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CUHELP works in close collaboration with HELP; Helambu Education & Livelihood Project, a grassroots Nepali-based development NGO set up in 2009 to work to improve educational standards in the remote Helambu region of Nepal. Whilst a significant part of the NGO's work is funding projects and programmes, such as salaries of teachers, construction of classrooms and provision of sports equipment, HELP are also very keen to attract English-speaking volunteers to teach in the 20-30 schools in the region. CUHELP exists to fulfil this task. We advertise for, select, prepare and assist volunteers with all aspects of their trip.
For school children, having a volunteer come in for a few weeks can be a life-changing experience. Volunteers offer a fresh perspective on the outside world, for many children rarely leave their remote valley. Volunteers are encouraged to introduce new fun and interactive teaching ideas, activities and games, and these are welcomed by teachers and children alike. Teachers are also typically keen to take advantage of the volunteer's presence to improve their own English, and as such volunteers may run classes with teachers after school hours, with obvious follow-on benefits in teachers' own lessons.
For volunteers the experience may also be life-changing. Volunteers are fully immersed in a culture hugely different to our own, living with the teachers with whom they work in the schools. Naturally the poor living and classroom facilities and activities are eye-opening, but the excitement, energy and enthusiasm of the children, and the overwhelmingly friendly, welcoming and generous nature of the local community, offer a fresh and enlightening perspective on this fascinating and beautiful part of the world.
Though placements with HELP are organised and owned by the volunteers themselves, CUHELP offers help and guidance to volunteers before their trips to maximise the beneficial outcomes of the trip for all parties. It is a fantastic opportunity, and we would encourage anyone to get involved.