Message from Our Director, Prateek Sharma

Dear CHOICE Supporters, Friends and Families,

It is my pleasure to reach out to you through this message. I always enjoy interacting with you all. I have been working for CHOICE Humanitarian for 8 years now. This is my first year as the In-country Director for CHOICE Nepal. My assignment in this capacity has been significant in many ways.

Firstly, I took this responsibility during the time when over half of Nepal had been devastated by the April, 2015 earthquake. Losses of lives and property pushed the already struggling economy of this country, into a state of humanitarian crisis. About 9,000 people lost their lives, two million children lost their school classrooms, and 700,000 families lost their homes and became homeless. Other public infrastructures such as health care clinics, hospitals, government office buildings, and businesses were also damaged. The Government of Nepal estimated that about 8 billion US Dollars would be needed to reconstruct the damaged and destroyed infrastructure of Nepal.

This was a very overwhelming and confusing period of time for the CHOICE Nepal team. During this time I was to take over the responsibility of leading a very professional CHOICE team to continue its already 15 years of development efforts in Nepal. These efforts include providing critical humanitarian support to the earthquake victims and continuing the decade long efforts of CHOICE’s self-development program in more than 1000 villages among 500,000 people.

I feel that the legacy of outstanding leadership which was provided by the previous CHOICE In-country Directors in Nepal has to be continued. The previous leadership was visionary, well connected in the country and around the world. These are “big shoes” to fill. This will demand complete devotion, both day and night, for the CHOICE Nepal team. This will be implemented by completely adhering to the core values of CHOICE.

Finally, during this time CHOICE Nepal was in the middle of a pilot program “Nepal Life”. The founder of CHOICE Humanitarian, Dr. James B. Mayfield and the In-country Director of Nepal had designed and initiated the implementation of this program to become a replicable program to be used around the globe for eliminating extreme poverty from rural villages. This demanded that the CHOICE Nepal team expand their horizon beyond Nepal to understand the challenges faced by the extreme poor from around the globe and to identify the opportunities to address these challenges.

CHOICE Nepal is very grateful to all of its supporters, friends and families who trusted their resources, time and networks to us, in order to help us cope with these challenges. I am extremely grateful to my colleagues from CHOICE USA and Nepal that helped us not only cope with these challenges, but to also continue building on the improvements made in previous years. The present progress has been possible, because, we all remained united in our commitment to help the Nepalese people come out of this crisis and continue setting the example of implementing self-developing programs to help eradicate this inhumane extreme poverty. Without so many of you standing by our side, we would have lost our hope. Thank you for reigniting hope among our people in those desperate years."