IIIYP: Rural Institute for Community Development, Nepal

Internship Position Description:

RICOD Program Support Intern


Organization: Rural Institute for Community Development (RICOD)

The Rural Institution for Community Development (RICOD) is a non-profit and non-governmental, social organization working with children, youth and women in the areas of basic health, education, disaster management, peace, development, food security and nutrition in Nepal since 1994. It was established with the fundamental aim to empower women, youth and children to fulfill their human rights by organizing and empowering them through participatory processes. The organization works to raise awareness and enhance women, youth, and children's access to basic health services and nutrition, support early childhood development and basic education, empower youth to engage in social transformation that enables them to work for dignified, peaceful families and communities, support focus groups to improve livelihoods through environmentally friendly agriculture and non-agriculture interventions. RICOD also works on disaster risk management for women, children and youth. Altogether, there are 22 full-time staff, 21 peer educators, and a variety of both national and international inters working at RICOD. Anyone applying for an internship with RICOD must be willing to work within these core organizational values:

  • Dignity and Justice: RICOD respects the dignity of every person and supports vulnerable communities in their efforts to achieve justice, human rights and sustainability for the human families
  • Commitment and Patience: RICOD is committed to people at risk. They believe and acknowledge the need for sufficient time for the achievement of the desired changes
  • Inclusiveness and Participation: RICOD believes that change is a collective effort. In the organization and in its programs equal opportunity is given to people of all sex, caste, ethnicity, religion and political conviction
  • Accountability and Transparency: RICOD cares about transparency in its work and financial transactions by applying appropriate systems to ensure accountability and transparency
  • Environmental Sensitivity: The activities of RICOD will help to promote the environment or it will not deteriorate the environment, meaning that their activities will be directed towards environmental protection including the practice of protecting the environment, on individual, or organizational levels, for the benefit of the natural environment and (or) humans

Project Summary:

RICOD is currently implementing two projects in 13 wards of Nepal's Lalitpur District, covering the semi-rural and rural areas of Lalitpur. RICOD has been implementing projects on nutrition and food security since its establishment in 1994. The Improving Mother and Child Nutrition Project in rural  Lalitpur is the existing project being implemented with the support of the Canadian Food Grains Bank and Mennonite Central Committee. The project aims to improve the nutritional health of women and children under the age of 5.

The Earthquake Response project is the other existing project that is supported by the Mennonite Central Committee and implemented in 5 wards of Lalitpur. The main objective of this project is to support the construction of earthquake-resistant houses and improve livelihoods of marginalized families affected by the earthquake.

RICOD Program Support Intern (4 Positions):

The Interns will assist the RICOD staff and contribute based on their respective expertise and experience to implementing the existing projects of RICOD. They will work in collaboration with local volunteers and peer educators to educate and empower women (especially mothers), youth and children, and work with partner organizations to create livelihood options for women and youth.

Interns will most likely be paired with a local Nepalese volunteer who they will work alongside . There partner will accompany them in their work in rural areas and will provide translation and communication support as well as create opportunities for increased cross-cultural learning and relationship building. The pairs will work collaboratively on projects in the communities that they engage with.

Project Planning will be an important part of this internship. Each internship pair (Canadian and Nepalese) will be tasked with organizing a “Community Action Day” to raise awareness and promote healthy activities based on the needs identified by the interns and community.

Additionally, interns will assist with required reporting and support the RICOD staff on engaging with these reporting procedures. The Interns will also assist RICOD in developing new proposals by helping to evaluate the context and needs of Lalitpur District.

Required Skills/Characteristics: The internship team will need to collectively comprise of the following:

  • (Required) Able to adapt to new and different cultures
  • (Required) Ability to develop working relationships with RICOD staff members and community
  • (Required) Inter-personal and strong communication skills
  • (Required) Willingness to learn to communicate through language barriers
  • (Required) A strong interest or experience in:
    • Agriculture,
    • Environmental Sustainability,
    • Social work or Social/Community Development,
    • Or a related field
  • (Required) Willingness to learn about international development theories, applications, and contributing themes
  • (Essential) Ability to travel on rough unpaved roads by public bus and/or motorcycle and walk for up to one day on steep trails getting to and from communities
  • Ability to relate to a wide variety of people from different cultural and religious backgrounds
  •  Ability to actively engage in project planning
  • Fluency in English
  • Skills in writing and editing an asset
  • Confrontable with public speaking, giving presentations, and facilitating discussions
  • Ability to write proposals and reports
  • Ability to document program activities and community feedback
  •  In rural communities, very few people can communicate in English, so learning Nepali as an ongoing activity is very important for this assignment

Placement Characteristics:

RICOD’s main office is situated in Godawari Municipality ward #11, Chapagaon, Lalitpur. It lies to the south of Kathmandu valley, 8 km away from the Satdobato. RICOD has also established a project office in Mahankal Rural Municipality ward #3, Gotikhel, which is 45 km away from RICOD's main office. The interns will be staying with host families situated in Chapagaon and, while they will be based at the main RICOD office, the interns will also have the opportunity to travel to the project office and project areas in the remote part of Lalitpur district. 

The villages are scattered, and most of the roads are rough and dusty, as only recently have roads and vehicles reached the project areas. Most travel is by foot. Limited public transportation is available, which the Intern should expect to use for field visits.  Temperatures will range from below freezing in winter to above 30o C in the hot season. While visiting rural areas, the Intern may not have cell phone communication due to lack of mobile network.

Arriving in the beginning of October will allow interns to be in Nepal for both Dashain and Tihar, two major religious festivals here in Nepal! Dashain takes place from October 16th-21st and Tihar takes place from November 7th-10th.

RICOD would love to work with someone who is filled with enthusiasm and carries a lot of creativity and initiative! Together interns will be working with communities to explore new ideas and innovations in community development. Interns will drive the projects forward with their creative ideas and will generate enthusiasm for the projects within the communities that RICOD works with.

Interns will be living with host families so it is essential that they work to maintain good relationships with the families and communities we live and work alongside. This will entail adjusting to the local context, community, and food. Interns will also need to be willing to learn the Nepali language and Nepali culture, which includes respecting different Nepali cultural values, through the duration of their internship.