Cross cultures

KATHMANDU: Eighteen enthusiastic and committed youngsters from Nepal and UK are just back from Panauti and will soon be leaving for Brighton, UK on January 5 for three months. For three months they worked with the local community in Panauti and were involved in various activities like teaching kids, working for HIV/AIDS issues, gender and child labour among others.

One of the participants Radhika Neupa-ne shared, “I was working with street children and got to know a lot about them.”

As for going to UK she said, “I’m a bit scared but my counterpart is really helpful and confident. I feel I will be able to share Nepali culture and lifestyle with them.”

Sharing his experience Tom Borro said, “I’ve visited many countries but I found people in Nepal really very warm, welcoming and accepting. I got to work for issues that I am really concerned about.”

Ankita Jairu said that it helped build her confidence and though in the beginning she did feel some difficulties, when she had to return she felt that time had flown by too quickly.

These youngsters are a part of the Global X Change programme managed by Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) and The British Council, with Asasaman Nepal as its local implementing partner in Nepal.

Talking about the work these volunteers are involved in Jeevan Prakash Shrestha, Global Xchange Programme Supervisor, Nepal said, “We support the volunteers and have learning focused programmes on global issues, gaining knowledge and skills. We hope that with what they’ve learnt they can bring about positive changes into action.”

They help in finding host families, diverting youngsters to learning through communities, and learning about each other’s cultures as well.

Regarding selection of volunteers Rita Shrestha Bhadra, Programme Manager (Governance), VSO Nepal said that some of the qualities they looked for are positive attitude and ability to work in a team. Paula Middleton, Country Director, The British Council, expressed happiness and said that BC was proud to be a partner in this programme.