This service expedition to Nepal is a first for Trinity College students and it is a way for the boys to experience ‘travelling’ in the safety of a group whilst developing leadership skills, resilience, a real appreciation for different cultures, and most importantly, giving to others less fortunate than themselves.
Working together with the company Antipodeans, this expedition was offered to the Year 9 cohort at the end of 2016. Boys who were interested in travel, service, trekking and adventure were invited to apply. The group size of 46 students with six Trinity College staff has been divided into three smaller groups who will be independent from each other from the moment they arrive in Kathmandu. The expedition has three main components – the trek; the project, and the exploring – over the course of three weeks leaving late November.
The students going to Nepal decide in their groups where they would like to trek, how long it should last and how challenging it should be. The groups are heading to the Annapurna region to undertake six to seven day treks among some of the most stunning Nepalese mountain scenery, rhododendron forests and local villages. Whilst trekking the boys will be camping along the way – sleeping in fields with Shiva temple ruins and in Forest Camps.
This expedition is mobile phone and device free in order to ensure that the students are ‘present’ in every moment, in every situation and every experience - making the most of their time with friends learning about a new culture.
The community service project element of the trip focuses around sustainable projects for local communities in Nepal. These are well researched by local companies in Nepal who have the knowledge and contacts to ensure worthwhile and long-term projects are undertaken. This project work is paid for by fundraising events that the students have undertaken over the course of the last year. With the help of parents, family, friends and Trinity College staff, the boys have raised an amazing $11,000. Two of the groups are going to be working on separate school-based projects in the Kathmandu Valley, while the other group will be working on water supply project in the Pokhara region. The students were able to decide where they wanted to do their project work and what sort of project they would be working on. They will also live in the local community while undertaking the volunteer work.
The final part of the expedition is the exploration element where the groups have the opportunity to explore the country of Nepal even further, by creating their own itinerary of adventures. The boys have decided to spend time in and around Kathmandu, in and around Pokhara, as well as Chitwan National Park. The boys will be divided into smaller leadership groups for the duration of the expedition and as such are in charge of decisions regarding the budget, accommodation, transport and also sightseeing.