Kadambari College offered unique opportunities for learning
Gaj Bahadur Gurung
I am one of the first batch students with Kadambari Memorial College where we started, literally, with one classroom building in 2005. The college without infrastructure and system had challenges but it offered unique opportunities for learning. Within three years, it was clear that the social work course, which we studied, did not match with the profession envisioned by the course in Nepal. But it did offer other ample opportunities in the context of developing country. It also broke the stereotypes related to the course and conventional career discussion, at least in my family. The result- my younger brother just graduated in social work from the same university.
Immediately, after the graduation I got a job as the Project Coordinator with the national network of women living with HIV. The project was funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, one of the largest multi-lateral donors on HIV, TB and Malaria. In another one and half years, I was promoted to the National Coordinator in the same organization, the position that provided avenues to peek to the international arena of HIV. I became Nepal focal point for Youth LEAD, the organization where I am currently working. Eventually, I also became one of the youth delegates to the international governance board of the Global Fund, the same donor where we received the funding. Both Youth LEAD and the Global Fund delegation led me to the diverse international fora broadening the horizon of my understanding and capacity. All these exposure prove to be turning point to land into the international sector.
To my surprise, Youth LEAD offered me a job in 2013 as the Program Lead and to be based in Bangkok. Since then, I am with the same organization and I was promoted to Regional Coordinator, the position as executive director, in 2017. The regional/international job is definitely different from what I used to work at the country level but not new in-terms of the knowledge and learning that I gained over the course of time. Having worked in HIV and health for almost more than 8 years, now I have enrolled myself in the PhD course with the Public Health faculty in Chulalongkorn University. I guess the learning process never ends.
My journey though looks like a happy linear path, but trust me, it’s been a roller coaster through thick and thins. It has demanded enormous amount of hard work and dedication to cross through dilemmas and transition. And the difficult ones are just coming ahead.
Official position: Regional Coordinator
Organization: Youth LEAD (youth-lead.org)