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  • Writer's pictureHa Dong

How it all Started ...

While waiting for my visa to arrive so I can start my Master program in Canada, I decided to look for an international volunteer opportunity. Since I planned to study Peace and Conflict Studies, I was specifically searching for peacebuilding projects, and Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN) with its Raising Peace Campaign became a perfect fit.

In late October 2019, I came to Nepal as a short-term volunteer. Under VIN’s women empowerment initiative, I worked on the Raising Peace Campaign with two local staff, two local volunteers who worked as translators, and another short-term volunteer and two long-term EU Aid volunteers from Italy. Together, we delivered workshops about gender equality and Sustainable Development Goals to over 100 students from two elementary and secondary schools in Tarakeshwor. We also created and facilitated three workshops on domestic abuse and women’s rights for 60 + women and girls at three communities in Tarakeshwor. We brought in a local lawyer who helped answer legal questions.

From the two weeks volunteering in Nepal, I learned so much about the history, culture, human rights status, and development progress of Nepal. As much I was able to utilize my skills and knowledge to support various local individuals and communities, I was also inspired by and learned from personal stories of VIN staff, local community leaders, and students who are working hard to create positive social change within their communities. In addition, I have met and become good friends with many people from across the world who share the same passion in social justice and peacebuilding.

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