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My year in Nepal

A talk by Orla Fawcett

In 2018 the club made a contribution towards theĀ£6,200 that Orla needed to raise in order to undertake a year's voluntary work in Nepal and on 11th September she came to tell us of her experiences.  Orla was a pupil of both the Challoners schools and was working for a charity based on the Isle of Col during her gap year before going to Manchester University to study Spanish and Chinese.  The charity has a programme of teaching English to remote villages in Nepal and Orla and another volunteer took over from volunteers who had been there in the previous year.  The had no knowledge of the local language and had to pick it up as they went along.  The village was called Harpe and to get there involved an 18 hour bus ride from Katmandu followed by a three hour trek.  The villagers were subsistance farmers and the living conditions primitave with a squat toilet and cold water showers.  Not too good in the winter at 1500 metres. Whilst their accomodation was made of mud bricks the view from their window of the mountains compensated for this.  The were given a ration of rice and had to rely on the students to supply them with vegetables. A good basic vegetarian diet.  Teaching was not easy as the younger students always wanted to play and indeed this was necessary in winter as there was no heating in the school.  Whilst local custom was for a punitive system of discipline they found that positive rewards worked best for them.There was a great community spirit there and they enjoyed taking part in local festivals.  They had 3 five week breaks between terms and were able to get around and see some of the country and meet up with other volunteers.  This was a most inspiring talk from a very impressive young lady.