Ben joined dZi in 2006 after spending the previous eight years as Founder and Executive Director of Porters' Progress, Nepal—a non-profit advocating for better working conditions for mountaineering and trekking workers, and supporting porters in their home communities. 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 vision in developing our innovative Deep Development programs.
Ang Chokpa hails from the village of Chaurikharka, Solukhumbu. She has been with dZi since 2007 - almost as long as dZi has been around. She holds two masters degrees, one in rural development and one in sociology. Her duty station is Kathmandu.
Ang Chokpa oversees office management and logistics, manages human resources, coordinates with related government line agencies at the central level, and coordinates with local NGOs for high-level decisions.
Gautam is from Kathmandu. He has been with dZi since 2011. He has a Master's in Business Studies. His duty station is Kathmandu. As the chief personnel overlooking dZi finances, he takes occasional field visits to work on and support our NGO partners and field staff in accounting.
Gyan is from the village of Rakha in Khotang. He has been on the dZi Nepal team since 2007, making him one of our oldest staff members. He was previously our education program coordinator overseeing education programs in both Solukhumbu and Khotang. After dZi's expansion into other sectors, he was appointed Khotang Program Coordinator. He now manages our field activities in Khotang.
Jitna is from the village of Lokhim in Solukhumbu and has been with dZi since 2009. He used to oversee field activities in both Khotang and Solukhumbu districts. With our increased projects, he has been managing programs in Solukhumbu only. Jitna holds a Master's degree. Jitna also hosts a radio program on the local FM station in his own ethnic Thulung language.
Heema is from the village of Jalapa, Khotang. She moved to Kathmandu as a child. She hopes to get back to her roots through her work with rural communities in Eastern Nepal. She has a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture Engineering, and a Master's in Rural Development. She has been with dZi since the beginning of 2014. Her duty station is Kathmandu, but she spends at least 50% of her time visiting our field areas. She is also an excellent photographer, and you can check out her work, including many taken in our field area, at www.500px.com/heema.
Bhalakaji is from Rakha in the district of Khotang. He has been with dZi since 2010. As a member of the monitoring and evaluation team, Bhalakaji travels between our field areas of Solukhumbu and Khotang throughout the year. Besides being a wonderful staff member, he is also a talented singer and musician - something of a local 'celebrity.' Listen to some of his beautiful music here.
Jhanak is from the village of Rakha in Khotang - one of the first villages dZi worked in. He is currently pursuing two undergraduate degrees in Arts and Business Studies. He is also the youngest employee in the dZi Nepal Office. He has been with dZi since 2011. Jhanak is based in Kathmandu. Apart from balancing professional life and his studies, Jhanak also finds time to do a bit of modeling in music videos.
Rewati Rai is from Rakha in Khotang - one of our oldest working areas in Nepal. He has many years of experience working in community mobilization related to agriculture and sustainable soil management. He previously worked for Janasewa Samaj Nepal, a local NGO in Khotang, who we partner with regularly to conduct our high-level agriculture trainings, such as Group Management, Cardamom Cultivation and System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Rewati's expertise in all of these subjects, along with his work in motivating farmers, is very helpful in leading our agriculture program. He has been with dZi since 2015.
Raj Kumar Rai is originally from the village of Chhorambu in Khotang. He has been with dZi since 2011 - first as a consultant Civil Technician and now as a full-time staff member. He has been involved with the Khotang Development Forum - an NGO based in Khotang - for the past 11 years as a chief technician and a board member. He has worked extensively as a civil technician in remote villages of Khotang, overseeing projects like drinking water, irrigation, earthquake safe building construction and more. Raj Kumar is responsible for creating, designing and overseeing all of the engineering components of our construction projects. We adhere to strict engineering standards for safety and durability. We apply retrofitting techniques to all of our building projects for earthquake safety. Raj Kumar visits each individual community throughout the year to orient them and assist them in earthquake resistant building and other technologies.
Rupak is from the ancient city of Patan, the heart of the Lalitpur district in the Kathmandu Valley. His upbringing in Newari culture has made him fond of art, culture, music, religion, sports and philosophy. He is an enthusiastic person fascinated by every aspect of life. He has been engaged in community development, both voluntarily and professionally, for over 7 years. He worked in the education sector for 4 years before joining dZi in November 2015. As Program Officer, his responsibilities include looking after activities in the field and ensuring successful implementation of dZi's programs, in close coordination with the District Program Coordinators.
Prashant is our social Mobilizer for Chheskam, his home village. He has been with dZi since 2011. He supports Jitna in overseeing our Solukhumbu activities, and is primarily based in Chheskam.
Tulasa is from Rakha Bangdel, Khotang. She originally received a scholarship from dZi to pursue a 15-month residential vocational training on improving agriculture. Since her graduation in 2012, she has worked for dZi full-time as a social mobilizer and technical assistant. She is also currently pursuing her undergraduate degree. Tulasa is based in Rakha, while also supporting our programs in neighboring Dipsung, Sungdel and Maheswori VDCs.
Saroj Kulung is from the village of Gudel, in Solukhumbu - one of our working areas. He is one of the local youths that received a scholarship from dZi after recognizing his potential to further contribute in his village. Through the scholarship, Saroj completed a 15-month Social Mobilizer training course. After finishing the course in 2013, he has worked for dZi full-time overlooking our program activities in his home village of Gudel. He is also pursuing his undergraduate studies. His responsibilities include supporting and facilitating the local NGO in their ongoing activities and projects and visiting project sites for monitoring. Since 2016, he is also supporting Solukhumbu DPC to supervise and run our starter projects in Bung.
Rajkumar is from Sungdel of Khotang and is our social mobilizer for the same place. He has been with dZi since 2011. He is famous as a leading cardamom farmer in his area.
Ishwor hails from the village of Pawai in Solukhumbu - a community adjacent to our working area of Sotang. He has worked with farmers in Okhaldhunga, Udayapur, Makawanpur and Solukhumbu districts for many years. Ishwor used to work as a consultant for our farmer's trainings, and he is very familiar with our working areas. He has been with dZi full time since 2015 and is the agriculture technician for Gudel.
Tham Sari Rai is from the village of Vijayakharka in Khotang. She is the first ever female Agriculture Technician on the dZi Nepal team. She works in Maheshwori in Khotang where we started our agriculture program in 2015. After years of working as a successful farmer and teaching her neighbors how to adopt new farming technologies, she went on to receive her Agriculture Junior Technical Assistant (JTA) certification. She has been with dZi since September 2015.
Jibnath is from the village of Dipsung in Khotang - one of our working areas. He is also one of the local youths that dZi supported after recognizing his potential to further contribute in his village. dZi provided him with a scholarship to study in a 15-month long Social Mobilizer training course. He completed it in March 2014, and has been a staff of dZi ever since. Jibnath supports our program activities in his home village of Dipsung, and in our newest project area - Maheshwori. He is also pursuing his Master’s degree.
Mansu is from the village of Kanku in Solukhumbu. She is interested in health, agriculture and community mobilization. She previously worked at Rural Reconstruction Nepal as a local resource staff member. At dZi, she is the social mobilizer for Sotang, and she works with different Farmers’ Groups, User Groups, and the overall community to implement a wide range of dZi project activities. Mansu is also a good volleyball player. She has been with dZi since 2015.
Chhatra is a local technician from the village of Maheshwori - one of our newest working areas in Khotang. He has been involved with dZi construction projects for drinking water in Maheshwori since we started working there. His technical skills helped the community finish projects in a much more efficient manner, and also plan for sustainability measures. After the earthquake, seeing that he had a lot of experience working in rural construction projects and an increased workload for our technical team, we hired Chhatra as Assistant Civil Technician. He has an overseer degree, and has previously worked for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Fund Board as a Civil Technician. He will be assisting our Chief Technician Raj Kumar Rai in a school reconstruction project, as well as other construction works like drinking water and irrigation.
Nirmala is originally from Chheskam in Solukhumbu - one of our recent project areas. She now lives in Kathmandu and has been with dZi since 2011. She has professional chef training and has recently started her own food blog: www.cuisinenepal.wordpress.com.
JB, like most of our field staff, is a local of Sotang which is also his working area. He is an Agriculture Junior Technical Assistant with decade long experience of working in various livelihood projects such as SUAHARA under USAID. JB has been with dZi since the beginning of 2017.
Subindra has been with dZi since 2017. He has extensive experience working at building and various other construction in local areas of Khotang as a head mason which he later built into a technical expertise. He is also a skilled craftsman and weaves all kinds of bamboo products. He has forayed into a variety of enterprises from running a restaurant in Kathmandu, to working briefly as a foreign migrant worker in the Gulf country. He is happy to return home to Rakha and work full time as our technical assistant for all of our Khotang projects. His decade long work experience of actually working as a mason himself has helped us in mobilizing and inspiring community members and other masons in our construction projects much more efficiently.
Patrus joined dZi as the Community Market Facilitator (CMF) for Khotang district in late 2017. Due to his excellent work at connecting our farmers and their produces with regional and local markets, he has been working as CMF for both Khotang and Solukhumbu district since May 2018. His main responsibilities are keeping track of crops produced by our farmers, connecting our farmers with markets and vendors, keeping tab of price list of major crops in local/regional/national and international markets as well as seeking new markets. Prior to joining dZi, he had also gone abroad in the Middle-East as migrant labor. After returning to Nepal, he was engaged in farming. He was a member of one of our farmer's group in Rakha. Even when working full time for us, his household still maintains a vibrant and productive kitchen garden.
Sitaram Thapa Magar hails from the hills of Dhading in Central Nepal. He worked as a driving instructor prior to joining us in 2017. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Sociology alongside his work at dZi. He is also our youngest Nepal team member.
Ambika is our Agriculture Technician for Rakha Bangdel. She hails from the village of Ratanchha in Khotang district - a day away from her work station of Rakha Bangdel. She completed her high school from her village and then finished her JTA course from Nepal's prominent technical school - Jiri Technical Institute in Dolakha. Before joining dZi in December 2018, she was working in Dolakha district as an assistant technician for "Turnip and Maize Seed Production" Project run by Hill Crop Research Program.
Dillu is from the village of Dikuwa in Khotang district - one of our working districts in Nepal. He has an Agriculture JTA degree from Shree Saraswoti High School, Jhapa. Prior to joining dZi in December 2018, he worked as an agriculture resource person for mobilizing various farmer's groups in Haleshi Tuwachung Municipality in Khotang for 7 months. He also worked as agriculture technician for Halesi Organic Cooperative Firm for 14 months. He is currently stationed in Sungdel as our Agriculture Technician.
Kanchan is from the village of Buipa in Khotang - one of the districts where we work in Nepal. She finished her high school studies from her village and she pursue her Agriculture Junior Technical Assistant (JTA) course from All Nepal College of Technical Education in Gaushala, Kathmandu. She has always been an outstanding academic achiever, mostly recently scoring more than 90% in her JTA final exams. dZi is her first organizational affiliation. She joined us in December 2018. We are glad to have such bright young local mind working for our agriculture program in Khotang. She will be looking after our farmer's group in Rakha Bangel and Dipsung.