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

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

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