Category Archives: Volunteer News

Volunteer Katie – report on rural Teacher Training Programme

Katie volunteered through GDS in the summer and has kindly sent a report in relation to her experience assisting in a rural teacher training programme. Barpak teacher training experience

Teacher training with Laxman

Katie is a specialist in Occupational Therapist in Prisons helping to enable rehabilitation through maintaining health and skills. Following discussions with the small prison in Gorkha, they agreed to Katie entering the prison to develop a programme. This Katie did with some excellent ideas which were checked and selected for the most appropriate and sustainable opportunities.  However, before being able to start the programme, a change of Governor at the prison rejected the proposals and so sadly Katie was not able to fulfill this programme.

Presented with a coloured bamboo stool made by prisoners.

Katie did however join Headmaster Laxman for 5 days helping with a Rural Teacher Programme which GDS support, and also helped in the school spending some time with disabled children.

Our thanks to Katie for managing through a difficult situation


Medical Elective Eamonn – read about his Gorkha experience —

Eamonn Foley, a Medical Student at Birmingham University, undertook his Medical Elective in Gorkha Hospital in the summer – the first Elective Placement through GDS since the earthquake disaster in 2015 when the hospital was damaged.
Eamonn commented – At the end of a busy 4 weeks, I prepared to leave Gorkha with great regret. The kindness shown to me by the Kathmandu Medical students, Sarita’s family and the whole local committee of GDHEDS was truly overwhelming. The perfect scenery and simpler way of life built around habit and routine was relaxing and a lovely change. I learnt a great deal about the importance of basic medical practice. The necessity of perfecting Histories and Examinations in the absent of diagnostic tests, and the just how greatly pain its perception and management can be altered by cultural beliefs.
Eamonn’s full report is available on GDS website.
We thank Eamonn for his valuable contributions and we welcome interest from other Medical Students who wish to share 4 – 6 weeks experience with the Gorkha community.  CONTACT GDS

OT Volunteer Katie Vaneker at Gorkha prison and helps in other projects

As a specialist in occupational therapy to aid prisoner rehabilitation, Katie spent time working with our gorkha team to develop ways in which to contribute to supporting prisoners and families. Bamboo stools (as seen) are currently made and sold with money going to families as there is no other family support system. There is now a possibility of doll making for the women and the loan of sewing machines for classes. Katie has found it a difficult challenge to work through the political layers and there may be obstacles to further involvement but she has certainly made every effort possible. As well as this Katie got involved in the school hygiene project, teacher training in rural area, English classes and now also time with disabled children and teacher. More detail will follow when she returns but thank you Katie for all efforts.

Katie Vanaker arrived in Gorkha as volunteer

Katie from Wrexham in Wales was recently awarded the Pearson Prize, choosing to travel to Nepal and use her wide ranging experience and occupational therapy skills. Katie has been welcomed by Ram Chandra and our committee in Gorkha, met the homestay and already left for the rural village of Barpak to join a 3 day Teacher Training Programme which GDS supports. Headmaster and committee member Laxman is leading the training and we know that Katie has  already found this a rewarding experience and enabled her to gain an understanding of the culture. She also took an impromptu english/games class to about 40 children!

We will keep you updated on her 3 week stay.

Medical Elective placement in Gorkha completed.

Eamonn Foley 4th year Medical student from Birmingham University has spent the last month in Gorkha working at the local hospital and also being involved in several of the GDS funded projects.

Eamonn was pleased to spend time with Nepali medical students from Kathmandu also working at the small government hospital so able to exchange a lot of experience.  The also worked closely with Eamonn and Sarita and joined several of the school hygiene projects which GDS funds. The basic hygiene lessons included helping the children understand how disease spreads.

We wait to hear more upon his return and will keep you posted.