Chaudhary Foundation Newsletter

Newsletter Vol 01 No. 02
November 2016 - April 2017

Social Development

- Samuel Allen

Sustainable development in Nepal is something that offers an option for many rural communities that are not only battling problems with post-earthquake reconstruction but also problems such as malnutrition, sanitation, health, education and site specific problems that differ between each village and community. Communities in rural parts of the world want to have the opportunity to develop in whatever ways they can, but many times they simply do not have the resources. It is not for a lack of trying or wanting, but simply due to numerous factors that can make it incredibly difficult to take even incremental steps towards their goals of development, whatever those may be.

Working with the Chaudhary Foundation during the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to not only learn, but to experience the importance and impact of sustainable development. For instance there is no one way to go about solving a problem.

There are many pathways and alternative avenues one can take to successfully resolve an issue, whatever that issue may be. Some may be inherently better than others and some may simply just not work, but each problem offers a plethora of solutions, and each circumstance needs to be addressed differently in order for the quality of the solution to transpire into something better. What I really took away from the experience was this; that sustainable development is a method for change, rather than the answer for it.

The term “sustainable development” gets thrown around a lot but is rarely understood in the way I have interpreted it, through my own experiences as well as seeing it practiced and carried out in various communities. For a corporation to facilitate "sustainable development" it cannot just act upon its own interest, nor can it actually implement the ideas it has directly into a community. A problem needs to be there, and thus a prospect of a solution needs to be formulated. This solution, as alluded to before, may not always work on the first attempt, and a matter of fact is it rarely does. The solution can most always be found within the community itself. The spark and facilitation may be from another entity, but it is the community that is the most important variable in the equation, determining the what, if, and the can. But no matter what, the solution has to come from within the community that is being reached, not from an outsider. The Chaudhary Foundation aims to do directly that - facilitate an approach that takes into account the intricate systems and dynamics of each specific community they work with, while understanding that their position in engaging with these communities is on their own terms.

(Mr. Allen is an architect engineer from USA who had worked for Chaudhary Foundation in performing the architectural assessment of factory building of Karnali Miteri Udhyog, Jumla.)