After the selection of the new executive committee under the leadership of Deepak Raj Sapkota, the country director of Karuna Foundation, general assembly of the Association of International INGOs in Nepal gave it a mandate for two years to protect the interests of INGOs working in various parts of Nepal.
Having long experiences of working in the sector of INGOs and NGOs, Sapkota, who replaced Ashutosh Tiwari, is a well known person. With a membership of 113 International NGOs working in Nepal, the Association of International NGOs in Nepal, AIN, is a demanding organization with some big tasks before the new team. At a time when the government is bringing a new Foreign Aid Policy, AIN’s new team will have to start working with it.
On 10th June, the General Assembly meeting of the AIN appointed new Chairman Sapkota, the country director of Karuna Foundation. With more than 15 years of experience in the field of development, chairman Sapkota has already taken the charge from Ashutosh Tiwari, who completed his two years' tenure on the same day.
The new team includes Vice Chair Ms. Sarah Blin, the country director of Handicap International. Ravindra Shakya, country director of Restless Development, got selected as the Treasurer. Members include Lex Kassenberg, country director CARE Nepal, Shobhana Gurung Pradhan, director Britain Nepal Medical Trust, Sangita Nirola, country director Helpage International Nepal, Mark Galpin executive director United Mission to Nepal, Arun Rana, CEO Blueberry Hills Charitable Trust, Rajendra Mulmi, country director, Search for Common Ground, Sanjay Karki, country director Mercy Corps and Ang Phuri Sherpa, country director Red Panda Network.
The AIN Steering Committee (SC) comprises of eleven members who generally serve for two years.
With a membership of 113 INGOs, there are about 5,000 full-time employees in the development sector, carrying out humanitarian and development work in all 75 districts. “It was my privilege to serve the INGO community as the (volunteer) Chair of AIN for the past two years (2012-2014).
“Luckily, I was blessed to have 10 other colleagues -- all now good friends -- on the AIN Steering Committee, who head their own INGOs but selflessly volunteered their time, ideas, contacts and talents to come together as a one united team - to advance INGOs' values of equity, justice, inclusion, rights of the marginalized and so on in the public space, to liaise with our regulator (Social Welfare Council), - to work closely with donors, NGO groups, and with various senior government officials (at the Ministries of Finance, Women, Home, Local Development, Education and Health, and at the Planning Commission), - to clarify misconceptions that too often confound our media about INGOs' work, and to get together every so often for dinner, friendship and guff suff,” Tiwari said.
“This was a job in which personal/ professional influence, rather than some hierarchy-based authority, was the key to effectiveness. Special thanks to Lucky and Reshma for all their hard work behind the scenes at the AIN secretariat,” said Tiwari in his last statement.
As new chairperson Sapkota has been in the AIN’s executive body for last six years as executive members, he knows the difficulties and challenges before the INGOs and NGOs working in Nepal. Thus, the new team will be well on its way to work in protecting and promoting the interest of AIN members.