Canada Foundation for Nepal held its sixth Annual General Meeting on Friday, July 29, 2011 at the Ottawa Citizen Conference Centre. Members came out to get an update on the organization’s progress over the past year, discuss upcoming projects, and elect a new board. The event was emceed by Executive Member Geeta Thapa.
The annual report was delivered by Executive Director Dr. Pramod Dhakal, who flew back to Ottawa after moving his work on the Open University of Nepal (OUN) Initiative to Kathmandu last January. He spoke of the importance of the role that CFFN continues to play in developing the Open University with the Government of Nepal, the Non-Resident Nepali Association, and Athabasca University. Just before returning to Canada for a three-week stay, it was announced that the OUN Initiative would receive funding as part of the national budget, though the amount was not yet known.
Both Michael and Tineke Casey spoke of the Community Child Care Centre (4C) project and its first centre in Madi, which they will revisit this October. The general assembly discussed the importance of sustainability and possible ways the community could raise the funds needed to keep the centre in operation. This will become a key focus for the Madi Community Centre, now that construction is complete, and to continue as 4C grows in new villages.
In the next year, the content development and exchange initiative, titled USHA for Ushering our Shared Aspirations, will take on more of a focus. The initiative, from which OUNI developed, focuses on grade school-level content. Ben Wood presented the idea of using available distribution channels, like YouTube, to deliver video learning content. Using Khan Academy as inspiration, CFFN will create math tutorials specific to the grade 9 and 10 Nepali curricula. A demonstration of how it can be achieved, developed by Wood and Prashanta Dhakal, was part of the presentation.
At last year’s AGM, it was decided that CFFN would transition into a charitable organization. Pradeep Sharma, who also presented the financial and auditor reports, announced that CFFN has submitted all documents and applications in order to achieve charitable status.
During open discussion, ideas that came up included the future of CFFN Radio, Himalayan Heartbeat, CFFN’s cultural programme, and working with other organizations to send children to school. These are all causes that the organization is ready to either revive or explore if the right leaders are interested in spearheading their development.
As the AGM closed, a new board was elected. New positions were created in order to grow the organization, including Directors of Fundraising, Research, Education and Publications. Pramod Dhakal stepped down as executive director in order to focus on OUN. Govinda Dahal was elected to succeed him in this role. Prashanta Dhakal was elected as deputy director.
The following people were elected into these roles:
- Dr. Govinda Dahal, Executive Director
- Prashanta Dhakal, Deputy Director
- Bishwa Regmi, Executive Secretary
- Geeta Thapa, Treasurer
- Drona Rasali, Director, Open University of Nepal Initiative and Education
- Tineke Casry, Director, Community Child Care Centre (4C)
- Ben Wood, Director, USHA
- Dr. Ishara Mahat, Director, Research
- Ishwar Dhungel, Director, Publications
- Robin Pudasaini, Director, Fundraising
- Dr. Bharat Shrestha, Executive Member