(BRANNGO’s logo consists of the Nepalese and British flags united in the form of a triangle, representing the mountainous terrain of Nepal, with the Nepali word सहयोग (‘sahayoga’, meaning collaboration) in the bottom right corner).
BRANNGO was set up in 2018. David Thomas and his wife Joanna, who have many years experience of charitable work in Nepal through the Thomas’s Foundation and CAIRN Trust, had long been aware that with better coordination and collaboration between UK NGOs working in Nepal, it would be possible to avoid duplication of effort and increase the efficiency and effectiveness with which charitable aid is provided to the disadvantaged and needy people there.
Their insight was endorsed by many other organisations, and strongly supported by both the Britain-Nepal Society and the Nepalese Embassy in London, the latter thanks to the then Ambassador, His Excellency and Plenipotentiary Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi.
As well as individuals and NGOs involved in fund-raising or charitable work in Nepal, BRANNGO has a Partnership Programme to engage with other organisations supporting philanthropic work in the country. In addition to the continuing strong relationship with the Britain-Nepal Society, BRANNGO also has a Memorandum of Understanding with the NGO Federation of Nepal and links with the Association of International NGOs in Kathmandu. In the UK BRANNGO is pleased to be working closely with the UK branch of the Non-Residential Nepalis, the Tamu Dhee organisation, and the Britain-Nepal Chamber of Commerce.
An initial event in the Nepalese Embassy on 29th May 2018 was attended by large numbers of individuals and organisations with an interest in helping the people and country of Nepal. Subsequently events have taken place in the Embassy and elsewhere (see photo). Although the Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed any scope for face-to-face meetings since early 2020, this has ironically helped BRANNGO develop and use more and better online capabilities such as social media and Zoom. This has made it easier and more convenient to engage with members and other stakeholders worldwide.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
The underlying concept of BRANNGO is that by exchanging information and facilitating discussion, members will be able to get insights and identify opportunities they would otherwise not be aware of. In addition, they can ask for advice or help both within the BRANNGO membership and through its extended contacts. Regular ‘virtual coffee mornings’ held online provide a useful forum for informal inquiries and discussion.
BRANNGO also provides a programme of more focused activities to facilitate discussion and collaboration. BRANNGO has developed Working Groups broadly aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in relation to Nepal. Education and Health are areas of interest that predominate among BRANNGO members, so these 2 areas are particularly active. A third Working Group looking at Environment, Conservation and Climate Change issues is currently being set up. As well as helping members develop ideas and opportunities, these Groups also help develop policies in relation to the many challenges associated with NGO work in Nepal such as child labour and trafficking, enhancements to the education system and women’s and minority rights. The organisation is also developing local-area focus groups to exchange information and ideas in relation to particular places in Nepal. This initiative is at an early stage but there has been encouraging support for it from NGOs and local Nepalese Government.
Good communication is key to achieving BRANNGO’s strategic aims. BRANNGO has a very active Facebook group which is open to non-members and currently (early 2021) has 379 subscribers. The Members Area of the BRANNGO website contains an extensive interactive database of NGOs working in the Nepal and a library of conference and meeting reference materials and a YouTube channel is being set up for recordings.
BRANNGO has also recently appointed a representative in Nepal. As well as providing a useful in-country contact point for members and strengthening liaison with individuals and organisations in the country, he publishes a monthly review of the Nepalese press which members find a very useful way of keeping abreast of events there.These all provide additional ways in which members can keep in touch with each other and with other stakeholders.
MANAGEMENT AND SUMMARY
BRANNGO is managed by a Committee, all of whose members have long experience in various aspects of charity work in Nepal. Day-to-day management is led by the Chairman, Nick Hinton, assisted by the Treasurer, Carol Clare, and by various committee members (such as the chairs of the Working Groups) to whom particularly activities or tasks are delegated. BRANNGO is not a fund-raising or grant-making organisation and consequently does not have charitable status.
In summary, BRANNGO is a sociable, interactive organisation with a wide spectrum of members and partners united by the common endeavour of enhancing charitable assistance to disadvantaged and needs people in Nepal. A programme of activities and communications provides the means of collaboration and coordination to this end. We are constantly innovating and welcome new members and partners both for what they can contribute and to ensure that more and more organisations and individuals are involved in the beneficial work we are trying to expand and enhance.
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