Kathmandu is a myriad of experiences: it’s dusty and beautiful, chaotic and serene, all at once. But one thing is definite: you’ll never discover all of it if you head here as just a tourist.
Come as an international volunteer, however, and you’ll get to discover the city’s secrets, learn its culture, and experience something so much more than a holiday.
Hannah, from Perth, Australia, is two months into a three-month research volunteer opportunity with UK-based charity Street Child, and she can’t believe how quickly her time in Nepal’s capital city has flown by.
Take on a Role with Street Child and Visit a Country as More Than Just a Tourist!
An Interview With Hannah
‘It can take a little while to settle into Kathmandu life, the dust and chaotic nature of the city can be a bit much at first,’ Hannah told us.
‘But you’ll quickly find that there is a lot to love here, from spending weekends exploring the temples of Kathmandu Valley, to enjoying an after-work sunset with a Gorkha [Nepali beer] in hand on a rooftop in Patan.
‘Plus, having the opportunity to escape the city and head for a short trek in the Annapurna Massif mountain range was incredible, and something I would encourage everyone to do.’
Working With Street Child
Before applying to work with Street Child, Hannah already had experience working on content creation and small-scale research projects with human rights organisations in Australia and Kenya.
But, with an academic background in Sociology and International Relations, she was looking to apply her skills to a larger international context.
‘I chose to volunteer with Street Child as they offered just that, a chance to contribute to meaningful and interesting work, collaborate with a local team and gain valuable insight into the development sector from the ground,’ she adds.
Hannah has been working alongside local staff on a large-scale research project investigating the education opportunities currently available for Musahar communities in the Terai region.
Musahars are the most politically-marginalised, economically-exploited and socially-ostracised people in Nepal.
As such, their access to education is severely restricted. Street Child is conducting this research to work with the community to develop a better alternative.
‘Being involved in this project has been truly fascinating, humbling and, at times, incredibly challenging,’ adds Hannah.
‘Spending time in the extremely hot and humid, but beautiful, Terai region was all of these things at once. Work in the field is full of surprises, and changing conditions mean you need to be prepared and adaptable.
‘As a foreign volunteer you are sometimes limited in your capacity to communicate, and having to rely on a translator can seem like a constraint. But it is all part of the experience and coming up with creative ways to work around barriers is part of the fun.
‘I feel really fortunate to have contributed to this project throughout its various stages. Working alongside the local team and getting to them is the process has been a huge bonus and definitely a highlight of my experience!’
Volunteer in Other Countries
Nepal isn’t the only country you can visit with Street Child. You can also make a valuable contribution in Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone or Liberia. As well as research opportunities, there are openings for teaching, communications, projects, enterprise and governance.
Volunteers’ backgrounds and ages vary – but they all share the same desire to take on a new, meaningful challenge.
Click to Learn More About Street Child
Street Child is a UK charity that believes every child deserves access to an education that will give them the power to realise a new, hopeful future for themselves.
Set up in 2008, the charity has grown exponentially and now runs projects in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Nepal and Sri Lanka, working alongside local partners.
It focuses on developing a solution that is long-term and sustainable, so people who benefit from the projects are being given a helping hand to take control of their own lives.
Following the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015, Street Child began working in a post-emergency capacity as one of the lead education organisations, helping to rebuild schools that were destroyed and train teachers in disaster preparedness.
Two years on, Street Child is now working on several other projects that focus on delivering schooling that is life-saving, fair, inclusive and sustainable, to some of the country’s most marginalised communities.
In West Africa, after Ebola swept through the region in 2014 and 2015, Street Child began working to ensure the epidemic’s legacy wouldn’t be a generation of children with no education and no future.
Among other projects in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the charity runs a Livelihoods Scheme that offers grants and training to help parents start and run their own businesses – allowing them to make enough money to keep their children in education.
The most recent country that Street Child has begun working in is Sri Lanka, where the focus is on designing and implementing projects that will enable out-of-school children to access education.
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