From Nicaragua to Nepal

9th May 2014

Volunteering with Raleigh helps develop the skills needed to continue delivering meaningful action after your placement, as ICS volunteer Jess discovered when she put her new found skills into practice.

On returning from her project in Nicaragua, Jess travelled to Nepal to volunteer with a Micro-Finance Scheme. Whilst there she saw the opportunity to deliver a meaningful Action at Home around an issue her ICS placement had brought close to her heart – women’s empowerment.

Alongside another female volunteer she held a Sexual Violence Focus Group to empower local women in Lalitpur, providing support and advice for women who had experienced mental trauma from either systematical abuse within a marital relationship or from one off sexual attacks.

 “The skills I learnt in Nicaragua about leading focus groups were put into practice. We all sat cross legged on the floor and commenced with ice-breakers and awareness raising to bring closeness and create a web of trust to facilitate later discussions.

“It was a day filled with laughter, smiles, tears, respect and admiration of total bravery and courage. Tears poured down the faces of numerous women as one lady told her story about being terrorised in her community due to her son being a convicted drug dealer. The trembling of her words made clear her fear, her powerlessness and her courage.

“It was an inspiring afternoon, to see so many women of all ages united in a common interest. Contacts were exchanged and new sisterly bonds were formed. We ended with a unifying group photo and trading hugs.”


A representative from an NGO specialising in female security and legislation also attended the event, and was on hand to give advice and support to the women who attended. The day successfully raised awareness of gender equality and provided support and information for the attendees, empowering them and strengthening their community.

Have you used the skills you developed on Raleigh to deliver a meaningful action overseas? We'd love to hear about it, share your story with us at