Volunteer Spotlight – Puspa Man Joshi
Puspa Man Joshi and his family emigrated from Nepal in 1985 to further Puspa’s studies, and immediately began investing in their community.
Puspa completed his master’s in transportation planning and a doctorate in city and regional planning from Ohio State University. While in Ohio, Puspa and his wife gave their time weekly for two years, running a Nepali language school to ensure the community’s Nepalese children could speak the language. “It’s like a fun, secret language!” one child exclaimed. Plus, it helped the children connect well with their family members in Nepal and created a stronger Nepalese community in their Ohio town. Puspa also organized Nepali events for the community, such as Nepali New Year.
When Puspa and family moved to Nashua in 2008, Puspa again looked for ways to support his local community. For ten years, he worked as a social worker at the International Institute of New England helping refugees resettle in Manchester and Nashua, as well as working for the Language Bank as a Nepali interpreter.
When the pandemic hit and Puspa’s normal work and activities were shut down, Puspa didn’t give up on his desire to help. “I’m always trying to learn new technology,” Puspa shares, “and I like to volunteer!” Puspa contacted United Way for volunteer opportunities, and began delivering meals for children in need. During the summer of 2020, he rode the city bus to seven different stops, offering prepackaged meals at each one. He also branched out into delivering meals to community members’ homes and schools.
During this winter of 2021, Puspa is serving as a backup helper every week, standing in when other volunteers cannot make their usual shifts. He also organizes weekly meetings to help teach international students English, via online conversational opportunities.
“I enjoy helping others,” Puspa declares. “It is my pleasure!” And his community can certainly attest to the difference he makes.