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Elise Greedy, GVI Alumni

Let me preface this story with the most important fact, volunteering in Pokhara, Nepal was undoubtedly the most amazing experience of my 21 years.

However… I’m not going to lie, within hours of arriving in Kathmandu I was sitting in a small, dark hotel room bawling my eyes out. Completely overwhelmed by the chaos that is Kathmandu, I could not stop asking myself, “What on earth have I gotten myself into?”. 

But then I arrived in Pokhara and fell instantly in love with Nepal. This beautiful city can only be described a breathtaking! The spectacular yet dangerous Annapurna Mountain Range looms over the Phewa Lake, casting a crystal clear reflection.


GVI participants volunteer in Nepal on programs designed to advance health and well-being.


The lake borders the main street of Pokhara, in an area that is called “Lakeside”. It is in Lakeside that I would hang out with the GVI crew, shop, eat insane amounts of momos and pakodas, and develop a raging coffee addiction at Olive Café. 

A bumpy bus ride out of Lakeside took us volunteers in our different directions to our various projects every day. As an aspiring nurse, I volunteered on the public health project. I was lucky enough to contribute to the new Health Awareness Workshops Program


GVI programs are all aligned with UN SDGs. In 2018, 9,158 individuals were involved in work aiming to meet Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being.


We kicked it off with nutrition, first aid, anatomy, and exercise education. This was followed by puberty education for young women. You’d be surprised at the amount of fun and laughter we had implementing these workshops! 

I developed life-long friendships during my time with GVI. I was lucky enough to find not one but two soul sisters and a whole lot of incredible individuals who I’d never have met otherwise.


A GVI participant helps facilitate a preventative healthcare workshop in Nepal.


Living with a huge variety of funny, intelligent, inspiring humans is one (of many) of the unexpected joys of going on an adventure with GVI. It’s hard not to ramble on about every single experience on offer in Pokhara. I guess the most effective way to communicate it is to say, “go!” See it and experience it for yourself, it’s absolutely unreal.

This story comes from GVI’s Impact and Ethics report. To celebrate 20 years of work in sustainable development, we reflect on and showcase our impactful stories and data. Read the report in full. 

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