ENGAGE was created by Kalpana Gurung and her husband Simone Galimberti together with a good of friends in 2011 in order to promote and strengthen a culture of service in Nepal.
It started as a very informal endeavor and along the time, it has become more and more formalized and it is now legally recognized with Kathmandu District office in 2011 and affiliated with the government in 2013.
The organisation has been created for the promotion of volunteerism, solidarity and self help in the sector of disability. ENGAGE believes that local volunteerism can be a powerful means to empower youths living with disabilities. By volunteering, a youth living with disabilities can prove to the society that s/he can be an active citizen. ENGAGE has a clear simple theory of change that can prove how a youth with disabilities can emerge and become a leader.
The vision of ENGAGE is an inclusive society for all through volunteering.
ENGAGE wishes to transform the lives of young people with disabilities through sport, leadership and learning experiences.
ENGAGE aims at the establishing an inclusive society based on more just, equitable communities all around Nepal. ENGAGE implements, facilitates and supports the creation of meaningful community services experiences with an exclusive focus on disabilities.
ENGAGE has been working in the sector of disabilities since its outset, building relationships between able bodied persons and youths living with disabilities.
ENGAGE runs one program called ENGAGE Corps, a part time volunteering experience open to local youths with and without disabilities. ENGAGE Corps is implemented through different projects:
- Guiding Hands: learning support to visually impaired youths;
- Coaching4Fun: sport based volunteering service targeting for the time being youths who are wheelchair users. ENGAGE facilitates the formation of teams of youths with disabilities that are encouraged not only to play but also to grow personally and professionally with the support of ENGAGE;
- Coaching4Learning (now phased out): a pilot project where ENGAGE volunteer engage in after school activities in one school with the students at primary level who needed support in Nepali, mathematics and English.
By focusing on Sport, Leadership and Learning, ENGAGE offers a pathway for self development of its main beneficiaries: youths living with disabilities.
ENGAGE working approach and theory of change regarding it project Coaching4Fun:
- 1st level of Change (Networking/playing/learning): The beneficiaries, youth with disabilities start their journey by being supported or helped in the sector of Sport, Leadership and Learning. They are encouraged to play in a sport team (currently ENGAGE is focusing on wheelchair basketball, in future in blind cricket and they hope for much more sport);
- 2nd level of Change (Empowerment): Selected players are invited to become ENGAGE Corps. By becoming role models, volunteerism offers them a first experience of empowerment in sector of Sport, Leadership and Learning. They will coach a mixed junior team in their preferred sport discipline bringing together through sport children with and without disabilities (to building a more inclusive society).
- 3rd level of Change (Leadership): The best of players/service users turned ENGAGE Corps will be invited to become ENGAGE Fellows. The program aims to nurture the most talented, high potential future leaders among youth living with disabilities with innovative ideas in the field of disabilities.
In short ENGAGE wants to offer a simple pathway where their beneficiaries will: PLAY-COACH-LEAD.
By playing in a team, a youth acquires new skills, s/he establishes new relationships with peers and also through sport, the same person can develop personal and leadership qualities, learning new ways to face and overcome life challenges.
ENGAGE is committed to support this same growth process both at personal and professional levels by offering each youth starting playing in a team supported by ENGAGE a unique form of support called Personalized Development Pathway or PDP. ENGAGE wants to develop a simple approach based on the personalized social support.
ENGAGE employs two staffs full time and one staff part time (they are not getting paid).
So far we have been supporting more than 50 youths living with disabilities.
At the moment ENGAGE does not have any institutional donor. They have been able to collect some money at personal and family levels and few funds were collected through short terms partnerships with local organizations like Change Fusion, NSCISA and NDVS. The Founder and Co-Founder have also used some personal resources to run the organization. ENGAGE Staff also contributed at personal level by working without a salary.
For the time being, also due to lack of funding, ENGAGE is focused only on the Kathmandu Valley with expansions plans in different districts within the next five years.