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EduMala: A New Learning Experience

YPARD Nepal Members during the IYD celebrations

EduMala, by name Edu= Education and Mala=Connection; connecting people for educational purpose has become a garland of knowledge for us. One day I was surfing through internet for any conference or workshop where I can participate, interact with different people and get some new ideas and when i went through YPARD Nepal’s page i discovered the online mentoring program the group was organizing.

I applied to the program and I got selected along with 24 other participants. Initially, the organizer provided us with the necessary information and instruction about how to get engaged in this virtual platform and I became connected with all participants, organizers and mentors.

The third session of EduMala was my first experience of online study and participation in a webinar. I was excited to participate in this program and after participation it elicited more enthusiasm and eagerness to participate in more programs like these. I have a livestock background and the discussion topic “Managing Livestock Based Community Development Projects” was a walk in the park for me.

During those two weeks of program, we were properly guided by our mentors and organizers which rendered  the program contents simple and easy to understand. Exposure to webinars became very much exciting and it encouraged us to conduct such webinars in our place too and interact with different people on important issues.Reading materials, useful links and assignment provided to us were simple and very much effective. We got excited about starting community development projects, finding demand and supply gap, feasibility study for any type of commodity that can be chosen for livestock projects amoung others.

The discussion that I liked much was on the importance of value chain and role of different stakeholders in goat farming. It helped us to think about value chain, find key players of value chain and how we can make programs more beneficial for small holder farmer in the community. So, it is important to run projects which will help uplift small holder farmers of the community.

In Nepal, the problem of a majority of small-holder farmers seems to be with fear of possible risk in their farming. As such, they cannot go commercially and are not progressing. Minimizing risk of small-holder farmers is necessary to develop confidence of farmers and farming. To manage the risks of farming, community based insurance program will be beneficial and which is also being practiced by Heifer International Nepal.

After participating in this program, idea for developing livestock projects has been developed and confidence for working in livestock projects has increased. Our understanding regarding livestock development projects has broadened and critically thinking capacity has increased.

Last but not the least, I would like to suggest to the mentors and organizers if we can manage the webinar every week so it could be more interactive and lively. I recommend my friends and other learners to take part in this program which will provide us an opportunity to interact with different people in common platform and help to broaden our knowledge and skills.

I am very much thankful to our mentor- Dr. Dilip Bhandari and EduMala team, especially Dinesh Panday for providing an such opportunity and giving us something new. I hope to get a chance to participate in more programs organized by EduMala and wish for more success of the EduMala program in the coming days.