When Kimberely Bateman heard about Nepal’s earthquake on the news last April, she took action in the UK to stand in solidarity with the people of Nepal. One year later, she’s in Nepal, volunteering with communities affected by the earthquake.
It’s been a year since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. I remember seeing the devastation that it caused on the news and reading it about it over social media in the months to come. Living thousands of miles away, it didn’t directly affect me at the time. However, it did encourage me to become an active citizen and take small actions to try and show my support to all that were affected.
I did weightlifting at university and one of my friends from the club had family out in Nepal whose lives were impacted by the earthquake. To try and support him and those out in Nepal during this difficult time, we arranged a ‘Lift for Nepal’ within the club to try and raise money for communities. I also attended the memorial vigil in Trafalgar Square and stood with thousands of other Londoners to honour those that had died and also those that were going through difficult times currently in Nepal.
Both of these events seem like a million years ago now and never would I have dreamed that I would actually be going to Nepal the following year to volunteer with Restless ICS and help communities affected by the earthquake. I never thought that I would live for 12 weeks in a rural part of Nepal with a host family, and work within that community to try and encourage young people through education to make choices that will benefit their future and improve their prospects.
To say I’m excited about this trip would be an understatement. I flew to Nepal on Monday, but the week before felt like the longest of my life. I am aware that there will be impacts of the earthquake that will be obvious and upsetting. There are still many areas of Kathmandu that haven’t recovered, families that still do not have homes and historic buildings that may never return to their former glory. I have tried to mentally prepare myself for these moments and also the times when I will miss my very digitally obsessed and social media-related life at home. But I am also really looking forward to the challenge of the entire experience and facing what is to come with enthusiasm, optimism and confidence.
I hope to help start a chain of events that will create positive change in poorer communities in Nepal. Whilst I may not directly make a recognisable difference, future volunteers working with Restless Development and ICS will develop the changes that we have made further and eventually impact people’s lives for the better.
It is seeing the positive impact of everything that Restless Development and ICS do that I am most excited about – to be a part of that is truly inspiring.
Read more about Restless Development’s response to the earthquake.