Nepal is a land of spirituality. Many would say it is what Nepal is most famous for – well, maybe after Mount Everest. Religion, beliefs and spiritual philosophies are deeply engrained within Nepali culture. And that is what these multi-coloured flags represent. They are called prayer flags and are scattered across the lands of Nepal. Wherever you are – in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu or the tranquil rural villages of Gorkha – prayer flags will be in your sight.

April 21, 2016

Back in Derby, I was just a regular 19 year old boy, my diet consisting of Beans-on-toast, chicken nuggets and chips and the occasional Chinese take-away. However, out here in the village of Bhalu Khola in Nepal, I feel like a celebrity! Or perhaps just that funny looking Milky-bar kid. It won’t last long, but either way, having never set foot anywhere near Asia, my life has changed drastically. This is my day-in-the-life:

April 17, 2016

As a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project, we wanted to present an awareness programme to our local community of Nibuwatar. It was an exciting day, even though some of us were a little nervous. Each member of the group gave a formal introduction in Nepali including our UK volunteers and we welcomed our guests. There were more than 30 participants from various settlements.

April 16, 2016

As part of our research we decided to ask two people in our community what they think about Raleigh and us volunteers. We asked a 15 year old boy named Bibek and his father, our village leader, who is known as Babu Dai.

April 13, 2016

Happy New Year! (or Navavarsha). In Nepal, today marks the beginning of the year 2073.

The country uses the Bikram Samvat calendar, a lunisolar calendar which is currently about 56 years and 8 months ahead of the Gregorian calendar. The Bikram Samvat calendar was introduced by Nepal's Shah kings, who migrated from India to Nepal during the middle ages. Nepali New Year, alongside the Tibetan New Year in February and the Gregorian New Year in January, is just one of three celebrations in the country.

April 13, 2016

I clearly remember the day I was accepted as an International Citizen Service volunteer. It was a crazy roller coaster of emotions. I was over the moon about the opportunity but also a bit apprehensive about working with people who grew up in a different culture. I had never met anyone from the UK and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

April 7, 2016

In Bhalu Khola we have been busy undertaking various activities to deepen our understanding of the village, the community and the current needs though baseline surveys and focus groups. Additionally, we have taken time to expand our minds and souls, exchanging skills in the group with music lessons and an introduction to International Relations.

April 4, 2016

The last few weeks have seen November Charlie 4 in Kiteni utilise the empty classrooms at the local school for daily English lessons. 30 local children signed up to spend 6 mornings a week of their school holidays learning English with us. Some children even raveled from a nearby settlement Yangrang to study with us, a 2 hour walk!

April 3, 2016

The best thing about this experience is the fantastic opportunity to live with host families and meet the local community; including our project partner with whom Raleigh will be working for the next three years. The Rural Awareness Development Organisation (RADO) has been working in Makwanpur district for a while on various projects and the gregarious founder of the organisation Krishna, pictured above, continues with unwavering enthusiasm.

April 1, 2016