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Bethany Lewis in Nepal (BAM News 9/2016) Print

 Bethany Lewis, Student at ISM Volunteers Abroad

Since 1992, Projects Abroad have been sending volunteers abroad. It is one of the largest volunteer abroad program s in the world, sending 10,000 volunteers abroad each year to give back on hundreds of worthwhile service opportunities on five continents. We have nearly 700 trained and resident staff members to ensure that volunteers are safe and effective in providing benefits for local communities. The volunteers are able to start the project whenever its fits into their schedule. They can go for as long or short a time as they want and they are supported in each destination by Community staff and other Volunteers.




A member of the British community here in Monaco and a student at ISM, Bethany Lewis spent two weeks of her Summer break helping as a volunteer in Nepal. We asked her some questions about the experience, her answers are below:

Why did you decide to volunteer in Nepal?

After last year's devastating earthquake I wanted to do something to help those affected by disasters and especially the children of Nepal.

What did you like about the Nepalese people?

They are all so very friendly and love to share. The children in particular were very energetic and happy even though they don't have much materially and it has made me appreciate my life and how fortunate I am.

Are the children well educated? Do they have prospects?

Not every child is lucky enough to have a place at a school. It can be very difficult for the teachers and pupils alike as classes span a wide age range. Prospects are limited as the economy is agriculturally dependent and there is much political instability.

What were your tasks?
Our main tasks were to repair, paint and decorate a school before the children returned. My friend
and I decided to paint one of the classrooms for younger children with the English alphabet and
pictures that corresponded with each letter.
When the children returned, we then taught them in English. It was our choice what and how we
wanted to teach them, depending on their age. For example, with the younger children we played
Pictionary-type games and sang songs and nursery rhymes to keep their attention. The older
children were much more interested in knowing about us and constantly asked us questions about
our lives.
What did you like best about the whole experience?
Experiencing their culture and seeing how such a small effort on my part made such a big
difference to their happiness and hopefully their lives. It was an amazing and humbling
experience. I thoroughly enjoyed being with the people in a real sense and also experiencing
Nepal’s beautiful landscapes.
I will definitely volunteer again with 'Projects Abroad’. Helping the children this Summer has been
maturing and life changing. I will choose to go to another country next time as it will be interesting
to experience different cultures.
Bethany is an IB student and we wish her every success for the year ahead.

An abridged version of this article was originally published in the September 2016 BAM News