Fife woman’s challenge to help tackle domestic violence in Nepal

Hannah Robertson. Pics by FPA
Hannah Robertson. Pics by FPA

A Kinghorn woman is preparing to put her skills to good use in Nepal when she takes part in a project to help tackle domestic abuse.

Hannah Robertson (25), who recently graduated from Napier University with a degree in criminology, will be leading a team of people from all over the UK on the four-month VSO expedition to Baglung, a rural village around two hours away from Katmandu.

And she is organising a fundraising night at the Carousel Bar in the village to help her raise money towards the cost of her trip.

In Nepal Hannah and her fellow volunteers will live and work among the community to help out as part of the ‘What Works to Prevent Violence’ project, a global programme with funding from the UK government.

And it is something that Hannah, a former pupil of Kinghorn Primary and Balwearie High Schools, is really looking forward to.

“The VSO mentality is to help affect change by being completely integrated in the communities you are working in, so we will be living with host families.

“As one of the team leaders I will have responsibility for my group of up to ten 18-25 year-olds who will be working on tackling violence against women, something which is a really important issue for me.”

And Hannah should be well-equipped to deal with the challenges she will face, having spent four years volunteering with the Broomhouse Young Carers in Edinburgh.

“The experience I will gain from this trip and the work I will be doing there will be really beneficial for my career as this is definitely the type of work I want to do.”

To be accepted for the programme Hannah and her fellow volunteers have undergone assessment and training weekends and she was identified as a team leader because of her skills.

“I did a training weekend and met the other team leaders, and it was reiterated to us how many young people might never have been in such a situation before. It is quite a responsibility, but it is also very exciting and I am really looking forward to it.”

Hannah, an only child, grew up with her mum Dawn in the High Street in Kinghorn, and she says friends and neighbours have been very supportive.

Most of the cost is covered through the programme, but Hannah has to raise £800, and she hopes her fundraising event on September 24 will raise around £500 towards her target.

It will include live performances from six local bands, stalls, a raffle and information about VSO. She is looking for donations for the raffle which can be handed in to the Carousel.

“People in Kinghorn have been really supportive and I am very thankful,” she added.