In my six months as an intern in CEAPRED, one of the finest NGOs in Nepal, I learnt about my country much more than I ever had without this experience. From the beginning of the internship, I found the size and reach of this Nepali organization as overwhelming. I initially took CEAPRED as an agricultural organization, but as I worked there, and became more at home with it, I understood how ignorant I had been. CEAPRED definitely specializes in the agricultural sector but its approach goes to improve thousands of rural lives, mainly the disadvantaged communities, including women.
Nepal has too many NGOs. Many are well established and are renowned for their work. CEAPRED has never been much in such limelight despite all the work it has carried out for over the past two decades. Thousands of people have been able to feed, clothe and educate their families after CEAPRED and its projects intervened in the deprived areas. Going through various firsthand data and success stories from the field made me learn how effectively beneficiaries have made their lives better. While, earlier, people lived just a hand-to-mouth and relied on labour in India to make some money, they no longer do that because agriculture is sufficient to now comfortably run their lives.
CEAPRED as an entity has been working to uplift people from all castes, creed, religion, region, language, ethnicity and gender, with around 170,295 families. As our country is wholly agriculture dominated, basing all its programmes and projects on agriculture is the best strategy for any NGO in Nepal to righty serve the nation to develop.
Interestingly, CEAPRED has links and support with diverse foreign donors and agencies. Not many NGOs in Nepal have such varied links and smoothly running and completed projects. As an intern, I recognized CEAPRED as the only NGO in Nepal to be so successfully working for humanity but with a very low profile for itself. In a country with more talks than works CEAPRED is an exception and my faith in this country with no path as of yet restored every time I got involved with the work of CEAPRED.
CEAPRED is much more than just an NGO. To the beneficiaries it is a savior which pulled them out of their constant impoverished lives by improving their food security and enabling them to change their agricultural pattern (from subsistence to commercial) with new improved technologies. Their produce is linked then with markets where they get paid more than they did in the past. I have personally come across self accounts where people confessed they could not eat sufficiently for more than three months from their lands of as much as 9 ropanis. They then relied on labor work or fell into debts. CEAPRED just taught them to utilize their land, which could simply become their source of luxurious lives thereafter. Also women farmers made way and their confidence increased along with their income. The destitute people in situations we cannot imagine became better-abled financially and socially. Now they tell how they eat healthy and nutritious food, send their children to school and clothe them all round the year. This is a significant accomplishment even the government cannot boast of achieving.
Despite thousands of stories like these, not many people know of CEAPRED, which, as I said earlier, is more than an organization. CEAPRED is the finest example of an NGO in Nepal. I can boldly assume it to be the best and the only NGO to actually do something to eradicate poverty. Such institutions sometimes help us ponder about the plight of the country and beam with some rays of hope for progress. In a country where nothing ever goes right, there are people working 9-5 to make lives of the rural poor better, trying to develop projects so that the poor can benefit and improve their hand to mouth lives.
I learned life a great deal after joining CEAPRED. As my internship period is almost over, I have nothing but hope for CEAPRED to continue doing what it is doing and help as many people that need help and try and recruit more interns like me who can proudly claim to be a part of CEAPRED family and see rural life like I did.