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By Pratap Sinha, VSO Volunteer, India
“Volunteering”, the word it
self has common notion among usthat it is labour, free of cost. Whole of our life we have spenttime and money to gain professional degree and earn workingexperience, to have better quality of life for our self and ourfamily. So why on earth we should d
o “volunteering” and
spend our valuable time and experience in a country where wemight never imagine going even as tourist? The answer to thisquestion is within every individual. I can quote 1000s reasons
for why we should not do “volunteering” but only
from within is enough to do it. More over sometime we don’t
need reasons to do something selfless, or something we
believe in or just do something for a change. My “volunteering” term is coming to an end and I
have realized that meaning of this word is much more vast and colossal than we can ever imagine.It has changed my life and for sure I will do it again.
I got that one reason to do “volunteering” in March 2007 and soon I applied for IVO. Got selected
and placement by July 2007. And since Sept 2007, I am working in Namibia in a Community basedEnterprise Support Project under Namibian Association for CBNRM Support Organisation (NACSO).
I am implementing the project in coordination with NACSO’s partner NGOs working in Community
based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in communal conservancies. My mainresponsibility is to provide technical assistance to rural communal conservancies and communitygroups to improve their livelihood through income generating activities based on eco tourism,crafts and natural products. The project aims to build capacity and to transfer skills to beneficiariesand staff of partner NGOs through volunteers.
Namibia is governed under region system and there are 13regions. My field is in Erongo region and South Kunene regionwhich covers almost 1/5
of land area of the country i.e.approx 500km in radius. NACSO is an umbrella body whichsupports all the NGOs working under CBNRM along with thesupport of Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET),Government of Namibia. I am working in Community based Enterprise Support Project funded by European Commission(EC) and implemented by NACSO. I work very closely with theNGOs and MET to support 10 conservancies in my area mainly towards the business and enterprisedevelopment side. Conservancies are basically legally defined communal area which is managed by