“As volunteers, we receive a lot more than we give”: Anjeela on the importance of volunteering
“Before finding out about Raleigh I had never done volunteering before, but I always wanted to do something to help others. So last year I volunteered in the Makwanpur district of Nepal on the Raleigh ICS programme. It made me feel like I was doing a great thing, so I decided to volunteer again on the Expedition working on a new water project.
“In Nepal it’s not very popular for young people to go and do volunteering, because many people think this is the high time to be earning money. So when I explained to others what I was doing, they didn’t think it was right. But while my friends are going to earn lots of money in work and making their own passions, for me I am following my passion of volunteering which is helping people.”
Anjeela is volunteering in the rural community of Rampur. In Rampur there are problems with water scarcity and the community people face days without water flowing from the taps, so Anjeela’s team of volunteers are working to change this.
“For me the first thing people should have is their basic facilities. I feel like helping people is a good thing, because I live in a place where I get running water and have all the facilities I need. But people here suffer without having these things. So if I can do something to help make their lives be better, then I am always ready.
“In Rampur, everyone is really busy here – some people are carpenters, masons, and lots of building is going on after the earthquake. Because of the scarcity of water in Rampur, we are working on our project to improve pipelines and bring water to new tap stands.
“A few days ago I asked my host father what he thinks of the work we’re doing. He said he was happy about the project and that it will help because they really have to collect water from far and carry it home. So I really believe we will make a change here. We are making water tap stands which will not just last for two years, but they will last for years and years permanently, making life permanently sustainable.
“From being on Raleigh, I think there has been a change in me every day. It makes me feel so good because I’ve learnt so many new things. When I started volunteering here it was a very new experience. Though I’d been in rural communities around the Kathmandu valley, it was only for one or two days, so living in a rural community for a long time has been a really different experience. So I have learnt a lot, and I feel like I am taking these things with me, I won’t leave them in Rampur. The things I’ve learnt will help me in many sectors.
“Because of the beautiful change I feel in myself from this Raleigh expedition, after this, I want to inspire more people so they can also make change in themselves and in the world around them.
“I think people always make a different meaning of volunteering. They think that it is only giving. But I think we receive a lot more than we give. I also used to think that volunteering was working for free, but in volunteering you receive so much that will make a change in you and remain with you always. If my small effort can make people’s lives happy, and if I can support people to live in a good way, then that is why volunteering is always important to me.”
Volunteers like Anjeela have made real difference to people living in Rampur. Find out more about the project in Rampur here and here.