Ben Ayers | Nepal Country Director
Ben joined dZi in 2006 after spending the previous eight years as Founder and Executive Director of Porters' Progress, Nepal—a non-profit serving the porter community in Eastern Nepal. Ben originally hails from New Hampshire and Maine, but has now dedicated over a third of his life to Nepal. Ben speaks fluent Nepali and he carries his deep passion and commitment to the country through his work developing our innovative Revitalize a Village programs and Deep Development concepts.
Ang Chokpa Sherpa | Nepal Director
Mrs. Sherpa was born in the remote village of Chaurikharka, in the Everest region of Nepal, and was educated in the famous Khumjung School founded by Ed Hillary. She is the first Sherpa women from the Khumbu valley to earn her Master's degree, and she now has two such degrees: one in Sociology, and the other in Rural Development. Mrs. Sherpa has worked for a number of conservation and development organizations over the past ten years including the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee and Porters' Progress, Nepal. She has worked with dZi for the past two years and the organization has flourished under her leadership. Mrs. Sherpa is also a proud mother and has just returned to the office after the birth of her first child.
Gautam Silwal | Financial Officer
Gautam is from Nuwakot District in Central Nepal, but has spent most of his adult life in Kathmandu, and has his Masters’ Degree in Business Studies. He joined the dZi Family in November 2011. Gautam has five years of experience managing accounts for other INGOs in Nepal. He just had his first child – a son – in January 2012.
Jitna Kubir Rai | Project Coordinator
Mr. Rai is responsible for overseeing all of our field operations for the RAV program. He was born in the extremely remote village of Lokhim — which is within our working area — and has received significant renown for his skills as a social mobilizer, including receiving a national award for excellence in the field from the Home Minister in 2006. Mr. Rai has completed his Master's degree in Sociology and is finishing his second Master's in Education.
Gyan Bahadur Bhattarai | Khotang Program Coordinator
Gyan has worked with the dZi Foundation since it’s initial registration in Nepal in 2007. Gyan lives and works in the remote village of Rakha, Khotang. Before working with dZi, he worked alongside Ben at Porters’ Progress, Nepal and as a local schoolteacher. Gyan has received extensive training on school management and community mobilization around education from World Education and UNICEF.
Sharmila Shyangtan | Program Assistant
Sharmila was one of the first girls dZi sponsored at the Happy Home. Through that sponsorship, she earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work and is now pursuing her Masters’ Degree in Environment Education and Sustainable Development (EESD) at Kathmandu University School of Education(KUSOED)on a full scholarship. Sharmila has a keen interest in the environment and sustainable agriculture programs.
Jhanak Karki | Administrative Assistant
Jhanak is also from the remote village of Rakha, Khotang, and he grew up with the dZi Foundation’s RAV work there. Jhanak is currently pursuing his Bachelors’ Degree and devotes an incredible amount of energy to keeping the dZi office running smoothly.
Balakaji Rai | Social Mobilizer
Balakaji worked as a teacher at the primary school in Thame, Solukhumbu for 2 years before joining dZi in 2010. He is well known across Eastern Nepal for his skills as a singer and a poet. Balakaji lives and works in the remote village of Rakha, Khotang where our partner NGO for all projects in Khotang is based.
Raj Kumar Koi Rai | Social Mobilizer
Raj Kumar is from Sungdel, Khotang, one of our newest working areas. He joined the dZi Family in July, 2011. Raj Kumar is from the Koi Rai ethnic group which only exists in the village of Sungdel, and he speaks the Koi language fluently.
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