Thursday, March 14, 2013
A Budleigh man is encouraging others to volunteer overseas, having just returned from three months in Nepal.
Ollie Morris, 23, of Stoneborough Lane, got to go on the placement after signing up with Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO), which runs trips for people aged 18 to 25.
Ollie said: “It’s Government funded – you don’t have to pay for travel expenses, and it was the only way I could experience somewhere outside Europe and do community work.”
Ollie was one of 12 British volunteers on the trip. Each was pared with a Nepalese counterpart to live with and another to work with, and assigned a school to work in.
Ollie was given Balkalyan Higher Secondary School, and along with counterpart Nikita most of his work focused on waste management, which included holding litter picks, forming an environment group of students and teachers, and making bins for rubbish disposal.
Other activities Ollie helped run included a health week, first aid training and a drugs awareness programme.
His placement also saw him helping in the local community, training farmers and running first aid workshops, and holding two health camps with the other 23 volunteers, which drew in more than 700 people seeking medical help.
Ollie said: “For me it was an amazing experience to live with another culture, and work and live with Nepalese volunteers.
“I learned a bit of the language, and it opened my eyes to some of the issues that can occur in developing countries.”
Ollie says he thinks others from the Budleigh area could benefit from placements with VSO.
“It’s definitely something I would recommend people to do. It’s a three-month placement, so it’s not long enough to have to put your life on hold, but enough to learn about the place you’re living in.”
Before his trip Ollie held some fundraising events for VSO, and he says he would like to thank the people who supported them.