I’m not sure you’ve felt it yet, but I sure have: the seasons are a changing! The evenings are crisp, the leaves are brightening with fall color and the beers are darkening. For me, these times of change often spur reflection over past occurrences and a sense of eager anticipation at what is to come. Both personally and professionally, the first 9 months of 2016 have been filled with transitions – some positive and some not so much, but all propelling me forward. As I look ahead to closing this year, and what the final three months have in store, I felt it was a good time to share.
First, the coming of fall means that Dr. Erin Moore is heading to Nepal to oversee the Community Led Rebuilding Plan that ParticipAid is overseeing in the rural northern Nepal community of Laharepauwa. The work that she and our partners have done and continue to do in the service of the more than 700 families involved continues to amaze me. Without getting too much into the weeds, our trained group of local leaders have assessed their community’s areas of need and the assets and resources that they can contribute to achieving them. Following the earthquakes of spring 2015, the needs are seemingly unending, and creating an inclusive, thoughtful, comprehensive plan has been a great victory. Upon completion, the ParticipAid team worked with the local community to prioritize these needs and developed 27 action plans grouped into the 7 following groups: Education, Food Security, Physical Infrastructure, Health, Culture & Environment, Economy, and Water Sanitation Hygiene. These plans represent the future of these families, and it is the unyielding determination of Dr. Moore that has given them the opportunity to make their vision become their reality.
On a personal note, it is always very difficult to see her leave. It is a choice that we have made to ensure that the mission of ParticipAid will continue, and when I see her drive and the hope in her eyes, it fills me with pride and helps me to understand how impactful this service is to her. It is never easy, and the challenges that she attacks directly teach me the value of committed pursuit of a dream. I try to keep this lesson close to heart when I feel the demands of my choices are more than I can accommodate. As all things continually change, this gives me great confidence.
Finally, time brings change and time is finite. Choosing to use that time in the service of others is incredibly brave and there is an exponential impact on the value it provides. This is too often downplayed or forgotten, but it is true. Take time to remember this when you choose to use your time in service. For me, it is one of the things that motivates when the days are short and the alarm clock seems to pull me from slumber just a little too early.
In closing, I am proud of the work of everyone who has contributed to the progress being pioneered by ParticipAid and the people of a forgotten rural area in Northern Nepal. They are incredibly fortunate and thankful, and I share that through the connection with this team. Thank you and enjoy the fall colors!