcomes of orphaned and abandoned children.
Oct 30, 2016

Working Together 2016

Supporting One-another
Supporting One-another

Bungamati's Early Childhood Development program and the Family House are literally and figuratively side-by-side and supporting each other. We are so pleased to announce that since the devastating earthquake, both are, in many ways much stronger than ever before!

Construction of a new building for BFH: Another step towards self-sustainability

The earthquake-resistant new building of Bungamati Family House (BFH) is on the verge of successful completion. This building (in the center of the photo above, with the nursery school in the foreground) will be home to the children who have been living in a rented facility or hostel for last five years. The five-storied building will also be used for running BFH’s home-stay program, an IT-center and a library. The children are excited about moving into their new house and are patiently waiting for moving day. The Cooperative Society of Bungamati (CSB) is still actively searching for funds to complete the construction. The designated grandparents of the children have visited the site and are happy for their respective grandchildren. They are in full support for the construction of the new building and are eager to see the final outcome.

The Chairperson of CSB mentioned “although the new building is being built with challenges and struggles, it is sure to bring a fruitful result for all”. The principal of Tri Ratna Cooperative School said “the construction of the new building is an important initiative. It is an advantage not just for the children living in the family house but also would be an advantage for the school to improve its teaching-learning activities. Moreover, it’s a pride of the community at large”.

The construction of a new building for BFH has guaranteed the sustainability of the community-based care of orphaned and abandoned children--a model piloted by GFV in Nepal. We are planning to expand this model in other communities in the near future.

The Early Childhood Development Program (ECD)

GFV-N organized a study visit for early childhood teachers to three renowned early childhood development centers in Bhaktapur. All early childhood teachers and the officials of local project implementing partner participated. The study visit was organized as a part of GFV project’s ongoing capacity building initiatives. A total of 15 persons visited three different schools considered the best schools implementing ECD programs. The participants visited the day care, nursery and kindergarten sections of the schools, where they observed the classroom teaching and learning activities, and discussed with the concerned teachers and school authorities.

Refresher training program for ECD teachers

A one-day refresher training program for ECD teachers of Tri-ratna Cooperative School was organized on 25 August, 2016. The program was participated in by five teachers and the head teacher of the school. The training sessions included thematic approach of teaching-learning activities in early childhood classroom, preparation of children’s learning materials and discussion on the use of the materials developed Based on the teachers’ need with the guidance of the experts the participating teachers prepared four different materials—job chart, merit chart, birthday chart, news sharing chart. At the end, the teachers made a presentation on the purpose of preparing each material and methods of using them.

Anita, our child living at the House is pictured on the left of the above photo. She is helping the teachers in their preparations. This lovely young lady has been very helpful at the ECD classes, helping the staff and supporting the children. She wants to be a dancer when she grows up and practices and performs whenever the opportunities present themselves.

Moving Forward

GFV and GFV-N will continue to support the Bungamati community with technical support programs and initiatives. We would especially like to help revitalize the community's' HomeStay program that was so devastated by the earthquake. We are beginning a GlobalGiving page dedicated to Restoring HomeStay for 10 farmer women in the area.

Thank you all for your support. 

In gratitude - Freema Davis (GFV),  and Kishor Shrestha (GFV-Nepal)

Student teachers preparing materials
Student teachers preparing materials
All programs include management for greater impact
All programs include management for greater impact
Library at the Bungamati Family House
Library at the Bungamati Family House
Oct 28, 2016

Working Together 2016

Working together - side-by-side
Working together - side-by-side

Bungamati's Early Childhood Development program and the Family House are literally and figuratively side-by-side and supporting each other. We are so pleased to announce that since the devastating earthquake, both are, in many ways much stronger than ever before!

Construction of a new building for BFH: Another step towards self-sustainability

The earthquake-resistant new building of Bungamati Family House (BFH) is on the verge of successful completion. This building (in the center of the photo above, with the nursery school in the foreground) will be home to the children who have been living in a rented facility or hostel for last five years. The five-storied building will also be used for running BFH’s home-stay program, an IT-center and a library. The children are excited about moving into their new house and are patiently waiting for moving day. The Cooperative Society of Bungamati (CSB) is still actively searching for funds to complete the construction. The designated grandparents of the children have visited the site and are happy for their respective grandchildren. They are in full support for the construction of the new building and are eager to see the final outcome.

The Chairperson of CSB mentioned “although the new building is being built with challenges and struggles, it is sure to bring a fruitful result for all”. The principal of Tri Ratna Cooperative School said “the construction of the new building is an important initiative. It is an advantage not just for the children living in the family house but also would be an advantage for the school to improve its teaching-learning activities. Moreover, it’s a pride of the community at large”.

The construction of a new building for BFH has guaranteed the sustainability of the community-based care of orphaned and abandoned children--a model piloted by GFV in Nepal. We are planning to expand this model in other communities in the near future.

The Early Childhood Development Program (ECD)

GFV-N organized a study visit for early childhood teachers to three renowned early childhood development centers in Bhaktapur. All early childhood teachers and the officials of local project implementing partner participated. The study visit was organized as a part of GFV project’s ongoing capacity building initiatives. A total of 15 persons visited three different schools considered the best schools implementing ECD programs. The participants visited the day care, nursery and kindergarten sections of the schools, where they observed the classroom teaching and learning activities, and discussed with the concerned teachers and school authorities.

Refresher training program for ECD teachers

A one-day refresher training program for ECD teachers of Tri-ratna Cooperative School was organized on 25 August, 2016. The program was participated in by five teachers and the head teacher of the school. The training sessions included thematic approach of teaching-learning activities in early childhood classroom, preparation of children’s learning materials and discussion on the use of the materials developed Based on the teachers’ need with the guidance of the experts the participating teachers prepared four different materials—job chart, merit chart, birthday chart, news sharing chart. At the end, the teachers made a presentation on the purpose of preparing each material and methods of using them.

Anita, our child living at the House is pictured on the left of the above photo. She is helping the teachers in their preparations. This lovely young lady has been very helpful at the ECD classes, helping the staff and supporting the children. She wants to be a dancer when she grows up and practices and performs whenever the opportunities present themselves.

Moving Forward

GFV and GFV-N will continue to support the Bungamati community with technical support programs and initiatives. We would especially like to help revitalize the community's' HomeStay program that was so devastated by the earthquake. We are beginning a GlobalGiving page dedicated to Restoring HomeStay for 10 farmer women in the area.

Thank you all for your support. 

In gratitude - Freema Davis (GFV),  and Kishor Shrestha (GFV-Nepal)

Student teachers preparing materials
Student teachers preparing materials
Management & Staff on study visits
Management & Staff on study visits
New library at Bungamati Family House
New library at Bungamati Family House
Oct 28, 2016

Failing Forward

Bungamati Family House in Bungamati, Nepal
Bungamati Family House in Bungamati, Nepal

The (almost) completion of our pilot project in Nepal coincided with an invitation to submit an article for GlobalGiving on Failing Forward. So, as an addendum to my last Update I would like to gratefully acknowledge the opportunities that we had for growth and success, made possible because of our mistakes and failures!

As an American organization working in Nepal for almost 25 years we have made many mistakes, albeit with the best of intentions, and I believe that is what has allowed us to finally have a sustaining project in Nepal. One of the major faux-pas that we made was under-estimating the ability and power of community engagement.

What we were trying to achieve

Global Family Village was founded in 2007 with the purpose of creating a better model of care for orphaned and abandoned children in Nepal. How could we help children who didn't have proper parental care feel and benefit from the support of family and equally important, be part of a community? Yes, there are orphanages and group homes but those are institutions or donor dependent and separate from the rest of the neighborhood.

We knew that the answer for success and sustainability lay in the community playing a major role in the program. Our project design was that we would help the community with income-generating initiatives that would increase their financial status and that in turn would help support the children.

We drew up a planning blueprint of the 5-7 year project with plans for community involvement and participation at every step along the way. Ironically, we would find out– that was our big mistake.

Why the method failed

After agreeing to work together on behalf of the orphaned children living in the area, the community did not support the program as we expected. Aside from the available funding they seemed indifferent, and they actually had a different agenda in mind. This was never their project and as such it couldn't succeed.

Our mistake was that we didn't listen closely to the community in the first place. We should not have written our 5-7 year plan without them.  Many communities in Nepal are used to donors handing over money for projects the organizations design and decide is necessary for the village. Communities are accustomed to receiving the funds until the project is complete but they often don't take care of or interest in the program's upkeep or sustainability.  This was never their project and as such it couldn't succeed.

Lesson learned

Don't underestimate the community. To have a successful, sustainable project is to help a community by empowering them to accomplish, for themselves, what they know they want and need.  Learning from our past experiences the model was redesigned as a totally community-owned project. GFV would help financially in the beginning and each year the financial responsibility would shift until sustainability by year 5-7. We realized that if we wanted to help a community to take care of their orphaned and abandoned children, then that needed to be something that they wanted and would own. We could help them accomplish what they wanted because we had technical expertise and experience in social work, orphan care, child psychology, and community, business and school development. It would be their project and we would be their support team. We could help them take ownership and that way the whole community could benefit and the program would be sustainable.

When were approached by the Cooperative Society of Bungamati to help them implement our community model of care we were careful to listen carefully to what their needs and wants were, and made sure that we were aligned. We helped them form committees for each of the major components of the project, which we were invited to attend. (Early Childhood Development, Income Generation, Family Home, School Improvement, Community Support). We served as advisors but did not attempt to implement the project components. We kept in very close contact and monitored the program along the way to ascertain the progress being made towards meeting our mutual program and sustainability goals. 

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