On the 24th January 2016 I will depart the UK to volunteer for 15 weeks on a development programme in Nepal. Given the current situation in Nepal after the devastating earthquake in April 2015, in which 8,000 people lost their lives and 2.8m people were displaced from their homes, it's a particularly important time to be supporting Nepal's recovery. I'll be volunteering in Nepal as part of the DFID-funded International Citizen Service (ICS), which brings young people together to fight poverty and make a difference where it is needed most. ICS only works with communities that have specifically requested their help. It also aims to inspire young people in the UK and overseas to become active citizens who are passionate about long term community development.
So what will I be doing in Nepal?
I’ll be leading a team of 6 young volunteers from the UK and working alongside 7 other Nepalese volunteers on a project that will support women and young people to set up sustainable local businesses and enterprises, in the long-term becoming less reliant on aid. I'm really excited to be involved in such a worthwhile project and to be helping a rural community in the Himalayas rebuild their livelihoods after such a terrible natural disaster.
Why am I fundraising?
I need to raise £800 for Raleigh International, who are one of the respected development charities that deliver the ICS Entrepreneur programme. The money I raise doesn't go towards the costs of my flights, etc. Instead it will allow Raleigh to continue to bring about positive change in the developing communities where they work. You can check out their amazing work here: https://raleighinternational.org/our-work/
What's the Live Below the Line challenge?
In order to reach my fundraising target, I'll be doing the Live Below The Line challenge from the 19th-23rd November, attempting to live off just £5 food and drink over 5 days, to experience first-hand what it's like to live below the poverty line, as 7 million people in Nepal currently live (and an astounding 1.2 billion people worldwide). This will be no easy feat for me, as I have a ferocious appetite and I am by no means the most creative person in the kitchen! I'll be going home to Hampshire for those 5 days as my ever wonderful mother is kindly going to undertake the challenge with me!! Being outside of London will also make it easier to resist the delicacies of London's food scene, and I'm envisaging my mother and I going foraging for berries in the countryside to try and satisfy our hunger! You'll be able to keep track of how we get on with the challenge here on Justgiving or via my blog www.TheWell-TravelledPostcard.com.
What about the Athens Marathon?
I'm very aware that I have recently been fundraising for the charity Plan UK and that many of my close friends, family and colleagues have already sponsored me to run the Athens Marathon on 8th November 2015. I thank you all so much for your support and I understand whole-heartedly that donating to the same person twice in a few months is asking a little much! So I make a plea to anyone who hasn't yet sponsored my marathon - please do sponsor my Live Below the Line challenge and help me reach the £800 target which is required in order for me to be able to travel out to Nepal to volunteer with the ICS Entrepreneur programme! Any contribution from you will make a real difference to the lives of people in developing countries, so please dig deep!
Thank you so much everyone for your support, and if you sponsor me for this then as a thank you, you can be sure to receive a postcard from Nepal from me once I complete the ICS programme in May 2016!