New job in ACF


Last month I started a new job at Action Contre la Faim (ACF)- [Action against Hunger], as Mental Health and Care Practices Programme Manager covering Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts. ACF is working in those districts after the earthquakes and has remained one of the most active organizations for humanitarian response following the disaster last year.  Through its nutrition and mental health & care practices  programmes, ACF prevents, diagnoses and treats acute malnutrition in those most at risk, including young children and pregnant or breast-feeding/lactating women by integrating  nutrition and mental health aspects, emphasizing on strong mother-child bonding, increasing community sensitization about care practices for child development, and building capacity of staff of health facilities & teachers of schools of Nepal government in collaboration with District Health Office and District Education Office and reaching out to the community through local NGO partners.

img_4809Just got started, excited for this new adventure…

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Hateymalo (2010-16)


Public Resources in one place

md_cover-misssing-family-report-2009 2009 – Families of missing persons in Nepal: a study of their needs PDF: families-of-missing-persons-nepal-report

This assessment conducted by Simon Robbins was a stepping stone for the launch of Hateymalo program in Nepal.

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2010 – Hateymalo: Accompanying families of the missing in Nepal. Piloted in Bardiya by Bhava Poudyal, Nepalese Psychologist and the team of ICRC colleagues which expanded to altogether 46 districts of Nepal in successive four phases.

 

2013 – Release of Don’t go so far documentary. Directed by Arnaud Galent.

2016 – Completion of the program & Final Dissemination Products (Reports , Documentaries & Photobook). In collaboration of Yubaraj Adhikari, Rupa Chaudhary, Bishnu Waiba, Juthi Ram Chaudhari, Kalu Ram Chaudhari, Purna Shova Maharjan, Bina Chaudhary, Sujen Man Maharjan and ICRC colleagues of various departments, Nepal Red Cross Society district chapters and local NGOs.

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hateymalo_accompaniment_report (ENGLISH),  hateymalo_accompaniment_report_in_nepali (NEPALI),

commemorating_the_missing (photobook)

 

Documentary:

 

31st International Congress of Psychology (ICP) 2016


The 31st International Congress of Psychology (ICP) 2016 was held in Yokohama, Japan from July 24-29 2016.  This year it was organized around the theme “Diversity in Harmony: Insights from Psychology.”  The ICP is organized by a national host committee under the auspices of the International Union of Psychological Science every four years. The 32nd Congress has been confirmed to be hosted in Prague, Czech Republic in 2020, the dates will be announced soon.

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Princess Akishino Kiko giving a welcome speech during the opening ceremony of ICP.     Photo by: Shirong Zhang (Sharon), Renmin University of China.

The congress was very well-organized and it was a great opportunity to learn about the research and works being done all around the world.

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Professor Kazuo Shigemasu, Chair of Organizing Committee of ICP2016 showing the regional distribution of over 8000 presentations

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Coincidentally, there were just three papers related to Nepal and also three participants from Nepal.

The papers were as follows:

  1. Psychosocial care for cancer patient by Subba, Usha Kiran

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2. Psychosocial Services in Post-Earthquake Nepal by Maharjan, Sujen M

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3.Empirical study of psychological factors and intervention to increase psychological harmony after the earthquake in Nepal by Stueck, Marcus (Germany); Utami, Dian S (Germany); Boehm, Maya (Nepal); Balzer, Hans-ullrich (Germany)

And three Nepali Participants:

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Myself, Usha Subba and Bijay Gyawali (from left).

Some Files: ICP2016_Program_Final & abstractforICP2016_sujenman_nepal

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Fathali on Psychology of Dictatorship & Democracy


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Since 1950s, Nepal have gone through various revolutions and political changes at different points of time that had looked very promising, people hoped for positive changes in everyday lives of Nepali and betterment at all levels. Most recently, Nepal promulgated the new constitution after abolishing the monarchy over 8 years ago. It was welcomed as a historical milestone, the country moved from the political deadlock among monarchy, political parties and Maoists but wait, after all these years, what has happened to the lives of general Nepali who belong to middle-class and lower middle-class so far, the situation is getting tougher. The youth of Nepal is forced to migrate to gulf and other risk-prone countries for survival and to take care of their families. According to ILO, in fiscal year 2014, over  520,000 labour permits were issued to Nepalis for work abroad. High class people continue to hold back the power and dominate the politics. The country suffered devastating earthquakes last year, much of the rebuilding is yet to be started. There is a dissatisfaction among people over new constitution and the lack of right of women to pass on the citizenship to their children among many other issues. On June 14, the government issued online media directives which gives the power to government to crack down over dissenting voices. In democracy, voice is the most crucial aspect of political practice and public lives. Do we feel safe enough to go out and express ourselves at Basantapur Square without fear of police nearby located at Hanumandhoka? What if it reinforces fear to speak up? So, this brings up an important question: have we regressed back and moved even backwards than before? Are we once again heading back to times of dictatorship that our forefathers lived under??

I have found Iranian psychologist Fathali Moghaddam‘s theoretical concepts  useful to understand our political situation from psychological perspective. He has tried to explain the rise and fall of dictatorships through his springboard model in which he says that the context that lead to the rise of the dictator is more important the personality of the leader. In traditional psychology, the personality of the dictating leader is studied to understand the dictatorship but he prioritizes context and collective over individual processes to understand dictatorship and democracy.

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Where does Nepal lie on this continuum between dictatorship and democracy???

Fathali also writes about the development of psychology in third-world countries like Nepal. His publications can be read here: http://fathalimoghaddam.com/?page_id=18

From Public Lecture about the book: http://www.iop.or.jp/Documents/1626/%5B125-138%5DJournal26_Moghaddam.pdf [125-138]Journal26_Moghaddam

SLC ko Khusi


Just as I am about to start a new day in my office, didi comes with a pack of sweets (laddu) and share it with me. It is a tradition in our office to distribute chocolates and sweets to colleagues when somebody comes from aboard or there is some good news. So, I ask her who is it from and what is the occasion? She says one of the colleague’s daughter has passed SLC with A+ grade and to share that good news he has sent us the sweets.

Yes, School Leaving Certificate examinations (SLC) results were finally out yesterday, hundred of thousands of students from all over the country, their parents and relatives were eagerly waiting for the results. Passing SLC is considered as crossing the iron gate and is seen as the most important examination in the school system. Students face a lot of pressure to do well, they spend a lot of anxious time anticipating the results, and when it is out- for those who do well, new freedom is found. The unfortunate ones who could not perform well due to various reasons are looked down upon as failures.

No matter what the results are, all students must receive proper attention and appreciation during this time, it is especially important for the ones who lagged behind in their performance. An encouraging pat is crucial for those who could not succeed. I hope we won’t have to hear news to students giving up  on their lives just because they failed in this particular exam. Life gives many opportunities and lessons after failure.

With this, many young people’s further study is determined by the results esp, which faculty and subject they opt for. Parents and friends largely influence during the decision making process beyond SLC. However, it is too early to conclude on the academic success and aptitude of a student just based on SLC results. Just at the time of this writing, one of my school teachers posted this status in facebook:

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The above status represent the concept of Book Smart vs. Street Smart. It is often true that the street smart students are ahead in other aspects of life than book smart students who do extremely well with the exams but who might not do well in the real life situations. However, it would be wrong idea to promote just one of them, in fact, combination of both book and street knowledge is desirable to become optimally functional.

For those of you who have passed SLC, my congratulations and I would like to encourage you to study Psychology if you are interested in psychological well-being, the invisible activities of the mind and their relationship with our behavior, here is a link for you:

https://sujenman.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/studying-psychology-after-slc/