“If I had to describe Raleigh in one word it would be ‘family'”

17th February 2020

Community development has always been my passion. It started when I went to New Zealand to study IT. I did some travelling; I met a lot of interesting people from around the world and worked on numerous farms. What I like most about New Zealand was their love for nature and how they care about their natural resources. During my travels I met people who were practicing sustainable farming and living and people who were not. However, after seeing the difference and analyzing it, I saw the importance of being sustainable.  I think this is the thing the world needs right now more than anything else.

During my stay in New Zealand I discovered more about myself, leading me to change my career. While in New Zealand I was able to travel and work in different farms, and was able to meet people who were interested in agriculture. This experience made me realize that I would be satisfied working in the agricultural sector not the IT felid. I always planned on returning to Nepal, especially since I felt that I could create an Impact here. Raleigh, I found could give me a good experience in what I needed to learn to achieve my aim.

Nirajan with the Expedition team in Pauwa .

I initially jointed Raleigh as a Volunteer Manager. It was an amazing experience because you’re living in a community and you can see what the problems and needs are. We collaborated with the women’s group and made 12 dust-bins, from cracked buckets that were not in use, which were placed around the community. Before, the community members used to throw garbage everywhere, but later due to the dust- bins the community was really clean Living and working in the community, we realized that they were not following good hygiene practice; resulting in many community members suffering from preventable diseases. We taught them how to control houseflies and cover their food.

After that cycle I worked as a Deputy Operations Manager for expedition [supporting the teams from the Kathmandu field base], which was  a very challenging experience. As a DOM you are not in community so you have to picture the issues in our head and dig out the real cause. Most of the problems I had to solve were related to cultural differences. I helped the Nepali Volunteer Managers to facilitate a way for everyone to understand the picture clearly. In this job you have to be really careful and sensitive regarding different cultures and background the volunteers could come from.

Nirajan , helping the 2019 Expedition group in Pauwa to build a tap-stand

I really wanted to work as a Field Officer for Goreto Ghorka, since it’s more satisfying when you get to work with people together in the field. Plus, when you come to community you have more opportunity to help and create a bigger impact in their lives.

It’s amazing working with the young people, because I’ve been through that phase and I can relate a lot of things. Now I’ve seen a lot more I can guide them in the right direction.

My time at Raleigh helped me to get this job at Goreto Gorkha because of my experience working with young people and my understanding of operational procedures. That I means I can see the bigger picture of the issues we deal with and this can create more impact on what I’m doing.

My plan is to have a big eco-farm based on permaculture. I was looking for an opportunity to learn what is necessary to run the eco-farm. However, if I want to start something, I first need to be able to understand how to work with different stake holders, how organizations work, so that issues do not arise later on. Working for Raleigh and now Goreto Gorkha, has given me in insight to all of this.

The best thing about volunteering for Raleigh was getting to know a lot of amazing people from different countries and working together with them. If I had to describe Raleigh in one word it would be ‘family.’ We are all from different cultures and countries, but we are all human beings are family.


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Post and Pictures by Ursula Turner


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