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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

Basic 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?

  • 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 everyone.
  • 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 time.
  • 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.
In summary the area co-ordinator is required to
  • Form a team of volunteers
  • Collect and submit applications for the student scholarship.
  • 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 volunteers:
  • 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 progress.

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.

Financial reports

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 children.

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.

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:
  1. 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.
  2. The fund must benefit the CE students directly or indirectly.
  3. There must be no deliberate attempt to exclude specific students from benefitting from events sponsored or materials purchased using this fund.
  4. The fund must not be used to benefit the coordiantor, volunteers, and their relatives in activities unrelated to CE.
  5. There is no need to get prior approval on using this fund. The decision is made by the area coordinator with input from volunteers whenever possible.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Discretionary budget can not be carried over to the following year's budget.

Training Fund

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 funding:
  • 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 period.
  • 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 time.

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 year.

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 do this?
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 them?
A: Once a month to the treasurer at

Q: I did not spend any funds this month. Do I still have to send a report?
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 document.

Q: I want to purchase a filing cabinet. Can NCEF give me money for this?
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 selection?
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 next year?
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 over quantity.

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 selected?
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 do?
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 help me?
A: NCEF will help you pay for a basic computer education or English classes. The section titled "Training Fund" has information to get you started.

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 such departures.

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