Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Meet the Team: Jaibahadur Dura Gurung An interview with The Gurkha Welfare Trust’s Assistant Welfare Officer in Bagmati

8th April 2020

Meet the Team: Jaibahadur Dura Gurung An interview with The Gurkha Welfare Trust’s Assistant Welfare Officer in Bagmati

When Jai left the Army there was only one place he wanted to be.

Why did you choose to work for The Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT) after leaving the army?

I joined GWT for two main reasons;

  1. I wanted to move back to my home land of Nepal, which I missed sorely for 26 years.
  2. I wanted to work and help the Gurkha Veterans by using skills I have learned in the army.

I am back home where I belong and enjoying my job to the fullest. Helping Gurkha veterans, their dependents and the wider community in so many ways.

What are your favorite things about your role?

To connect with our Gurkha veterans and widows personally. To find out their needs; hear their war time stories and walk alongside them in memory lane. The greatest contentment I feel is whilst witnessing the joy twinkling in their eyes when I go to meet them at home both in the towns and remote villages and assessing what can be done better so they get the best possible help they need so they can live with pride and dignity.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Most of our Gurkha veterans and widows who receive visits are over 80 years-old, mostly homebound, and often very frail. On top of that, 65 percent of them live in the remote villages of Nepal where there is no road access. It takes days to go to meet them and in the monsoon season it’s very difficult. Landslides are common and can cause delays reaching them which can be serious when delivering essential medication. Since we have a very family-centric culture in Nepal, even if the doctor and Welfare Officer recommends that the veteran or widow needs to move to one of our GWT Residential Homes for better medication and care, in most cases either they or their family members do not accept it. We can only recommend. These are the biggest challenges I am facing every day!

GWT
GWT
GWT

How did you hear about the role?

I knew very well about GWT and its activities and so a year before my retirement from the Army, I searched on the net and wrote an email to asking if there were any job vacancies for Welfare roles. He replied and I did not waste a minute; I applied online and now here I am working and have completed 9 months and yet its feels like I just joined only 9 days ago!

What does working for GWT mean to you?

It is an absolute honor to be part of GWT! I knew very well that GWT is the only organization who works for the benefit of Gurkha veterans, their dependents and their wider communities. To be honest this is one of the best jobs I have ever worked in my life. I feel so blessed to have been able to make the right decision at the right time to come back to Nepal and work for my heroes.

“They are all my heroes. I salute them.”

GWT
GWT

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