Fellowship Award for Fiona!

Livability International could not have said it better!

CONGRATULATIONS Fi Stephenson on receiving your Fellowship Award tonight from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The RCN Fellowships are awarded to nurses who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of nursing care.


We are so chuffed that all your work, particularly your nursing expertise in all things “spinal”, has been publicly recognised.

It has been a real pleasure and great fun to work with you over the past few years in Bangladesh, Botswana, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal and UK and we look forward to many more years working together.

You have a wonderful ability of transferring your skills and knowledge on SCI nursing management to others – and this is no mean feat, considering SCI used to be described as “an ailment not to be treated”.

I am sure that all the patients, their families, staff and students who have worked with you over the years will agree that you are an OUTSTANDING nurse, with endless energy and enthusiasm and a great sense of humour.

You are a wonderful role model for nurses everywhere and we are lucky to have you on our team.

Since the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, Fiona has done an outstanding job as Volunteer and Training Coordinator at SIRC – a hugely important role coordinating the work of foreign medical teams at SIRC post-earthquakes, and the planning and implementation of key training for staff as well as healthcare workers across the country.   A truly remarkable person!

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 the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation www.bomkarlsson.com and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. 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 the 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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