The International Citizen Service (ICS) programme brings together young people from the UK and local volunteers in developing countries so that they can work together to fight poverty. Rojina is a Nepalese volunteer and her journey is described below.

Rojina Khadka, 23, from Kathmandu, completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology. When she left University ,the job  she got did not match her studies and she became dissatisfied. However,in 2014 her friend told her about a volunteering opportunity at Restless Development Nepal on a programme called the International Citizen Service (ICS) and she saw it as a chance to do something different. She applied and got selected.

In the programme, volunteers have to live outside their home town in a rural area for three months. In Nepalese society, parents do not easily allow their daughters to work far from home but after she received the confirmation letter from the office she decided to go because she knows that her parents are very much supportive for her career choice. Thankfully, her parents were very much happy for her decision.

When she arrived she had training and she developed facilitation skills, leadership skills and knowledge regarding the livelihoods programme. When the volunteer programme started she developed a lot of qualities like interpersonal relationship skills, critical thinking and other leadership skills in herself through different opportunities and challenges during her work in the field. It not only helped her personal development but also transformed her in so many ways. It was a life changing experience for her.

Now she is aware about development work and the difference that one’s contribution can make in a community. After that volunteering opportunity, she went on to become a team leader for the same programme and is now learning even more.

Rojina along with her fellow volunteer team leaders are working on gender equality and women empowerment projects and she is proud of her work. She is happy, satisfied and is inspiring her friends and other young people to do volunteering work liker her at least once in their lifetime.

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