By:Olivia Werenski ’17/Champlain College News
Nine Champlain College students are currently volunteering in Kathmandu,Nepal as part of the annual Center for Service and Civic Engagement (CSCE) service trip in partnership with Volunteers For Peace, a Vermont-based organization that places hundred of volunteers all over the world each year.
The Champlain students and two mentors are working with the Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN), and their mission is: “To empower marginalized communities through enhanced education, health and income generation under women empowerment, children development, youth empowerment and public health programs with special focus on women and children by conducting training and research, developing basic infrastructure, mobilizing skilled local and international volunteers to promote equality, economic well-being and basic human rights.”
The Champlain students attending are: Catherine Chalder ‘16, Caitlin Mundy ‘16, Nina Knorr ‘16, Dylan Cullen ‘17, Nikki Duran ‘16, Meghan Condon ‘16, Julian Lopez ‘17, Karisa Desjardins ‘16, and Molly Emerson ‘14, as well as Maggie Melvin and Dan O’Hara. The students will return to Vermont on May 27.
According to Maggie Melvin, assistant director of CSCE, while in Nepal, Champlain students have already done a lot of work to improve their surroundings including building composting toilets to help address the need for proper sanitation in the impoverished area. The second week will focus on working with and teaching youth through VIN’s Youth Empowerment program in local schools. Volunteers are also doing some child care and learning about Nepal’s customs and language.
This trip wouldn’t have been possible without help from the local organization Volunteers for Peace, an organization that sets up volunteering trips from right here in Burlington. Founded in 1892, this non-profit organization helps make service trips possible across Chittenden County and beyond.
Learn more about the community service opportunities at Champlain College by visiting here