Where We Work
Tevel began working in Nepal in 2007 and has worked with thousands of Nepal’s most-needy and marginalized citizens. Our work in Nepal targets marginalized communities and aims to strengthen the communities from within. Nepal is a caste-based society, and the lower castes, such as the Dalit (untouchables), Tamang and Rai live in abject poverty. The poor and marginalized rely on communal ties for their very survival. People help each other, protect each other, work in each other’s fields, and celebrate together. Alone, poor individuals and even families can be swept away by misfortune. Yet too often, because they lack crucial knowledge and skills in facing modern times, in bargaining with powerful forces of exploitation, in facing physical and political challenges, poor communities may break down and fail to create conditions for social change. We work on strengthening the existing community structures, and giving the communities tools to adapt to the challenges of globalization and climate change.
In 2010 we opened a Nepali subisidiary NGO called Nyayik Sansar (“The Earth in Justice” or “Tevel b’Tzedek” in Nepali). Nyayik Sansar employs over 50 local staff persons working on projects in 4 districts with over 25,000 people. Tevel is also recognized as an international NGO (INGO) in Nepal, led by Nepal Country Director, Dr. Bishnu Chapagain.
Burundi, the third poorest nation in the world, has suffered deeply from violent inter-ethnic conflicts between Hutus and Tutsis, similar to its neighbor Rwanda. However unlike Rwanda, Burundi did not receive the same extent of international media attention and subsequent aid necessary to recover from the conflict. Refugees returned during the years that followed the civil war, adding strain on the already densely populated country, where 90% of the population is dependent on farming and is struggling to survive on their small plots of land. In the rural areas, malnutrition is widespread, as is illiteracy. Many formerly displaced youth do not attend school.
Tevel began work in Burundi in 2014 and will be completing its work there at the end of 2016. Our work is focused in the rural Vugizo district, an area which suffers from a complete lack of infrastructure needed to advance development activity. Like in Nepal, our focus is on holistic intervention focusing on building community structures that can support the communities long-term. At the end of the two years, all projects, including the demonstration farms and the solar-powered information center, will be gradually handed over to local leaders who have been trained by our staff.
We are committed to promoting social justice in the developing world and at home. Therefore Tevel runs programs in Israel through which Tevel alumni address key social issues in Israeli society related to the global context. These projects include: promoting labor rights for Nepali, other foreign workers and disadvantaged Israelis in Israel, developing environmentally-friendly communities and educating the consumer market about fair trade in the supply chain. Likewise Tevel runs social and educational activities for alumni and other interested people.