Hanna Lehikoinen

Name: Hanna Lehikoinen
From: Finland
Program: Women’s’ empowerment and Environmental project

1. What did your average day look like?

Depending on where I was working, my working day started in different time. Sometimes it started at 8 am or then 9 pm. First I was teaching children at the secondary school about environmental awareness for 2 months. This time I was working during the morning time, the school started at 10 am and I worked 4 hours.
But then I change to work with community women, where I was teaching how to saw a shopping bags and mobile phone purses from recycling plastics. This usually was during the day time, when the children were at the school and the mothers had more free time.

2. Other things I did on my placement.

I was doing one part of my internship in Eco-Park, where I was building a improved cooking stoves. This is a important for villages and could benefit them in the future, if they would concentrate on them more.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?

I didn’t have any problems, I absolutely loved my time in here. I had a great time and was sad to leave. Durga really treats you as a part of the family and you really feel like one. I would say that I have a second home in there. I never felt that I was unwanted in her home. She is the most lovelies person who I have ever met and her children are super great! Divya and Diwash are absolutely lovely and you have so much fun with them. I really love how they all treat us volunteers, we are just one big family.

I would say only issues was that I had to leave when my internship was finished, I would have loved to stay longer. If I wouldn’t have Uni to finish, I would have stayed longer.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

Well, Only thing is that take a good mosquito repellent, they are really annoying. And If you need to go to hospital and you’re in Kathmandu, the Grande hospital is the best option.
Otherwise You will love the staying in here.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?

Definitely. There is still lots of work to do, and we only manage to put the ball to rolling. I would love to continue the work later on and see how it will develop.

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?

Definitely. I actually hope that I could do it in some point. I only have lovely memories from my staying in Future Nepal.

I hope to do it soon.

7. Suggestion or problem?

Noting. Everything was great!

8. Additional comments?

Durga and Bishnu, I would just like to thank you once again of having me there. I really loved my stay and I really miss you a lot. Same goes for you Divya and Diwash!

9. Please write a Journal-type entry of experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future volunteers.
It was the best idea to have my internship done in Future Nepal. I really loved the time in there. I have many Nepalese class mates and for me Nepal was something what I really wanted to experiment. I wanted to go to Nepal for years and now I had change for that, which was a great.
Nepal is beautiful country, people are really friendly, culture is rich and temperature is nice most of the time of the year.

When I went to Nepal, it was couple months after big earthquake and I was really surprise how amazing people are cubing and how they can be so positive. Nepalese people are really friendly and it’s easy to get to know the culture and lifestyle of the people. They take you to open hands and it makes working easy.

In Raniban, I could teach women how to make a bags from recycling plastic, this was a great opportunity for many women in my area. Most of the women are uneducated, stay in moms or have some small job. Giving them opportunity to learn new talents and earning money from that is great way of boosting women’s’ empowerment. Still many women are depending on their husbands and are not allow to use they own money. With this we hope that they would learn new skills, and have money for them. Plastic is also a huge environmental problem in Nepal, lack of waste treatment centers, causes soil and water pollution. Because the material is from recycling material, it does not cost any money, all the women has some plastic production in their house, mainly rice bags and other type of bags what they would more likely to burn or throw away, but this way we can use the plastic, make bags out of it and sell the finished product to people.

I bought two sawing machines to our library and before I left, we made sure, that one of my student was ready to teach other women in our community to make shopping bags. This way we could guarantee that the program will continue and develop even when I’m gone.