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.
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, Mate, Tingare, Located approx 2.5 hours from Kathmandu in the Himilayan mountains with incredible picturesque scenery in every direction, you will live as the local villagers live. These areas were devastated by the Earthquake in 2014 and due to infrastructure and economic challenges are still recovering. This is well off the beaten track and somewhere very special for those willing to experience something totally outside their comfort zone and assist in construction and earthquake rebuilding.
All accommodation is included during your placement. Your stay will be comfortable, clean and secure with basic modern amenities. Depending on your chosen volunteer project, you will stay in either a volunteer centre (dedicated house) or a home stay. Located in the heart of Kathmandu, about 1 hours drive from the airport, the volunteer centers house up to 20 volunteers with 3 to 4 people sharing one room (single gender rooms). They have modern bathrooms; a modern kitchen and dining room, mini library, a fully furnished living room; live-in staff on call 24/7; a garden complete with a comfortable covered area and 24/7 security. Centrally located, there are several gym’s nearby as well as local supermarkets, ATM’s, mobile phone shops etc.
For couples or those wanting more privacy, there are upgrade accommodation options available for an additional cost (approx US $150 p/room p/week). This must be booked well in advance and is subject to availability.
Kathmandu accommodation includes;
- 3 Meals p/day weekdays, 2 Meals p/day weekends (mostly vegetarian cuisine)
- 4-6 persons p/room
- Wifi in public areas (Quality is not the best though. You may want to purchase a local SIM data plan)
- T.V, DVD player, computer
- Laundry facilities (at an additional fee)
- Lockable rooms
- Hot shower
- Private bathrooms
- Bed Linen (no towels)
- Mosquito protection
- Fans (no air-con)
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 Volunteer Project Support
During your placment, you will always have the support and direction of our local ground operators, host families and in country coordinators. There job is to provide you with expert local knowledge and help to ensure you are having an enjoyable experience. A 24 hour emergency phone contact is provided as well as an local operational manual so you can reach a member of staff in the event of an emergency or query.
A 1 week volunteer orientation of Nepal is included for all volunteer placements. This is beneficial to help acclimatise to the different lifestyle and pace of Nepal and get to know your fellow volunteers, the facilities, the town etc. You’ll receive information on culture, expectations, language, customs, travel options and project expectations for your chosen placement and much more. You’ll meet with the other volunteers to line up details for weekend travel etc. If you desire to go immediately into your chosen project without the orientation, please advise us so we can make the necessary arrangements.
An arrival airport transfer from Tribhuvan International Airport is provided so long as you arrive on a Saturday or Sunday. Volunteers arriving any other days will need to find 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
As a volunteer, whether you’re travelling in a group or a friend or on your own rest assured you will meet lots of new friends. Nepal is a popular for volunteers from all over the world. Generally, you must be at least 18 years of age, however catering to as young as 16 years old is possible depending on the circumstances. There is no upper limit of age.
All projects require proactive individuals with a clear mindset of supporting the less fortunate. This is a developing country, with totally different culture and belief systems. Patience and understanding in this regard is very necessary as conditions will most certainly be quite different to your usual surroundings!
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
The weekends are always open for your leisure. The local team will assist you in organising additional travel plans with heaps of local knowledge. Shopping in Kathmandu is an experience all its own. Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hotspot, is where shoppers can find Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian artifacts, woodcarvings, handicraft and an assortments of unique clothing and apparel. There are also several malls where you can find fashionable clothing and grocery stores, offering everything from wine to breakfast cereals. There are numerous dining options available throughout the city, including Italian, Indian, Thai, Korean and Chinese in addition to a variety of local cuisine.
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]
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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.
Volunteer in Nepal Fees
- Arrival Airport Pick-up (Kathmandu)
- 3 good meals p/day
- Accommodation (Volunteer Center – Single gender dorm rooms)
- Training & coordination as required
- Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
- 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
- Certificate of Completion
What’s Not Included
- Travel Insurance (Mandatory)
- Airfares & Visa fees
- Tours, Souvenirs, Spending Money
- Some daily local transportation (eg. $2 p/day)