Life as a host country volunteer manager

16th January 2019

In each country we work in, Raleigh groups contain volunteers and volunteer managers from the host country, who work tirelessly to help the team assimilate into the local culture, and respect local values. Roshan Khanal has been volunteering in Nepal sine September on the Expedition programme. He has spent six weeks in one community, Ranaguan, and three weeks trekking in the Ruby Valley.

“There have been lots of challenges to manage, working in an international team. It’s harder than anything I’ve done in my life but I have learnt so much from it. My English is so much better, before coming on Raleigh I wasn’t fluent and I struggled slightly, but now I am fluent and find it much easier.

“Before Raleigh, I was managing my own company and it was hard. During my time at Raleigh I have learnt so many things that will help me when I return to my company, I know now how to manage my own workload, how to prepare for the future, how to deal with different groups of people and ensure all the work is completed. I have never interacted with such a range of personalities before – at home in Kathmandu I spend time with my friends and family, and never spending too much time with people who aren’t similar to me. I have learnt that everyone has their own skills, and as their manager is it my job to find that skill set and knowledge and divide the work up accordingly.

Roshan and communications officer Sally, interviewing a community member

“I’ve noticed that in the communities we have worked in, the impact we have had has been the example we set. The community, and especially the younger members and adolescents, have asked me many time why I have left Kathmandu to work in their community for no money, and I explain to them that it is good for my country to help, and I am also here to learn from them. It was hard at the beginning to manage the community project I was assigned to, as some of the villagers were not happy about some elements of what we were doing. After we arrived, I held a meeting and communicated to them what we were trying to achieve, and now they know we are working to give them a better quality of life, they are happy and got really involved in the project.

“I have changed a lot during the programme, physically as well – I have grown a beard! Before coming here I didn’t know how to manage groups, I worried about so many things. I now realise that each individual person has their own nature and we have to use that to their advantage and give them work they will do well.”

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