Irish Red Cross International Desk Officer Anna Marie O’Carroll is currently in Asia laying foundations for a new Irish Red Cross programme in Nepal as well as overseeing the conclusion of an Irish Red Cross programme in Indonesia. Anna Marie has sent us a brief update from the Nepal leg of the trip;
I have travelled to Nepal to finalise arrangements around a partnership between the Irish Red Cross and the Nepal Red Cross around a livelihoods programme which relates to helping create sustainable employment. The trip also gives me the opportunity to visit the proposed project implementation site and meet with key internal and external stakeholders.
On Sunday 10 February I met with Nepal Red Cross Secretary General Shakhwa. This was followed by meetings on Monday with the IFRC Head of Country Office Juj Kim, and Sarada, who is Head of the Community Development Programme Unit.
On Tuesday we travelled to Myagdi by car. While only 282km from Kathmandu, due to the condition of the road as well as general congestion, it took us 10 hours to reach Beni, the main town within the district. On Wednesday morning I met the District Board members and this was followed by an afternoon session with key district stakeholders such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Chief District Official, and representatives from disability organisations and SMEs.
Afterwards we travelled to one of the communities we have chosen to work in. This journey took three hours after experiencing unexpected road closures. The patience that Nepalese people have really is to be respected. I can see how in bad weather access to these communities is next to impossible due to the bad road infrastructure. In the community, we met with Sub Chapter members and also had a long meeting with community members, to provide them with an update on what we are proposing, seek their opinions and outline, from the outset, clear expectations from all sides. It’s clear the Red Cross garners huge support from community members and is a well-respected organisation.”
This week I am leaving Nepal for Indonesia where the Irish Red Cross has been implementing a two-year community-based disaster risk reduction programme. I will be able to monitor the programme's progress on my visit. I will also be visiting Central Sulawesi, Palu, where the recent earthquake and tsunami struck. This will provide me with the opportunity to discuss options around earmarking funds raised in the Indonesia Earthquake & Tsunami Appeal with the team on the ground.