Volunteer in Nepal with IVI today! Nepal is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in the world. Nepal ﬁrst opened its borders to outsiders in the 1950s. It is home to Mount Everest, the birthplace of Buddha, and an astonishingly beautiful landscape, ranging from the well-known peaks of the Himalaya to the low-lying regions of the Terai.
The Nepali people are as diverse at the geography, with over 70 languages or dialects and scores of traditional festivals celebrated throughout the year.
However, Nepal is also one of the most under-developed countries in the world, with low rates of literacy, high rates of poverty and a persistent gender imbalance. The government is frequently unable to provide adequate education and health facilities throughout the country and both urban and rural areas are forced to live without necessary resources to promote growth and development of their communities:
- 42% of the population live below the poverty line on less than $240 a year
- 15,000 orphans are living on Kathmandu’s streets
- 42% of the population of Nepal are unemployed
- 51% illiteracy rate throughout Nepal
- 2.5 doctors are available for each 100,000 inhabitants
- 54% of Nepali children are malnourished
IVI have several affiliates within Nepal offering flexible and structured volunteering programs for conscious travelers seeking to really make a difference to those less fortunate and to give back to the communities where they are travelling.
IVI have a variety of programs designed to immerse volunteers into the local lifestyle and experience the unique culture, build life long relationships and benefit the people that need it the most.
Location of Volunteer Programs
Kathmandu, the capital and largest city in Nepal, is an incredible place! The contrast of decaying buildings, smell of incense, street sellers, historic temples and incredible mountain views will invigorate your senses and keep you inspired to learn more about the amazing history and culture. For several hundred years, Kathmandu was one of three rival royal cities, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. The highlight of Kathmandu has long been Durbar Square, the largest of the palace squares in the three royal cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Temples and monuments of varying shapes, sizes, styles, and faiths can be found here. This small, mountain-sheltered valley is the historical centre of Nepal, a place where kingdoms rose and fell, where palaces and temples were built and rebuilt, and where Nepali art and culture was developed and refined.
Pokhara, is a must see for truly spectacular scenery, adventure activities and food. Situated approx 5-6 hours by bus from Kathmandu, the bus trip alone is worth the journey. Here you will witness the awe and glory of the Himalayas. Pokhara has a chilled out vibe and great to relax and unwind form the busy pace of Kathmandu. You can enjoy a clear view of snow-capped mountains just 20 KM’s in the distance. Be sure to check out the adventure sports such as paragliding or white water rafting and of course world famous treks in and around the Annapuma Mountain range.
Sikdel, Located approx 2.5 hours from Kathmandu, the village is deep in the Himilayan mountains with incredible picturesque scenery in every direction. Here you will be made to feel like a local with much gratitude from the local villagers who were devastated by the Earthquake in 2014. This is well off the beaten track and somewhere very special for those willing to experience something totally outside their comfort zone and assist int he earthquake rebuilding.[/toggle]
All accommodation is included during your placement. Your stay will be comfortable, clean and secure with basic modern amenities. Depending on your chosen project, you will stay in either a volunteer centre (dedicated house) or a home stay.
Kathmandu Volunteer Center Accommodation;
Located in the heart of Kathmandu, about 1 hours drive from the airport, the large volunteer center has 4 bedrooms which hold up to 12 people maximum, with 3 to 4 people sharing one room. They have modern bathrooms; a modern kitchen and dining room; a fully furnished living room; live-in staff on call 24/7; a garden complete with a comfortable, covered area for smoking and drinking alcohol and 24/7 security. Amenities include;
For couples or those wanting more privacy, there are upgrade accommodation available for an additional cost. (approx US$150 p/room p/week). These must be booked in advance.
Rural Home Stay Accommodation;
Located approx 2.5 hours from Kathmandu, enjoy life in a home stay living with up to 12 other volunteers. Expect a 3-4 bedroom house. Here you will be made to feel like a local with much gratitude from the local villagers who were devastated by the Earthquake in 2014. You’ll share a room with max 3-4 other volunteers. The house is basic, but clean with bathrooms, a kitchen and dining room. Single rooms are available if booked in advance and at extra cost.
- TV, DVD’s, computers, Wifi… forget about it! Ditch the gadgets and live like a proper Nepalese local deep in the Himalayas
- ATM’s: There are not ATM”s. You must make sure to withdraw any cash from Kathmandu
- Personal SIM card for mobile devices must be purchased from Kathmandu
- Local markets are a 5 minute walk from the host family house
3 vegetarian meals are provided p/day on weekdays and 2 vegetarian meals p/day on weekends for the duration of your program. You are free to eat as you like when you are out and about and there are many exciting options available.
Nepalese cuisine has Indian & Tibetan influences with lentils and rice forming the base of most meals and a diverse range of herbs, vegetables and smoky flavors.
24/7 Program Support
Throughout your stay, you will have the support and guidance of our local ground operator program coordinators. They will provide you with expert knowledge and competent assistance and help with anything that you may need. We will also provide you with a 24 hour emergency telephone number so that you can always reach a member of our ground operator team in the event of an emergency.
A 1 week introduction to Nepal is included for all placements. This will help ease you into the lifestyle and pace and get to know your fellow volunteers, the town, it’s facilities and everything required to make your stay comfortable. You’ll receive information on customs, culture, expectations, travel options, safety and information about your chosen project and much more. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and fun. If you prefer to move straight into your chosen project, you may be able to negotiate once you’ve settled in.
An arrival airport pick-up from Tribhuvan International Airport is included in the cost of your placement so long as you arrive on a Saturday or Sunday. Volunteers arriving any other days will need to make their way to the centre or we can arrange a transfer at additional cost. We’ll provide full details on how to do this in the volunteer welcome pack.
Local travel to/from the project sites each day will be by public transport. This is very inexpensive but must be paid directly. You’ll have plenty of other volunteers with you to make it a fun experience. For long distance trips, volunteers will be expected to share taxis and for short distance, you’ll walk!
Requirements & Expectations
You are welcome to come with a group, with a friend, with family or own your own. If you are coming on your own rest assured you will make lots of great friends! Nepal is a very popular volunteer destination and you can expect to meet and share accommodation with many like minded volunteers. Generally, volunteers must be 18 years of age, however we can cater to as young as 16 years old depending on the application There is no upper age limit. Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular with many mature guests, some of retirement age looking to give back to developing communities.
Our programs are designed for proactive individuals with a mindset of supporting the less fortunate. When volunteering, the more you put in, the more you will get out. A high degree of patience and understanding is also necessary as it’s likely that conditions will be very different to your home country.[/toggle]
What to Bring
Additional spending money as needed, Criminal Background Check, First Aid Kit, Hat, Hiking Shoes, Laptop or Tablet, Malaria precautions, Mobile phone, Mosquito net, Mosquito repellant, Pain relievers, allergy and diarrhoea medication, Photo or Video Camera, Prescription medication, Sleeping bag, Small padlock for securing valuables, Sport Shoes or Trainers, Sunglasses & Sun cream, Tidy, clean clothing for Temple visits and formal occasions, Toilet paper, Toiletries, Torch/Flashlight, Towels, Travel Insurance, Umbrella/Raincoat, Visa Arrangements.[/toggle]
Weekends & Extra Tours
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organize additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency.[/toggle]
All foreign nationals require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport and at some land borders (including borders with India and Tibet).
Getting a visa at the airport can take time due to long queues. There have been instances when passengers were asked to show return flight tickets. You will also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars cash. Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ. The following costs are a guidline
– Multi entry visa valid for 15 days – US$30 by cash
– Multi entry visa valid for 30 days – US$40 by cash
– Multi entry visa valid for 90 days – US$100 by cash
Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country.[/toggle]
GoGetFunding is a Crowd funding site which offers a simple and professional online fundraising solution to help fund a portion of your trip or even a donation toward your chosen project. Simply create a fundraising page to share your story via social media platforms such as facebook & twitter.
Some of our past volunteers have raised over $2000+! Why not give it a try? If you use the above link, our logo will be displayed in your profile to help us share our message through your social network community.[/toggle]
Nepal Volunteer Fees
What’s Not Included
Nepal Specialty Placements
28 Day Nepal Road Trip