Even though it’s been over a year since the disaster, much of the rebuilding is still taking place in the zones hit hardest. These zones are also the more rural and poorer areas of Nepal.
The former Hindley High School student who studied Photography, Media and History, left Winstanley in 2010. He went on to study Photography at Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated in 2013.
Aiden’s career so far has been varied and he has worked on and off within the creative industry as a photographer and videographer, worked for 3 years within retail in people management and he has also worked for a year in account management (sales) for a manufacturing company. Shortly after he found out about All Hands Volunteers.
Since arriving in Nepal Aiden has been working to rebuild a school in Trisuli that had been completely destroyed during the earthquake. Thankfully the earthquake struck on a Saturday when the school was closed and this meant that no children were killed or injured.
Aiden said; “When I arrived arrived I was blown away with the size of the structure that was being built, a 2 building, 2 story school made from reinforced concrete and brick. Even more impressive was the fact that most of the volunteers have little to no construction experience my self-included. With the help of the project coordinator and team leaders I soon got stuck in and I have picked up many skills that I would have otherwise needed formal training to learn including scaffold construction, carpentry, bricklaying and plastering!”
Aiden also became a team leader on the second week on project which meant leading and training a team of volunteers to complete the daily tasks. He said “it has been hard getting use to things like manual labour in 30 degree heat, sleeping in a room with 30 other volunteers and eating the same food almost everyday (Dhal Bhat – rice, lentils and potatoes) but overall this has been the most fulfilling experience of my life.”
He went on to say; “The people of Nepal are the friendliest and most honest people I have ever met, they accept everything that the world throws at them and carry on regardless.”
“All Hands is a fantastic organisation and I have met so many amazing people with the same goal – to give back to those less fortunate. When I was 16 I never thought I’d travel the world or help in a disaster zone, I was a materialistic teenager and I was pretty selfish too. Life has been a journey so far that has totally changed every opinion I had 8 years ago and made me into someone who cares more about the experiences that life can give me and think about the difference I can make in the world. “
When Aiden eventually returns to the UK he’d like to continue to work within the creative industry but with more of a focus on videography and filmmaking. He still wants to volunteer in his free time at local domestic NGO such as The Brick Homeless Project & Food Bank that is truly making a difference to those who need it the most.
If you would like to find out more about how to get involved with All Hands Volunteers or donate some money to the cause just visit https://www.hands.org/ to find out more!