The Phaserl


Would You Quit Your Job to Build a School in Nepal?

from The Daily Bell:

After a nerve-racking, jam-packed five-hour bus ride on a careening mountain road in the Nepalese countryside, I was seriously doubting my life choices. I had quit my job, moved my stuff back home with Mom and Dad, budgeted my modest savings for the next five months, and now I was in the middle of a remote town by a river with an over-stuffed backpack.

It had all started with an application to help rebuild a school in Nepal that had been destroyed by the 2015 earthquake.

And now I was finding my way an hour up the road, across a suspension bridge, and on top of a farming terrace, where I discovered an international coalition of kind-hearted volunteers taking part in a ceremony. The village of Nagpuje was celebrating the anniversary of its school. I looked around and saw temporary learning centers and CGI structures. I was moved by the celebration, but it also struck me that this was the entire extent of the village’s development.

In the coming days, I would wake early, labor all day with my soon-to-be-family, and settle by the fire with a warm cup of tea, reflecting on our day’s work. We moved rocks, dirt, and cement, all of the necessary simple tasks. We soon learned and started trying our hand at carpentry, bending and cutting rebar, and manually mixing concrete. The project was lead by engineers, both domestic and foreign, who employed local masons from the village in which we were staying. It was clear that there was an efficient plan with effective measures; and I had the privilege of helping.

All Hands

The Internet is inundated with charitable causes to which you can donate. And while a donation is admirable, there is a slight visceral shortcoming in the satisfaction of helping. For some, a monthly subscription to a charity works. For others, myself included, there is a need to go somewhere and help in order to know for certain the effects of my individual contribution.

When you research different types of international volunteer organizations, two things become apparent. In order to be involved, you either need a specific skill or vocation, such as nursing or engineering, or you can pay money to be a part of a program.

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