Irish Senator Lends a Hand to VSO Nepal

Irish Senator Dominic Hannigan is expected to arrive on Sunday in Nepal to volunteer with leading development charity VSO. Dominic is participating in VSO’s “Politicians for Development Programme” in which Irish government representatives will be placed in VSO partner organisations located in Africa and Asian for 1-2 weeks.

VSO volunteers; teachers, business people and health workers, normally serve up to two years.

Dominic will be volunteering with VSO Nepal in August and September and will serve as an adviser with the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), an organisation for sexual minorities. He will work with the said organisation in advocating for the rights of Nepal’s LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexuals) community. Senator Hannigan will also be an advocacy advisor on equality and inclusion for gay and transgender people in Nepal. This will be the second time that Dominic has taken part in VSO’s Parliamentarians Overseas Programme wherein he previously served as a VSO volunteer in Mongolia in 2008.

VSO, Voluntary Service Overseas, is the world’s largest voluntary placement agency and sends experienced professionals to 44 developing countries to share their skills and change lives. VSO has Programme Offices in every country they work in that provides training and logistical support to volunteers. VSO volunteers; teachers, business people and health workers, normally serve up to two years. VSO receives funding from Irish Aid, the government’s programme for overseas development.

Speaking of his upcoming VSO placement in Nepal, Dominic said “Volunteering with VSO Nepal will be a unique experience for me. As a volunteer, I’ll be using this opportunity to share my skills, but there’s no doubt I’ll learn a lot too. The experience ought to give me a much better insight into overseas development, something I feel very passionate about.”

Arlina Mahinay, Director of VSO Nepal, welcomes this opportunity and said “VSO Nepal works with the Blue Diamond Society on programmes to prevent the spread of HIV and Aids amongst the LGBTI community in Nepal. Dominic’s presence in the country supports this campaign with unique techniques and processes that are relevant with Nepal’s experience. The learning we gain from his visit can also enhance efforts of not just BDS but also other VSO partner-organisations from marginalised groups, in pushing for structures that can help protect, and enable them to exercise their rights as people and citizens of Nepal.”

During his stay in Nepal, Senator Hannigan will meet with the British Ambassador and representatives from donor agencies and international organisations. VSO Nepal is scheduled to hold a Press Conference regarding this on August 31, 10:00 A.M. at Greenwich Hotel.

(source: The Himalayan Times)