“Volunteering in Nepal was a perfect opportunity for me to help and learn but also escape the constant materialism and drive for perfection that suffocates youth in the UK.
“Here in Chapthok, Gorkha, we were able to set up a polytunnel business for the community. This business allows locals to grow and sell high demand, high value crops such as tomatoes. We taught new practices including nursery beds and drip irrigation to make polytunnel farming as efficient as possible. What I liked most about this project was the long-term sustainability of it. As a team, we have built the polytunnels with the community, ensuring they learn how to continue building them or fixing their own if they break.
“The long-term sustainability of the project shines throughout Chapthok. The community plan to build more polytunnels in the near future (in some cases six more) and they plan to create a cooperative and buy a car together so they can sell the extra crops generated in town. Seeing this community engagement and eagerness to create a more sustainable income was one of my most fulfilling moments of Raleigh ICS; we witnessed the hard work we put in benefiting people’s lives and making a difference to a community.
“ICS is a hugely rewarding and beneficial experience, however working in a remote community on the other side of the world was challenging. It is definitely not a holiday! It was hard to integrate into a culture which contrasted significantly to my own, where the language barrier couldn’t let you talk to your host parents. Furthermore, the lack of communication with my own family and friends was difficult.
“But I have changed a lot thanks to ICS. Before the programme, I saw myself as a business student keen to make a profit but now I have learnt how important it is to be sustainable, environmentally friendly and fair. In the future, I will be working harder to achieve this and seek it in the business environment. In addition to this, I would be keen to take part in more volunteering in my local community or even take part in ICS as a team leader to help inspire more youth to make a difference.
“Overall, Raleigh ICS was an amazing experience where I had the opportunity to work with volunteers from another country and help a community together. I would recommend ICS and Raleigh International to anyone who is keen to make a difference and I will tell them that’s its nothing like you would imagine – it is better!”
To find out how you can volunteer with us, please click here.
images by communications officer Suman