I first heard about Global Vision International (GVI) through my daughter who attended an under 18s programme. I wondered if GVI offered programmes for adults so rang them and was delighted to hear that they did. I chose Women’s Empowerment as the project theme as this was where I felt my professional experience best lay. I chose Nepal as I had not visited that country before and wanted my GVI experience to be totally new.
The main activities that I worked on were being paired with two local Nepali ladies who wanted to learn English. A few days a week I worked in a village in Pame, just outside Pokhara and three other days at a community centre in Male Patan in the city of Pokhara. Both of my ladies were at different stages in their learning, but you get a log book that previous volunteers had written up with gave me a good idea of what I needed to cover in our lessons. The lessons were usually 2 hours long and I used the grammar resources and reading books that were at the homestay to plan my lessons. I was a bit out of my comfort zone for the initial sessions but soon got a good idea of what would work, if all else failed I reverted to reading books with my ladies, so the English conversation and pronunciation flowed.
The other activity I worked on was running an Arts and Craft project at a school in Pame. The children do not get this as a curriculum taught subject, so it was fun to offer them something new. Volunteers took it in turns to come up with the ideas for the session and others helped with delivery. Sometimes the school teachers were absent, so we also helped provide supply cover for classes. This involved the children coming to the GVI classroom within the school in small groups and we would work 1:1 or 1:2 with their workbooks on maths, English or science. The children were a pure joy to work with and as I had not expected to work with children it was a lovely added bonus.
I also got time for a bit of sight seeing too. The three weeks I spent in Nepal were very hard work but rewarding. By volunteering you get to really see the culture of a country that you would not be able to do by being a tourist. I plan to go again in 2019.
You can find out more about Global Vision International on their website.