Strategy for Nepal
ICDP chair, Nicoletta Armstrong has recently been discussing strategy for Nepal with Heidi Westborg from HimalPartner, who has been a strong supporter and promoter of ICDP (on photo above in her office at HimalPartner).
On the 12th of October, on Heidi’s recommendation, HimalPartner organized a workshop at their Oslo premises to discuss ICDP strategy for Nepal. Apart from Heidi and Nicoletta, attendees included the ICDP international trainers Elsa Doehlie and Helen Christi, and HimalPartner colleagues involved in coordinating the ICDP project in Nepal.
In Nepal, ICDP training is funded by HimalPartner and the recipient of ICDP training is their local partner organization the Early Childhood Education Centre (ECEC). The project is in its second phase focused on creating a team of Nepali trainers capable of spreading the ICDP methodology to new groups of facilitators.
The main focus of the October meeting was on how to scale up ICDP in Nepal in a sustainable way and what would be the steps to achieve this. A strong national centre was envisaged as a coordinating body capable of providing, training, monitoring and research but also stimulating advocacy and mobilization campaigns aimed at organizations working in different sectors. The meeting agreed that the vision for ICDP in Nepal is to become a national program in the long term and ICDP and HimalParnter will continue to share their experiences on how to best achieve this.
After the workshop there was a meeting with a visiting professor from China, one of president Xi Jipings advisors who has been working on the identity issue of minority groups in China after the cultural revolution - an issue he considers crucial for ensuring stability in China. He gave a brief presentation of his main ideas and his programme for schools based on deep human values and afterwards he showed interest in the ICDP perspective as presented by Nicoletta.
HimalPartner was established in eastern Tibet in 1938 by the pioneers Edin C. Alfsen and David Westborg. Their work was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War, and then continued in the early fifties. HimalPartner has been working in Nepal on the development of hydro power, industry, education and health care. Since 1990, HimalPartner has also had projects in Tibet/China. Their aim is to strengthen local partners so that their work can have positive implications in the society as well for individuals. Their nurture a culture of respect for all people, regardless of faith and position in society and respect for nature, environment and local culture. HimalPartner workers speak local languages and have good knowledge of local cultures and contexts. Their efforts include protecting jungle areas, mountains and plains by cooperating with national and international organizations.
Heidi Westborg has been a long standing friend of ICDP. Heidi's commitment to ICDP started after she met Karsten Hundeide some fifteen years ago, immediately recognizing the value of a programme such as ICDP. Nicoletta first met Heidi after presenting ICDP at a Blue Cross conference in Brazil in 2008 and afterwards Heidi was instrumental in securing Blue Cross funding for the ICDP project in Lesotho, later developed with Karsten and Pedro Mendes (one of the founders of ICDP). In addition to her commitment to ICDP in Nepal, Heidi Westborg was the person who recommended ICDP to Magnus Aanestad from the Shincon organization in Kunming that is currently coordinating ICDP in China.