As we get ever closer to the arrival of our first volunteer teams in Nepal, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the regions we will be working in; glorious Gorkha and magnificent Makwanpur!
From February 2016, Raleigh volunteers will work to create lasting change in the foothills of the Himalayas. They will be focussing their work in the fascinating districts of Gorkha and Makwanpur.
Despite its stunning beauty and proud history, Nepal has faced many challenges, including political instability, natural disasters and the effects of climate change. We believe that the energy, passion and creativity of young people can help rural communities become more resilient to these challenges.
Situated in north-central Nepal, the Gorkha district is significant in shaping the country’s history and culture. (Modern day Nepal was formed in 1768, when the King of Gorkha, Prithivi Narayan Shah conquered 22 small kingdoms to form Nepal as we know it!). The district capital is Gorkha Bazaar. The city’s focal point is the breath-taking Gorkha Durbar; a fort, palace and temple with incredible views of the surrounding valleys. Gorkha also boasts the Manaslu conservation area, home to the eighth highest mountain in the world.
Gorkha was close to the epicentre of the devastating earthquakes which occurred in April and May this year. 98% of households were damaged, and 82% of the region’s education facilities were also affected.
The community projects on Raleigh’s expedition will be based in Gorkha. By volunteering with us, you could help to rebuild this incredible part of the world. Volunteers will be involved in the reconstruction of houses damaged in the earthquake. You’ll help strengthen rural communities so that they become more resilient for future challenges.
Peacefully nestled between the Mahabharat mountain range to the north and the Chure Hills to the south, the beautiful district of Makwanpur lies in Nepal’s central region. Makwanpur takes its name from the King of the Sen Dynasty, Mukunda Sen, who established a settlement here in the 16th century. (In Sanskrit, ‘pur’ means ‘city’).
Despite being the third most industrial district in Nepal, the majority of Makwanpur’s population still depend on agriculture for their livelihood, leaving them vulnerable to economic instability and natural disasters. 72% of households have access to safe water, whilst only 48% have access to an improved sanitation facility.
As an ICS volunteer, you can work alongside communities to address these issues. You could help improve a community’s access to water and raise awareness of health and hygiene issues. Alternatively you could be involved with improving the livelihoods of people in these communities by helping to support young people to create local enterprises to support themselves and their families.
Feel at home
Whether you are volunteering on expedition or ICS, you will have the chance to experience Nepali hospitality first hand. Volunteers will stay in homestays with local Nepali families. You will work and live alongside people in these communities and get an insight into their day to day life.
All our programmes involve Nepali volunteers so it’s a unique chance for local young people and international volunteers to meet one another, develop skills side by side and create lasting change in Nepal.
Applications are open now. Apply quickly if you want to be part of Raleigh’s first ever volunteer teams in the country.