Beth’s story: “If you want change to happen, you’ve got to get stuck in”

28th November 2018

Beth is a volunteer on our autumn Nepal Expedition programme, which runs from September to December. She has completed three weeks living in a community and working on a WASH project (water, sanitation and hygiene), and she has just returned from a three week, 120 kilometre trek.

“I was situated in the Mathilo Raniswara community for three weeks. There, I worked alongside the community to dig a pit for an 10,000 litre water tank which will mean that the locals have access to water all year round, as at the moment they are without easy access to water for three months in a year. I also helped to dig two toilet pits. Finally, my team and I successfully planned and delivered two software projects – a talk with the women’s group on the topic of menstrual hygiene where we taught them how to make sanitary towels, and a session in the school about correct hand washing techniques.

(Beth, middle, working on building a handwashing station in Mathilo Raniswara)

“I felt like our messages were delivered more effectively because of our youth. At the menstrual hygiene talk with the local women’s group, we were able to explain our attitudes to menstruation and relate on a personal level to those within the community, and I hope that this continues to change attitudes even though we’ve left.

“The trek was, for me, a large part of why I chose to do a Raleigh Expedition so I was looking forward to the challenge. I found it both mentally and physically tough but worth every second once I saw the views of the Himalayas. I learnt strength and resilience as well as practical and teamwork skills that I will continue to use as I travel more. The best part of trek was reaching our highest point at 3300 metres after an exhausting eight hour uphill hike. We held onto our team spirit right until the end, reaching the top was a great team accomplishment.

“My biggest personal challenge was having to manage the group when I took on the role of day leader. I had to co-operate with the guides to ensure that we left on time and scheduled breaks check on the wellbeing of the team. It was challenging to keep morale up during the testing moments and having to be strict on the lengths of snack breaks.

(Beth and her community team. Beth is bottom row, second left)

“Before Raleigh I would have described myself as relatively quiet and reserved, with strong ideas, but I was lacking the confidence to take charge of a situation. Now I am more confident, and a stronger leader. I am more open to meeting and engaging with anyone, even if we do not have a common language. As a result of taking part in Raleigh I have adopted the mindset that if you want change to happen then take initiative to get stuck in. I now feel as though I have the confidence to tackle bigger issues and continue creating and inspiring change. “

Beth volunteered on a Raleigh Expedition through our Bursary Fund. Raleigh International is committed to ensuring that our Expedition programme is accessible to young people from a range of backgrounds. Our Bursary Fund has been established to help support young people who might otherwise find it difficult to fundraise the full cost of a 10-week Expedition. Find out more.

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