Saturday, September 15, 2012

What activites should I bring with me to Nepal?

In the last few weeks I've have received several emails from volunteers who will be joining us in Nepal soon about what activites to pack for their work. Now that I have been in this job for 6 weeks, I have a much better idea of what works well out here, and a few ideas of what you can bring.

The majority of our placements are working with younger children (from 18 months to 10 years) and we have a few with teenagers, up to around 16/17 year olds and are either schools or child care placements. For the younger children, any kind of arts and crafts work really well, anything we can get them involved in and using their imaginations (the messier the better!).

Brydie teaching at Holy Kindergarten
Recommended items:
  • Plain paper, colored paper, card - very handy no matter which age range you will be working with. Card especially we have looked everywhere for and cannot find anywhere!
  • Pencils (make sure you bring sharpeners as well if you bring pencils as they are like gold dust!)
  • Glue sticks, celotape, PVA etc. 
  • Any kind of arts and crafts - in the last few weeks we have been making a lot of masks, bookmarks, paper mache, jewellery making etc. Use your imagination, anything messy will go down well here!
  • Tennis balls, footballs, pinpongs, skipping ropes - small sporting equipment is a great tool for teaching for example, using a ball to throw to a child to answer a question, or getting games of rounders going in some of our orphanages. This is especially important if you are coming out here to do one of our Sports Placements, don't expect that they will have any equipment, especially the standard of equipment we are used to at home.
  • Bubbles, balloons, felt etc - these are great if you will be working at our day care centres. anything tactile to get the children engaged is worth while. 
  • Story books
  • Cards
  • Glitter
  • Stickers 
  • Puzzels 
  • Parachute
  • Colouring books, sticker books, activity books.
  • Pictures from home - you will be amazed how much time can be spent showing the children pictures of your home, town, family, hobbies, the ocean etc. Theya re fascinated with it and it can be a great teaching tool. 
  • Blank exercise books
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Any educational books you have access to 
  • Simple stories books to help with teaching (For example 'This is Tim, Tim has a hat, the hat is black' etc. 
Sagar from the Street Kids centre enjoying one of our puzzles
This is just a general idea of things I have seen that will be well used out here, but obviously there are hundreds of other ideas that will be just as good. When packing, think about what you hobbies or skills you have that are transferrable here. For example, if you are good at Salsa or Ballroom, make sure you bring some music with you; if you want to teach cricket to the kids, make sure you bring all the equipment; If you are a pro on the recorder, bring a few out with you so you can teach the children.

If anyone has any other ideas that you think should be attached to this list then please send me an email and I'll add it.

For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our team, look at our website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901.  If you would like to help, but don't have the time to come in person right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund our work here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bowling and Bingo

Post by Rachel Wilcocks, a current volunteer working at Shree Krishna School and the Asha Foundation. 

Our last trip to the Asha foundation went very well with makeshift bowling and bingo taking up the afternoon, thanks to Nicki: the ideas girl of the group.
Though Bingo took a long time (We kept rolling the same numbers on the dice, this did seem to frustrate the children somewhat) they were all very excited and wanted to play until each child had won…Luckily we had bowling to distract them!
With all the water bottles we’d been collecting for floats(we've been teaching the Street Kids how to swim) and a tennis ball we attempted to get a game of bowling going. As underarm bowling wasn’t what they had in mind the game quickly moved outside where they could lob the ball as hard as they liked into the water bottles. Consequently they are now the owners of our broken tennis ball. Keeping an official score sheet meant that we had a chance to learn names but also could see how much we were losing by… 
Playing with the children at the Asha Foundation
The children really loved Bingo

Concentrating hard on getting the numbers right

The bowling also went down very well, but in the end got alittle bit too energetic so we moved the game outside!

Roland - not competitive in the slightest!

This Saturday we went on our first trip to SOS Bahini, a women’s center supporting over 60 girls. We were settled in a room and told some of the girls would come and meet us. I don’t think we were quite prepared for how many girls pilled into the room but they did not complain of lack of space! The girls were all very upbeat. Saturdays are a very busy day for them so we will mainly be holding English conversational classes, nothing to strenuous as by the time we arrive at 9.30 they will of already had their Karate lesson and have a full day of activities. The girls gave us a tour of their center, complete with cows, goats, chickens and their art area. The art work they showed us was beyond anything we could imagine producing and went along side their Karate trophies!

'The Hub'. This is where the girls meet every Saturday for their activities. It's a beautiful place.
Wednesday saw a holiday day to mark the end of exams so we took the street children to the park. An experience that was possibly a bit to hot for us to enjoy but which sent them buzzing to their teacher in Thursdays lessons. Occasionally we just had to close our eyes and tell ourselves that they were perfectly safe and weren’t going to hurt themselves playing on the swing ‘that way’ or climbing/hanging of anything and everything but the only mishap was a few skids in the mud, and the realization we’d brought them out at snack time so were delivering some very hungry (and slightly muddy) children home.

Want to read more about Rachels trip? Then click here.

If you would like to join us in Nepal look at our website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901.  If you would like to help, but don't have the time to come in person right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund our work here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Goodbye Speaches

It has become something of a tradition in the last few weeks for Roland, one of our current volunteers here with PoD in Nepal, to give a welcome and goodbye speach to other volunteers.

So far, we have had some great ones for Gemma, Natalie and Nikki (I will be posting those as soon as Roland fixes his laptop), but here is a response that Nikki wrote for Roland. It gave me a good laugh so I thought you would all enjoy reading it as well!!

Just before Roland gave another incredible speach!

Rolypoly you're one of a kind,
A fellow volunteer with an interesting mind,
We first met around two weeks ago,
And since then we have shared fried fruit momo,
Im lucky to have had the best tour guide,
Even if your timekeeping I had to abide,
You're the one to beat when it comes to solving a riddle,
And you're willing to listen about ward 6's piddle,
You never fail to have a story to tell,
Especially the night we got to know you so well!
Ask Roland one thing, he'll tell you four,
A lot of the time we think he's a bore, (not really we adore),
I hope you manage to chirps under the stars,
Instead of accidentally throwing glasses in bars,
With the best pizza knowledge in the whole of lakeside,
Stick with Roland you'll be sure to decide,
I enjoyed your excellent salsa class,
And I hope my German was good enough to pass,
You wearing my kurta was very brave,
As was scrambling through the dark bat caves,
To have 4 wives you're a lucky man,
It must be that fetching sandal tan,
With your outlandish style of dance,
You'll be soon sure to find POD romance,
You introduced me to cold lemon soda,
Im chuffed that we beat you to the world peace pagoda,
I'd like to think that this poem is best,
But if I was there I'm sure you'd protest,
I hope you always remember your time in nepal,
Except those not so 'Sweet Memories' that I recall,
I hope that one day you are wrong,
But most of all I loved the Nikki special song,
You give the best goodbye speeches that I know,
Oh how im gonna miss you Ro,
Aufwiedersen,Subahatri, Tschuss and Goodbye,
Im glad to be leaving on a high!