Working with Volunteer Service in Nepal (VSN) through GVN was nothing but a positive experience for me.
The people I met through the program (VSN staff, fellow volunteers, host family and of course, the children!) had the most impact on my life, not to mention the beautiful scenery in Nepal.
At the time I was in the program VSN was taking over guardianship of the SSCH kids. I saw these children in the non VSN home they were in during my placement as a volunteer, which could only be described as appalling and then, when having the privilege of returning to Nepal the following year as Volunteer Coordinator, saw the undeniable impact VSN was having on those children's health, happiness and wellbeing.
I had gone into the program initially, as a volunteer, with my eyes open and admittedly with scepticism but came out the other side with nothing but respect and admiration for the amazing work VSN was doing in changing, for the better, the lives of the children within their care..
VSN's pragmatic and appropriate methods of maintaining the Nepali culture within their homes set them apart from some of the other NGOs I visited whilst I was in Kathmandu. I respected the ethos and values VSN was trying to uphold, keeping the children close to their traditions (without bringing in Western ideals) but also trying to improve their social standing and way of life through good nutrition, health and education.
There was no question that I would continue my support of VSN following my departure from Nepal, which I have done along with other fellow Aussie volunteers back in Australia through ongoing fundraising efforts over the past 7 years.
Some of us have also been back to visit the children over the years and continue to be astounded with the children's happiness and wellbeing since coming into VSN's care.