ENGAGE Towards a Volunteering Based Society

By Antonio Gomez de Poo

On 14 June, our team had an amazing experience in our premises here at Inter Alia. We maintained a Skype meeting with a new partner organisation based in Nepal and called ENGAGE: towards a volunteering based society.After the suggestion of Simone, their coordinator, we at Inter Alia were excited to meet and talk with Nepalese youngsters about the values but also difficulties when volunteering.

I assume that both sides gained through this intercontinental and intercultural exchange. The Nepalese youngsters were eager to know better about the EVS programme, the chances for them to volunteer in Europe and the different challenges regarding volunteering that we face here, either in Athens, or in Europe more generally speaking.We, on our side, were expecting to get a direct knowledge about volunteering in such a challenging environment as Nepal, moreover, due to the earthquakes of 2015 and, why not, also to know about our chances to travel to Kathmandu and volunteer as well.Speaking from Inter Alia side, we were quite impressed by the work the young people at ENGAGE are doing back there. They work mostly for the integration of disabled people in civil society through various activities, especially through basketball.

The team was again impressively young. Not only were they nice and responsive to our questions, but seemed talented, skilled and highly motivated.Youth work is conceived in a different way back in Nepal, but still, there are common features. We learnt from them that they are also experiencing difficulties sometimes when trying to inform other social agents about their work and mission. Of course and more importantly, they were facing difficulties to reach for their potential target population sometimes. We discussed about that and shared with them our skills and know-how regarding this question: promotion, knowledge of informal networks already going on the field and even more.Still, if this team is a reliable sample of the younger generations to come for Nepal, we are sure that the country is going to develop a healthy civic society and to recover from past earthquakes as from other potential risky situations.We had so many questions that we decided to put an end to our meeting under the condition of having more meetings in the near future. Stay tuned for more!