Volunteering with Nepal Eco Club has been and invaluable experience for me, not only have I had the opportunity to live in this enigmatic city of temples, I have had the perception changing experience of making a wonderful group of friends, Bishow, Laxmi, Bishnu, Rupendra and Surendra. Not only have they been unfailingly welcoming, kind and understanding but have taken me to many of their religious and cultural heritage sites where I have had the privilege of seeing Hindus and Buddhists practice the ancient rituals of their religion.
Whilst volunteering for Nepal Eco Club I have had the opportunity of working with a wonderful group of people, the project of writing content, helping design and build the new website has had many, many challenges. Bishnu and Bishow have supported and encouraged me every step of the way. Unlike working for nameless corporations, ideas that I have presented have not been disregarded or ignored but listened to and considered. I have had the very rare opportunity of having autonomy in my work on the website, which has resulted in the completion of a project that is the culmination of team work, laughter, late afternoons and a certain sense of pride at how far we have all come together. Through writing content for the website I have learnt and experienced the issues that Nepali people face in their everyday lives as a direct result of the Government not implementing better practices for the environment, but also because of the lack of education around the issue of climate change and how our everyday choices impact the environment around us. I have seen people use the back of their holy temples and the water of the holy Bagmati River as a landfill, I have seen cows and monkeys eating plastic whilst scavenging for food.
For those of you who have experienced the wonders that Nepal has to offer I’m sure that you too have noticed the littered pathways and insidious plastic waste that seems to get everywhere, even high up on the mountain paths. Needless to say evidence of pollution here is overwhelming, however there are people who are joining hands to do something about it. People who are tired of waiting for their government or others to do something. Nepal Eco Club is one of those groups, they are joining up with local schools to educate the young generation of Nepal about how they can make a difference to the quality of life of their community and their world. If you want to be part of something that is just starting to grow and you want to contribute towards something bigger than yourself please see the volunteer page of the website.
I cannot thank Bishnu, Bishow, Laxmi, Rupendra and Surendra enough for their time, friendship, their endlessly patient explanations about their religion and nuances of their culture and all the Nepali tea! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Namaste.