While most young couples want to get to know each other better through exploring clichéd romantic tourist destinations, these two set an example by devoting their time to making a difference.
Sarin Jeghelian and Sevag Demirjian, a couple from Beirut, Lebanon, have been traveling for a while, but their most recent one-week holiday was all about volunteering.
An interview with Sarin illustrates the reasons behind the expedition and how their volunteering experience in Nepal affected them.
Why did you chose the orphanage program in Nepal?
Sarin: We chose the program because despite Nepal’s popular appeal to tourists, it is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with over 25% of its population living below the poverty line. A country of contrasts, Nepal is home to a dramatic landscape and a rich culture. Hence, volunteering in Nepal was a fantastic way to make our mark on a cause that we care about and learn new things along the way. Volunteering with disadvantaged youth and children will make you appreciate what you usually take for granted.
Why did you choose to volunteer and what was it like?
Sarin: The core purpose of volunteering with Volunteering Solutions was to simply do good in any way possible and of course to care for the disadvantaged children by drawing a smile on their face, by giving them the affection needed and by simply playing with the children. Also, volunteering promotes well-being and personal development for the person participating. Moreover, volunteering is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and give something back to your community.
What have you personally learned from this trip?
Sarin: A sense of achievement and motivation. What better way is there to connect with your community and give a little back?! Fundamentally, volunteering is about giving your time, energy, and skills freely. Unlike many things in life, there is a choice involved in volunteering.
We learned that no man or woman is an island. People and societies depend on each other for survival. Communities are suffering, but at the same time we can really bridge that gap through volunteering.
Any sort of advice for future couple volunteers?
Sarin: As a couple, you can continue to relive the amazing moments you had overseas and be proud of your accomplishment. Best of all, you have someone who will listen to you reminisce when you both return home, and someone who just “gets it”.
While it was for a short period of time, both Sarin and Sevag had a life-changing experience in Nepal working together for the welfare of the poor and underprivileged children. They also got to know a magnificent country in a unique way– like a local.
Dronacharya holds a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. He writes and shares his personal experiences to help motivate others to travel and volunteer as much as they can. You can find more of his work on Huffington, SocialEarth, VolunteersMagazine, Cultural Trip, etc.