Changemaker - Jodi Tweed
2 September 2013 at 10:23 am
Jodi Tweed co-founded Not for Profit organisation Hope Alliance, a charity developing projects and creating initiatives and sustainable opportunities to improve the lives, futures and education of Himalayan children and families in Nepal.
This week we profile Jodi in Changemakers – a weekly column that examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
Jodi and husband Phil have been traveling to Nepal since 2003, working in orphanages and schools and being involved in education and project development for Himalayan Children.
Over the years, they have established many key relationships within Nepal, including diplomats, business managers, medical personnel, media, teachers, aid workers and locals who do amazing ‘on the ground’ work within education, remote villages and for children in need.
Determined to do more, they set up Hope Alliance so they can join forces with others and make a bigger difference.
Phil and Jodi are also the Directors of The Style Group, an Events and Production company based in the Hunter Valley NSW.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
Hope Alliance runs a school in the remote Himalayan village of Lhi, which is a 6 day walk from the nearest town. We have 55 students, employ 3 teachers, run a healthy lunch program and work with the village community to improve the culture of education in a location where there's been no school until 3 years ago. We also run treks with purpose twice a year into the village and have a dynamic learning centre base in Kathmandu where we train our teachers and develop programs to encourage critical thinking and creative learning.
What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?
My husband and I had been visiting Nepal since 2006 and about 5 years ago we met a group of 4 kids at a Buddhist school in Kathmandu and fell in love with them. They started telling us about their village and their families who still live in this remote village. Many of their siblings have never received an education and even though they considered themselves lucky to have had the opportunity to be educated in Kathmandu, they also felt guilty that their brothers and sisters did not get this chance. Their passion and heart for the children in their village was inspiring, and something we felt we could give our lives to. So together we have built a school in the village and provided the opportunity for education there. Our original 4 kids (plus a few more we've adopted along the way) now all work for us and make up part of our Nepali team who are doing amazing things to bring change and build better futures for their people.
How long have you been working in the Not for Profit sector?
Our whole Aussie based team is volunteer, including myself. I actually work a high pressure job as the event director for the International Children's Games an IOC sanctioned event which is being hosted in Australia in 2014. Hope Alliance is 3 years old and the passion of my heart.
Favourite saying …
I’m always telling my kids ' we're a CAN DO family'
My greatest challenge is …
Juggling kids, work and Nepal projects and giving all of them the attention and passion they deserve. From a HA perspective, the logistics of getting supplies into the village is always a challenge, thankfully we have a great donkey train and our on the ground team are amazing.
What does a typical day for you involve?
Getting up earlier than most, working on multiple tasks, showing all my kids love and attention and collapsing into bed later than I'd like.
What inspires you? Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by so many, and get to do life with amazing people, including my husband, kids (natural and adopted) friends and family and their constant support is humbling. The things that inspire me the most are passion and grace and also knowing that when a group of people from all walks of life with differing talents and skills come together and work as a team, they can bring change to a whole community of people.