The Volunteer Manager team have been doing everything they can to prepare and make the best possible impression, including learning some Nepali! We seek to maximise long-lasting impact in everything we do so Project Planning Visits are an essential part of the development and training process the Volunteer Managers are involved in from they arrive in Nepal.
A key Raleigh value is to be open to discovery, to be open minded to try new things and learn from one another. To that end, Raleigh Nepal have introduced new methodologies to the Expedition programme to ensure the long-lasting success of the Expedition programme. During the Volunteer Managers’ Project Planning Visits they will be using the Committees strategy which has proven to be an effective methodology on the Raleigh ICS programme.
What are Committees? Committees are a straightforward project management tools which are used to help Raleigh volunteers manage and deliver targets set out in the TPTs (*acronym alert!* that’s Raleigh for Team Planning Tools). Each Committee is closely aligned to the Raleigh Activity Areas that fall under the consortium of UK Aid. The Volunteer Managers have dedicated large proportions of their training to understanding and planning how we will enable our venturers to create their own committees in order to achieve key objectives. This is a symbol of the commitment of the Raleigh Nepal programme to the monitoring and evaluation of the following three committee pillars; Community Development; Awareness Raising and Community Infrastructure.
The Expedition 17O Volunteer Managers are excited to be the first Expedition to trial this methodology and will be using the Project Planning Visit to start to think about how they will put it in place.
Comm’s Officer, Rebbie, has been talking to each community VM team about how they feel about today’s Project Planning Visit from what they packed to what they’re most anticipating:
Kamero Tol, Gorkha:
- Volunteer Managers who will be working here with their venturers on Expedition 17O Community Phase 1 = Sophie, Andrew and Sirju.
- Kamero Tol: 13 houses, 50 people, 6km from main highway/ 40 minute walk.
- Volunteer Medic Sophie tells us how she’s prepared: “We’ve pre-empted what we’ll need for the next few days by packing our kit last night very carefully. We’ve condensed it and used the past few days’ training to inform what we take.”
- Volunteer Manager Andrea reflected on what was coming up upon arrival, “When we get thee we’ll meet the leaders of each community and establish what they expect of us. Putting it into practice is going to be nerve-wracking but I know we’re well-prepared to make a good impression.
Bimire Gaun, Gorkha:
- Volunteer Managers who will be working here with their venturers on Expedition 17O Community Phase 1 = Felix, Andrea and Gandip.
- Birmire Gaun: 24 houses, 95 people, 18km / 2 hours from Benighat.
- Comm’s Officer Rebbie asked Gandip how long it would take to get there from their training base in Kathmandu, “If everything goes ok it could take 6 – 6.5 hours. That’s generous, it could take less than this. I allow for lots of traffic, Nepali time!”
- Gandip also explained that he wanted to speak with all important people in the community to get them working cooperatively with us. Specifically he enthused that “I think it is the most important day for us, it’s also the most fun part because it’s a way to look at the place you will work for the next ten weeks with the venturers.”
Gairi Gaun, Gorkha:
- Volunteer Managers who will be working here with their venturers on Expedition 17O Community Phase 1 = Essie and Sean.
- Gairi Gaun: 40 houses, 36 families, 4 shops, 20km from the main highway.
- “I’m looking forward to meeting the community and working with my team. When we get there we’ll draw up a map of the area to see where everything is and where all the different projects, work sites and homestays will be. I really hope that my passion shows through given the translation issues we might encounter. Hopefully the community members will embrace the Nepali we have been learning so far!”
The Project Planning Visits which will be conducted by the Volunteer Managers over the next few days are a vital part of the effectiveness of our WASH programmes. Across Raleigh we recognise that we can achieve more if we work with community members and understand their needs as well as our own.
After a lot of training and a steep learning curve, Expedition 17O VM Felix acutely summarised that we are “putting into perspective the scope of the project we’ve taken on.” Every project we implement with Raleigh is ambitious, innovative and unique from the last. However, it is because of Raleigh’s ability to implement and trial new ways of working, to prioritise cultural exchange and community relationships which allows Raleigh Expedition 17O VMs to have some perspective on the project in hand. The VMs are not just creating WASH project infrastructure by building toilets, handwashing stations and reservoirs but working to all of the Raleigh Activity Areas, including Community Development and Awareness Raising in order to create lasting change.