It was with big, welcoming arms that Youthlinc received a visit from our Nepal & India in-country coordinator, Binod Rai. If you haven’t yet been to Nepal or India with Youthlinc, you are in for a treat to learn more about Binod and how he spent his visit in Utah.

Binod is a trekking entrepreneur and enthusiast, with a business called Insight Himalaya where he has been guiding adventures for over 30 years. He has been keen to doing humanitarian work along the way and as his connections grew, Binod expanded his efforts to working across the globe and help in any way he could.

In 2015, Binod started working with Waves for Water, a nonprofit organization focused on clean water access through portable water filters and water catchment systems. In 2018, Binod began working with Youthlinc for their Service Year program and in 2023, he launched Youthlinc’s Global Community (GCL) program to India with Utah State University (USU). In the GCL India program, Binod met Jessica Roueche and Dr. Steve Hawks as the program leaders.

Jessica is the GCL Director and is adjunct faculty at USU and Steve is a professor at USU in the Kinesiology and Health Science Department.

Prior to Binod’s visit to Utah, he shared an exciting vision with Jessica and Steve to help expand the GCL program. This cocktail of ambitious individuals led to developing three GCL programs in partnership with Insight Himalaya and Waves for Water. GCL will have a program to Nepal in December 2023 with USU faculty and staff in public health and nursing, a program to Nepal in May 2024 with USU Outdoor Programs, and a returning program to India in May 2024 for global health and service learning.

With the high energy and inspiration snowballing, Binod had a desire to visit folks in the Youthlinc world in good ol’ Utah. He knew this was a great opportunity to engage more with Youthlinc and get to know what the organization is like in another capacity. He also knew that fall was a great time to come visit. And with August as an engaging month for Youthlinc with the Annual Benefit, Service Year registration, and GCL programs, Binod was ready to dive right into the beautiful chaos.

If you had the chance to attend the Annual Benefit, you knew the energy was high with excited individuals and dedicated Youthlincers; so, adding Binod to this atmosphere made you feel like you could stay all evening. Many of you may have had the pleasure of meeting Binod at the Annual Benefit and heard him speak as the keynote speaker at the event.

During the majority of Binod’s visit to Utah, he was hosted by Jessica Roueche and Steve Hawks. Binod’s goal was to know more about the opportunities GCL has and how his skills, knowledge, and passion could contribute to its growth and impact.  

As Binod started seeing the lens of Youthlinc from this side of the world, you could see the wheels in his eyes turning even more. The following days after the benefit consisted of visiting faculty, staff, and administrators at Utah State University on the Logan campus on their first day of the fall semester. That said, you already know the energy of his visit continued to stay in high vibrations. USU folks were very excited to meet Binod and learn about the work he does. Equally, he was able to witness how magical the campus was with students and programs starting for the school year.

After Binod’s visit with USU, Jessica and Binod traveled to Moab to meet with Steve and his family. They hiked in Arches National Park and then traveled to the La Sal Mountains where Steve lives. It was an exciting adventure to show Binod some of Utah’s mountains. Binod even taught Jessica the names of all the mountain peaks they passed via an app called Peak Finder. If you don’t know that app, we suggest you download it!

Binod then wrapped up his visit to Utah by visiting some of his family and then flew safely back to Nepal. His presence in Utah inspired many individuals, which included inspiring them to enroll in some GCL programs for 2024! As tempting as that is to hire him as a recruiter, we are very excited about our partnership with Binod and are very grateful for his dedication in sharing Youthlinc’s mission.

Thank you Binod for all that you do for Youthlinc’s programs and the service you put into the world!