About a year ago, I heard about Initiatives of Change for the first time. Being a youth coach and counsellor, I was intrigued and curious to learn more about the movement and programs. Then I had the chance to be part of the Trustbuilding Camp!
For some youth from Terai, it was their first visit to the hilly region. Some of them were scared of the bumpy roads we passed on our way to the camp in Giranchaur, where locals welcomed us. We ate typical food from the area and engaged in different activities.
The three-day camp invited us to participate in different activities such as self-reflection, cultural exchange, community work, and adjustment to a simple way of life. I had a wonderful time together with new friends from the Terai region, the IofC team, and local people.
Before joining the camp, I was somehow aware of the stereotypical images of people from southern Nepal. By the end of the camp, I realised that my ideas about the Madhesh people were mainly wrong. As I connected with them and as we shared stories about our life experiences, I got to know them as inspiring young people who are keen to learn. They are very appreciative people with good analytical skills. My new friends from Terai spoke their minds clearly and confidently and are open to learning new things. Their presence somehow motivated me to be myself even more.
I feel thankful for my participation in the camp, the Iofc Nepal team and my new friends for creating a space to explore myself and learn from new people.