We are always looking for more area coordinators and volunteers. If
you are intersted in being an area coordinator or a volunteer please
contact us at
Nepali version of this document is available here.
Area Coordinator Responsibilities
Area coordinators in Nepal are responsible for administering NCEF
scholarships in their area, and they are essential to the successful
operation of NCEF. They enjoy a lot of freedom in the way they conduct
NCEF work in their area, and they are encouraged to structure their
involvement in NCEF so as to best suit their schedule. Furthermore,
they can tailor the work to the place, customs, and availability of
facilities (e.g., transportation, Internet, phone, postal mail). Area
coordinators are given extensive latitude in their work, but there are
three main responsibilities which must be fulfilled:
Area coordinators must
- Make sure that each student is visited monthly by a volunteer.
- File student visit reports once a month.
- File financial report once a month.
How to prepare for a successful area operation?
In summary the area co-ordinator is required to
- Recruit volunteers to do home visits. The larger the pool
of volunteers, the more manageable the workload of each volunteer. If
there are 10 students in the area and only two volunteers, each
volunteer visits 5 students. If these students do not live in the same
neighborhood or do not go to the same school, visiting them will
require significant travel and time for each volunteer every month. If
there are four volunteers and the area coordinator is also available
for a home visit, each person only visits two students a month. This
reduced workload ensures a stress-free and rewarding experience for
- Make arrangements to manage money. Open a bank account, if
you already do not have one. NCEF will wire the money to your bank
account. It is not advisable that you keep the NCEF money at home
because it can get lost. Be prepared to hold on to NRs. 10,000 at a
- Plan for periodic communication with NCEF. If you live in a
city, identify a cost-and time-effective way in which you can check
emails at least once a week. If you live in a city without email
access, make sure you can send postal mail to Kathmandu whenever
communication is desired. Make sure you also have a postal mail
address at which you can reliably receive messages.
- Prepare a calendar with the student visit schedule.
Experience has shown that it is easy for volunteers to fall behind in
their monthly visits with students. To help manage the visits, after
consulting with the volunteers, make a calendar with visit schedules
for a whole year. Visits need not happen on a specific day every
month, but please ensure that each student is visited approximately
once a month.
- Form a team of volunteers
- Collect and submit applications for the student
- Handle local financial matters
- Preparing the Budget
- Co-ordination and record of expenses
- Filing financial report once a month
- Handle student visits
- Preparing a student visit calendar
- Keeping track of the visits
- File students report once a month
Volunteers and You
With the area coordinator's guidance, volunteers visit students, buy
textbooks and supplies, pay school fees, enroll the students, and help
the area coordinator with any additional work. You should plan to
recruit as many volunteers as possible so that you are left with
enough time to file reports, stay informed about the activities of
NCEF as a whole, and to provide moral support to the students,
teachers, and the volunteers. Here are potential sources of
- Friends and co-workers
- Family members
- Teachers from schools
- Students from colleges
When you first contact potential volunteers, emphasize that with a
minimal time investment on their part, they have the opportunity to
make a meaningful contribution to their own community. In addition,
working with NCEF provides an opportunity for hands-on experience for
people who are interested in social or public work. Lastly, emphasize
that the work is very rewarding.
You have the authority to recruit as many volunteers as necessary. You
need not seek NCEF's approval when you decide to add a volunteer to
your team or to ask a volunteer to leave your team. This will be your
team. You should make sure you are comfortable with the make-up of the
team. You should be comfortable giving specific instructions (which
student to visit, which place to visit, or what other chores to take
care of) to the volunteers. The volunteers should be comfortable
receiving instructions from you. It is important to explain and agree
to this relationship when you recruit a volunteer. Your area operation
will be successful only if everyone in your team understands his/her
important role in this endeavor.
While you have control over the make-up of your team, it is important
that the NCEF home office has information on everyone currently
representing NCEF, please send the name and a brief biography (a few
sentences will suffice) of the volunteer to the volunteer coordinator
before the volunteer begins working with us. When a volunteer leaves
your group, please inform us of that as well.
Visiting the students
NCEF's goal is to educate those children whose families cannot afford
to pay school fees or buy books, or have other economic factors that
prevent them from going to school regularly. We want these children
to experience a stimulating school environment which will foster their
curiosity and turn them into educated and responsible members of
society. To accomplish this, we must ensure that the child attends the
classes regularly. Furthermore, we want to make sure the child does
not have any economic hurdles which would hinder her academic
performance. We want the child to focus on enjoying school, being
curious about the world, and pursuing learning.
Visiting the students once a month assures us that the child is making
reasonable progress in school. Many generous donors from around the
world make financial contributions to NCEF, and therefore make our
financial assistance program possible. Those benefactors will be very
happy to know that our students are making a good progress in school,
and will be more inclined to continue supporting us in the
future. This can result in more students and funding in your area! If
we are not able to report good progress in the area (either because
the students are doing poorly or that we have not been receiving
updates on their progress), we might lose the support of our
donors. If they stop supporting us, we cannot continue our financial
assistance program. Thus it is important that we ensure that the
children are regularly going to school and they are making a good
Visits can occur either at school or at the student's
home. Alternating between school and home visits is probably the best
arrangement for gaining insight into the many factors that can impact
a child's school performance. Visits usually last about half an hour
and are spent talking to the child and her teachers. If visiting the
child at home, it is important to directly ask the student if she is
going to school regularly or if she needs any additional supplies. If
certain supplies are needed, please purchase the supplies for the
student; we ask that you do not hand the money to the parents or the
child. To get the child engaged in discussion, ask about topics
involving school: friends, teachers, books, stories, games, and
classes. If visiting the child at school, we need to make sure we have
a way to talk to the child in private without any influence or
intimidation from the teachers or friends. It is often helpful to talk
to the teachers as well.
At the end of the visit, the volunteer should fill out a visit form
and give it to the area coordinator. The Visit form and samples of how
they need to be filled both in English and Nepali are given below
Please print a copy of the required form, make photocopies and give it
to the volunteers.
Area coordinators are expected to send monthly financial reports to
the NCEF treasurer. The report must provide the details of all money
earned and spent during each month, even if no money has been spent
since the last report. These reports are used to keep track of our
expenses and help the treasurer analyze how money is being
spent. Failure to provide financial reports every month will cause
delays in receiving future money transfers.
The report should follow the following format: for each expense, you
must record its date using the Bikram Sambat calendar; the amount of
money spent or earned; and a description of what the money was spent
on or how it was earned. If the money was spent on the children, then
please list all children who benefited.
The most convenient way to file reports is to use an Excel spreadsheet
with the following columns: Date, Amount, Description, and Notes. The
Notes column is used to list which children the expense was for or for
any other information associated with the transaction.
Finally, please hold on to receipts for all your expenses. You do not
need to send them to us immediately, but we will need you to hold on
to them for our records; occasionally, we will ask that you to send us
all the receipts you have collected. For your reference, we are
providing two sample reports. Please keep in mind that we do not
require that the reports you send look exactly like the samples we
provide, only that it has the same set of information. First, we have
provided a sample report to send when there have been no
expenses. Please note that there is nothing listed under "Total
Expenses" and the report just lists the balance.
Now a sample report that illustrates how to file when expenses are incurred:
Filing the reports
Once you have collected home visit reports from the volunteers for the
month, you are ready to file the report. Filing the reports properly
ensures that these reports are safe for our future reference and
serves as documentation of the progress that our students are making
in school. Keeping these reports at home without filing them
increases the chances that they will get lost, misplaced, stolen, or
damaged. We have a dedicated group of people whose job is to safely
store these documents indefinitely.
If Internet access is not easily accessible, please keep a duplicate
of the form until an acknowledgement is received from NCEF. You can
make a photocopy of the form or copy by hand the form as record before
you mail the original forms to NCEF.
If you have Internet access, please type up the report directly into
the email program. You do not need to use word processing programs
such as Microsoft Word. In fact, we prefer that you type directly into
the email program. There is no need to spend a lot of time to make the
reports look colorful or to use pretty fonts; we are only interested
in the content and we want you to spend all the time you can afford
providing support for your students and volunteers.
If you are not comfortable using email or Internet yourself, you could
consider taking a basic computer class. This will not only make it
easier for you to stay in touch with the organization and be in
control of your communication, but also open other non NCEF-related
opportunities for you. For coordinators who are interested in taking a
basic computer class, NCEF might be able to provide financial
assistance. Please get in touch with NCEF for details. If you do not
have the time for or interest in computer training, you are welcome to
use the services of any computer/Internet shops (cybercafes) in your
area which offer to type and send emails for a small fee.
Scholarship renewal and student selection
NCEF provides need-based financial assistance to the students. As long
as a student is able to pass his class, maintain a reasonable
attendance, and continue to meet the family income criteria, NCEF will
renew the scholarship.
In the spring of every year when selection time comes around, area
coordinators are required to fill out renewal application forms for
NCEF children, and possibly look for more applicants. The number of
children that can be sponsored in your area is determined
beforehand. Furthermore, the selection committee, not area
coordinators, makes renewal and selection decisions. Most likely you
will be under tremendous pressure from the families, relatives, and
friends to select certain students. You should explain to them that
you do not take part in selection and are unable to guarantee
scholarships. What you can do is collect the applications, make sure
they're complete, and send them to the selection committee. The
selection committee will look at all the details presented in the
applications before making decisions.
Budget and requesting money
The NCEF treasurer is the only person who can send money to you. Often
he will make an arrangement to hand you the money through someone
locally or do a bank transfer or deposit. Depending on the area,
different methods might be used. Before he will send you money, you
must prepare a budget and send it to him.
The treasurer wants the budget only for record-keeping; the primary
function of the budget is as a planning tool for yourself. If you
spend a few minutes writing the budget, it will give you a complete
picture of the key events and tasks to expect in the future. It gives
you an estimate on when you will run out of money and when you will
need to ask for money again. Please prepare a budget for the whole
year immediately after the selection process for your area is
completed, and send it to the treasurer. It need not be detailed and
can be as simple as what is shown in the example, but you can make it
detailed if you wish. It need not be accurate to the nearest rupee,
but try to make it as accurate as you can.
Once you send the budget to the treasurer, he will get a pretty good
idea on how much money he needs to send to you. He will ask you if he
needs any clarification or if he has any questions about your budget,
then he will make arrangements to send the money to you.
Enrichment activities for the students
We recognize that extra curricular activities are essential to the
development of a well-rounded child. A lot of Nepalese children do not
have access to activities that are both educational and fun, and NCEF
tries to fill that void by funding a few recreational activities each
year. In the past we have funded outings to the zoo, recreational
parks, picnics, and museums. Normally we provide for transportation to
and from the venue, snacks, and admission fees.
However, recreational activities are not NCEF's primary goal, and we
must limit the number of activities we sponsor, especially if we are
having difficulty fulfilling the important work of visiting all the
students in the area and submitting updates on the students and filing
and organizing reports on time. Organizing too many activities causes
two types of strain. Firstly, the activities start to become too
costly. Secondly, both you and the volunteers invest a lot of time in
coordinating these extra activities. For these reasons, if you have a
limited number of volunteers or for some reason there is difficulty
visiting all the students regularly, we want you to focus your energy
on those tasks rather than enrichment activities. In general, it takes
about two or three rounds of student visits to really know that you
have recruited enough volunteers and allocated enough time for student
visits. If the visits have been irregular in the last two months, it
is probably best to postpone extra-curricular activities and focus on
the visits and filing the reports. During times when you cannot
organize enrichment activities, we should try to encourage the parents
and the families to provide such recreational opportunities for their
If visits and reports have been regular and on time for
more than two months in a row, it might be refreshing for yourself and
for the students in your area to take a break, go somewhere new, and
have a good time. This can be a rewarding experience for everyone
involved. Please use your discretionary budget to cover the costs of
these enrichment activities. You must follow all the guidelines and
procedures for discretionary budget.
NCEF recognizes that you, as an area coordinator, know what is
important in your area and to your students to make this a rewarding
and productive experience. To enable you to make these local decisions
and to provide you the resources to make them happen, we allocate a
fixed amount of money every year for discretionary spending. You make
the final decision on where and how to spend this money. We only ask
you that you follow these guidelines:
- The area coordinator is allocated up to 5% of academic budget for
discretionary spending. Currently, this amounts to
NRs. 375/student. If your area has 10 students, your discretionary
budget for the whole year will be NRs. 3750. This fund can be used to
purchase materials or to organize/sponsor gatherings and events.
- The fund must benefit the CE students directly or indirectly.
- There must be no deliberate attempt to exclude specific students
from benefitting from events sponsored or materials purchased using
- The fund must not be used to benefit the coordiantor, volunteers,
and their relatives in activities unrelated to CE.
- There is no need to get prior approval on using this fund. The
decision is made by the area coordinator with input from volunteers
- An email or postal mail notice must be sent to CE at least one week
before the date of the intended expenditure of the fund.
- Any discretionary spending must be reported in the monthly
financial reports and should identify "Discretionary Fund" as the
source of fund. The date of expenditure should be clearly marked on
the financial report.
- The coordiantor is not entitled to reimbursement if the discretionary
fund expenditure is not reported in the monthly financial report
within one month of expenditure.
- Discretionary budget can not be carried over to the following
Your work will require certain fieldwork and logistical work skills
and experience. If you identify certain skills and experience that you
or your volunteers lack and if you are interested in taking classes or
attending training programs to improve those skills, we can provide
fund to cover the costs. Here are the guidelines for training
- Eligibility: Funding will be provided for training the
volunteers as well as area coordiantors. The volunteer or the area
coordinator should have at least 6 months experience with us and
demonstrated good commitment in effort and time to NCEF during that
- What type of training? Training should be relevant to
volunteer work with NCEF (examples include, but are not limited, to
English, computer skills, social service, field work skills). Training
should be for individual classes, not a degree program. Training is
not limited to one class or program per volunteer.
- Funds: Total training costs per year should not exceed 4%
of the academic budget in that area. Currently, this amounts to
NRs. 300/student. If your area has 10 students, the total training
budget for the whole year will be NRs. 3050. Each program or class can
should not cost more than NRs. 3600.
- Procedure: Please submit an application letter to NCEF
explaining the importance of this training (this letter should include
proposed class summary, date(s), location and reason this will help
the volunteer in their efforts for NCEF). If your request is approved,
50% of the cost will be paid at start of training and the rest 6
months after successful completion of the training if the volunteer is
still actively involved with NCEF
NCEF and you
Area coordination is one of the most important functions in the
organization; without area coordinators we cannot do our work. If area
coordinators follow the spirit outlined in this manual, the
organization will prosper and the economically disadvantaged students
will benefit. There could be times when things are not working as
expected or things are unpleasant or stressful. Please let us know
any such issues as soon as possible; NCEF is committed to working with
you to address any such issues. We will do whatever we can to make
your involvement in this noble effort a rewarding experience. We are
looking forward to working with you.
This manual is the result of our experience with NCEF from the last
three years. If you have any ideas on how to improve certain aspect of
the operation or if you have any comments on the manual, we would like
to hear from you. Your feedback from your experience will benefit
other area coordinators.
Important contact information
- Contact with any money related issues.
- Contact with any issues related to student visit reports.
- NCEF mailing address: PO Box 380061 Cambridge, MA 02238-0061 USA
- NCEF email address for any additional questions:
Quick answers to your questions
Q: Do I need to pay school fees every month? Can I pay a few
months's fees at a time?
A: Please pay a few months (up to six months) fees at a time so that
you don't have to meet the school officials every month. Unless it is
a special situation, please do not pay for more than six months at a
Q: Can I buy stationeries and books for the whole year in the
beginning of the academic year?
A: Yes. Buying all the stationeries and books in the beginning of the
year and giving them to the students is more efficient than buying
stationeries and books when students ask for it. We should still be
prepared to replace lost books and stationeries in the middle of the
Q: It will be easier for me if I give money to the parents to buy
the necessary supplies, because they are trustworthy. Am I allowed to
A: No. Please do not hand any money to children or parents. You should
have volunteers make necessary payments or purchases. As Area
Coordinator, you are responsible for accounting for how money is spent
and this will prevent any misuse of funds.
Q: Do I need to keep receipts of expenses?
A: Yes. Please hold on to receipts for all your expenses. You do not
need to send them to us immediately, but we will need you to hold on
to them for our records; occasionally, we will ask that you to send us
all the receipts you have collected.
Q: How often do I send financial reports and where do I send
A: Once a month to the treasurer at
Q: I did not spend any funds this month. Do I still have to send a
A: Yes. Please send a report indicating that no funds were spent.
Q: How do I ask for funds?
A: First, you will have to prepare a budget (see Budget and Requesting
Money sections in this document). Once you send the budget to the
treasurer, he will get a pretty good idea of how much money he needs
to send to you. He will ask you if he needs any clarification or if he
has any questions on your budget. Then he will make an arrangement to
send the money to you.
Q: I want to do some extra activities for the children such as
outings or awareness programs for parents. How do I do this?
A: Even though we occassionally organize them, recreational activities
are not NCEF's primary goals. If you would like to organize them in
your area, please refer to the "Discretionary Budget" section of this
Q: I want to purchase a filing cabinet. Can NCEF give me money for
A: Unless it is an item that is legally required, all purchases that
you think are important to run your area should be made using
discretionary budget. Please refer to the "Discretionary Budget"
section of this document.
Q: What is the selection period? And what is my role in
A: Every year, we go through a process of accepting applications and
selecting children for the new academic year. Your role as Area
Coordinator is very important because you will be responsible for
collecting applications and providing preliminary remarks on the
applicants in your area. Every year, you will be contacted with
details before the selection period starts.
Q: How can I increase/decrease the number of children in my area
A: At the end of every year, the NCEF executive committee evaluates
the performance of each area. We look at whether or not that area has
submitted reports on time and performed timely home visits. When
selection time comes around, you will be able to tell us how many
children you would like to have in your area and we will work with you
to determine what is a reasonable number. Some years, this number may
go down and sometimes it may go up depending on how much time you can
spare and how much manpower is available. The main goal is quality
Q: I am feeling some pressure from the local community, friends and
others to increase the number of children, select a particular
child. What should I do?
A: Because people will think you are in a position of power, some may
try to pressure you in various ways. You should inform them that all
of these decisions are made by NCEF and not by yourself. If the
pressures threaten to disturb your work as Area Coordinator, please
send an email to NCEF so that we can work together to resolve the
issue. We are committed to providing you with stress-free working
conditions. For more information, see the sections entitled:
Scholarship renewal and student selection.
Q: How should I explain to parents that their children might not be
A: From the experience of past area coordinators, this has come up as
one of the most difficult questions. There are many in Nepal who need
the help that NCEF provides, but we cannot help everyone. Therefore,
we must select a few who are the most needy. Every year, very
deserving children may not get selected, but we hope that you will
explain to the parents that filling out the application form is no
guarantee that their child will receive one of the limited spots.
Q: I am encountering some unforeseen difficulties. What should I
A: Please send an email to NCEF at
Q: What is a budget?
A: The budget is a document that you send to the treasurer, and it
must include an estimate of your expenses in the coming six
months. You are required to submit a budget twice during the year; the
first budget should be sent immediately after the selection process is
complete, and it should outline your budget for the next six
months. The second budget should be sent a few weeks before the end of
the time covered by your first budget. After approval of the budget,
the treasurer will provide you with the money necessary to accommodate
your budget. For more information, see the section entitled "Budget
and requesting money".
Q: I do not have experience with computers, but I want to gain
training. A lot of emails are in English. I would also like to take
English classes to help me improve my communication skills. Can NCEF
A: NCEF will help you pay for a basic computer education or English
classes. The section titled "Training Fund" has information to get you
Q: I will be out of town for some time. What should I do?
A: We understand that you have other pressing commitments that may
take you away from your NCEF work for some time. Please send an email
to letting us know in advance of