Tuesday, May 19, 2015

This blog has moved!

Hi everyone,

This blog has moved domain and can now be found here!

Many thanks,
Pod Nepal team

Friday, February 27, 2015

Quarterly Donations

It was a lovely weekend as Sarah and I got a chance to visit all our placements to hand over the quarterly donations and also to tell everyone that Sarah was back from the UK. It was great seeing everybody at the schools and orphanages as they are very welcoming, they never stop offering us tea when we visit them.
First up, we went to Asha Foundation, since we were a little early we sat out in the sun watching the bees fly away to get some nectar for the honey. They've now got two hives and looks like there are hundreds of bees in there. We then handed over the money and had a chat how things were going on with everyone; at Asha, the PoD Charity provides money for meat for the children twice a week. The chairman discussed how this is benefitting the children and improving their diet hugely. We then headed off to Prabhat School.
Prabhat School is blessed with the greatest view of the lake, you get to see the paragliders landing beside the lake, people boating, it is literally breathtaking. Though it is a bit of a walk, all your hard work pays off once you see the lake from top of the hill. We went in to the staff room to see the Principal, who is just amazing and offered us tea. The school seemed very busy with trainee teachers running their short sessions in different classrooms. Despite all the rush, the principle took out time for us and we gave out the donation. At Prabhat, the PoD Charity provides hot lunches for all the children.
After Prabhat, we went to the Street Kids and Aama was absolutely delighted to see Sarah back again. We sat down and had quite a long chat with her. She always entertains us with lovely talks and she told us how all the kids were doing. With all the kids at school it was very quite going in there. At Street Kids, the PoD Charity pays the rent of the house they live in as well as giving donations towards food for the children.
When we were done with Street Kids, we went to Annapurna School, met all the three lovely ladies. Anita was out in the sun with her little ones who were just given out their lunch. Bina and Tika were still having their lessons and were fifteen minutes away from the lunch break. At Annapurna, the PoD Charity provides the children each a hot lunch so that they can have a main meal in the day.
Also, we have added Ward-6, the children’s rehabilitation centre, to the quarterly donations to supplement their food. The accountant came over to say thank you for us being considerate and helping the school out as it is completely funded by the locals. The principal was also thrilled to have the donation for the food, as she understood the need of it and how beneficial it would be for all the kids that are with them. 

It was pretty long day for both us but all the smiles and warm welcome paid off. 

If you are interested in volunteering in Nepal, email Ellie on ellie@podvolunteer.org

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sarah is back in Nepal

Hi it’s Sarah here! I am back in Pokhara after a lovely time in the UK, visiting my family and the Pod UK team.

It is great to be back in Nepal and visiting the placements. It is lovely to see the children again; they all seem to be about a foot taller!

Currently, the schools are closed so our volunteers have gone on a week long trek – very jealous! I will be meeting them when they return at the weekend.

There are many exciting things in the coming months, starting with our charity donations from the Pod Charity that we will be beginning next week.

I am so happy to be back and working alongside Janice, and we can’t wait to meet all the coming volunteers; maybe one of them will be you…

If you are interested in volunteering in Nepal, email Ellie on ellie@podvolunteer.org

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

We've had an incredibly busy few weeks in the run-up to Christmas! We've welcomed three wonderful new volunteers, Aisha who's at Ward 6, Emily who's at Annapurna, and Andrew who's here on a film and photography placement and is also training Janice in video editing. 

We've celebrated a few birthdays, starting with Ruth who received a "Happy Birthday dear teacher" greeting at school in the morning and a handmade birthday card (and hugs) at Street Kids. In the same week, one of Ruth's class had her 8th birthday, and the whole class plus Tika (class teacher) had an outing down to the Lake, complete with a picnic and balloons; the landing of a paraglider on the grass nearby added to the party atmosphere! Last weekend Bindu threw a 'small' surprise party for our dear Janice and provided a full Nepali meal for around 20 guests including the volunteers. 

Our volunteers have been busy and creative at their placements! Aisha, who's doing creative arts, has been very imaginative, making bracelets, caterpillars (from loo rolls), and snakes (from bits of material) with the little ones at Ward 6. At Annapurna Primary School, Ruth has been inventive with lessons, building lots of role play and speaking practice into her teaching. She asked her class of six (1 boy, 5 girls) what they wanted to be when they grew up: a teacher, a doctor, a shopkeeper, a pilot, a tailor, and a dancer! Over a few lessons they acted out and learned vocabulary for their chosen careers, and had great fun setting up shop, diagnosing and treating various ailments, drawing a plane and making announcements for a flight from Kathmandu to London; the tailor measured up and made a new outfit for the dancer who then danced beautifully in the classroom in her new clothes. 

At Street Kids the volunteers and kids have been creative, making decorations to brighten up the outdoor space where the kids do their homework. Even the little one, Abhishek, aged 5, who arrived just a couple of weeks ago, has got into the swing of making paper chains and decorating Emily's arm with stickers. He's settling in pretty well, the kids love having a new little brother, and he's speaking a lot more including 'bye bye' and blowing kisses. And the bamboo fence that Galen built is standing up to rigorous stress testing from flying footballs and volleyball practice, as well as providing a new shelter for the hen house and (when Aama isn't looking) a climbing frame! 

At Asha last week Janice and the volunteers were pleased to be able to hand over small Christmas gifts to everyone (from Ruth's DHL box) and fruits. The street kids also had gifts and a cake made by Bindu!

Lakeside is a riot of LED lights as the central area gears up for the Pokhara street festival starting on Sunday 29th through to New Year, when restaurants open out into the street piazza style. 

"We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" from Sarah, Janice and our wonderful bunch of volunteers!

 If you would like to join the team here in Nepal please email Gemma on gemma@podvolunteer.org

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's nearly Christmas!

A blog from Sarah

We are getting ready for Christmas in Nepal! Our volunteers are planning lots of celebrations with the children, as well as arts and crafts sessions focused around the theme of special festivals around the world.

One of our volunteers, Galen, has been working really hard up at the Street Children’s Centre doing all sorts of practical jobs. He has built a fantastic fence which runs the length of the vegetable patch; no longer will the veg be destroyed by flying footballs! The boys can now play to their hearts content without any worry. If this wasn’t enough, today he began his mission to build steps up from the outside space to the main house; currently there is a small jump so it will be great for them to have some safe, reliable steps.

Also this week I have been able to make a donation to Aama at the Street Children’s Centre. Two of our previous volunteers Jade and Yasmine, donated their mobile phones when they left; consequently we ave been able to provide Aama with a phone of her own. This is incredibly important for her as for a lot of the time she is on her own with the children she cares for and so to have a method of communication if she needs it is invaluable. Thank you so much Jade and Yasmine, and your company BE Offices who provided the volunteers with the phones.

This will be my last blog post for a while as I am leaving Nepal for a few weeks to go to visit my family for Christmas! I feel very sad to leave and say goodbye to all the wonderful children at all our wonderful placements but I am also so excited to go back to the UK and visit everyone. Janice will be looking after our volunteers and placements over this time so everything is in very safe hands.

As lovely as it will be to visit everyone in the UK, I cannot wait to get back here and carry on the vital work that PoD is doing. I am extremely excited for the coming adventure; for the incredible  volunteers I will meet and for the progress we can all make together. Maybe one of them will be you?

On that note, I leave you with a video created by one of our wonderful volunteers, Jade. Jade works part-time as a real life Elsa from Frozen, and so decided to say goodbye and thank you to PoD by sending us this wonderful video, follow the link to see it!

If you would like to join the team here in Nepal please email Gemma on gemma@podvolunteer.org

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Goodbyes and Welcome!

A blog from Janice

Although it is wonderful welcoming new volunteers with such varied experiences all the time, it does mean that sometimes we have to say goodbye! Sadly, this week we had to say our goodbyes to our two lovely volunteers, Yasmine and Jade. They were loved by the teachers at Ward-6 for how they bonded quickly with everyone, and the sessions they took were brilliant and very creative. The PoD Nepal team, as well as everyone at the placements, are missing them already!

Edwina is still with us working on her films and photography project. She interviewed Jade and Yasmine about the Corporate Volunteering which was also a very interesting experience for everyone in Nepal. As well as being busy with her filming, Edwina has also been busy contributing at the placements; she has had a great idea of putting up swings at Ward-6, so volunteers have been busy organising this.

Our previous volunteer, Ruth Miller, who was here 18 months ago with PoD for a 2-week Volunteer Experience Project, is back with us. It was a great feeling seeing her again. She will be working with Annapurna Primary School for the next 4 weeks as well as with the Street Kids. She arrived with another volunteer, Galen, who will be helping to do any practical jobs that the placements require; he's quickly got stuck in, helping Edwina to renew the swings at Ward 6 and at Annapurna Primary. He's now making a strong bamboo fence at the Street Kids to protect their new veg patch from the kids' football practice!

Ever since Ruth left for the UK after last year's volunteering experience, she decided to come back and  bring some fresh resources. So, with contributions from her friends back home, she filled a box, shipped it via DHL, and we have been on tenterhooks waiting for the box to arrive! It was a bit of an anxious wait but all smiles when the box arrived safe and sound at Bindu's (just a few days after leaving England!). Thank you, DHL - amazing service, with a smile! We cannot wait to put the new resources to good use!

If you would like to join the team here in Nepal please email Gemma on gemma@podvolunteer.org

Monday, November 24, 2014

Glitter, Twister and new shoes...

A blog from Sarah

Janice has now finished her training and is settling in well – we are loving having her as part of the PoD Nepal team!

Otherwise all is carrying on as normal here in Nepal. The days are getting colder and we are needing more and more layers. Our volunteers are not letting this put them off though! They have been so busy working hard.

As many of you may know, we have long had a great partnership with a wonderful local organisation called SOS Bahini. We have long been working side by side with them, and our volunteers have been contributing to the great work they do. We are now pleased to say that we are extending this working partnership further with the introduction of the Saturday placement for our volunteers. On Saturday’s SOS Bahini have all the children and families they support in the community come over and they have a family day; it is a lovely day and a great opportunity for everyone to come together. Recently, the staff there have been concerned that there is not enough stimulation and fun activities for the girls to do on these days, so they asked us to help! We are excited to be able to now offer our volunteers the opportunity to go up on a Saturday and run some fun and games sessions with the girls. We trialed this on Saturday with our wonderful volunteers Jade and Yasmine; it went brilliantly! We had a group story time, loom band making as well as games of twister; Jade even did some glitter tattoos for the girls! Everyone had a wonderful time and we are so pleased that our two organisations can continue to work together so positively for the local community. We look forward to taking more and more of our volunteers up to SOS Bahini and seeing the positive impacts they can have.

Previously, on this blog I have talked about the PoD Charity funding the outside space to be sorted at Street Kids; I am pleased to say work has finished! 

The children are loving having somewhere to sit, work and play in! There is even the beginnings of a veggie patch!

This week, the PoD Charity also bought the Street Kids new shoes. We had a lot of fun (!) finding shoes to fit all 10 of them! But we got there in the end, and as you can see they are very happy with their new ones!

Otherwise, the volunteers have been busy socialising and having lots of fun. Jade, one of our volunteers, has a lovely voice and has been up singing with Janice, who sings with a band locally; their voices together are something to be heard!

If you would like to join the team here in Nepal please email Gemma on gemma@podvolunteer.org