Marie Henri: volunteering with GLIDE

18th December 2018

Marie Henri is an employee of GLIDE, a company which sponsors employees to take part in Raleigh expeditions as part of their “Future Leaders” programme. Marie spent ten weeks in Nepal, working in two communities in the Gorkha region, and trekked through the Ruby Valley for three weeks. She spoke to Raleigh about her time in Nepal, and the lessons she will bring back to GLIDE with her.

“I volunteered for Raleigh as I needed a change in both my professional and personal life. I wanted to gain leadership skills, and develop my English [Marie is a native French speaker], and Raleigh is the perfect place to do this as there are so many international people who volunteer.”

“Working in an international team was amazing. At the beginning of the expedition I found it hard, as there are a lot of people and you have to be social, and understand not just the Nepali culture, but other people’s as well. At the end it was just amazing to have spent time with such diverse people, everyone is different but we are all here for one goal.

Marie working on a WASH project in Mathilo Raniswara

“One of the biggest development areas for me was my confidence. Before I came to Raleigh, I was quiet and scared to talk in case I made a mistake. Now, I am not not afraid to speak, if I make a mistake it’s not that bad, and I can see my English improving everyday. This will help me when I go back to my job, as I speak English everyday with other employees, and I am looking forward to leading some meetings.

“Volunteering in Nepal has opened my eyes to how some people live, and it has increased my awareness of my own privilege, how lucky I am to have a place to live, where I don’t have to sleep on the floor, and a hot shower.

Marie, third from right, enjoying the mountain views in the Gorkha region

“In the community I learnt lots of things from the villagers, and I think they learnt lots from us as well. I showed them photos of my family and my host mother was asking me questions about my family, and my clothes, and my life in France. Whilst working on a WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) project, I learnt a lot from the Nepalis about manual labour which they are good at. I hope they learnt something from us. I am going back to France with a lot of memories.”

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