The Global Xchange programme helped to strengthen the understanding and levels of trust between people in the UK and Nepal by increasing levels of engagement by volunteers in active global citizenship. Global Xchange was able to demonstrate benefits to the communities in which we work by providing greater understanding of how volunteering can effect positive social change. The main aim of this programme is to promote intercultural dialogue through meaningful two-way dialogue and the building of active networks that did not exist before.
Starting from 2007 till 2010, British Council Nepal was able to exchange three batches of volunteers during those three years.
The second of of the programme it hosted 18 volunteers, 9 Nepalese and 9 UK youths aged 18-25 years, lived and worked voluntarily in the local communities in two countries from October 2008 to March 2009. These 18 young people lived and worked in pairs for the first three months in Banepa, Kavre and next 3 months in Brighton, UK. The theme for the exchange was ‘social inclusion and peace’.
More than 1000 people from the community were influenced by the work these volunteers carried out. Their work were based on various activities ranging from volunteering in schools to organising community improvement forums, AIDS awareness campaign, community action days, global citizenship days focussing on various topics. One of the global citizenship day activities focussed on caste discrimination prevalent in the rural part of Nepal, showed positive impact in the community.
Global Xchange provided a unique opportunity for hearing impaired (deaf) communities in both Nepal and the UK. Nine deaf youth volunteers from Nepal and the UK, all aged from 18-25 years lived with host families and work in local organizations in host communities for three months in each country. The nine volunteers from Nepal travelled to Preston, UK on 22 October 2009 and working in their host community until January 2010. The volunteers from UK traveled to Nepal in January 2010 to pair up with volunteers from Nepal and work in host communities in Kathmandu.
During the three months in Nepal, the volunteers lived in the host home around Kathmandu and worked in different placements like SHIA Nepal, Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA), Women Entrepreneur Association Nepal (WEAN), STID, Naxal Deaf School, Kathmandu Association of the Deaf, Early Rehabilitation Centre, Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Sherpa Sewa Sangh and Siddhartha handicraft.
Apart from working together the Nepalese/UK volunteers created and perform pieces of deaf/sign language theatre and work in local charities and community organisations in Kathmandu.The local implementing partner for Global Xchange 2009 was National Federation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NFDH) in Nepal and Deafway in UK.