My name is Domoina Ranjatoelina, I am a 28-year old woman from Madagascar. In September 2012, I realized one of my dreams by coming to Nepal and dedicating 2 weeks of my time and my efforts to volunteer and do something valuable for children from an underdeveloped country. I am also coming from a very poor country, but I found it easier and culturally more challenging to teach English to a foreign community; and besides, I have always dreamed of visiting Nepal one day.
I had an amazing and life-changing experience when volunteering through Experience Himalayan Nepal (EHN). They gave me the opportunity to interact with such amazing children and adults during my entire stay. I also visited the city of Kathmandu and many temples. Shopping is a must there, everything is so nice and cheap if you bargain well and you will enjoy the Nepali culture, which is so unique!
The family I was staying with in Trishuli, a rural placement, was lovely, very down-to-earth and kind, despite the little they have. Although we often had language and cultural barriers, they were always helpful and generous with me. You realize that you actually do not need much to be happy in life, and I think Nepali people are so much happier than people living with more materialistic standards of living.
When going to Trishuli primary school every day, I was heart-broken: I noticed that teachers were struggling with teaching English, due to the numbers of pupils per classroom (sometimes up to 40), to the lack of materials (books, coloured pencils, etc.), but also due to the lack of teachers who could actually master the English language.
Unfortunately, I could not teach English during my stay, as the children were writing exams, so I only helped with supervising and helping them answering questions. That was really fun!
The education of future generations is crucial in any society, this is the only way people can make a change. I would recommend everyone to try volunteering , whether they come from a developed or another underdeveloped country to contribute with their time and money towards educating children, helping in a daycare or medical center, or helping families in having access to safe drinking water.
In our modern societies, we take so many things for granted. When you volunteer, you realise the importance of little things in life and how these little things are sufficient to make you happy and still care for others.
I will definitely come back to Nepal and recommend EHN to my friends who are willing to contribute, because this is a worthwhile experience!