Scott Wilson Nepal- A life changing experience
Er. Asmita Sharma
Being a fresh graduate and having no professional experience made me a little nervous while going for my interview but I was keen to enter professional engineering life. During my first few days in the office, I was exposed to different kinds of work Scott Wilson Nepal had been involved in and other ongoing projects which made me want to be a part of the organization. The friendly environment and helpful attitude of seniors and colleagues made work quite easy for me.
Soon enough I was assigned to field work, my first ever field, a topographical survey for a resort. I was nervous and excited and wanted to prove myself. There were some ups and downs while working in the field but it made me realize the importance of integrity in professional life. Soon after that I was involved in a Limecrete workshop and also helped in other projects. One of the things I enjoyed about working in Scott Wilson was the diversity of works the staff is involved in and that there is never monotonous work.
Then came the life changing experience for me- ‘Hamro Ghar’ which is a community driven reconstruction project aimed to help highly vulnerable communities build their homes. While the team was preparing for this project, I learned a lot about reconstruction and got an in depth knowledge about planning and implementation which was I had yet to experience in real life scenario. Then came the day when the team moved to Kurintar, Chitwan for the pilot phase of the project. In the first few weeks, we visited different wards to gauge the socio-technical situation of the surrounding areas. We would be exhausted by the end of every day but it was worth it- travelling to new places, meeting new people and having firsthand interaction with the community we would be working with.
The first time I visited my work station -Dumkim of Ichhyakamana Guanpalika, was when I went to take measurements of existing houses. It was my first trip to such a rustic terrain and saw such vulnerable people who were really in need of our help. It was also the time I met our first beneficiary, Bhakta Bahadur Praja an old man of 70 living alone in a small hut in the rural Chepang community, after his house had been completely destroyed by the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. After a few days, we went to the pilot area and started giving OJT (On the job training) to masons along with the technical assistance to the reconstruction works. I was grateful that I had such experienced seniors for back support who helped me in every step of my work and were instrumental in my capacity building because working in a rural community and training them isn’t for everyone.
I worked in other wards as well and met other vulnerable groups. There was a strong feeling of pride whenever a house was completed with our help and the people were able to live in a safe permanent house. During my work, I learned a lot about planning and implementation and gained much confidence in myself than when I went for my first interview. There were times when it was overwhelming but I always told myself,” This is going to empower you, don’t step down”. Living with those people and working there made me realize the magnitude of the project and how it could people’s lives and provide them new opportunities. After all, it was a community based project with a lot of local engagement. And while it was empowering them, it was empowering me too. Now I felt much more confident in my field of work and in any form of public speaking.
I will always be grateful for the platform Scott Wilson Nepal gave me that facilitated the change to a better, more confident version of myself. I hope that I will be able to change people’s lives through my future work. The experiences that I gained here are going to guide me further in my academic as well as in my professional life. I hope that I can work with Scott Wilson Nepal again in the future.