KATHMANDU, Dec 6: YUWA, a youth led organization based in Kathmandu, held a panel discussion on “Volunteerism: Preparing the Young Generation for a New Commitment” on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day (IVD), 2012, on Wednesday at the Bakery Café, Sundhara in Kathmandu.
Moderated by General Secretary II of Center for Youth Studies (YUWA), Kanchan Prasad Kharel, the panel consisted of Simone Galimberti, Co-Founder of Engage Nepal; Andrea Wojnar Diagne, Country Director, Peace Corps Nepal; Shisir Khanal, Founder/CEO, Teach For Nepal and Binod Shahi, Volunteer, E-Dolpa.
Sharing her experience as a volunteer, Diagne of the Peace Corps said, “I was a volunteer in Peace Corps long time back and I was stationed in West Africa. We were there to help eradicate the Guinea worm disease and now the problem is not there anymore. I feel immense pleasure because I feel that I contributed to that.” She also said that volunteerism should come from the heart and not from pressure.
L to R: Andrea Wojnar Diagne, Country Director, Peace Corps Nepal; Shisir Khanal, Founder/CEO, Teach For Nepal and Binod Shahi, Volunteer, E-Dolpa, answering questions during the panel discussion on “Volunteerism: Preparing the Young Generation for a New Commitment” on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day (IVD), 2012, on Wednesday at the Bakery Café, Sundhara in Kathmandu.
Peace Corps was established by John F Kennedy in 1961and started its service in Nepal the following year. Till 2004, 4200 volunteers have already worked in Nepal and 200,000 around the world.
Talking during the discussion, Shisir Khanal opined that there is a difference between volunteerism and civil service. “I am not a volunteer because I get paid for what I do but I don’t earn much. I’m not a businessman because I don’t make profits. So where do I stand?” questioned Khanal. He stressed on the point that he, along with many in Nepal who are in such position, are civil servants and that they are working for the welfare of the people of the country.
Binod Shahi, who has been living in Dolpa and teaching there for the past nine years as a volunteer, shared that he feels immense pleasure when people from other districts come to him and ask him to open schools in their villages too. “I don’t get paid and whatever we do up in Dolpa is from the generous donations from my friends. I am doing what I am doing because I love this,” he said, adding that he will not give up teaching the children.
Wh-Y portal, an information based initiation to establish sound relationship between youth and the internet towards building a strong channel of meaningful information, was also launched during the event. Supported by the US Embassy, Rukh Gurung, team leader of Wh-Y portal said, “The main aim of this portal is to make sure that youth are informed about matters and that they don’t have to search for it. This will be a one stop website for the youth to be updated.”
The portal aims to carry information from different sources, giving today’s youth easy access to academic resources, career development opportunities (scholarships, grants, etc), events and conferences, online courses, articles, etc.
Gurung informed that some parts of the website is still being worked on but will be updated very soon.
Wh-Y portal can be found at www.whyportal.org.