“Anyone from Raleigh is always welcome to stay with us, no matter when they come.”

13th December 2018

Bhim Prasad Paudel, a primary school teacher, has hosted Raleigh volunteers in Khastar, a village in Gorkha, Nepal, since late September this year. Volunteers in Nepal stay with a host family for a period of three weeks, who provide them with a room to stay in and all their meals. Many volunteers develop a close bond with the families, who welcome them into their homes and treat them as a member of the family. We spoke to him about his life, and recent experience with Raleigh.

“I normally wake up at around half past five, have my breakfast and milk the cows and buffaloes, and look after my goats. I work as a primary school teacher, and it takes me two hours to walk to school. I arrive home around six o’clock, and take care of my animals before having dinner and going to bed.

“Before Raleigh was here, my village got all their water from local public water taps. It would take me 5-10 minutes to walk to the stand, and there would be a queue of people, who also collected their water when I got there. It would take up to two hours to collect all the water I needed. During the dry season, there isn’t always enough water to go around.

“Many things have improved for me in the past three months, since Raleigh started its work in my village. I have seen the volunteers take care of themselves so well, for instance, they make sure they treat their water before they drink it to ensure it is pure.”

“I am optimistic about my future and the future of the community. Our collective hygiene has improved, thanks to Raleigh. The only fear I have is that now that technology is taking over, the people in my village will get materialistic and care about these things rather than being helpful. We are a close community and we share a lot.”

“Before the volunteers arrived, I was really worried about the communication barrier, and how hard the cultural shock would be for them. Now, after spending some time with them, I have been inspired by their discipline. They are much more hardworking than I had expected, and seeing them try hard to learn Nepalese and spend their time working in my community makes me so happy. The only negative thing I found about it is that, this has made me realise- how behind the West we are, that we need help to learn all these things about water purification and hygiene.

“There was an issue before the volunteers arrived that people weren’t sure if they wanted them in their house and whether it would be difficult. Now we have had the volunteers here for a while and everyone wants to have them in their house as they’ve seen how good they are and how easy it is to look after them. I want the volunteers to live here for as long as possible because we all like having them around.

“It has struck me how helpful these people are, even though they live far away, they want to help us, and to help us grow. I am thankful not just from my perspective but from the whole community. I am grateful to Goreto Gorkha as well [Raleigh’s local partner NGO] for being an intermediary between us and Raleigh. Anyone from Raleigh is always welcome to stay here with us, no matter when they come. I am thankful to everyone who came here, and I will remember them for the rest of my life, and I hope they remember me too.”

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