DROP, COVER & HOLD!

Do you know what to do if an earthquake occurs? If yes, please share your experiences with your family, friends, neighbours and local community. If not, don't worry - because the youth teams' coordinator, Bishal Bhattarai, would happily demonstrate and explain the most important rules to remember in the videos below.

The rules on what to do if an earthquake occurs (in Nepali)

In English: Before an Earthquake:  1. Be prepared to act. Know how to act so your response is automatic. Identify safe places in your work area to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On.’ Know at least two ways to exit the building safely after an earthquake. 2. Stock up on emergency supplies. Keep the basics: flashlight, first-aid kit, whistle, gloves, goggles, blankets and sturdy shoes. Coordinate supplies with your work group or department. Plan as if food and water may not be available for about 24 hours and other supplies for up to 3 days. 3. Arrange your work area for safety. Make sure that bookcases, large file cabinets and artwork are anchored. Store heavy objects on low shelves. Store breakable objects in cabinets with latches.  Use normal work order process to get furniture anchored. During an Earthquake:  4. Remain calm as the quake occurs – others will respond to your actions. A cool head can prevent panic. If you are indoors when the shaking occurs, stay there. Move away from windows and unsecured tall furniture. Drop, cover and hold on under a desk, a table or along an interior wall. Protect your head, neck and face. Stay under cover until the shaking stops and debris settles. 5. If you are outdoors, move to an open area away from falling hazards such as trees, power lines, and buildings. Drop to the ground and cover your head and neck. After an Earthquake:  6. Remain calm and reassuring. Check yourself and other for injuries. Do not move injured people unless they are in danger. Use your training to provide first aid, use fire extinguishers, and clean up spills. In laboratories, safely shut down processes when possible. 7. Expect aftershocks. After large earthquakes, tremors and aftershocks can continue for days. 8. Be ready to act without electricity or lights. Know how to move around your work area and how to exit in the dark. Know how to access and use your emergency supplies. Be aware of objects that have shifted during the quake.   9. If you must leave a building, use extreme caution. Continually assess your surroundings and be on the lookout for falling debris and other hazards. Take your keys, personal items and emergency supplies with you if safe to do so. Do not re-enter damaged buildings until an all-clear is given. 10. Use telephones only to report a life-threatening emergency. Cell and hard-line phone systems will be jammed. Text messages take less band width and may go through when voice calls can’t be made.

In English:

Before an Earthquake:
 1. Be prepared to act. Know how to act so your response is automatic. Identify safe places in your work area to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On.’ Know at least two ways to exit the building safely after an earthquake.

2. Stock up on emergency supplies. Keep the basics: flashlight, first-aid kit, whistle, gloves, goggles, blankets and sturdy shoes. Coordinate supplies with your work group or department. Plan as if food and water may not be available for about 24 hours and other supplies for up to 3 days.

3. Arrange your work area for safety. Make sure that bookcases, large file cabinets and artwork are anchored. Store heavy objects on low shelves. Store breakable objects in cabinets with latches.  Use normal work order process to get furniture anchored.

During an Earthquake:
 4. Remain calm as the quake occurs – others will respond to your actions. A cool head can prevent panic. If you are indoors when the shaking occurs, stay there. Move away from windows and unsecured tall furniture. Drop, cover and hold on under a desk, a table or along an interior wall. Protect your head, neck and face. Stay under cover until the shaking stops and debris settles.

5. If you are outdoors, move to an open area away from falling hazards such as trees, power lines, and buildings. Drop to the ground and cover your head and neck.

After an Earthquake:
 6. Remain calm and reassuring. Check yourself and other for injuries. Do not move injured people unless they are in danger. Use your training to provide first aid, use fire extinguishers, and clean up spills. In laboratories, safely shut down processes when possible.

7. Expect aftershocks. After large earthquakes, tremors and aftershocks can continue for days.

8. Be ready to act without electricity or lights. Know how to move around your work area and how to exit in the dark. Know how to access and use your emergency supplies. Be aware of objects that have shifted during the quake.  

9. If you must leave a building, use extreme caution. Continually assess your surroundings and be on the lookout for falling debris and other hazards. Take your keys, personal items and emergency supplies with you if safe to do so. Do not re-enter damaged buildings until an all-clear is given.

10. Use telephones only to report a life-threatening emergency. Cell and hard-line phone systems will be jammed. Text messages take less band width and may go through when voice calls can’t be made.

Thanks for sharing and following our blog! Leave a comment here or follow us on our Facebook profiles:  Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat.

 

Cheers! Camilla

YOU GUYS ARE LUCKY

When I leave from Norway to work in the field, I'm often very excited about my colleagues. I ask questions like: Whom are the persons I will be work with? Are they nice? Are they direct? Will we be capable of working together? Well, the questions in my mind are many. My gut feeling is always scratching, my expecations often increase and I always do some information checking in advance (yes, I admit that I am one of those who do that). When we first arrived in Nepal we met our national coordinator, Bal Krishna Sedai Sir. He works at the Red Cross headquater in Kathmandu and has a lot of experience in organizational development. He was the one that gave us an introducation our first week in Kathmandu - and is the person that we inquire for advices.

Furthermore, when you work as youth delegate one have a leader in the district one are working in. This leader is our local contact person (hereafter LCP). This is a person employed by the National Society, one that knows the organization and context very well and is a person that will work very closely with the activities in the field. The LCP gives advices and contribute with insight on issues we don't have knowledge about. She or he has the local knowledge - while we often contribute with the knowledge from our national society. Together we work to reach our goals with the youths. 

Photo of our LCP Kiran Kari.  Photo by:  Camilla Rodø

Photo of our LCP Kiran Kari.  Photo by:  Camilla Rodø

In Nepal we have been fortunate to get to know our LCP, Kiran Karki. Kiran has worked 16 years in the Nepal Red Cross. He was also the LCP for the former youth delegates, Jonas and Eline, who worked and lived in Dharan from 2014-2015. Kiran, as we know him, is a very humble person. As the only one with extra responsibility in our district chapter office, he often works extra. This might be because he always say yes to help - which often means that he set aside his own things on the agenda.  

Most of the people in Dharan knows Kiran really well – and as many has referred to “you guys are very lucky to work with Kiran”. And yes, we know! We could not asked for a better local contact person.

Is there anything that we have learned about Kiran is that the loves tea. However, this applies to all Nepalis. If there is one thing we have learned in Nepal it is the importance of tea (with a LOT of sugar). If you want participants to come on time, you must order some tea. You can not have a snack without tea. Breakfast is tea. Lunch is tea. Dinner might also be tea. And if you want to socialize, then go and drink tea.

Anyways, now I have to go and drink some tea (trying my best to integrate). Please keep following me and Camilla on Facebook to be updated on our work. This week we will also be on Snapchat, so you are welcome to add “rodekors.no” on snapchat and get a insight to our work in the field.

Lots of love from,

Thanuya  

 

YOUTH TEAM 2017/2018

To all of our readers out there; please welcome and say hi to our Youth Team in Sunsari District Chapter, Nepal! This fantastic group of inspiring and motivating youths were elected on the 11th of November 2017 by other Red Cross youth volunteers in the district.

This youth team is using their leisure time to take extra responsibility to do something good for their neighbourhood, school, community and district. Together we are working towards the goal of being everywhere for everyone in Sunsari District Chapter. 

Coordinator, Bishal Bhattarai.

Bishal was a member of the previous youth team in 2014-2015. He has many years experience of volunteering and wants to learn more advanced first aid training - in order to provide other volunteers first aid training.

Bishal Bhattarai.  Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Bishal Bhattarai.  Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Treasurer/Accounter, Yogesh Giri.

Yogesh has experience from speaking in radio and education in budgeting and management. He look forward to increase his knowledge in the Red Cross movement and to train volunteers. He also has a big eager to learn more about how one can develop income generating activities to meet the needs in the community.

Yogesh Giri. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Yogesh Giri. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Trainer, Tripura Bhandari.

Tripura is great in public speaking, and have a lot of experience in the Red Cross. Her clear and strong voice is essential when disseminating about the Red Cross Movement, values and principles. She is eager to learn more about different Red Cross activities.

Tripura Bhandari. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Tripura Bhandari. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Trainer, Kiran Tiwari.

Kiran has a lot of  experiences in the Red Cross and is a guy that never says no to anything - which means that he always has something to do. Kiran look forward to develop his skills in participatory methods in a Red Cross context.

Kiran Tiwari. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Kiran Tiwari. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

Member, ASMITA Balkumari KHATRI. 

Asmita Balkumari  has a lot of experience in the Red Cross. She was also a member of the previous Youth-Team in 2014-2015.  She has a lot of experience in training in sexual/young health, first aid, climate change and orgaization development. She hope to develop more knowledge and skills in the Red Cross movement.

Asmita Khatri Balkumari. Photo by: Camilla Rodø

Asmita Khatri Balkumari. Photo by: Camilla Rodø

Member, Subodh Dotel.

Subodh has experience as a Red Cross youth. Furthermore, he is good in training children, and working with youths. Subodh is eager to develop skills in first aid training to teach his own youth Red Cross circle and community.

Subodh Dotel. Photo by: Camilla Rodø 

Subodh Dotel. Photo by: Camilla Rodø 

youth team 2017/2018 together with the youth delegates

Photo taken by Shivaram Khadka. From left, Subodh, Tripura, Thanuya, Balkumari, Bishal, Kiran, Yogesh and Camilla.

Photo taken by Shivaram Khadka. From left, Subodh, Tripura, Thanuya, Balkumari, Bishal, Kiran, Yogesh and Camilla.

Thanks for sharing and following our blog! Leave a comment here or follow us on our Facebook profiles:  Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat.

 

Cheers! Camilla

Merry Christmas!

(Scroll down for English)

क्रिसमस। क्रिसमस साँच्चै के हो? यो पर्व ईसाई परम्परा संग जोडीको छ - र नर्वे एक ईसाई देश हो, त्यसैले यस चाडलाई नर्वेमा हर्षउलासका साथ मनाईन्छ। नर्वेमा क्रिसमसलाई महत्वपूर्ण चाडका रुपमा हेरिने भएकाले यस चाड मनाउनको लागि एक महिना अघि देखि तयारी सुरु गरिन्छ। यस चाड मनाउन बिभिन्न किसिमका केकहरु बनाउनुका साथै घर सरसफाई गरि विभिन्न किसिमका रंगीबिरंगी बत्तिहरुले सझाऊने गरिन्छ साथसाथै क्रिसमस रुखलाई पनि रंगीबिरंगी र कागजका खेलौना राखी सझाइन्छ। परिवार,आफन्त र साथीभाइहरु सग क्रिसमस पार्टीमा जन्ने गरिन्छ(जस्लाई नोर्वेजियनमा "ज्युल्डबोर्ड" भनिन्छ) अनी आफ्ना नजिकका मानिसहरुलाई उपहार दिई एकआपसमा शुभकामना साटासाटा गरिन्छ

यस चाडमा डिसेम्बर महिना लागे सगै क्रिसमसका दिनहरु गन्ने चलन समेत रहेको छ 24 डिसेम्बर लाई क्रिसमस इभ भनिन्छ, साथै यस साझलाई नर्वेमा चमत्कारि साझका रुपमा लिन्छन्। यस चाड मनाउन विभिन्न ठाउँमा बस्दै आएका परिवार,आफन्त र साथीभाईहरु भेला भइ विभिन्न खाले क्रिसमस चलचित्रहरू हेर्ने,मिठोमिठो खानेकुराहरु खाने, आफुले पाएको क्रिसमस-गिफ्टहरु खोल्ने र क्रिसमस रूखमा गइ त्यसको वरिपरि घुम्ने गरिन्छ । यस पर्वलाई नेपालमा सेप्टेम्बर महिनामा मनाईने दशैं र तिहार चाड सग तुलना गर्न सकिन्छ।

यस ब्लग पोस्ट लेख्दै गर्दा हामी क्रिसमस र नयाँ वर्ष मनाउन श्रीलंका र भारत को यात्रामा रहन्छौ।जहाँ हामी आफ्ना परिवार,आफन्त र साथीहरू सग भेटघाट गरि उनीहरु सग मिठामिठा खानेकुरा खाई रमाइलो गर्दै हाम्रा छुट्टीका केहि  दिनहरु उनीहरु सगै बिताउछौ।

आशा गर्छौं हजुरहरुले यसरी नै हाम्रो ब्लग पोष्टलाई २०१८ मा पनि पढी सल्लहासुझाब दिनुहुन्छ र सम्पुर्णमा आउदै गरेको क्रिसमस अनि नयाँ बर्ष २०१८ को हार्दिक शुभकामना व्यत्त गर्दछौ !

लोवे फ्रोम Thanuya र Camilla, 

Photos by: Thanuya Sivanantharajah and Camilla Rodø

English:

Christmas. What is Christmas really? This holiday is associated with Christian traditions - and it is celebrated with a great joy. In Norway we often look forward to Christmas for several weeks. 4 weeks to be specific. During these four weeks, we bake cakes, the house is being washed and decorated, we go to Christmas parties (so called “julebord” in Norwegian) with family and friends and not least we buy Christmas presents to friends and relatives.

December 24th is the most magical day during the year in Norway. We gather family from different places, watch different Christmas movies in the mornings, sing some Christmas carols (songs), eat delicious food and open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. It can be compared to “Dosai” and “Tihar” festival in Nepal during September. To get some of the "Christmas-feeling" we gathered some of the Youths in Dharan to have a Christmas evening with us on 16th of December. We eat porridge, listen to Christmas songs and socialized.

As we are writing this blogpost we are on our way to Sri Lanka and India to celebrate Christmas and New Year. There we will meet family and friends, eat good food and enjoy a few days holiday before 2018 kicks in. We really hope you still want to read this blog in 2018 - and wish all our readers out there a:

"MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

Love from Thanuya and Camilla,

Being sick in the field

The time is 0530am. After being sick all night, I get up to the sound of the cow’s daily call, "MØØ", the little neighbour boy who screams to his sister to hurry up to school and not at least a car parked right outside our apartment with loudspeakers (if you’re lucky it isn’t loud Bollywood music). This have made me appreciate the statutory law rules (e.g. no noise after 7am) in apartment complexes in Norway even more these days. When you are surrounded by this in the morning, you know it’s time to get up and start your day in Nepal.

But when you are sick, have high fever, nausea and zero energy to get up its pretty difficult to just "get up". The world's worst feeling and the world's worst way to get up in general. You might know the feeling of being sick in your own country and bedroom? Well, being sick in Nepal (or abroad), I don’t envy anyone. The atmosphere is completely different when you are sick aboard than in our own home. The food doesn’t taste the same anymore and you’re no longer surrounded by the things you usually love. The bed is hard (stone-hard), the medicine does not work the same way and what you really want is to enjoy the sun. But instead, you have to go to the hospital to describe your symptoms in a foreign language to your local doctor.

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Some glimts of being sick in field

Photos of the local hospital in Dharan, "Toro"- soups packages from Norway and not at least my creating food making. Photos by: Thanuya Sivanantharajah

To give you a little pointer on how my sick days have been:

  • 0530am: Wake up to the cows sounds and loudspeakers outside my bedroom.
  • 0540am: Take some medicines and then plug in my earplugs and try to fall asleep again.
  • 09am: Get up and try to eat some breakfast. Its not more inspiring than white bread (reminds me of hamburger bread in Norway) and green tea.
  • 10am: Get picked up by my great colleagues to go to the hospital. After 5 hours of queue and testes, I can finally go home.
  • 3pm: Time to eat lunch. Soups becomes the alternative (Who would have guessed that the “Toro”- packages from Norway could come to a rescue - so a BIG thanks to our boss Juma who brought it with him from Norway)
  • 3 pm-8pm: Sleep
  • 8pm: Talk to my co-delegate Camilla (if my breath allows it) and then dinner. Again, it will be white bread and tea. However, sickness has made me a little more creative in cooking, so white bread with cinnamon becomes the solution.
  • 9pm: Energy is on the bottom again, so its time to say good night.

Well, at the time of this blogpost writing, I finally have some energy, so I am looking forward to read some books again and go back to work - the youths energy are definitely missed! My warmest book recommendation goes to "The Gurkhas Daughter" by Prajwel Parajuly if you want to be a little Nepal inspired. Otherwise I would recommand you to follow me and Camilla on facebook. 

Hope you all are well, 

Hugs Thanuya

 

Stairways to Heaven

Everywhere I am in the world I always seem to find a stair.

Someone is weak for chocolate, chips, ice-cream, movies, football, you name it. Of course, I am also weak for these things. However, there are some things I am more in favour of than the aforementioned. Especially one activity. Namely, I am very weak for running and exercising in stairs.

My favourite workout activity is to run, jump and do exercises in stairs. Thus, when travelling to another city or new country I am always on the “hunt for” a new favourite stairway I can work out in.

Below, you can see few examples on stairs I have found on my travels to different cities in Norway, and elsewhere in the world.

Why do I love so much to exercise in stairs?

  •           Variety
  •           Fun
  •           Exhausting
  •           Social when doing it with friends
  •           Using the whole body
  •           On the top there’s always a beautiful view waiting for me to enjoy.
  •           Its free - don't cost any money to work out in stairs

Where do I find the stairs?

  •           Stadiums (football, tennis, rugby etc.)
  •           Ski-jump arenas
  •           In nature
  •           In the cities
  •           Inside buildings

 

What work-out activity do you like the most? Please tell me – I would love to try it out as well 😊

 

Thanks for sharing and following our blog! Leave a comment here or follow us on our Facebook profiles:  Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat.

 

Jumping loves from stair-lover, Camilla

 

Photo sources:

http://www.skisprungschanzen.com/EN/Articles/0057-Granåsen+large+hill+seriously+damaged

An Amazing Cultural Exchange Evening in Dharan

Cultural exchange is an exchange between people with the aim of promoting mutal understanding
Photo by Camilla Rodø

Photo by Camilla Rodø

Together with a group of youths from the Central Campus of Technology in Dharan, we arranged a cultural exchange evening for the youths in Dharan, Youth Red Cross volunteers, and Red Cross staff members. Additionally, we invited our International Coordinator from Norway, Juma, and our National Contact Person from the Red Cross Headquarter in Kathmandu, Bal Krishna Sir. 

The result was beyond our expectations! We are so amazed by the effort the youths in Dharan put into creating the best Cultural Evening we have ever participated in. I had a constant "WOW"- feeling throughout the event!

I especially want to mention that Thanuya and I only helped with suggesting a date to hold the event, and assisted with creating a structure of the programme. Everything else, the Cultural Evening Committee (Tripura, Nistha, Asmina, Khemraj, Ashaya, Anita, Sanjana and Keyrun) was in charge of. Some of the preparation tasks and roles that the youths had were for instance, to professionally host the programme of 3-4 hours in an impressive way, beautiful decoration of the venue, choreographing of dance performances, facilitate Nepali and Norwegian games, playing national anthems, having instrumental entertainment, great singing performances, light and music technicians, and preparation of delicious food. Tasks and roles not mentioned is not forgotten. 

We want to thank each and everyone for the effort you put into the evening, that you participated, and created a unforgettable evening! I am humbled and proud that I was a part of this joyful event! 

The video clip below is a true cultural exchange between Nepal (Keyrun Tiwari and Camilla Ungdomsdelegat). Or even a beginning of a Bollywood carrier (or maybe not... ;-) )?

Thanks for sharing and following our blog! Leave a comment here or follow us on our Facebook profiles:  Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat.

Namaste, Camilla!

 

DEAR YOUTHS,

Enjoy your youth. You will never be younger than you are in this very moment.
— Chad Sugg

Being a Youth in Nepal vs being a Youth in Norway is completely different. You face different kind of challenges-  though with some similarities. Living in Nepal and working with youths has made me reflect on how I was as a youth myself and things I wish I knew as a youth. I have therefore written down a few words in general to all the youths.  As a general rule, you should try to meet life, challenges and all the people you meet on your way with a smile and I can guarantee that you will grow up in a timely manner.

Dear youth, it is scary to get out of the comfort zone, but do it anyway. That is when the big changes happens in life. Are you unsure whether you can hold a presentation at school or bike 70km, do it! You will learn so much from it. Even the process to get out of the comfort zone will make you feel strange, but fantastic. And what's the worst thing that can happen? Train your mind to think that this is something you MUST do - no matter what. And remember, we have all been there. And what if it doesn’t work out the way you thought?  Life has a strange tendency to settle anyway. Remember that we all make mistakes, although one tends to forget sometimes. You know who you are and what you stand for. You can do absolutely anything if just your will is there. I will try to give you an example. When I studied at high school I used to hate language classes – but by pushing myself out of the comfort zone – I have now accomplished to live and learn languages in 4 different countries.
Dear youth, rules are for breaking. Or wait, it might just be a saying in Norway, but (hopefully) is not that much used in practice. Either way, your parents will set ground rules, but it will be for your own good. Believe me, you will thank them in the future. For example, if your parents set a curfew time and even if you are the one who has to go home early from girls or boys nights, that's fine. Your parents only have your best interest in heart and there is a reason why the rules are there. When I was a child my parents used to force me up in the morning, but it just made me realise it was just to train me up, so I can get out of my bed and face challenges later in life. 

Finally, remember that there will never be problems - just challenges along the way and there will always be a solution. It is your job to think smart and find the solution. Your life should be the first thing you prioritize when you get up every day. As for me I am very luckly to still hold on to my youth by working with the youths here in Nepal. If you have a eager to follow our journey with the youths, I encourge you to add  me and Camilla on Facebook :) 

Love from the youth who are now (unfortunately) on her way into adulthood, 

- Thanuya

Photos taken by: Thanuya Sivanantharajah

Photos taken by: Thanuya Sivanantharajah

Who will be the next Youth Team?

From the day we sat our foot in Nepal, Thanuya and I agreed that we want to make a difference. A difference in the sense that when returning back to Sunsari District, Nepal after a year or 10 years - the Red Cross Youth Circles and Youth humanitarian activities would still be working and doing great work. In relation to this, I would like to apply the "buzz-word" sustainability.

Aiming for sustainability means to work towards something with long-term effects. May that be a specific activity, attitude, behaviour, goal, relationship, structure, organization, project or a programme, which is long-lasting.

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Y.E.S

Youth Empowerment Strategy (IFRC 2017) highlight the importance of building well-organized Red Cross Red Crescent Societies and local communities with sufficient capacities to carry out assessments and to address identified risks and challenges through meaningful actions in a sustainable manner. What does that mean? Firstly, building sufficient capacities can be done by training youths in their abilities, knowledge, and skills. Developing, training and building youths and others' capacities will ensure that a project will be running. Because one should always keep in mind that the ones who started the project may not always be around. And if no-one is trained to take over - it is a high risk that the project may fail. Secondly, with sufficient capacities youths and others will increase and strengthen their ability to address and identify risks and challenges. But, more importantly. The youth will be able to prevent, take action, and help with recovery activities in their community. Additionally they will also be able to train others in their community with sufficient capacities. 

Young people are key actors in building-up and sustaining strong National Societies and thus equal partners of adults. For example it is very important to include young people in the project and programme planning to make it sustainable - in order to have an effect and also knowing that the people are motivated to work towards a common goal. 

So, how can we make sure that our goal of sustainability will be achieved during our mission as Youth Delegates? We are about to create a Youth Team. The youth team will consist of different age, from different subchapters and youth circles, diverse knowledge and experience, education, equal division between boys and girls. Representativness is a essential keyword here. The youth team will work as a bridge between Red Cross District Chapter's staff and Red Cross youth volunteers. They will also be the contact persons for youth volunteers. We will try to make sure that the youth team attribute essential skills (coordinator, treasurer, facilitator, leadership) during their mandate in the team. When the youth team is develop, we look very much forward to share whom they are. So, stay tune! :-) 

We meet with the previous youth team to discuss establishment of a new youth team in Sunsari District. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

We meet with the previous youth team to discuss establishment of a new youth team in Sunsari District. Photo taken by Camilla Rodø

In the last blogpost I wrote about "sharing is caring". To share and exchange information and experiences is a tool to make something sustainable. Especially if information and experiences one have gained are perceived as "lessons learned". This information and experience can then be used to reflect around questions like: What worked? What did not work? How could it be done differently?

Now - I encourage you to write down some ideas on how or what you can do in order to make your goals, projects, programmes, organizations, or group more sustainable. 

Thanks for sharing and following our blog! Leave a comment here or follow us on our Facebook profiles:  Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat.

Cheers, Camilla

 

LETS GO TO A HOTEL!

…. said one of our colleagues after a meeting at the Red Cross. I felt surprised. Hotel? Now? At 3pm? That sounded very strange to my ears,  especially in those circumstances.  Although I have heard the expression in Asia before. So, what is actully a hotel in Nepal context? Well, when Nepalese say "hotel" - they simply mean a cafe. Or, more like a house where guests can get their coffee, a small nepali snack or sit down for a small talk. A positive surprise indeed, especially for me who is a coffee lover. The hotels/cafes in Nepal often look like this (source):

Something completely different from the cafes in Norway. However, it is not just in this situation where I have been surprised.  Even shopping for vegetables and food is completely different than in Norway. It can be a challenge in itself – or a fun game, as I like to call it. In Nepal, as many other Asian countries,  bargaing is expected. Everywhere you walk in this crowded city you are surrounded by swarms of people trying to sell you something. They offer everything from the “best knives made in Nepal”, jewellery and bananas.  Everything is about bargaining on the things you want to buy – and I really love it!

I love having fun with the people in the marked and try to get the price as low as I possibly can.  At most times they could say a price which is too high – and then they expect you to bargain. If you are seriously bargaing you could reduce the prize by 6 or 7 times the original starting price in a couple of minutes. For example, the first time we went to the marked together we paid 120 rupees for 6 apples (8kr) each– which we thought was a very good deal (compare to Norway). Though, when I went to the marked alone last week I got tomatoes, gingers, pumpkin, onions, chillies, celery’s and root vegetables all for 200 rupee (14kr).  200 RUPEES! You can barely buy a gum in Norway for that money, so I got really surprised-  and I must admit; the feeling was quite good when the bargaining went so well by speaking Nepali – and especially since they thought I was a local doing shopping in the marked.

So, we have figured out that, how you are perceived at the marked relates to prices you get on your groceries. For example, your local language, your clothes and not at least your appearance. If you look like a foreigner, the price will be thereby. Therefore, we have came to an agreement that I will be going to the market from now on to do the vegetables shopping, while Camilla will go to the mall where the prices already are fixed – a good division between us indeed.  

So, do you have a bargaining culture where you live? If yes, how is that and how do you deal with it? Leave a comment here or follow us on our Facebook profiles:  Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat

All the best,

-  Thanuya

SHARING IS CARING

When borrowing a friend something that is mine (e.g. a computer, phone, pen or book) or giving away food or drinks - I often use the phrase sharing is caring. In this blogpost I would like to broaden the concept "sharing is caring" to include more than just physical materials. Because one can also share information, experiences, knowledge and skills.

On the 15th of October we invited youths and adults from different Youth Circles, Red Cross Subchapters and headmasters at schools from Sunsari District Chapter for a workshop. The aim of the workshop was to discuss how to make current youth Red Cross Youth Circles more active. During the workshop, something beautiful and inspiring happened. In order to come up with solution, we saw that both parts (youths and adults) was genuine interested in listening to eachothers knowledge and experience.

This leads me to the concept of youth empowerment seen from a Red Cross Red Crescent perspective. According to a paper conducted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC 2017) an essential pillar of youth empowerment is power-sharing between adults and youths. Power-sharing is perceived as something unique. Namely, because it creates a direct interpersonal collaboration between youths and adults, focusing on the attributes of responsibilities and tasks. 

The Red Cross Red Crescent Youth Empowerment study done by IFRC emphasises that young people should be regarded as capable individuals who add value. Adults should actively involve them in decision-making processes and give youths the opportunity to express their opinion. On the workshop we arranged 15th of October, we felt that we saw an example of this. For example, we saw that the youths and adults shared knowledge and experiences about present strengths, weaknesses and future opportunities within the Red Cross Youth Circles. In other words, they shared and cared.

Although our workshop went beyond our expectations, it should not be taken for granted that cooperation between generations always goes this smoothly. As the Youth Empowerment study explains, the power-sharing between youths and adults depends on cultural and social differences. In every society, hierarchical norms lie at the heart of interpersonal and intergenerational relationships. But, adults will set good examples for the next generation despite the place and country - for example by acknowledging and respecting youths opinion and contribution, it can empower young people to undertake meaningful action on their own.

One need to keep in mind that when empowering the youths, one is also empowering the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. Which again contribute with strengthening the objective of the IFRC: To prevent and alleviate human suffering, and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.

Do you have any experience from working in an intergenerational environment? Was it a good or bad cooperation? Please share your experience with us, either here in the comment box below, or write to us on our Facebook-profiles: Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat or Camilla Ungdomsdelegat. 

 

Cheers!

Camilla

DO WE HAVE A CASTE SYSTEM IN NORWAY?

In my first meetings with the people in Nepal,  I was surprised that they always presented themselves with their first and last name - even in informal settings. Especially since we barely do that in Norway.  However, Nepalis use your last surname and age to map you out as a person.  The older your are, the more respect you are given.  That is why they also use "Ji" or "Sir" when calling for a older person than yourself.  This is just an example on how the caste system in Nepal is practiced today - even when the caste system officially was banned in 1963.

Today, I can hardly imagine any system that systematically violates human beings than the caste system. A caste system is a hierarchical multicultural society in which every single ethnic group lives and carries out its birth-related profession. Examples of the upper caste "brahmin"  have professions as priests or teachers- while the lowest caste “shudras” or "dalits" are automatically classified as "the oppressed". The caste system was however originally developed as a strategy for developing the country.  Each single caste had to specialized in one type of work, so it was effective and the country could develop.

In one way, this makes me think of Norway and the industrialized revolution during 18-19th century. The distinction between the farmers, working-class, middle-class and upper-class in Norway can to some extent be compared to the "caste system" in Nepal. The farmers in Norway often had their own farm or shop and worked for themselves.  On the other hand, the working class included all people who didn’t own their own production and therefore had to sell their labour . They had a lower standard of living than other social classes. Were you born into a working-class family, you would most likely stay in that position your entire life. The middle class were a class in-between working-class and upper-class.  The last of the four categories, the upper-class, was referred as the "the class that has the leading position in a country's social and economic life with the political power that accompanies it." - just like in Nepal and their high-caste "brahmin".

Although these terms are not used that much in Norway these days - there has been other social differences during the last decades. For example social divisions between the “East” and “West” side in Oslo (capital in Norway).  On the eastern edge, wealth and income are still significantly lower than on the western edge. The special thing about Oslo is the stable division that for almost 150 years has been a geographical selection of class divisions in the city. As we say, Oslo is a divided city just like Nepal and the differences we can find between the capital Kathmandu and villages.  

So - can one expect that the caste system in Nepal to fade out soon? Personally, I think it will take some generations before we see a change. Particulary because the caste-system is something that is very incorporated in their culture and traditions. As same as it was in Norway a long time.  

Anyways, I have to go for a run now before it gets dark here (around 0530pm), so thanks for reading this - and feel free to leave a comment. Otherwise you can also contact us through our facebook work-profiles Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat or Camilla Ungdomsdelegat. 

Good evening/शुभ सन्ध्या,

- Thanuya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To release the pressure - we need a holiday

Madonna sing the following in her song Holiday:  "If we took a holiday Took some time to celebrate Just one day out of life It would be, it would be so nice [...] It's time for the good times Forget about the bad times,  One day to come together To release the pressure We need a holiday"

Madonna sing the following in her song Holiday: 

"If we took a holiday
Took some time to celebrate
Just one day out of life
It would be, it would be so nice

[...] It's time for the good times
Forget about the bad times, 
One day to come together
To release the pressure
We need a holiday"

Thanuya and I worked for two weeks without any day off. Thus, we did not only take one day - but a whole week during the Nepali Dashain Festival . And seven days with holiday was definitely on its place. Now we are excited to share our experiences with you. So lets try to keep it simple with words – and let the photos speak for themselves.

On an average - people often relate Nepal to mountains and hiking. I am no exception.  Dharan is located in the Terai - which means that the landscape is more or less plain. Although plain, the city is situated by the tropical foothill of Mahabharat Range in the north. So after two weeks into our stay in Nepal - we were already enjoying the hills of our "hometown" Dharan. However, I need to emphasis that Nepal is not only about the nature - but also about the people. Nepalis may be some of the most inclusive and warm people I have met. For instance, on every hike we went on, we were always accompanied by locals (both from our office, but also people we have never met before) whom happily showed us around. This behaviour is something I find rare, and appreciate very much.

A well-known quote is "the key to a man's heart is through his stomach". Although not a man - enjoying a delicious meal by using all my senses lies very near to my heart as well. Throughout our first weeks we tried different types of Nepali dishes, tea, coffee, organic fruits and vegetables. 

As you may have understood, increasing our network and exchanging culture have been essential during our holiday. Although meeting a lot of warm and welcoming Nepalis - getting to know the locals haven't been so easy. Namely, because the majority either don't want to speak English or don't know how to communicate in English. But despite the language barriers I like to highlight that one can reach far by using smile, laugher and body language. As a result, this behaviour have resulted in many nice and joyful moments with the locals. In addition, it has also motivated me to learn more Nepali.

In the end I would like to share our appreciation that you read this blogpost, and we hope you will continue to follow our blog. If there is any questions, please feel free to contact us here, or on our Facebook profiles (Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat. ). Last but not least, please let us know if there's anything specific your would like to read about in this blog. You can either write in English, Nepali or Norwegian.

All the best,

Camilla

 

 

IS IT ALWAYS AN ADVANTAGE TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE?

के अझ बढी भाषा बोल्न राम्रो छ?

The Red Cross Youth Delegate Exchange Programme (ydep.no) is all about moving to another different country and culture to work with the youths - and not at least learning and speaking another language than you are used to - whether it is norwegian, malagasy, french, spanish or in our case, nepali. Today several countries are multilingual due to the fact that the language has been characterized both by history and culture. This applies both in Norway and Nepal. After a long time of conflicts, Norway have two offical languages; Norwegian and Sami. While in Nepal there are 126 different ethnic groups and 123 different native languages. 

Being multilingual can be both beneficial, but also challenging at times. I can relate to this because I grew up with 5 different kind of languages through my childhood in Norway - and still switches between different languages during a day. For many years most language-researchers in Norway believed that multilingualism created difficulties for the child's academic development, but this myth has (luckily) disappeared gradually over time. Today, there is a perception that knowing more languages are beneficial for children's cognitive and linguistic development. But is it always an advantage to be multilingual?

The 7 Red Cross principles both in English and Nepali

The 7 Red Cross principles both in English and Nepali

Multilingualism has many beneficial effects, such as giving a broader understanding of different cultures and not at least making oneself understood in different parts of the world. Naturally, it is easier to get to know the locals if you speak their mother tongue - but, there is some things, like humour, which can be difficult to translate directly. As one of our nepali-colleugues said; "It is important to adapt the pronuciation to the context as well, eventhough the common language is the same". Though, here in Nepal, it’s pretty hard to keep track of the 123 different kind of native langugaes and pronunciations.  Nevertheless, there have already been some situations where I wish that I diden`t understood the language - like being backtalked or getting comments like "Ey, look at those foreigners, what do they think they are doing here" , "Hey white chick» or "She has to be from India". In addition, being multilingual and coming from more than one culture can also affect how they look and perceive you as a person.  But, at the end its all up to you how you choose to deal with it.

Therefore, it`s a good thing that we are two in this misson. Especially when we are working with different kind of youths - but also when we are trying to shop for food or getting to know the locals. That is always a good treat– both regarding to the language barriers, but also the fact that both me and Camilla has to try to be patient (not stressing like we Norwegians like to do). A good way of learning the language (and the culture) is though to spend time with the locals - preferably in our leisure time. This week for example we were invited to have a dinner with the local staff members of Nepal Red Cross - which actully happens to be the start of their festivaltime named Dashain. We had a lovely dinner with drinks, practiced nepali and got to know them even better - what a good way of starting our festival/holiday time!

Dhasain dinner with staff members of Nepal Red Cross;  our local contact person (LCP) Sir Kiran, Geetha, Duliua, Sir Pusparaj, Sir Dharmaraj, Lenika and Sir Shivrau. 

Dhasain dinner with staff members of Nepal Red Cross;  our local contact person (LCP) Sir Kiran, Geetha, Duliua, Sir Pusparaj, Sir Dharmaraj, Lenika and Sir Shivrau. 

Anyways, thanks for reading this blogpost and we hope that you will continue to follow our blog during this misson. We would also love to hear from you if you got something on your heart (either in Norwegian, English or Nepali).  You can either contact us here or on our facebook work-profiles Camilla Ungdomsdelegat and Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat. 

Comment (by clicking on the date of the blogpost e.g 1st of October), share and we are up for a challenge anytime.  

Nepali-love/अंगालो  from Thanuya

 

 

 

 

 

The Contrasts - cows, city, work and festivals.

We live in a country where cows are sacred. A common view is to see cows stride around the streets or relax in peoples backyard. For instance, we have two cows in our backyard. Sometimes, I like to compare how cows are treated in Nepal, to the treatment dogs gets in Norway. One of the biggest difference is that dogs in Nepal is to some extent treated as rats in Norway.

Another comparison I would like to draw is between the cities. Kathmandu - a hectic, big, and polluted city versus Dharan - a tropical, luxuriant and very green city. The scenery of Eastern Terai, Nepal, is breathtaking – a beauty I really look forward to explore and share with you further on. 

Almost two weeks have gone by since we arrived in Nepal. And to be quite honest – not so much has happened. This is related to the fact that we arrived in Nepal one week before the festivals and holidays started. Thanuya and I both like things to happens – and because things are going a bit slower here in Nepal due to the holiday – we need to be creative and make the best of our time. Thus, we have reorganized our apartment and office, got to know our neighbourhood and the Red Cross District/Sub Chapter Office ( Sunsari District Chapter ). Others things have been to find out which coffee shop we can buy good coffee, hiking, making food together, made plans of what to do the following weeks and not at least catching cockroaches in our flat. Basically, gotten to know eachother better. Moreover, because we are the only foreigners in Dharan (at least what we are aware of) – we have received so many curious looks. Therefore, an important goal of ours have been to say hi to the locals and show our faces by strolling down the streets in Dharan.

Please leave a comment or two on what you would like us to tell more about, and also visit our Facebook profiles (Facebook profiles Thanuya Ungdomsdelegat and Camilla Ungdomsdelegat) for more photos. 

Dhanyabaad! 

- Camilla

 

 

 

"BUT, WHAT IS YOUR REAL NAME?"

After spending a couple of days in Kathmandu we are now on our way to our district, Dharan. Very excited and curious about our new colleagues, friends and our new apartment we are going to see for the first time.

Colourful, diversity and joyfulness are all three words which briefly describes our experience during our first days in Kathmandu. The diversity of Nepal is fascinating. Both regarding to how people look, but also the different kinds of religions among the locals. During this week we have had the pleasure of visiting various temples, walking around in touristic areas like "Thamel" and eaten delicious Nepali-food like “dalbhaat” and “momos". This Saturday we were also very lucky and honoured to be invited to the engaged and motivated youths of Tri-Chandra Red Cross Youth Circle in Kathmandu. Here we got to meet some of the Red Cross youth volunteers and exchanged our Red Cross experience and activities - as well as some norwegian and Nepali songs.

However, some experiences have not been so pleasant. For instance, getting my waterbottle stolen from a monkey randomly on the street and having to wear a mask in our daily life because of the very strong pollution.  As you may understand, arriving in Kathmandu has been an experience very different from the Norwegian context - but we love it. Luckily, we do have Saturdays off to rest our Norwegian minds (and yes, we do work on Sundays here in Nepal).

Others things worth mentioning is hearning comments like "Oh, so you speak fluently Norwegian as well?" in our Nepali-language class and teaching our new friends how to prononce our names has been a real treat. When we first got to introduce ourselfes, I got the comment "But, what is your real name". So, from that time Camilla has been given the nepali-name, Kameela-  while for me, I still need to figure out what my real name is. Apperently, "Thanuya", is a name of a city here in Nepal. 

These are just some short happenings from our last four days, therefore we are really looking forward to update you from our district Sunsari, Dharan. In the meantime, feel free too leave a comment or share our blogpost. 

Thank you or as they write in Nepali नमस्ते 

Nepali-Hugs from Thanuya

 

 

To do more, do better - and reach further

Namaste, Welcome and Velkommen, 

Firstly, we are humbled and thankful that you want to follow us on this blog, on our journey for the next nine months in Sunsari District, Nepal. As part of the Youth Delegate Exchange Programme ( YDEP ) our drive is to contribute with inspiring, motivating and facilitating youths doing more, doing better and reaching further in their local communities through strengthening humanitarian activities.  So, who are we? 


Listen – Learn – Laugh 
Photo by: Sverre Ø. Eikill

Photo by: Sverre Ø. Eikill

I, Camilla, is about to start my dream of working as a Youth Delegate for the Red Cross in Nepal. This is my first time to visit Nepal. Thus, I’m curious and excited to live and work in a country very different from the culture I am used to, together with Thanuya. 

During this adventure, I’m eager to learn more about humanitarian youth activities; a new language; exchange culture; learn to cook Nepali food; and to enjoy the stunning nature of Nepal. In order to experience this, I will listen to those I meet along the way, learn from youths, co-workers and different stakeholders, and contribute with a good sense of humour and a big smile.

I have over five years of volunteer experience from the rescue corps, information work related to humanitarian values, principles and international humanitarian law. Moreover, I’m a political scientist with international experience from Southern Africa.

 

Exchange for Development and Sustainability
Photo by: Prakriti Bista

Photo by: Prakriti Bista

I, Thanuya, have always had a desire to get to know new people and cultures. This can be related to that I grew up in a home with parents from South-Asia. My ability to being open-minded is a aspect I really hope to bring with me as a Youth Delegate. The value of forming new friendship is something I appreciate a lot. I therefore hope to find people who makes me laugh a little bit louder, smile a little bigger and live a just a little bit different throughout my misson in Nepal. 

For the last six years I have had the pleasure to work with and for youngsters, both as an employee and a volunteer. Working with youths has been both challenging and fun. Challenging because there is no right answer to reach a goal. Fun because I have had the pleasure to learn from them myself. These experiences is something I look forward to build on in Nepal. I also bring with me an law degree from the University of Oslo and international experience from France, Australia and Colombia.

After visiting our blog, we hope that you become entertained, curious and inspired. Thus, we appreciate constructive feedback concerning what you would like to read and see more about on our blog. Furthermore, you can also follow our Facebook profiles (Camilla Ungdomsdelegat og Tash Ungdomsdelegat).

Danyabaad, Thank you, Tusen takk from Thanuya & Camilla,