When Graeme Kent first embarked on a trip to Nepal more than 16 years ago, he never could have imagined how much the country would fill his heart.
“You’ve got a country that is pretty amazing just to look at, it’s got these incredible hills every where you look,” Mr Kent said.
“But the people we met there were truly inspiring. They had nothing but they were so generous. They would open up their homes and share whatever they did had with complete strangers.”
“Their genuine kindness just hit struck me….it really hit me between the eyes just how kind they were. One woman would come and give us oranges every day, even though she had nothing.”
“They are the type of people who would give you everything they had.”
Every year, since then, Mr Kent, who is a director at non-for-profit organisation Aussie Action Aboard, has led a large group of volunteers helping Nepalese communities.
Aussie Action Abroad offers architects, architecture students, design professionals or anyone who is proactive and willing to work the opportunity to travel, interact with and contribute to communities in need through community development projects including housing.
Volunteers get to work alongside architects, builders and related professionals and with local tradesmen to construct sustainable buildings and resources.
In June this year, Mr Kent is returning to continue to working on the charity’s biggest project to date: rebuilding the devastated country after it was hit by an earthquake last April.
Earlier this year, Mr Kent and a group of more than 100 volunteers built more than 160 temporary homes for the thousands left homeless.
But he feared monsoon season may threaten or destroy some of the homes so there was a need to return and ensure shelters were strengthened.
“We'll go back there to do an assessment on those 160 (houses) to see if they are still standing up,” he said.
“Then we will meet with the community about plans for relocation and look at what we can do in terms of a layout for new villages.”
The group will also provide urgently needed resources including water purification models, working with teachers and schools on developing an action plan for the community moving forward.
Details or to donate, visit aussieactionabroad.com
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.