Roni Manandhar is a Restless Development volunteer from Nepal. She was one of the first young people to respond after the earthquake last year, delivering emergency supplies and providing vulnerable people with support. She’s gone on to do internships, workshops, a leadership project and even designed and implemented an interactive learning programme for women and children after the earthquakes. This blog is also part of our Young Powerful Women series for International Women’s Day.
When the earthquake stuck Nepal last year it was worse than a nightmare, if there is something worse out there. Where I live in Kathmandu, everyone was injured, and still the earthquake was shaking everything the whole time. It was the scariest thing I had ever experienced. Afterwards all the Nepalese people had to stay in tents with tarpaulin, so there was no water and everyone was scared to go inside. We were in fear.
Restless Development quickly mobilised all their volunteers in different parts of Nepal to distribute emergency supplies. As I had volunteered as an ICS volunteer before, I was contacted and was eager to help.
I would distribute materials like food, tents, tarpaulin, different items which are needed when people are starving and hungry. If they are hungry then how can they work? We were divided into teams, and each team had to focus on different areas, the whole day we would have to walk. We used to double check whether people were getting resources or not. Making sure everyone gets something, and people aren’t getting more supplies than others. We particularly focused on pregnant women.
We also taught in the temporary school shelters. These were built after nearly all of the schools in Nepal collapsed after the earthquake. My proudest moment in the earthquake response was teaching Interactive learning to the teachers and the children. In our country there is a traditional kind of education, the teacher will speak and there is no creativity. We used this technique which can make the children actively participate and communicate, and help them forget their trauma from the earthquake. We bring smiles to the faces of the children, for example suppose there is a maths game, we would get the children to run around to different places in the room and find the correct answers. We would use lots of family games and teach them how to speak in English.
Since volunteering on ICS and in the earthquake response, Restless Development has continued to give me new opportunities, such as work experience. Volunteering has taught me how to grow professionally, get my dreams, and find success in everything I do.
Find out more about how young people are using their power to change the world in our Youth Power campaign.