I put down the phone after the BOD meeting in December and laid my head on the table. Three board members; Jane Sabin-Davis, Jiwan Giri and Sandeep Giri had just resigned…board members who brought clear insights, experienced guidance and passion to HEF . This was a large bitter pill to swallow along with the fear that we were partially crippled by the loss of these dedicated and talented individuals. Why did they resign? Each had their own reasons.

Change was on the horizon and HEF could either keep it’s head down or embrace new opportunity. All organizations go through change…it is important to remember criticism and change are opportunity for improvement. So this is a call to all our supporters and former volunteers…HEF is looking for individuals to serve on the board of directors. But before starting the process of reorganization I thought it would be helpful to hear from the resigning BOD members. I asked each resigning BOD member to tell me about their work for HEF and why they resigned. One, Jane Sabin-Davis who worked with Chitra Pun Field Officer on income earning projects, stepped forward and sent the following reply which I have edited for reasons of clarity and space with her approval:

“I have a long history of non profit work both in the US and in Nepal.  From 2000 to 2004 I worked in the Khumbu region and beginning in 2005 I served on the Board of Directors of the Himanchal Educational Foundation.  Serving on a non-profit board in the US that operates in Nepal is a challenging adventure.  In both non-profits I struggled meshing western expectations, such as having clear guidelines, fiscal transparency, and person-to-person clear communication with Nepali expectations.  What I discovered is that there are Nepali organizations that understand the benefit of typical western operations and are invested in these values and many individuals and organizations that operate using typical Nepali customs that have worked for centuries.  It is important that you find what fits with your values.”

“While serving on the Board of Directors, I primarily worked with Chitra Pun to support the income producing projects in Nangi.  Chitra was hired by the HEF board; his job responsibilities were to support long established projects like the paper making and to further new projects such as cross breeding… I was the designated supervisor of Chitra but the community of Nangi was also his supervisor.  This resulted in Chitra getting multi messages from each side of the Pacific and ended up with a very confusing situation

“When you think about joining the HEF board or other international boards, make sure that you clearly understand the mission, vision and established expectations. I joined this board to help increase the quality of life in Nepal by helping the villagers become self-sufficient through the income producing projects.  It was my belief that if we teach skill sets, the community members would have their own income sources and not be reliant on the influx of western donations.

I would encourage any potential board members to learn as much as possible; you will need to be willing to spend time in Nepal, to learn about their culture and community, and to find how your expertise fits with the needs of Nangi.

I left the HEF Board due to differences in vision and am putting my skills to work with three local non-profits in Bend. Oregon.”

If you are interested in joining HEF BOD please contact Dr. Debra Stoner debra@himanchal.org We are looking for individuals with accounting experience, computer technician skills such as web design and blogging and NGO income earning project experience. Even if you do not fit this profile but feel you have a skill set that would blend with our mission please email and we can discuss your ideas.

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