Jackie’s Nepal Experience

Jackie B.
Volunteer Name:Jackie B.
Project Attended:Day Care Centre and Education Volunteering
Country Attended:Nepal
Volunteer Bio:I'm a 59 year old Mum of 2 boys - I had the freedom to choose to volunteer now. My current job is as an Assessor of HR qualifications for a training agency in mid Sussex, where I live.
What was your greatest achievement? Teaching maths to the juniors in the morning homework session, explaining fractions to a couple of the girls, and seeing one of them suddenly get it. She then delighted in showing me how she could do the next ones on her own.
Did you feel you made a difference? You can't make a huge personal difference in only 2 weeks - but every day spent with the children adds one more drop in the ocean of their learning. It all comes together over the hours and days that all the volunteers spend. In that sense, everyone is working together to make a collective difference to these amazing kids. We also cut rice, sheaved it and threshed it, as well as millett cutting. This helps the girls, to some extent, although they can manage without volunteers - however, the most significant thing is learning how hard the work is, and seeing how much there is to do to make the Farm sustainable.
What advice would you give future participants? Don't expect any real 'schedule' - in Nepal things change on a minute by minute basis. The kids may have an unexpected day off, or the millet needs to be harvested because it's been extra warm for a couple of days. The electricity might go off, so you can't do evening school because it's dark. Above all, don't criticise the material they've been given - the curriculum is the curriculum. However strange it might seem to us as it's very different to our way of teaching and learning.
What was your most memorable moment? Walking down to the primary school to meet the younger ones and having them shout out 'hallo, sister!' - so pleased to see us. Joining in with an impromptu music and dance session to Bollywood music a couple of evenings - trying to copy the moves, laughing and sharing the fun.
Please tell others why you think they should sign up for a program with Kaya Keen to make it work - taking the time to answer questions, by email and by phone. I received an email after a couple of days, asking if I was ok, and reminding me that Kaya was there to help if I had any problems. Packs full of information beforehand, quick responses.


“I got up to the Farm on Monday – it’s been great so far. I’ve already helped cut rice twice and helped with 2 homework sessions, and been up at the children’s house helping with dinner. Such a lovely place, in all senses of the word.”