Julia Landers (Brazil)

“I was looking for an internship as part of my master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Uppsala University (Sweden) and I was very much interested in Nepal. The first opportunity I found in Google was JCYCN. I didn’t know much about it, neither anyone that was somehow involved in the organization, but I felt like it was a good challenge to embrace. I arrived on late August 2016 and was received in the airport by JCYCN president and his lovely wife. Since that day, I was not only part of the NGO team, but also of his family. And that makes all the difference when you are alone in a new different continent.

The organization office is located close to Kalanki, which in my opinion feels more like the real Nepal compared to the fancy areas where most of the international NGOs are. It is composed by three rooms and a toilet on the second floor of a small residential building. During my stay, I had one very sweet co-worker Sunita Neupane (the Program Officer), who helped me at every situation that needed and with whom I became good friends.

As an intern, my tasks varied a lot. I started by editing a few concept notes on programs and activities related to Child Marriage, Girls’ Empowerment through Sports, UNSC Resolution 2250 implementation, a Peace Concert Tour, and the UN Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights. The idea was also to search for funds and support to put them into practice. Therefore, for many times I was looking online for good partnerships with other organizations and foundations that had similar goals and might be interested to join forces with JCYCN for those specific projects. On the first week, I was invited as guest speaker by the Siddhartha Multiple College to talk about the “Role of Youth in Peace and Development” and to help in a “Cleaning Campaign and Water Distribution” during their weekend program. Later on, I also assisted in a Youth Club formation workshop and attended some special commemorative events on the National Children’s Day Celebration, International Peace Day, and the 5th International Day of the Girl Child.

Some other office tasks included the creation of “Token of Love” design and content to be given in important events for partner organizations; edition and creation of speeches to programs in which JCYCN was invited to discourse; press release on programs attended; research and application of JCYCN membership forms to other networks and  future partnerships; social medias promotion and updates; poster and content creation about special dates, news and topic related articles; update JCYCN president Curriculum Vitae and short biography; and formulation of JCYCN slides presentation for meeting with future international partner. Most of my office time, however, was dedicated to three main activities: formulation of JCYCN Profile 2016-2017, JCYCN Strategic Plan for 2017-2021; and complete reformulation of JCYCN website.

JCYCN kindly invited me to visit some different states in Nepal, which was definitely one of the best parts as I could see and directly support the field work. I visited Rasuwa district two times at one of the schools supported by the organization; first on the occasion of the National Children’s Day, second with the coordinator of Indigo Children Fund (UK) to show the progress of the building construction JCYCN is currently monitoring. Another field visit was to Kavre district, in a school and community affected by the 2015 earthquake; and to Pokhara, where JCYCN has some partner organizations. I also spent some time in Nawalparasi district, the location of JCYCN registered office and where we organized the first District Girls Summit and other programs.

Not only I traveled inside Nepal, but I also got the chance to travel around Asia. My first destination was India as a delegate at the Global Youth Peace Fest (GYPF); secondly, I went to Thailand to participate in the Regional Training Workshop on Post-Conflict Reconstruction & Development Management; and thirdly to Bangladesh as a delegate at the International Youth Summit.

In all these experiences I learned a lot about the importance of networking and good communication, as well as acquiring a better understanding on the challenges that small organizations face daily and how things really work on the third sector world. Moreover, I deepen my knowledge about my own skills and working preferences, being more aware of the kind of future job would better match my abilities, personality, and dreams.

I am very grateful to JCYCN for these five months internship. More than work related learning and experience, they supported me from finding an excellent home to encouraging my participation in many abroad and local opportunities. Big thanks also goes to the fact that they made sure I got involved in the Nepali amazing culture by inviting me to their personal family events and celebrations. One of my favorite memories was from Tihar Festival, in which I happily joined all the steps of their interesting traditions and felt part of something beautiful.

Hope to continue this relationship with JCYCN in the future in a way we can keep learning, sharing and supporting each other. All the best!”