Swapping desk work for development work: how corporate volunteer Jacqueline is helping create change in Nepal

19th July 2018

Our partnerships with businesses and other organisations allow us to have a greater impact in the countries where we work and are crucial to our ability to deliver sustainable change for disadvantaged rural communities. In Nepal, support from investment bank BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA has funded our vital Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in rural areas which were hardest hit by the 2015 earthquakes.

Since 2016 our three-year partnership has enabled us to repair, or build new, water systems, and raise awareness of good hygiene behaviours and sanitation practices that are vital to creating healthy communities who can fulfil their potential.

The partnership has also seen employees of the bank volunteering in Nepal, offering them a chance to contribute to Raleigh’s WASH projects on the ground and to have a unique personal and professional development experience, particularly focused on leadership development. This summer, Jacqueline, a Senior Credit Analyst at BNP Paribas (Suisse), has volunteered as a project manager in Nepal.

Volunteer managers play a pivotal role in the delivery of Raleigh International programmes. Not only do they inspire and lead groups of young volunteers – including Nepali volunteers who are also funded through the bank’s generous support – they are also responsible for the delivery of Raleigh Nepal’s WASH activities.

Jacqueline (front row, second from right) and her team of young international and Nepali volunteers

Currently leading a team of young volunteers on a nine-day trek in the Gorkha region, Jacqueline is further developing her leadership skills, emotional intelligence and personal resilience. Although a certain level of strength and endurance are required for the mountainous terrain, the challenges are more than physical. Jacqueline’s positive outlook, sense of humour and contagious energy has successfully kept the team in high spirits and motivated to complete their trek.

The youth leadership trek phase of Raleigh Expedition is designed to facilitate the development of young volunteers as future leaders. Jacqueline has found the development of her management skills immensely rewarding and she has been able to use her professional experience to coach and support the young volunteers through their own personal development journeys.

Jacqueline has also witnessed first-hand the impact of the 2015 earthquake in some of the most remote and vulnerable communities in the country. This insight into global development issues will be invaluable in her commercial role on return from her placement.

Jacqueline is welcomed into a community in rural Nepal

We recently caught up with Jacqueline to find out about her time in the rural Uttar Padhera community and her hopes for the next part of the summer Expedition where she will be helping manage a BNP Paribas (Suisse) funded WASH project:

“Since arriving in Nepal I’m learning, always learning about new things. I’ve always wanted to come to Nepal, and to have the chance to help is great. I’m always happy to help other people.

“It’s clear that with a population of almost 400 people, the construction of the water tank will really help the Uttar Padhera community. I helped conduct the baseline survey [a survey which Raleigh use to help plan their development work in communities] and it made me realise how fortunate we are to have clean water at home, whenever we want it. The project here will make a real impact on people’s lives, particularly women who will no longer need to spend lots of time walking to the surrounding hills to collect water for their families. I am really excited to get started and to make a difference”.

Check back for more updates on our ongoing development work and partnerships in Nepal.

Post by communications officer, Susie Hill and photography by Rachael Sture. For more information and the latest updates, follow the progress of our programmes in Nepal on Facebook and Instagram

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