Capturing my Raleigh ICS Experience in Nepal on Video
If you thought you’d heard the last from me about Nepal, you thought wrong… Earlier this year I spent almost 4 months living and volunteering in Nepal with the sustainable development NGO, Raleigh International, as a Team Leader for the UK’s International Citizen Service (ICS). If you’re interested in reading up more about my experience in Nepal, then you’ve a whole host of blog posts and photos to catch up on over on my ‘Volunteering Abroad’ section. I could honestly talk for days about all the things I learned, all the people I met and the ways Nepal changed me and helped me grow. I can’t recommend Raleigh & ICS highly enough, and while I was there, alongside capturing thousands of photos, I also managed to record the odd video as well.
Although it has taken me 4 months since I returned in May to find the time, I have finally managed to cobble together the first of two videos I had planned to make about Nepal. This first video below is a taster of what ICS is about, what the key issues are in Nepal, what our project entailed and why I loved it so much, as well as an intro to my amazing team: NC1. The second video will be a closer look at the 15 team members, so keep your eyes peeled for that video too (hopefully I’ll have that done sooner than 4 months away!). A big thank you to everyone who features in the two videos, or who helped me record clips for them, and I hope this gives you a better insight into our experience in Bhalu Khola. Let me know what you think!
One aspect of the International Citizen Service that most people don’t know about is ‘Action at Home’. The idea is that each and every volunteer has to complete some kind of project, event or action in their community once they return from their volunteering project abroad, so that the benefit is passed on to those around them in UK and also in Kathmandu (where all our Nepali volunteers came from). I chose to do two separate things for my Action at Home project.
Firstly, I wanted to use this blog to raise awareness of the issues in Nepal and our work there, and to hopefully encourage readers to look into ICS and consider taking part yourselves! So I blogged throughout my project in Nepal (see here for my Diary Entries Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), as well as on specific topics such as gender inequality, the problem of labour migration and the 2015 earthquake anniversary. I also wrote for the Huffington Post to publicise the issues in Nepal to their enormous readership here. This video (and the second video on its way) make up the final part of my attempt to raise awareness online and hopefully inspire and encourage more young people to take part! If you’ve been tempted to look into or apply for ICS, please do let me know, as I’d be thrilled!
The second part of my Action at Home was a series of three talks and presentations I’ve given about Nepal to various audiences in London. The first was at a One Young World Ambassadors event in June, the second was in July to the staff at Raleigh International HQ as one of the first volunteers to return from Nepal (a new country for the NGO), and the third was at a Circle of Young Intrapreneurs event in August. At the first and third events, most of the audience had never heard of ICS beforehand, so I was really pleased to hear that lots of them were interested in doing ICS, after hearing me speak. It was also a great excuse to talk about Nepal and keep it alive in my mind, to look back through photos and remind myself of what we achieved there and what a fantastic experience it was. If you know of any networks / groups who might be interested in hearing more about the experience, such as universities / schools / avid travellers / volunteers, then do let me know!