Nepal inspires Bri


Nepal inspires Bri

BRI Copeland’s humanitarian spirit sent her to Nepal for three months late last year.

The now 19 year old had learnt about developing countries in her Year 12 health and human development class at Wonthaggi Secondary College. While she loved being part of the class, she hated that she couldn’t help those in need.

Bass Coast Shire Council offered scholarships for young locals to volunteer overseas through the Foundation for Young Australians.

Bri’s successful application took her to Nepal, where she combined her passion to help others and her aspirations to become a teacher.

“I researched the country to see what it would be like, but I still had that culture shock. The further out from the city you went, the more people were struggling for clean water. The cities and tourist areas were fairly developed because of the interest the country gets from Mount Everest and other mountain treks,” she said.

Bri taught a school in the village of Pame. She started out teaching students in years 6 to 8, as she hopes to become a secondary school teacher.

“Year 10 is the highest year level in Nepal but I didn’t want to disrupt them before their exams,” she said.

“All year levels have exams. Students cannot go up a year level unless they pass their exam, which I thought was pretty nerve wracking.”

Nepal’s exam policy is difficult for children with disabilities, but Bri was given the opportunity to help them understand their lessons.

“It was encouraging to see their confidence grow and start to use their imagination a bit more. They loved it although they found it challenging,” she said.

Bri also taught the early learners and found they were determined to learn.

“All the students I taught over the three months were ready and focused. I would talk about Australia and they were always very interested. They are landlocked, so they were particularly amazed after hearing about sea life. They though stingrays were crazy animals,” she said.

Off duty, Bri stayed in the city o Pokhara. She bussed to the village on school days, which was about a 40 minute drive.

“Staying in the city was interesting because there always seemed to be something to celebrate. While I was there we celebrated Dashain, which is like Christmas. You celebrate with family and eat lots of food,” Bri said.

“There was also a festival to celebrate animals. On the first day we celebrated cows because they are considered a holy animal.”

While in the city, Bri and some of the other volunteers would hold a conversation club in a cafe, where students could receive help with homework.

Bri also helped construct a greenhouse for the boys’ home on Pokhara and at the school.

“I got to see it finished but I didn’t see the plants go in so I hope they are really enjoying it,” she said.

“We also repainted the nursery at the school. It was a very dull room so we brightened it up.”

Bri said the journey had given her experience and perspective. She is now preparing to start a secondary teaching course at Monash Clayton.

She also hopes to return to Nepal someday.

“It was so daunting at first but I would go back in a second. The experience also gave me friends for life after meeting the other volunteers. I could now travel to places like the United Kingdom and France and have someone I could contact,” she said.

Experiments: Bri Copeland and other international teaching volunteers helped some very excited Nepalese students build model volcanos.

Experiments: Bri Copeland and other international teaching volunteers helped some very excited Nepalese students build model volcanos.

Short URL: /?p=20448

Posted by on Jan 17 2017. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Share your love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *