In Kathmandu, we are looking for medical students who wish to volunteer in Nepal’s only government hospital for children, with the option to help in various departments of the hospital. The hospital has various wards and departments including Oncology, Cardio, ICU, Radiology, Surgery, Physiotherapy and Neurology. As a volunteer, you will be shadowing the doctors and nurses in whichever departments you choose. The standard week in Nepal is 6 days with Saturdays off and the day runs from 10 AM to 4 or 5 PM each day.
The hospital sees hundreds of outpatients a day and runs free vaccinations for all children 2 days a week along with the various other departments open 7 days a week. Many of the families that bring their children to Kanti hospital with serious conditions have to travel from some of the most remote parts of Nepal where they are unable to get the specialist care their children need. Without Kanti many children would get the care and treatment they need so supporting the hospital and they work they do is very important. This is a great chance to see how the only affordable hospital for children in Nepal operates while supporting directly the ongoing treatment of young Nepali children.
We also place medical students as volunteers in a Government-run hospital, WRH hospital in Pokhara. This is a very large & busy hospital with many departments that volunteers can work in. To give you an idea of the hospital’s size, the hospital delivers over 30 babies every day. Being government funded the hospital is grateful for outside assistance, and part of your volunteering fee is used as a donation to the hospital. Joining this project is a way to experience how the Nepali healthcare system works, and you should be prepared to be flexible & self-motivated whilst working in very challenging conditions.
These hospital placements are only suitable for medical students (or those who are qualified/currently studying in a medical field), and we will require a letter from your university in order to accept you as a volunteer.
Please note that as you would not have a Nepal medical license to practice in a hospital, you will not be treating patients directly, but shadowing and supporting the local hospital staff. Nevertheless, this is still a great opportunity to gain experience in the medical system in Nepal and directly support healthcare in a developing country. There is a minimum stay of 4 weeks for this project, but it is available all year round at both locations.
Nepal, bordered by India to the South and China to the North, is a country diverse in its climate, peoples and culture. It is where the cold peaks of the Himalayas, containing seven of the world’s ten highest mountains, including Mt. Everest, meet the steamy heat of the Indian plains, where some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world roam in the jungle regions around Chitwan. Nepal’s rich cultural, artistic and architectural heritage stems from the three historic kingdoms which developed in the Kathmandu valley and the religious history of the region.
Gautama Buddha was born in Nepal. Nepal is also one of the poorest countries in the world, particularly in rural areas, where literacy and health are poor when compared with urban centres. However, the Nepalese are a friendly, compassionate people, and the traditional Nepali teaching ‘atithi devo vawa’ (guests are the form of god), is one which the Nepalese people subscribe to.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, volunteers are picked up from the airport and taken to a guest house for 2 to 3 days, for some guided sightseeing, orientation and to acclimatise. You will then travel to the volunteer placement location you have selected during your application. Here you will stay with a carefully selected host family in a homestay, at least one of whom speak English. All meals will be provided for you by your host family, a typical Nepali meal is Dal Bhat (Lentils & Rice) and is served twice a day. Please note that the food & accommodation you receive will be very basic by Western standards, and you should not expect to have regular internet access. Most Nepalese homes do not have hot water, heating or western style toilets. However, this is a great opportunity to experience the lifestyle of local Nepalis and be a part of the community in a way you could not be able to as a regular tourist, and your host family will always be very welcoming to their guests and do their best to make your stay as comfortable as they can.
Volunteers should be aged 18 years upwards and speak English. All nationalities are welcome. Volunteers should be currently studying or have graduated in medicine or a similar field. We will also require you to provide us with a reference letter from your university.
Volunteers should be self-motivated, adaptable and flexible and willing to live and work in basic conditions. Projects are often located in rural, isolated villages and volunteers should be independent and mature, and able to manage with basic amenities and limited access to modern facilities. You will also be using local public transportation, buses, taxis etc. whilst at the project, which is something to bear in mind as the transport in Nepal can be very different from Western standards.
You can volunteer in Nepal for 2 weeks up to 16 weeks in duration, all year round.
For more details on how the programme works, dates, costs and how to apply, please visit our detailed project page here.