Keston teenager spends Christmas Day volunteering in Nepal
PUBLISHED: 17:01 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 02 January 2018
As people tucked into their turkey, one Keston teenager was thousands of miles away helping those less fortunate.
Theodore Gough was in Nepal working as a volunteer for the government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.
The teenager spent all Christmas 4,500 miles from home supporting people living in poverty.
The 18-year-old was hard at work in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Sadly, more than a quarter of Nepali people live on less than £1 a day, and millions are still recovering from the 2015 earthquakes.
Theo’s job was to encourage disadvantaged girls to stay in school.
From Nepal, he said: “I usually spend Christmas time with my family.
To be away at this time makes me feel sad and happy at the same time.
“I have missed festive food, but with my group, we spent Christmas Day at a temple.
“I gave the other volunteers and my host family a Christmas gift, and sang Christmas songs with them.
“Living in a different part of the world is magical. On this project, I’m working with schools and the local community, putting on events to help raise awareness of issues such as why it’s important that girls are able to remain in school and access quality education. I hope that our group will achieve lasting change that will continue after we’re gone.”
He is currently living with a local family to be fully immersed in the culture and better understand the challenges the community faces.
The teenager said: “I want to learn more about Nepal, the rituals they have here and why they do certain things. It’s so interesting to discover a totally different culture.”
Felicity Morgan, director of ICS at VSO, said: “Theo has joined thousands of other ICS volunteers who are doing amazing work around the world, every day. We’re incredibly proud that UK aid is supporting young Brits bring about positive change in some of the world’s poorest communities.
They spend three months in developing countries on projects focusing on sexual health, climate change and sustainable livelihoods.
For more information visit www.vsointernational.org.