Posted by WorkingAbroad Projects on Friday, 24th October 2014
Over the last few years our volunteers have been busy working hard providing education and healthcare to rural communities in Nepal. But that’s not all. Although providing medical care and education are the two main goals of the Rural Community Volunteer Project, those who join the programme are involved in much more. Volunteers contribute towards a long term goal of improving the lives of the people of Nepal through sustainable investment and income from responsible travel and tourism.
Whilst in Nepal our volunteers are welcomed by home stay families. So far we have helped over 20 families by paying them to offer a home stay service to volunteers. This money not only helps the women earn much needed income to support their family but also gives the women a direct income without relying on their husbands.
Learning English is of great importance in Nepal, students must pass an English exam in order to enter college, so education really is the way to build a better life for many Nepali students. Volunteers on the rural community development project have taught over 1000 students in 6 different schools aged 4 to 16yrs. Mostly English lessons, but they helped with a few computer, environmental and human rights lessons.
Volunteers have helped 15 disabled children in a day care centre in Kathmandu. Daily tasks include helping with homework, preparing food, getting the children ready, some basic physiotherapy and last but not least, fun! Volunteers have also helped to pay for a new roof on the building and a well to pump fresh water along with a new water pump at an all-girls orphanage in Kathmandu.
Our volunteers have also been working alongside the Nepali staff at healthcare centres. Without projects like this many people in this region would be without basic medical care. In many rural areas a simple illness can become life threatening but volunteers are helping to save lives by providing basic care and hygiene training. A total of 5 medical camps have been run over the past years treating just over 3000 rural people.
As well as education and healthcare volunteers also have the opportunity to get involved with some smaller one off projects. Across Nepal many schools are extremely basic and fail to provide a positive learning environment, but volunteers are working to change this. So far three schools, one in the Chitwan district and two in the Kaski district, have been beautifully painted both inside and out. This has helped to improve the learning environment for students and staff and stimulate learning. These projects have been so successful that volunteers are needed to paint a further 43 rural schools.
Working alongside WCN, volunteers have also had a huge impact on the surrounding environment by planting 3000 trees. Nepal has seen a huge amount of deforestation over the years leading to landslides and degradation of large areas of national park. This reforestation project not only improves the environment but helps to reduce landslides and provide the local community with resources for animal feed, building and cooking.
There is no sign of the project slowing down anytime soon with plans to help fund and build a woman’s empowerment centre and a medical health post in rural villages.
By Megan Smith, WorkingAbroad team
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