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IN LATE 1998, when Mr. Shree Krishna Upadhyay, Chair of SAPPROS Nepal asked me to join NGO, I was a little bit reluctant because I had better opportunity in Agricultural Development Bank of Nepal where I had passed ten years of my fabulous job there.

Of course I was interested but, as Mr. Upadhyay asked me when we were discussing my appointment, would I be happy ‘Managing NGO as Project Manager in Dailekh’, where the main focus was on promoting high value cash crops around Dailekh-Surkhet road corridors.

It didn’t take me long to realize that, of course, there was a great deal more to the job than such a narrow focus and that managing a project of this type presents a number of exciting challenges.

We, the core groups of NGO professionals, established MDI in late 2001. It has been a busy decade, a decade of great challenges and landmark achievements yet it seems like yesterday. Now it has passed its ten years MDI has been meeting and overcoming number of challenges to revisit a number of issues related to working with people in improving their well being and is, I am pleased to report, in better shape now than at any time in my twenty-five years of long history in rural development of Nepal.

As member of MDI, I worked with community members who taught me important lessons that have shaped both my professional and personal life. Sitting in discussion in highways and byways, Chautari basements, eating in the hotels & restaurants in the community and working with people with small MDI’s rented-buildings located in Hetaunda brought me to a world I had only known from a distance.

Thanks to our dedicated, hard-working team and it is my privilege to lead this group of dedicated individuals who brought absolute transformation on the lives of more than 25000 rural households living in destitute with seemingly lesser hope for the future. Now that there is positive change it has brought to the feel and appearances among communities, have created employment opportunities through various rural infrastructure works (roads, irrigation), generated incomes through high value cash crop farming, agroforestry and livestock from marginal lands and have been able paying off the existing debts through increased incomes and have become able sending their child for better education.

But our activities have not been restricted counting the physical progress alone, it is this transformation in spirit and attitude, as much as to the physical infrastructure and economy; the shared vision, pride and collective hard work that has resulted to bring this changes. To celebrate the past decade and capture this important milestone, MDI has published this small book documenting some of the highlights of the past ten years where you can feel the differences, the enthusiasm from thousands of individuals in communities living along this route.

All of us here at MDI, we highly regard all the donor communities particularly the Embassy of Denmark, UNDP/GEF/Small Grants Programme, UN World Food Programme, Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Poverty Alleviation Fund, German International Cooperation, Local Bodies (DDCs and VDCs) for making their considerate decision in providing such a gracious support at different times through MDI which has been clearly noticed and appreciated by thousands of community members at the ground. Not least the International communities; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Sasakawa Nairobi, Kenya, Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED), Japan, UNEP-Eco-Peace Leadership Center (EPLC) & Kangwon National University of South Korea, Government of Nepal (GoN), District Development Committee (DDC) of Makawanpur and various local communities for honoring us at different times with cash prizes and recognitions for outstanding, groundbreaking and sustainable environmental and pro-poor initiatives taken at the grass root level involving most disadvantaged indigenous communities of Nepal.

MDI is truly blessed to have you as esteemed developmental partner in this process. We believe, you will continue to support such a local initiatives with the noblest of objective to keep our community free of hunger in intergenerational terms.

Thanks and regards from within the heart.

Khop Narayan Shrestha
Executive Director, MDI Nepal, Hetaunda

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