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What activities should I bring with me to Nepal?

Date added: Thursday 18th October 2012

Chrissy is PoD's Volunteer Co-ordinator and Charity Manager in Nepal. She updates her blog weekly(ish!) to keep Pod volunteers up to date with the work of our current team of super volunteers and share with you the realities of life and volunteering in Nepal. You will also find tips and advice on what to bring, useful resources and approaches to use on placement. Not only will this keep you up to date on events in Nepal, but will also get you ready and prepared to set off on your life changing experience. PoD is a member of Year Out Group. While this blog, which was posted on the PoD website on 15th September, is focussed on PoD's activities in Nepal most of its content could apply equally to many volunteer placements.

"In the last few weeks I've have received several emails from volunteers who will be joining us in Nepal soon about what activities to pack for their work. Now that I have been in this job for 6 weeks, I have a much better idea of what works well out here, and a few ideas of what you can bring.

PoD volunteer Brydie teaching in NepalThe majority of our placements are working with younger children (from 18 months to 10 years) and we have a few with teenagers, up to around 16/17 year olds and are either schools or child care placements. For the younger children, any kind of arts and crafts work really well, anything we can get them involved in and using their imaginations (the messier the better!).

Recommended items:
• Plain paper, coloured paper, card - very handy no matter which age range you will be working with. Card especially we have looked everywhere for and cannot find anywhere!
• Pencils (make sure you bring sharpeners as well if you bring pencils as they are like gold dust!)
• Glue sticks, Sellotape, PVA etc.
• Any kind of arts and crafts - in the last few weeks we have been making a lot of masks, bookmarks, papier-mβchι, jewellery making etc. Use your imagination, anything messy will go down well here!
• Tennis balls, footballs, ping pongs, skipping ropes - small sporting equipment is a great tool for teaching for example, using a ball to throw to a child to answer a question, or getting games of rounders going in some of our orphanages. This is especially important if you are coming out here to do one of our Sports Placements, don't expect that they will have any equipment, especially the standard of equipment we are used to at home.
• Bubbles, balloons, felt etc - these are great if you will be working at our day care centres. anything tactile to get the children engaged is worthwhile.
• Story books
• Cards
• Glitter
• Stickers
• Puzzles
• Parachute
• Colouring books, sticker books, activity books. This is Sagar in Nepal enjoying a jigsaw puzzle provided by a PoD volunteer.
• Pictures from home - you will be amazed how much time can be spent showing the children pictures of your home, town, family, hobbies, the ocean etc. They are fascinated with it and it can be a great teaching tool.
• Blank exercise books
• Whiteboard markers
• Any educational books you have access to
• Simple stories books to help with teaching (For example 'This is Tim, Tim has a hat, the hat is black' etc.

This is just a general idea of things I have seen that will be well used out here, but obviously there are hundreds of other ideas that will be just as good. When packing, think about what you hobbies or skills you have that are transferrable here. For example, if you are good at Salsa or Ballroom, make sure you bring some music with you; if you want to teach cricket to the kids, make sure you bring all the equipment; If you are a pro on the recorder, bring a few out with you so you can teach the children.

If anyone has any other ideas that you think should be attached to this list then please email Chrissy and She'll add it.

For more information on Pod's work in Nepal and how to join their team, look at their website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901. If you would like to help, but don't have the time to go right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund its work here.



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