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Make a difference volunteering overseas in 2018

There's no better time than the start of a new year to help bring about positive change in the world. Find out why scores of young idealists are signing up to change people's lives for the better by volunteering abroad.

Make a difference volunteering overseas in 2018
Raleigh International volunteers in Nepal. Photo: Raleigh International

The New Year offers an opportunity to put last year behind us and look ahead to 2018 with renewed optimism and a fresh perspective on how to make the world a better place by making a difference in the lives of others.

And few places offer as many opportunities to bring about positive change as Nepal, the Himalayan country nestled between India and China in Southeast Asia, and home to a number of inspiring volunteer programmes run by UK-based NGO Raleigh International.

Learn more about volunteering with Raleigh International

Anish, 26, is one of the dozens of volunteers who spent several weeks living in the breath-taking mountains of Nepal as a Raleigh volunteer.

“I was super excited about the programme that Raleigh was about to run in Nepal and I wanted to be a part of it,” he says.

Nepal is among the poorest countries in the world with nearly a quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Inequality is a major challenge and Nepal is considered the fourth most climate vulnerable country in the world. In April 2015, the country suffered a devastating earthquake that took more than 8,000 lives and destroying 800,000 homes.

Due to the country’s high levels of inequality and poverty, poor and rural communities suffered most, with many losing the ability to provide even the most basic needs like food, water and shelter.

“After the earthquake I wanted to do something to help the people affected and thought this would be a good way to do so. I also wanted to build my confidence, communication and leadership skills,” says Anish.

Be a Raleigh International Volunteer in Nepal

“So, I applied for the role of Volunteer Manager with Raleigh. This is one of the best decisions I have ever taken in my life.”

Anyone inspired by Anish’s experience will be happy to learn that Raleigh is currently recruiting new volunteers for its programmes in Nepal in 2018.

Volunteers can choose to do an Expedition in Nepal this summer for five, seven, or ten weeks between July to September. Or there are places available on our autumn programmes departing between October to December. 

A Nepali village surrounded by highlands. Photo: Raleigh International

And Raleigh volunteers work with local communities in Nepal’s Gorkha and Makwanpur districts to help improve their lives in a number of meaningful ways, from building new earthquake-proof homes to helping provide clean water and sanitation.

As one of a very small number of volunteer organisations that have an agreement signed with the Nepali government, Raleigh volunteers and their families back home can be confident they have the government’s support and that every local community has requested the presence of volunteers.

Indeed, Raleigh International’s programmes are built on nearly four decades of experience arranging programmes to challenge and inspire young people by encouraging them to explore new parts of the globe. 

And Raleigh’s commitment to delivering results extends from the communities who are empowered to develop sustainably, to the young people who are inspired to take action.

Whether you are in North America, Europe, or elsewhere, as long as you are 17-24 years old (or 25-75 years old for Volunteer Manager roles), have a valid passport, and a passion to help others, a Raleigh expedition can be the opportunity that makes your 2018 an unforgettable year of creating lasting change.

For Anish, the training provided by Raleigh combined with the hands-on experience of helping rebuild basic infrastructure in a rural village developed his skills in ways he could never have envisioned before signing up.

Discover Nepal and yourself with Raleigh International

“At first I was not a confident person at all – I was a shy guy. But gradually those fears disappeared, and I did things like leading a team and doing a presentation in front of the group,” he recalls.

Anish led a team of volunteers and quickly learned how to help motivate and teach them – things he hadn’t done before. While he admits one of his initial motivations was strengthening his CV, Anish’s experience as a Raleigh volunteer in Nepal took his life in a new direction.

“The impact has been massive in my life. I want to be more involved in the community and I want to serve the people, help the people and make them smile by doing something positive,” he explains.

“I have grown into a different person since joining Raleigh. It has changed my life.”

So, if you want to change your life and the lives of others in 2018 – or know someone else who might be interested in being a Raleigh volunteer – share this article or click on the link below to learn more.

Raleigh runs Expeditions in Nepal, Tanzania and Nicaragua & Costa Rica throughout the year.

 

Apply to be a Raleigh International volunteer in Nepal

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Raleigh International

OBAMA

Obama reveals he wants to work for… Spotify?

Barack Obama may be leaving the White House, but it looks like he's got his future all planned out.

Obama reveals he wants to work for... Spotify?
Barack Obama on a visit to Sweden in 2013. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

One of Obama's favourite trips abroad was his 2013 visit to Sweden, US tech entrepreneur, podcast editor and former The Local blogger Natalia Brzezinski has revealed the president told her.

She and her husband Mark Brzezinski, who was the US ambassador to Sweden 2011-2015, were invited to the White House on Wednesday evening along with other diplomats appointed by Obama.

“I finally got the chance to thank him for the life-changing appointment to Sweden,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.

“He said word for word: 'I loved visiting you in Stockholm, it was my favourite trip. I plan to go back there really soon'.”

Obama went to Stockholm on an official state visit in 2013. And Brzezinski, the CEO of creative tech festival Symposium Stockholm, revealed she tried to tempt him back to attend its Brilliant Minds conference in June.

He did not promise anything, but did at least urge Brzezinski to “send him the details”.

Obama leaves his post on January 20th, handing over the reins to Republican president-elect Donald Trump. As for the outgoing president's future, it looks like he's got his heart set on a certain Swedish music streaming giant.

“I'm still waiting for my job at Spotify… 'cause I know y'all loved my playlist,” Brzezinski quoted him as saying.

We are pretty sure he was joking, but it is not the first time Obama has praised Sweden.

Former prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt revealed in an interview last year that the US president had told him on his visit to Stockholm that he would love to return again with his family.

“Shortly thereafter I met Michelle and Barack Obama again in New York and Michelle confirmed that Barack talked to her about it after his visit to Stockholm. I said I hoped they would find time to return after his presidency,” Reinfeldt told the Aftonbladet tabloid in September.