Volunteering Program by UNSW Global Village Team at Various Schools of Arupokhari
On 18th Nov 2012, as a part of Sambhav Nepal’s project, 10 students arrived from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia in order to conduct the volunteership program at Bhairabi Primary, Dharapani Secondary and Balodaya primary located in Arupokhari Gorkha till 30th Nov, 2012. The participating students from the Global Village Team were:
- Jordan Stewart
- Medhavi Gupta
- Benjamin Murray
- Samantha Elliott
- Kester Rozario
- Katelyn Almeida
- Thea Shelley
- Arwin Soetanto
- Naskaya Rajah
- Joe Molloy
The team divided themselves and took part in the activities turn wise so that they could cover all the schools. The main motive of the volunteers were to teach the students of the school and focus more on the English subject where the students seem to be very weak. They focused on English language, activities of reading and writing being more practical towards what they study. Along with this, the team encouraged the student to take part in games like cricket and as the village had many beautiful ponds they taught students about the importance of swimming in keeping themselves fit. Awareness programs for health and sanitation like collecting garbage, cleaning toilets, public taps and contribution to protecting the environment was also a part of this program.
The volunteers were accommodated in the newly constructed volunteer house of Sambhav Nepal which could accommodate only 5 people. Also these volunteers are the first batch to use our newly constructed house. The house was less spacious but still our volunteers were ok and supportive to share the rooms without any hesitation. Half of them managed to stay at the house with the management team and shared it turn wise for which Sambhav Nepal really thanks and appreciates them for their cooperation.
Despite of many difficulties, our volunteers were very genuine, hardworking, cooperative and used all there skills to have the wonderful experience of life. One of the member Arwin Scott who has to live on 23rd Nov, 2012 after 1 week of the program donated a Laptop to Bhairabi Primary School which enturn is be very useful for the teachers to conduct various activities. Sambhav team acknowledges him for showing such a great spirit.
While they were very busy with their work, the management team tried their best to make the program more adventurous by organizing rafting at Budigandaki where the founder Mr. Prem K Khatry himself joined them. They also visited the temples to know more about the cultural and diversity. The traditional treatment known as “Jhankri” in Nepali (faith healer or a kind of shaman) popular in the villages were also shown to them to make them understand about the culture, ethnicity and lifestyle of Nepalese village in deeper ways. After the completion of the program the volunteers were given the opportunity to trek in the Annapurna ranges on 1st Dec 2012 by Ace the Himalaya Trekking.
The last night of the program our volunteers had an awesome time doing camp fires and chit chatting and giving feedbacks to some of the Sambhav Nepal’s team about the importance of making a fence to maintain the privacy, focusing more on the practical knowledge and aspects of life.
The program was facilitated by the Ace the Himalaya, coordinated by Sambhva Nepal and Sponsored by ARC of Global Village Volunteer form UNSW. The whole management team would like to show our humble gratitude for making this program possible and successful. We wish you all the best for your future and hoping to see UNWS again.
Thanks a lot!
The following is the picture gallery of the volunteering trip. There are four parts to this series:
- Getting There
- Official Meeting and Volunteering Activities
- Arupokhari Excursion
- Visit to Local Temple and Rafting at Budhi-Gandaki
- Trek to Poon Hill
St Augustine’s Students in Action at Bhairabi School, Gorkha
As a part of Sambhav Nepal’s project, 17 volunteers from St Augustine’s College, Sydney, contributed to the construction works at Bhairabi Primary School in Arupokhari, Gorkha, from 25th September to 1st October 2012. From the college, 13 students of 10th grade and 4 staff members participated, including Dean of the Middle School, Mr. Peter Nolan. Other 9 volunteers joined in for Disabled Students Association (DSA) at Bungmati, Kathmandu.
During their entire stay in the village, the team enthusiastically rendered the walls of at least 10 classrooms from inside and outside. They also worked on the banana garden and the flower garden. Apart from these activities, all of them helped further by carrying the logs, sand and gravels. It is estimated that would take nearly 2 months if as many local laborers had done all these.
The St. Augustine’s team has always been promoting the idea of ‘Service, Education & Awareness’, which was the spirit of their contribution to Bhairabi Primary School. The local community got to learn a lot from the team members. Everyone seemed much disciplined and hardworking. For their remarkable and outstanding support, the Arupokhari dwellers and the Bhairabi school family will ever be grateful.The Volunteers from St Augustines College- sydney were:
St Augustine’s Staff
- Peter Barry Nolan ( Team Leader/ Dean of the Middle School)
- Carly Townsend
- Andrea Trujillo
- Tim Dyer
10th Grade Students
- Lachlan Bruce
- Michael Bryant
- Nicholas De Lorenzo
- Johnny Dew
- Tom Hurley
- William Inglis
- Callum Mooney
- Rhys Oldham
- Riley Owen
- Henry Simpson
- Liam Smith
- Michael teofilo
- Joshua Young
The project started on 25th October with a welcome ceremony at Bhairabi Primary School, which opened with a speech full of acknowledgment, delivered by the president of the management committee and also the president of Sambhav Nepal Foundation. The ceremony’s highlights were awesome performances of some pupils of the school. This welcome ceremony was closed with the valuable words of the respected president of Nepali Congress- Gorkha. The participants of this volunteer program were presented with ‘Khada’, a traditional shawl worn for expressing respect or applause. After the volunteers roamed around the village to observe its natural beauty and lovely people, the program was formerly closed on 1st October night. All their selfless and continuous action followed by the final day grand ceremony and farewell program hosted by local women. The program, which was mostly about singing and dancing, was attended by some 200 villagers.
This project got wide coverage on the media. ‘Kantipur’, the most popular and reputed national daily in Nepali language published a well-written news on the title ‘Sponsors working themselves’ and ‘The Kathmandu Post’, a leading English daily also had a small coverage. Moreover, FM radio stations in Gorkha and a couple of local newspapers also covered the news of the project. Check the following link for the further exploiration on the volunteering story.
Kantipur daily’s coverage of the Volunteering activity:
Read the 4th news on The Kathmandu Post:
Article on struggle and success of the President of Sambhav Nepal:
Photos of the Volunteering activities on FaceBook:
This entire volunteer program, coordinated by Sambhav Nepal, was conducted by St Augustine’s College, Sydney. Ace the Himalaya Trekking, was the sole organizer of the program. It was the first time that Bhairabi Primary School was donated finances and materials worth as much as Aus$ 8,000, a whopping amount, not to mention the fact that the physical contribution and support by the participants of St Augustine’s school was greatly praiseworthy and notable.
The entire construction works of the school have not yet finished. The rest will be carried out by the local laborers. Photos of the laborers at work will be uploaded soon. Arupokhari village, Bhairabi School and Sambhav Nepal will always be indebted to every sort of contribution made by all the participants in this project, from St Augustine’s College and DSA. We hope to join you all to make similar kind of difference in the near future too. Thanks a lot!
The participants for DSA Volunteering were:
St Augustine’s Staff
- Jo Gray
- Ellis Kinnaird
- Matt Anglicas
St Augustine’s Student
- Christian Barwell
- Victor Duffy
- Lawrence Gay
- Mitchell Jones
- Sean Murphy
- Callum Travers
The following is the picture gallery of the volunteering trip. There are four parts to this series:
Teacher Training Program 2012 Conducted by the Australian Rotary Team
The Teacher Training Program 2012, conducted by the Australian Rotary Volunteer Team and facilitated by Sambhav Nepal, has concluded with remarkable success in the Dharapani Secondary School, Arupokhari village, Gorkha. The team of six highly qualified education experts set off to the village in the week long program which was held from January 13 to 20, 2012. More than 80 local teachers from Arupokhari and adjoining villages took part in the training program. Their tremendous dedication to uplift the educational scenario in a remote village is indeed, commendable. They presented the teachers with advanced pedagogical techniques and materials which would aid in making teaching more effective and engaging.
The teaching methodology in Nepal is marked by rote learning, using obsolete materials and facts; but equipped with the knowledge and materials provided by the volunteer team, we have no doubt that the teachers will be more crafty and creative in the classrooms. The teachers maintain that the smart teaching methods have the potential to revolutionize the school environment of the village. The Teacher Training Program of early 2011 has already given the schools the much needed paradigm shift in teaching. This year’s program has reinforced that idea and the spirit in the faculty, which will translate into better informed students, and ultimately invite brighter future prospects.
The members of the Australian Rotary Volunteer Team were:
- Patricia Margaret Davies
- Peter Edwin Kindred
- Katherine Jane Lester
- Joanne Nelson
- Vincent Thomas Quigley
- Maria Therese Quigley
We had four translators to help the volunteers with the lessons. The main reason behind the need for translation is so that the Australian and Nepali accent could be understood well by both parties. Mr. Govinda Bhatta (Dullab Higher Secondary School – English), Mohan Sapkota (Durbar Higher Secondary School – Economics and Education), Mr. Amit Gurung (Bheemodaya Multiple Campus – English) and Mr. Laxmi Kanta Khanal (Bheemodaya Multiple Campus – English) used their expertise in English language to patiently help the volunteers with the teaching.
During their stay in Arupokhari the volunteers were able to explore the village and meet the locals, who were both ecstatic and curious about the guests’ presence among them. The camping team arranged for a small celebration for Trish’s birthday! Our cook, Pasang, baked a delicious cake. Peter, on the other hand, visited seven schools in the neighboring villages, to assess the needs of the situation. There was much enjoyment and laughter, thanks to the volunteers’ fine sense of humor and enthusiasm.
On behalf of the Dharapani Secondary School, the community of teachers and the humble well-wishers of the Arupokhari village, Sambhav Nepal would like to express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude towards the Australian Rotary Volunteer Team for its significant contribution to enhancing the educational infrastructure of the region through the Teacher Training Program 2012.
Toilet Project in Dharapani Secondary School Complete
Renovation of the toilet in Dharapani has been completed. The project, funded by the Nepal School Project and the Rotary Australia World Community Service, makes use of high grade materials, including a brick & mortar structure with pillar support – a rarity in the village! The only such toilet in the entirety of Arupokhari is in the Bhairabi Primary School, also constructed by Sambhav Nepal with Australian donation.
The Dharapani’s toilet was in much need of attention as there was no improved water sources or sewer system. There was no proper flush and hence the waste would more likely than not overflow most of the time.
The reconstructed facility, though has four stalls – for girls, boys, teachers, volunteers and general. The toilet is complete with a water storage tank and pipes installed and currently serves hundreds of students and the teachers of Dharapani School.