International Volunteer Program for Nepali Christian Youth

Gina Li is a 2013-2014 YAMEN! participant serving with MCC partner Homemakers in Jos, Nigeria. Gina comes from China, loves serving in Nigeria, and has embraced both Homemakers and the Hausa language. Gina works with Margaret Ahmed (pictured with Gina), the Executive Director of Homemakers, doing accounting, writing blogs, developing new crafts and working with women. YAMEN is a joint program of MCC and Mennonite World Conference for young adults from countries other than Canada and the U.S. that places emphasis on expanding the fellowship among Anabaptist churches and developing young leaders around the globe. (MCC Photo/Dave Klassen)
Gina Li from China is a 2013-2014 YAMEN! participant serving with MCC partner Homemakers in Jos, Nigeria. Gina works with Margaret Ahmed (pictured with Gina), the Executive Director of Homemakers, doing accounting, writing blogs, developing new crafts and working with women. (MCC Photo/Dave Klassen)

MCC Nepal is looking for Nepali unmarried Christian youth (18-30 yrs) who are passionate about peace and community service to serve in 11-month volunteer internships from August 2016 to July 2017. Volunteers live in a new culture while serving in places like schools, farms, community agencies and day cares. Placements are in countries where MCC works around the world, including Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America. More information on these programs can be found at and

The first step to apply for this program is to write an essay responding to the following questions, and submit it to MCC along with a recent CV:

How have you served or volunteered with your local community and church?

What is your personal vision for peacebuilding and community service in Nepal?

What are your thoughts on how the church can be more effective in serving the community?

Essays will be judged based on content, readability, originality, Biblical references, fluency of English language, and adherence to the below stated essay requirements.

Word count: 1,000 minimum to 1,500 maximum

File format: PDF

Submit essay and CV to:

Deadline to apply: October 11, 2015

The writers of the best essays will be invited for an interview at MCC’s office in Ekantakuna, Lalitpur.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 30
  • Committed Christians who are active church members
  • Unmarried
  • Completion of a Plus two or intermediate degree in any field and enrolled for Bachelor degree study
  • Excellent English skills

Applications by women, members of marginalized ethnic/caste groups and residents of rural/remote areas are particularly encouraged.

A New Life Full of Hope

My name is Santa Ram Tharu. I am 32 years old and live in a village called Kopawa in Kapilvastu district in southern Nepal. I am married and have 3 sons. There are six people in my family including my parents. I am from a farming family with a low economic condition. Before I became infected with HIV, I used to migrate to India from time to time to earn money to provide for my family.

When I first came into contact with Sakriya Sewa Samaj, I was suffering from chest pain and losing my appetite. My physical condition was very poor.  Gradually I was losing weight and getting weaker. I had already visited many health clinics to get physical check-ups, but the doctors had not been able to diagnose my problem.

Some people said that I had a disease called AIDS, but I didn’t know anything about that disease. I was very much discouraged when I heard people talk about AIDS, because they said there was no hope of living a long life if you had it.

Sakriya staff came to my house and invited me to join their care and support program, but I said no. I was afraid of the social stigma and discrimination of belonging to an HIV support group. But when they invited me a second time, after I had attended a long counseling session with them, I decided to accept their support.

Krishna lives in Kapilvastu District (in red)

At that time I was suffering from a cough and fever. After doing a general assessment of my physical condition, Sakriya referred me to Palpa Mission Hospital for further investigation and treatment. The doctors at that hospital diagnosed me with a double infection of TB and HIV. For about six months I took TB medicine. Then I started antiretroviral treatment. Gradually I started eating more food. My condition improved and I was almost as well as I was before.

I am from the Tharu community, an indigenous tribal group. Due to the lack of knowledge and practice, it was very difficult for me to talk about my problem with other people. Sakriya provided me a platform where I learned how to talk to others. I have been provided with various types of capacity building training. Now I am the secretary of the self-help group they invited me to join, and I have the capacity to lead discussions in our meeting. Sakriya has also provided me with other types of support, for example, business counseling and seed money.

Now I have started a bicycle repairing service with the seed money from Sakriya. These days I am very much interested in group activities that have brought a big change in my attitudes and now I have a new life that is full of hope.

Sakriya Sewa Samaj, a partner of MCC Nepal, supports people living with HIV & AIDS through advocacy, community-based care and peer support groups. 


Reaching the Unreached: MCC Nepal’s Earthquake Response

After the earthquake that devastated Nepal on April 25, MCC immediately began to work with our partners in order to gather food and relief items to be distributed to some of the worst-hit communities in our working areas.  Explore the pictures below to see how, in spite of many obstacles, staff from MCC and our local partner organizations were able to bring vital humanitarian aid to the remote earthquake-affected communities that desperately needed it.

Program Coordinator Vacancy at MCC Nepal

MCC Nepal is hiring a full-time program coordinator. Qualified candidates should apply with resume and cover letter to by June 22, 2015. Only those shortlisted for a written test and interview will be contacted. For more information about MCC’s work in Nepal please consult this blog as well as MCC’s website,

Job Title: Program Coordinator (long-term)

Location: MCC Office in Lalitpur, 50% travel to working areas

About MCC Nepal: MCC Nepal’s vision is that its partners will have the passion and capacity to work together with poor and marginalized communities to address their basic human needs and work for peace and justice. Currently, MCC Nepal partners with 8 NGOs in 12 districts across the country in the thematic sectors of food security, education, health, disaster relief and community institution building. MCC Nepal values open and transparent partnerships, living simply and caring for the environment, ending discrimination, and working for social and economic justice. 

MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply. 

Position Summary: The Program Coordinator will work closely with the existing Program Coordinator, the Admin & Finance Officer, and the Country Representatives to support MCC Nepal’s Nepali partner organizations with project planning, monitoring and evaluation for MCC-funded projects and programs. The Program Coordinator will be the primary contact with assigned partner organizations, working in a participatory and collaborative way to support partner organizations in their work. The Program Coordinator is supervised by the Country Representatives.


  1. Commitment to MCC Nepal’s values
  2. Five+ years of experience in related work (community development, health, livelihoods)
  3. Experience working in rural areas of Nepal
  4. Master’s degree in Community Development, Public Health, Sociology or related field, or comparable experience

Required Skills, Knowledge and Competencies

  1. Demonstrated ability to build relationships with a wide variety of people from diverse socio-economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds
  2. Strong written and oral communication skills in English and Nepali
  3. Demonstrated competence in project design, outcome-oriented planning, monitoring and evaluation
  4. Demonstrated competence in qualitative and quantitative research methods
  5. Self-motivated, able to work alone to deadlines, knows when to seek help
  6. Willingness and ability to  travel frequently to remote districts and walk to mountainous remote areas


  • Assist assigned MCC partner organizations in developing concept notes and proposals.
  • Assist with program planning, project design and timely implementation of the program activities in the districts through partner organizations.
  • Support to establish and maintain networks with other likeminded organizations.
  • Coaching and capacity building support to partners in planning, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Regular follow up and monitoring visits to partner organizations and working areas (50% travel)
  • Work closely with partner organizations to ensure high quality and timely program and financial reporting.
  • Attend District Project Advisory Committee Meetings as MCC representative twice annually in assigned districts.
  • Assist Administration & Finance Officer as required.
  • Assist with MCC Nepal’s international youth exchange program as required
  • Participate in professional development trainings, workshops and visits organized by MCC.
  • Organize MCC Nepal workshops for capacity building of partners from time to time.
  • Take on other responsibilities as may be required by Country Representatives

BICWS Vocational Training Program

Though the community of Bhatigacha is less than twenty kilometers from Biratnagar, Nepal’s second-largest city, it feels like another world. Rutted lanes lead through fields bright green and yellow with harvest; cattle, goats, and poultry graze and wander around the farmyards; and in ponds and irrigation ditches, beautiful purple waterlilies bloom. It’s here, in a pretty pink house on a green lawn dotted with palm trees, that the Brethren in Community Welfare Society has its field office.

BICWS is the service agency of the Nepal Brethren in Christ church denomination. The field office in Bhatigacha is one of the locations of BICWS’s vocational training program for local young people. With funding from Mennonite Central Committee’s Global Family program, BICWS provides scholarships to unemployed young people who can then access training in areas that suit their interests and abilities.

Some of the most popular programs are pharmacy, tailoring, driving, community medicine/midwifery, and motorcycle and mobile phone repair. Currently, 70 students in 2 communities are receiving scholarships.

 Rajis Hembrom, pharmacy student in BIC's vocational training program, loads a syringe.  Whereas many of his peers have no option but to migrate to India or other countries to seek poorly-paid work in exploitative conditions, he is able to earn a good living in his own community.
Rajis Hembrom, pharmacy student in BIC’s vocational training program, loads a syringe. Whereas many of his peers have no option but to migrate to India or other countries to seek poorly-paid work in exploitative conditions, his specialized skills enable him to earn a good living in his own community.

For young people in this area, a skilled trade can mean the difference between a life of uncertainty and poverty on the one hand, and a life of purpose and relative prosperity on the other. An unskilled agricultural labourer usually makes at most 300 rupees ($3) for a hard day’s work in a landlord’s field, and is subject to the seasonal and unpredictable nature of agriculture. This wage often isn’t sufficient to sustain one person, let alone a family. In comparison, a plumber can make 800 rupees ($8) a day throughout the year.

But the vocational training BICWS is funding doesn’t just give young people an economic advantage. For many students, it also improves their sense of self and gives them greater ambitions. Because of vocational training, “I discovered that I have skills and I can do this type of work,” said Poonam Thakur, a student of the tailoring program BICWS runs in Bhatigacha. “I’m confident now that I can have my own job rather than just working at home.”

Students of the tailoring program speak to MCC staff at the BICWS Field Office.  Seated on the floor is Poonam Thakur; behind her is her teacher, Hena Gurung, herself a graduate from the program, and Hannah ??, of BICWS.
Students of the tailoring program speak to MCC staff at the BICWS Field Office. Seated on the floor is Poonam Thakur; behind her is her teacher, Hena Gurung, herself a graduate from the program, and Hannah Soren, of BICWS.

One of the main goals of the program is to enable young people to make a good living in their own community. Underemployed Nepalis face the constant temptation to migrate to other countries, especially India, for work, and are often met with exploitation and unfair wages.

The mass migration of unskilled labourers takes a heavy toll on the communities they leave behind. Since it’s usually men who go, families are left without their husbands, fathers, and sons for many months at a time. Often, families have to take out loans to pay for a labourer’s passage to India, and in many cases the low wages that the labourer brings back are not enough to cover the debt.  While the migrant labourers invest all their hard work in foreign communities, their own communities suffer from a lack of development and economic growth.

Sewing machines used by tailoring students at the BICWS field office.
Sewing machines used by tailoring students at the BICWS field office.

Initiatives like BICWS’ Vocational Training program help individuals and communities to escape this cycle.  When people are able to do skilled work in their own communities, they not only avoid debt and exploitation, but also help to build up the future of their own country.

So far over 150 students have graduated from the vocational training program, and it’s becoming extremely popular among local youth – this year there were 100 applicants for only 40 scholarships. BICWS hopes to expand the program next year to include more youth. While not everyone will be able to receive a scholarship, those who do are expected to share their knowledge and motivation with others. As Poonam says, “The other students and I have always lived near each other, but we never knew each other before. Now we have learned what it means to live in community and help each other.”