Virtual Reunion: Teach For Nepal Alumni Coming Together
Sept. 1, 2020
By: Saroini Tamrakar
The Government of Nepal had partially lifted the nationwide lockdown and imposed prohibitory orders instead. Commoners were trying to return to normalcy with a share of precautions. Teach For Nepal (TFN) had a biannual event to conduct that was just around the corner; the Alumni Leadership Forum (ALF). Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the event was virtually organized on July 18, 2020.
One's journey with TFN goes beyond a two-year-long community-based experience. This is why TFN Alumni come together twice a year to ALFs (January-Winter ALF and July- Summer ALF) to reconnect and rebond with each other, network with new Alumni, and strengthen the movement.
With the support of the Alumni Affairs Unit and close collaboration from Teach For Nepal Alumni Association (TFNAA), ALF Event Board organized the event in a virtual space amid the uncertainties. The theme of the eighth ALF was oriented around ‘Collective Leadership.’
Keeping up with the tradition from 7th ALF, the event was divided into formal and informal sessions. The formal part kicked-off by welcoming the alumni participants and congratulating the freshly graduated Fellows from the sixth cohort. The participants were acquainted with the working priorities of TFN’s Alumni Affairs unit and networks.
To ensure a sense of comfort among the alumni, the ice-breaking session invited them to interact on contemporary issues. It was then followed by Alumni Chautari where TFN alumni came together to collaborate, support each other’s initiative and participated in the discussion that was focused around strengthening the Alumni Movement. The presenters for Alumni Chautari put across their experiences, learnings, and shared capacity building skills.
Similarly, Managing For Impact (MFI) welcomed three diverse speakers to enhance the skill, knowledge, and mindset of our Alumni. MFI speaker Juna Mathema shared about sustaining business in Nepal. Another speaker Pitambar Koirala presented on building resilience and managing self-care in times of crisis. Our third speaker, Prashant Singh initiated a discussion on government accountability and the roles of youth during the time of crisis. Since these were all parallel sessions, Alumni joined each session as per their interest.
ALF is also a platform where TFNAA and TFN get an opportunity to update their work with a broader Alumni community. Both TFNAA and TFN streamlined the past six month’s activities and highlighted recent accomplishments. Besides recent updates, TFN Fellow Prashant Gnawali shared about the Radio Project “Ma Sikdai Chu" (I am learning), which has been initiated amid the corona crisis. The British Council and Cambridge University Press have collaborated with TFN to implement the Radio Project in TFN-placed districts.
Maimuna N. Ahmad, Founder, and CEO of Teach For Bangladesh (TFB) delivered the keynote speech. She presented the realities of education, the social structure in Bangladesh, and detailed the picture of Teach For Bangladesh and how the movement is growing on with every other new year. The session concluded with Ahmad addressing questions from the participants.
The formal ALF event came to an end with a closing note thanking the participants for their virtual presence and acknowledging the contributors behind the event. One of the major concerns while organizing the virtual event was the connection between the Alumni. However, after the formal closing note, an informal session Alumni Saanjh (Alumni Evening) kicked off with light-hearted and warm performances that catered to strengthen the Alumni spirits.
Saroini Tamrakar is an intern with Alumni Affairs Team at Teach For Nepal.