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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Janice's first few weeks...

A blog from Janice

My first two weeks with PoD has definitely been a stunning experience. I'm glad to have finished my training which wouldn't have been possible without my two amazing mentors Sarah and Chrissy.
My training was divided into two parts, one was the paper work which required quite a lot of reading and questionnaires and the next was placement visits.
I got a chance to attend Hilary's farewell dinner last Wednesday at a very nice restaurant down in lakeside. We were all sad to see Hilary go; she has been a wonderful volunteer and contributed much over her time here.
The next few days were about visiting placements so Sarah and I went around Pokhara to have a look at how things were and to formally introduce myself to all the places. While we were on the run we did our quarterly donations at Annapurna Primary School andPrabhat Primary School. The teachers and the other officials were very welcoming to me which made me feel grand.
On  Saturday morning, Sarah and I went to SOSBahini where she taught her Conversational English class and I was with other girls getting to know them and also doing arts and crafts. Some of them were enjoying some dance with Bollywood songs playing on a big speaker while rest of us were watching them, painting and making origami.
After we finished up with SOS we quickly had our lunch and went to pick up our three volunteers, Edwina, Jade and Yasmine from the tourist bus park. It was an easy job to spot them in that crowd. We took two taxis back to the hotel where they had some time to relax and settle down, have a chat with us with some tea and water. We all then headed down to lakeside in the evening and went to a restaurant called 'Maya', which means love in Nepali, for their welcome dinner. It was great fun getting to know each other while looking over down to the streets of lakeside with lights and listening to the live music in different restaurants around.
I did my first induction with them before taking them to see their placements which went much better than I thought it would be. Also all my volunteers were very lovely and patient as it was my first induction and my colleague Sarah helped me out on bits and pieces that I missed out.

The first stop we had to make that day was Children Development and Rehabilitation Center (Ward 6) where we introduced our volunteers to the head teacher and the little kids who all were very adorable. After which we took the local bus up to Mahendrapul to get the materials for their Kurthas, a traditional Nepali outfit, to be made; this is a lovely tradition which has been set up by PoD in that all new volunteers receive a Kurtha of their choosing, this is so they can wear it to their placements if they choose to, something which is really appreciated by the local staff here. They all got a stunning Kurtha each for the workplace. We had some samosas with spicy tamarind sauce at an Indian Restaurant for lunch. We then all went back, and our lovely volunteers took a well earned nap. In the evening, they came to see me sing; I perform with a band at local restaurants around Lakeside. It was lovely to spend time socialising with them, and they enjoyed hearing my band!

If you would like to join the team here in Nepal please email Gemma on

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Welcome to the team Janice!

It is exciting times here for PoD Nepal… We have a new exployee! Janice, whom many of you will know as she is Bindu’s daughter, is taking over the PoD Placement Manager role. Janice has long been involved with PoD and fully understands our role and purpose out here. She has been able to spend time with our volunteers over the years whilst they have been staying at her mum’s guest house, and she has also long been involved in the actual volunteering herself. She is familiar with all the placements and has a great relationship with them already. Here she is with Tika, a teacher from Annapurna Primary School. We are very excited for this next chapter of PoD Nepal to begin!

Welcome to the team Janice!

If you would like to join the team here in Nepal please email Gemma on

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quarterly Charity Donations!

Once again we have reached our 3 month quarterly charity donation time – time goes so fast! I have been busy this week visiting our placements and handing out the donations.
At Annapurna PrimarySchool, the PoD Charity donates money to provide all the children with a filling, nutritious lunch. It was great to see that this is working well and Tika, a teacher at the school, told me that for many of the children this will be the main meal they eat in the day and so it is so important for them. I also visited Prabhat Primary School where we are able to donate to provide lunches as well.
At Asha Foundation Children’s Home, the PoD Charity provides them with a monetary contribution to enable them to have meat twice a week. At Asha they are able to grow much of their own food due to a small allotment that they have, however this donation allows the children to have some much needed nutrients and variation in their diet.
Finally, I was able to hand over the PoD Charity donations to the Street Children’s Centre. Here we give money towards their food supplies for the months. They buy rice, meat and veg and Aama, the woman who looks after the children, makes some wonderful dal bhat, (the traditional Nepali dish). The boys were telling me that Aama has also been making pasta, noodles and a variety of other dishes too; their favourite is still dal bhat though!
Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago, we were able to secure an extra PoD Charity budget to clear the outside space at the Street Children’s Centre. They have recently moved homes to a much bigger and more practical home. There is a great outside space for the children to run around in as well as sit out and under the shade and do their homework, however currently it is full of scrap metal and rubble; this needs clearing and an area of the garden needs to be covered by a shelter with their outside table put back up. This will make such a difference to the children and Aama’s quality of life as they won’t be cramped on the floor in the kitchen doing their work or eating anymore, they will have a proper space. This is what the space looked like a few days ago when I made the donation…
                                                               Progress so far...

I visited 2 days later and this was the progress that had already been made… The boys are so excited!

If you would like to join the team here in Nepal please email Gemma on