Service learning is an (international) experience where participants work together to meet a community need, and integrate that experience with educational objectives. Reflection and analysis are critical pieces, and reciprocity an underlying theme.
The country of Nepal has a new leader. A landslide victory by the Left Alliance in Nepal has ushered in the appointment of the 38th Prime Minister of Nepal, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli (KP Oli) on February 15, 2018. The Left Alliance made up of Oli’s Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the country’s other major Communist Party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) swept to victory in the country’s recent elections. Controlling all centers of power from the federal level all the way down to the provincial and local levels, Oli is viewed to have the best opportunity to lead Nepal into a new era of peace, stability and economic development.
I want to revisit a topic I blogged about a couple years ago exploring the idea of “treating a community like a patient”. Though I still agree with the philosophy, practice and experience have evolved my opinion on the matter.
In November 2015 I wrote as general advice (and specific advice to my future self):
“Trust in the innate capacity of the Nepalese people to heal their own communities. They may have been shaken, but they’re resilient and know what’s best for their families. Look for obstacles you can help to remove. Consider what tools and skills they’ll need to support their recovery. Empower them to take control of their own development.”
I’ll bet you agree that it is better to try then fail, than not to try at all. So my new skill I’m developing in 2018 is the ability to gracefully accept my failures at things I care about, then get right back up to try again. AKA getting good at being bad at good stuff. Needless to say, the ultimate objective is to overcome that initial troublesome hurdle on your path to pursuing any worthy goal. What makes the leap so scary you’d rather just not go there? What stops you from being bolder in your choices? That's the bit I'd like to chip away at this year.
Since 1990, Nepal has had 26 governments. Think about that for a minute. 26 different governments in 27 years. It is no great wonder why the people of Nepal have grown exhaustively accustomed to great instability that is stifling to economic development, infrastructure investment and any coherent strategy for moving forward. It is through that lens that we look at the current elections that usher in the formation of a new and hopefully stable government built on the principles of federalism to create the new Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.