Seven Raritan Valley Community College students recently had a
life-changing experience when they traveled to Nepal to distribute donated school supplies and engage in community projects.
The students, Amanda Greene (Lebanon), Daniel Hogan (Martinsville), Sebastian Gallic (Warren), Jenna Douglas (Bridgewater), Marcel Gorka (Lebanon), Ryan Galdamez (Bound Brook) and Manuel Ramirez (Bound Brook), are all members of the RVCC Rotaract Club. They traveled to the South Asian country January 4-17, 2017 carrying 250 pounds of school supplies, which they donated to four different schools in the region.
The supplies had been collected through fundraising efforts at the College in conjunction with the Hunterdon County YMCA aftercare program that’s located at the Whitehouse School.
While in Nepal, the students participated in Rotary community projects that included painting benches and walls. In conjunction with the ASHA (Nepali word for “Hope”) project, the students also helped rebuild homes for people who had lost their residences during the devastating 2015 earthquake.
As part of the trip, the students attended a Rotaract District Conference attended by 70 Rotaract groups from across Nepal. They also met with representatives of Rotary Nepal and other community groups; toured temples, caves and other areas; and hiked the region.
Club member Sebastian Gallic recalled an especially memorable experience meeting two young girls in an impoverished area of Nepal. The young girls, who did not speak much English, were filling approximately 20 bottles with fresh water from an outside tap. Watching their efforts, the RVCC students offered to help them with their task. Despite the language barriers, Gallic said assisting the girls was “one of the most impactful experiences, just being able to communicate human to human.”
As members of the College’s Rotaract Club, students are given the opportunity to serve the community and learn about leadership, civic engagement and responsible citizenship. For additional information about Rotaract at RVCC, contact club advisor Nemanja (Nik) Nikitovic, Nemanja.Nikitovic@raritanval.edu.