Teamwork is where it is at

SIRC goes from strength to strength, recognizing the need to build on the unique culture that has been an integral part of SIRC’s success since it first opened it’s doors in 2002.  You really got to hand it to them, the organization is run better than most so-called successful companies I am exposed to here in Canada.

Thanks to SIRC’s Esha Thapa Dhungana’s leadership, SIRC’s Lekhnath Paudel’s HR expertise, Livability International’s guidance and funding from UKAid, a team building training session was devised and Raman Nepali was hired to lead the training.  The idea behind this training session was to improve coordination and communication amongst staff, bringing together the long-serving staff members with those hired in the past year.

Lekhnath Paudel, SIRC's HR Manager, welcoming everyone to the Training Session.

Lekhnath Paudel, SIRC’s HR Manager, welcoming everyone to the Training Session.

The objective of the Training was:

  1. Create the climate of TRUST among all SIRC staff
  2. Improve the personal relationships and understanding among staff
  3. Deliver the basic principles of team work like team leadership, coordination, communication, conflict management etc

Over 80% of SIRC’s staff attended, the remaining stayed at the Spinal Centre in Bhainsepati to care for the patients.  With various collections points across the Kathmandu Valley, the staff arrived at Gokarna Forest Resort and were served breakfast at 8am before the day got started.

Large group of SIRC staff in attendance

Large group of SIRC staff in attendance

Group meditation to start off the day never did anyone harm

Group meditation to start off the day never did anyone harm

The program was participatory and fun-filled and included breaking the groups into teams with ice-breaker exercises where the teams got to know one another before then taking part in many activities that focused on developing a team spirit, sharing team values and encouraging trust among team members.

Games were also played that helped staff see the importance of team coordination, team leadership, team conflict and team communication.

Archana team 2

Anu team

Mandira team

Nikita team

Team game

team game 2

Esha Mam cricket

By the end of the day, each team appointed a leader to present the team’s three most important learnings from the activities and games, as well as the lessons learned in relation to team coordination, building trust, team communication, conflict resolution.  As expected, most team had very similar results.

Procession Going & Growing Together

5pm, everyone was pretty tired and happy with the training, and Esha promised to somehow manage the budget so that team building sessions such as this, would become an annual event.

It wouldn’t be Nepal with some music and dancing, and despite the fact that everyone was pretty tired after such a full day, that did not stop the party.


The SIRCUS Band rocked out Nepal’s well known songs for three hours … far longer than was planned but everyone just loved it.  SIRCUS is a newly formed band of 4 members – all wheelchair users – three of whom are SIRC staff members:  Prajwal Yonghang, Kesh Bahadhur Gurung and Ram Tamang (of the Yaatra fame). [photo of the band to come!]

Dipesh team dancing

Ladies dancing

Sonika team dancing song

And no SIRC party would be complete without a song from Stephen 🙂

Stephen singing

A hugely successful day-long training event for the SIRC staff.

Lekhnath’s comment to me really says it all:  “The main tagline of the training was “ENJOY, LEARN, GROW”, and I think we have achieved something from it. And I am committed to carry out such big and small level team work session in coming future.”

Well said Lekhnath.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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