Kind volunteer spends Christmas overseas

TO DROP everything and head abroad to help out after a disaster is always a brave thing to do.

Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 12:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 12:28 pm
Lauren Dine from Portsmouth, second left, with other people working on the International Citizen Service programme

But to give up spending Christmas with family and friends to do voluntary work is even braver.

That is what 25-year-old Lauren Dine, from Portsmouth, has done this year – travelling 4,500 miles to help out in Nepal.

The country is still struggling in the wake of the earthquake that took place earlier this year.

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Lauren is in Nepal as part of the government-funded International Citizen Service programme, as she leads a team on an education project to keep children – particularly vulnerable girls – in school.

She said: ‘I love the build-up to Christmas – hearing Christmas songs, seeing decorations and lights and everyone being super excited.

‘Here in Nepal it doesn’t feel like Christmas, because no one around is celebrating.

‘I’m the British team leader so I feel it’s my job to make sure the other volunteers aren’t missing out on that cheery, family vibe.

‘We have Christmas movies, music and games, and went to a Nepali restaurant together.

‘Just having quality time with each other will do everyone a world of good.’

Lauren is living with a local family in Nepal to immerse herself in the culture during her stay.

She said: ‘Even though we don’t understand each other, I know they care and I can see and feel that they’re such a loving family, so I’m really enjoying it here.

‘I’m totally in love with Nepal and intend on coming back and spending more time here.’

To find our more about the International Citizen Service programme, go to volunteerics.org.