Project #4319

Train and Activate Inspired Leaders in Nepal

by The Jean Houston Foundation
Devaka ji sharing women
Devaka ji sharing women's empowerment initiative

Devaka ji comes to visit at ICA Nepal with a few packets of paun (spiced dried fruits). The paun not only sells here in the Nepali market but is also sold in international markets. With locally grown plants, which actually grows in abundance in Changu the women of this progressive women’s group has changed the definition of ‘household women’.

Devaka ji, as much as she looks to be just another woman of a typical Nepali society, she is pushing the limits of the Nepali social construct for women. She continues to champion women and their possibilities to be more, to matter. This is why she has a bigger fish in her basket when it comes to achievements. Always enthused to work for community and its people, Devaka ji came in contact with ICA Nepal and is participating in various leadership trainings, devoting herself to community development and women empowerment.

She finished her SLC when other women her age were planning a family and she was not only planning her family but also planning the ways in which the women in her community along with her could prosper. Today she is the president of Chinnamasta Women Saving and Credit Cooperative Society Pvt. Ltd, which was a joint effort of Ms. Shrestha and ICA Nepal but mostly her determination. It has more than 800 members out of which 750 are active female members and has around 30 million transactions annually. The cooperative is now the leading financial institute in the area playing a major role in local development.

Before, the women in her village were limited to households, illiterate and considered themselves as weaker to their counterparts. But today changes can be observed in perception and practices. Women now are actively involved in income generating activities, such as tailoring, sewing clothes, making toys and dolls, pickle making and actively participate in community development activities such as taking care of the drinking water system; member of saving and credit programs etc.

She adds, “Male counterparts in my village have started appreciating the importance of women and therefore started welcoming the suggestions and participation of women in all spheres of life.

Your gifts are helping so many women in Nepal like Devaka ji. Thanks to you, Nepal and the world is a better place.

Women empowering women
Women empowering women
Participants and Trainers Gather
Participants and Trainers Gather

You have been supporting the work of our Nepali trainers to pepare leaders to help build their nation, and their work is even more crucial since the setback of major earthquakes.  We hope this report will give you a glimpse of some of that work, and how your support makes such a difference.

ICA Nepal, with the support of Jean Houston Foundation, conducted a two-day Social Artistry Leadership training in which the participants were leaders from four development organizations working with disabled people in communities. The training was conducted September 16-17.2015, in the building of ICA Nepal near Kathmandu with 22 enthusiastic participants. The participating organizations were:

1. Entire Power in Social Action (EPSA),

2. National Integrated Blind Development Association (NIBDA),

3. Creative group of “little” women,

4. Disabled Service Centre (DSC)

The major objective of this training was to develop creative leadership qualities among participants and enhance their psychological ability to achieve personal and organizational goals. Various exercises were carried out to help participants enhance their inner power of creative imagination and concentration. They had the opportunity to more fully apply the skills they were learning to strengthen their visions and goals. The facilitators were Dr. Tatwa Timsina, Mr. Atma Ram Timsina, Mr. Amba Datta Bhatta, and Ms Pramila KC.

The second day the participants remembered and shared moments of joy in their lives. It helped to teach them that amidst all the chaotic moments in life, 2 minutes of relaxation and remembering a happy moment will help to calm, be optimistic, and enhance the will power to face any adverse situation in life. They engaged in deep listening and story telling to learn the importance of listening deeply to others. One of the participants shared, “ Now I know that listening carefully to someone tell their story without judgment is an important quality for me as a leader.”

One of the most enjoyable and significant parts of the training was the Hearing Praises exercise where participants were divided into three per group. Each participant shared their personal goals and their partners whispered in each ear motivating words especially in support of their self confidence, reaching their goals, etc. This helped participants to feel stronger and more positive, and they also realized the powerful effect of motivating words.

This training was an important step to prepare community leaders to work with the handicapped people in their communities to help them recover from the trauma of the earthquakes, to cope with the loss of their homes and to go on in life with hope and vision.

Giving Praises Exercise
Giving Praises Exercise
Leaders making commitments to their visions
Leaders making commitments to their visions
Gaining Skills to Create Small Businesses
Gaining Skills to Create Small Businesses

ICA Nepal is working with Nepal Cloth Merchant and Tailoring Association (NCMTA), realizing the need to help people, citizens and leaders alike, to bring new mind to bear upon social change. NCMTA is working for inner capacity building, skill enhancement and empowerment of cloth merchants and those who are in involved in the tailoring business. Almost every village in Nepal has one or more members of the association.

Since 2010, NCMTA has been in collaboration with ICA Nepal in developing leadership of its associates using Social Artistry Leadership Training as one of the major tools/components for skill development of their members.

In 2013, a successful 2-day training was conducted in Nawalparasi district for members of NCMTA, where more than 70 participants participated. Among them, 58 were females and rest were males. The Social Artistry training was conducted prior to the 7-day design training. NCMTA team reported their members’ performance excelled in the design training because the Social Artistry Training tapped their inherent capacities for greater imagination, compassion, and resolve.

 In 2014 May, NCMTA Bhakatapur district hosted a 2-day Social Artistry Training for the members of Bhakatpur,, Lalitpur and Kathmandu Districts, with similar successful to previous trainings.

In June 2014, the 2-day Social Artistry Training was conducted by  NCMTA Dhaulagir Zone, where 55 participants from tailoring sector participated from three districts of Baglung, Magdi and Parbat. Among 55 participants, 25 were women tailoring entrepreneurs. The president of NCMTA Baglung Committee, Mr. Tejendra Bahadur Pariyar, expressed that " we are thankful to ICA for conducting such a leadership training comprising various tools that really changed the way we look at ourselves. The participants enjoyed the training and were highly motivated by the interpersonal skills they learned for themselves and for leadership in their work.

 NCMTA is using Social Artistry tools to bring new focus, perspectives, skills and fresh vision to its members, cloth and tailoring entrepreneurs. ICA Nepal’s coordination with NCMTA is an opportunity to work in a new paradigm with NCMTA in the development of capacities, skills and potentials, choices and commitments. We are just beginning to implement 2015 ICA and NCMTA plans to reach as many numbers of participants as possible and to develop social artists who can seek innovative solutions to troubling conditions and challenges. 

We would like to acknowledge each of you who continues to support the community building work in Nepal through training leaders throughout the country.

Tailer's Association District Training

The Social Artistry Leadership journey in Nepal that began in 2004 so far has been innovative and enlightening. ICA Nepal’s initiative to incorporate a Social Artistry approach in all its ventures now has been established on a regular basis. Here are some of the examples from 2014 that have changed lives and organizations for the better.

Social Artistry Training for Social Mobilizers, GIZ

Social Artistry Leadership Training was provided to social mobilizers nominated from GIZ. The course was a 12-day capacity building training for the mobilizers.The Social Artistry Leadership sessions were reported to be very effective and enlightening for the participants especially the “Deep Listening” exercise. The facilitators for the training were Atma Ram Timsina and Pramila K.C.

Social Artistry Orientation for PhD Scholars

On a regular basis Social Artistry orientations for PhD scholars are being conducted. The objective of this orientation is to present the basic concept of Social Artistry: how social artists help others to realize their innate personal qualities and understand the responsibility of personal and social transformation.

Social Artistry Leadership Training for Entrepreneurs, NCMTA

A two-day training was conducted at Nagarkot. The total number of participants was 23 who represented the executive committee of Nepal Cloth Merchant and Tailoring Association of Bhakatapur, Lalitpur, and Kathmandu districts.

Social Artistry Leadership Training for Differently Abled, BB Trust Network

With an objective of innovative application of the Social Artistry approach in wider scale, a workshop for various organizations working in the sector of differently abled was designed. Representatives of more than 15 organizations participated in the workshops.

Social Artistry Leadership Training for Educators at DAV School, Glen Buds and Oracle Ray Schools.

A two-day workshop for schoolteachers, mentors, and coordinators of DAV school was conducted. About 40 educators participated in the program along with the principal. The feedback for the training was quite positive. Similarly, half-day workshops were designed and delivered for teachers of Glen Buds and Oracle Ray Schools. The sessions were facilitated by Janet Sanders, Loren Weybright and Pramila KC.

Social Artists Get Together

Over the years of successful facilitations and teaching and learning experiences, it has been realized that a get-together of Nepali social practitioners and social artists is a must. Hence, an interaction program was arranged and invitations were sent to all the past associates. Overwhelmingly, most of them visited and attended the program where they shared their experiences and how they have been using the Social Artistry approach in their fields and lives. This was on the occasion of Janet Sander’s visit to Nepal, who is the international coordinator for Social Artistry and has supported the growth of Social Artistry leadership training in Nepal since its inception.

Social Artistry Micro Grants Projects

  • Social Artistry Orientation to School Youths – Gardening and landscaping in school
  • Social Artistry Leadership to Progressive Women’s Group – support to produce sanitary napkins.
  • Social Artistry Sanitation and Hygiene Campaign, Changu Narayan
  • Dental Camp at Changu Narayan Bhaktapur. More than 180 people participated in the program.
Jan Sanders leads group in leadership development
Jan Sanders leads group in leadership development

This is a special thank you and update to all of you who supported our recent fundraising effort for work in Nepal. Some of you have contributed over and over to help the Social Artistry work move forward in Nepal. Two years ago the Nepali social artists asked that we help them get a real foothold and ongoing momentum for the Social Artistry work there. They believe that if we could support with $3600 a year for three years, there would be a strong enough contingent of trainers there and sufficient people with knowledge of Social Artistry to continue on their own.

During the end of the first year, we witnessed the formation of a team of 8 in Nepal to manage and train. A couple of the trainers came to the US for training during that first year as well. Janet Sanders continues to do training there, and this year Kris Harrington accompanied Janet to Nepal to train and support. What emerged this year is the need now to translate the trainer's manual, which is estimated to cost $1200.

Thanks to the support from all of you, we will be sending $1,400 to complete this year's commitment to the $3,600 for this year. We will send $900 for the first quarter of 2015, and we will send $600 toward the funding of the manual translation work.

In appreciation for you being the support.

Participants learn leadership skills
Participants learn leadership skills

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Organization Information

The Jean Houston Foundation

Location: Ashland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Peggy Dean
Executive Director
Ashland, OR United States
$15,347 raised of $60,000 goal
191 donations
$44,653 to go
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