40 IAESTE trainees heading to Nepal
In an exciting new project for IAESTE, 40 trainees from 23 countries will be spending 4 weeks in Nepal helping to build houses for those that lost them in the recent earthquake that caused so much devastated and loss. Volunteers from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Lebanon, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey and the UK will be making a real difference to the lives of those they are helping. We will be following their progress throughout the summer and will share their stories with you.
See here for news from the official opening.
IAESTE A.s.b.l. president, Bernard Baeyens shared these words at the launch event:
"Dear Nepalese and IAESTE Friends,
Two years ago, the catastrophic earthquake your country went through affected the traineeship of one of the first IAESTE students to go to Nepal. Croatian student, Ivan LonÄar, was due to work at the Islington college but due to the earthquake he was advised not to come. After seeing the devastation in the news, ruined buildings, people who needed help, as well as having a Nepalese friend he had met previously in Finland, he decided to go to Nepal anyway.
"I did not have a solution because everything related to the practice was postponed, and the people who had the opportunity left this area massively, but I had a good will and a friend I met at a college in Finland and originally from here. I told him before I left and told him that I was coming and trying to find me accommodation.
This is somehow the beginnings of the project we are participating in today and it is founded on our IAESTE values: trust, respect and friendship.
The idea of exchanging traineeships between countries started in the mind of James Newby, superintendent of the Vacation Work Committee at the Imperial College in London in 1938. But his vision was not only about the traineeships, it was also about international understanding and goodwill.
IAESTE took its first steps in Nepal two years ago with the support of Prof. Tongdee Chewapruk of IAESTE Thailand, but now IAESTE Nepal is ready to start exchanging with the world and that is what we are celebrating today. None of this was, and is, possible without the enthusiasm, dedication and hard work of Mr. Raj Dhakal Khagendra and his team at the NGO, Civil Initiatives.
We are sure they will provide opportunities to many young Nepalese students to discover the world and give young people positive, live changing experiences here in Nepal. Our world needs to build more connections, develop better understanding, and I congratulate IAESTE Nepal on playing their part in helping to make the world a better place.
We wish you success in your work and look forward to hearing about the positive experiences from all the trainees.
Prof. Bernard Baeyens
President IAESTE Asbl."