Category Archives: Volunteer News

Four Months of Volunteering

After nearly four months of in Gorkha, Richard Van Este is about to complete his volunteering through GDS.  Richard quickly adjusted to life in Gorkha working tirelessly for GDS with our Gorkha committee members and became involved in the community and all the current projects offering guidance and support to continue improvements.  He worked with students and teachers in several schools, with the women’s group in two hygiene education programmes held in rural schools and participated in two teacher training programmes held in more remote areas.  The summer monsoon, lack of power, and limited wifi have sometimes slowed but never dinted his enthusiasm and spirit to help the people he has lived amongst and his communication with us. We look forward to Richards stories and reports when he returns, sharing ideas to help support our future work and programmes and thank him for all his efforts and invaluable experie

Volunteer Richard immersed in the Gorkha Community

Richard Van Neste arrived in Gorkha in early May to spend 6 weeks as a volunteer. Following a trekking trip in the Annapurna Range, Richard quickly settled in with his homestay family – the first overseas visitor they have had, and is really made to feel at home. An early committee meeting meant he met all of our team and organised a programme to get started. Hes now working at two schools, visited the hospital, rural village, womens group, Lions Club, local festival, helped organise applications for funding to UK , witnessed a local election they have anticipated for 20 years,  made lots of friends and played lots of cricket! phew!

A small extract from his writing to us is below.  We will  share many more stories and hopefully Richards blog with you shortly.

10th May – And the day wasn’t over! Then I joined the Gorkha Women’s Association meeting at my house. All the members were so welcoming and I was able to explain that I am particularly interested in participating in any new hygiene programmes or review of the old programme. Sarita explained that they will make a proposal to GDS to start a new programme on 2nd June at a school that has requested their assistance. I have offered to help with the proposal in any way I can. And Sarita also expects that we will have time to return to review the previous programme. 
Finally – two of ‘my sister’s’ cousins have come to stay and so we had a lovely party all sat round on the floor with snacks last night. The laughing continues; my Nepali improving all the time. Then off to bed with the sound of the biggest thunderstorm I have ever seen/heard in my life. We’ve had many thunderstorms already here but this time the flashing was almost constant and the booms echoed deep into the valley and shook both me and the house with the same vibration you experience in your bones and chest when at a music festival. I loved it! But the gecko sharing my room squealed at the first really loud boom!

Report from Lin’s Gorkha visit

Linda Blunt has been involved with GDS since her first visit to Nepal trekking and then volunteering in Gorkha.  Soon after she was made Trustee and Secretary and is now Co-Chair. Following Lin’s stay in Gorkha just prior to the earthquake in 2015, she returned in Feb/March of this year and found much for GDS and supporters to be proud of. See full report Linda Blunt Report 2017

Zoe in local magazine

Volunteer Zoe returned from her volunteering in Gorkha followed by travels in Asia and a return visit to Gorkha after the earthquake. Now back home she fronts a local magazine and aims do do severalIMG_0402 presentations to local groups near Bromyard, Herefordshire.

Volunteer Zoe returns to Gorkha

zoe— I was happy to see the roads in good condition on my journey to Gorkha but not so happy as I looked out the bus window seeing some of the beautiful clay, stone and concrete houses crumbled into piles of rubble. Bright orange and blue plastic was a common sight which was either being used as tents or roofs by local people.

As I walked along my original  home stay street seeing so many houses that are now only one storey instead of three, now with CGI roofing instead of tiles or in the process of being demolished was difficult to see. —  It felt like yesterday that I saw my old home stay family, even though four months had passed they welcomed me back into their home like family.

— Listening to many earthquake stories was emotional yet inspiring. I will cherish their kindness,generosity and good humour and cannot wait to visit them again. There certainly is something special about Nepali people that I am yet to experience elsewhere. Namaste Nepal.see full report