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The Old Primary School, Ardfoyle Avenue, Ballintemple, Cork, County Cork


SHEP'S Mission Statement 

In solidarity and partnership with others we seek to foster the well-being of people, families, communities and the wider world and to contribute to building a healthy, loving, socially-just and sustainable way of living.


SHEP is an Irish not for profit, community based training and development organisation established in 1974. We are a registered charity (CHY9974). SHEP promotes social and personal transformation through experiential group work in Community Education and Facilitator training as well as through Advocacy, Low Cost Counselling, Earth Awareness and an International Learning Partnership with the Nepalese NGO, Sahakarmi Samaj. SHEP works throughout counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick and also in Waterford and Clare as well as supporting the work of our partner Sahakarmi Samaj in Nepal.


where your money goes

Shakti - meaning 'Power' is the name of  Sahakarmi's new 3 year community empowerment programme, the aim of which is to :

'Contribute to a sustainable and empowered civil society, by mobilising marginalised people in rural Nepal '

SHEP and Sahakarmi Samaj do not give out aid in the traditional sense. Your money will not fund food parcels, medical supplies, school fees or capital equipment such as water pumps, tractors etc. Instead it will fund the support and training needed to enable people to organise at a village level and lift themselves out of poverty, to become active citizens who can claim their rights and entitlements and farmers who can build resilience and adapt to Climate Change.

Your money will help people transform their own lives.

The focus of this work is on the empowerment and social inclusion of all people, and the breaking down of barriers and discrimination around gender, caste, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, disabilty, marital status or religion. It is also focused on working with local and regional government officials, training them to listen to their constituents, adopt people centred policies and better respond to the needs of the community.

Your money will provide part of the core funding for the Shakti programme for 2022-25.

SHEP has secured a 3 year grant from Irish Aid which provides 70% of the total budget for the Shakti programme. However this funding is conditional on us finding a further 30% in matching funding. Some of this has been pledged by Nepali municipal governments but SHEP still needs to make up the difference of at least €5,000 per year. That's a total of €15,000 over 3 years.

Some of the activities that your money will fund: 

  • The training and employment of local field workers to facilitate community development  groups in poor rural communities 
  • The setting up of 84 new Community Development Groups and training them in Rights Based Advocacy & Action Planning 
  • Civic Educator Facilitator Training for 58 community group members so they can help others and share their skills and knowledge
  • Training programmes & support grants for young people interested in Agroecology & Green Entrepreneurship 
  • Leadership programmes for women
  • Indigenous seed saving workshops for 1200 people


Thank you for reading this far ....with your generous help,we know we can do it !


SHEP & Sahakarmi Samaj - International Learning Partners since 2007

Our learning partnership with Sahakarmi Samaj dates back to 2007. Above all it is a partnership of equals, where members of both organisations can share skills, practice,learning and international co-operation.The main work of the partnership during recent years has been a series of successful bids to Irish Aid's Civil Society Fund resulting in the funding of five three year community empowerment projects ( the most recent one due to start in October 2022). These projects focus on strengthening Nepalese civil society through social inclusion,rights based advocacy and the establishment of  a network of village level community development groups. A key element is also to work with local government officials to re-imagine and improve services so as to become responsive to the community and person centred.   

The partnership came about as  a result of a personal connection between SHEP's former Director Paul Doherty, who had worked in Nepal, and the two founders of Sahakarmi  Samaj Ammar Air and Nared .......  Paul was aware of the pioneering community empowerment work that Sahakarmi was carrying out and realised that the two organisations would be well matched as partners.15 years later we have successfully collaborated on four 3 year Irish Aid funded programmes - the fifth is starting in October 2022 - with poor and marginalised communities in Nepal. We have hosted visitors from Nepal in Ireland and been hosted in Nepal; we have fundraised for emergencies such as the Covid pandemic in 2021 and the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and our twin communities have deepened their understanding of one another and grown in strength and connection.