Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting ready for Dashain...

Firstly, it is STILL raining! Monsoon does not seem to want to finish this year. We are having bakingly hot days and rainy nights at the moment - fortunately we are all still in good spirits!

We have had two new arrivals, Ged and Freya. Ged has been working hard at Shree Krishna teaching as well as at StreetKids and Asha Foundation. He has much experience with sports and has been putting his skill sets to use organising many different games and activities at our various placements.

Freya arrived on Saturday and is settling in well. She is here on a Film and Photography placement and as part of this, one of the projects we have asked her to do is make a short film with the Street Kids children about the importance of hand-washing as we have been teaching them about this. As it is about to be Dashain and they are about to break up from school for a whole month, we thought that this would give them a great focus, so when we go up to Street Kids this afternoon we will begin to plan how to do this and get the boys to write a script and think of bits they can act out – very excited!

We have also been making other plans for Dashain and thinking of lots of arts and crafts activities we can do with children. Hilary, one of our current volunteers, has already been in full swing teaching the children sewing and on Friday they made hairbands and bracelets! They absolutely loved the chance to do something different and to come away with something at the end was very exciting for them.

Finally, as you may know, Street Kids have recently moved house. The new place is bigger and better equipped for their lifestyles and has a huge garden area for them to play in. However, currently the garden is littered with rubbish and rubble so needs clearing as well as the metal roof put up and the table being put under it; this will mean that the children have somewhere to do their homework and then have a good run around and burn off some of their limitless energy! I am pleased to say that money has been approved by PoD Charity to sort out this outdoor area for the boys, Asmita and Amaa and so work will begin on that in the next few weeks. Here are some before photos... After ones will be following!

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

Saturday, September 13, 2014


First of all I need to begin this blog post with a HUGE thank you; the work that we are able to do here and the positive impact PoD is able to have is down to the hard work and generosity of our volunteers. As some of you know, when volunteers leave to go home, they often leave any clothes they don’t want anymore. Along with this, the HerefordExpedition Group (HEG) who were here in August were overwhelmingly generous in leaving behind clothes, shoes and medical supplies; this week I have been able to hand out these donations to some of our placements.

Firstly, some clothes and trainers were donated to Street Kids. The boys received some t-shirts and shorts, which they were very happy about. Asmita particularly was very excited about some of the things she received; she got a dress, some trainers, a dressing gown and this cap! It means so much to these children to receive these donations, as they very rarely get anything for themselves. The boys were also very excited to see earmuffs – something they had never seen before!

HEG had also left some basic medical supplies; we were able to split these to donate to benefit more of our placements. Half was donated to Street Kids; they received plasters, antiseptic wash, bandages and other useful everyday items. Ama was very grateful for these donations – when you are caring for 10 small boys cuts and scrapes are a regular occurrence! Here we have Hilary showing the children how to use a thermometer.

I was also able to donate some medical supplies to SOS Bahini. Gita and Raymond were so thankful for these donations and they will be shared out between the families that the girls live in so they have access to basic first aid when needed.

Some clothes were also donated to AshaFoundation. They were really excited about the clothes and spent time trying them on and choosing the ones each of them wanted!

These donations are more than just clothes to these children; they show that people are thinking of them and that there are kind people in the world. Thank you to everyone who made these donations possible!

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Holidays, exams and donations...

I can’t believe it is already mid-September – time is going so fast! I have been here nearly two months and am getting into the swing of Nepali and PoD life.
It has been a quiet time here in Nepal recently. Last week we had to say goodbye to our lovely volunteers. Anna, Rebecca, Katie, Katie and Martin were wonderful volunteers and contributed so much during their time here. We miss them already!

Hilary, our new volunteer, has arrived though and is settling in very well to the placements and getting used to Pokhara life! Her first day yesterday was a good taster for life here as we arrived at Annapurna Primary School to find that there was a holiday, (decided upon that morning)! Life here is unpredictable and these unplanned holidays happen frequently. The day did not go to waste however as we went to Hilary’s other placement with the Street Kids! I was able to donate some clothes and basic medical supplies which had been contributed by HEG and some of our previous volunteers – there is still more to donate to our other placements and so a blog post will follow shortly!

All the schools have exams going on currently and so the children are all working hard. These exams are taken very seriously for the older children and so we are busy helping the children with their revision.

Last week, I visited Asha Foundation. They have a beehive and in the last week, two of the children had been stung by a bee. Angel was fine however little Asim had been stung on the face; he was experiencing an allergic reaction and his face was quite swollen. I contacted the PoD Charity and we were on standby to take him for medical treatment, however the swelling went down and he is back to his usual cheeky self now! We have informed Hari, the Chairman, that as it was an allergic reaction, if he is stung again the affect is likely to be worse so he is aware of this and keeping a close eye on Asim! Fortunately this didn’t stop the boys having lots of fun with the skipping ropes we took – they became a Lion’s tail, a microphone, a snake, a cowboy’s lasso, a hat, a wig and a jumping hurdle as well as an ordinary skipping rope! Their imagination and excitement is lovely to see and be a part of.

We are looking forward to a busy season here in Nepal. Dashain and Tihar, important Nepali festivals, are coming up and so the schools will closed for a few weeks. This is a lovely time of year in Nepal, with plenty of street dancing and parties; I am personally very excited to experience my first Dashain and Tihar, having heard so much about how wonderful they are. There will be lots to do, and our volunteers will be busy at Street Kids and our other childcare placements so it feels like, currently, we are in the calm before the storm!

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