Swiss volunteer Raphael Graser has been working with ECCA for the past couple of months as part of his Masters degree in International Affairs and Governance at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. He has been involved in carrying out research for the WATASOL project, which is part of our ‘Safe Water for Healthy Nepal’ campaign.
Raphael has found his experience at ECCA to be very productive and beneficial. “I got the opportunity to meet a lot of really interesting people”, he says. “The staff at ECCA are really committed to the project and I was also given the chance to meet with people from different international organisations and NGOs, such as WHO and Unicef. A lot of the organisations were really welcoming… I was a bit surprised that they had so much time for me- in Switzerland, it would be much more difficult to have that opportunity… it’s a different culture!”
Raphael hopes that his research into the marketing of WATASOL will help ECCA to find potential customers and investigate new ways of reaching out to people across Nepal in promoting this product. His work at ECCA has given him some valuable insights into this field, as well as into working life in an NGO. “Experiencing a different working culture makes you more open-minded and gives you a different approach. You can learn a lot more, and it’s good for personal development”, he explains.
Aside from his work at ECCA, Raphael has very much enjoyed spending time in Kathmandu. “I really enjoy the culture and traditions here. People have been very warm-hearted and friendly towards me. I also really love the food, even though it’s sometimes a bit spicy!”, he says.
Raphael is heading back to Switzerland this month to finish his Masters degree. He plans to spend the rest of this year working as an intern at the Swiss Embassy in South Korea, and following this, he hopes to find work at an NGO based in Switzerland. We wish him the best of luck for the future!
To find out more about volunteering for ECCA, please contact us.