Rural Health Camp Volunteer, Nepal
Organisation: WorkingAbroad Projects
Type: Community Development, Humanitarian & Community Development, Manual work & Construction, Medical & Health Care
In some of the more remote and rural areas of Nepal, without access to basic medical care, people can die from even very basic and preventable ailments. As such, scheduled visits by first aid trained volunteers and those with a medical background can be vital in providing the basic care needed for local people, who are often unable to otherwise see a professional doctor or visit a hospital or clinic at all.
We run medical camps, where we send qualified doctors, first aiders and nurses into rural areas where there is little to no professional medical care. Volunteers help to provide basic first aid & medical education to the population, to record healthcare data and identify any issues which may be specific to the area, do basic testing (e.g. blood pressure, blood glucose, hearing) and so on. Each camp is around 8 volunteers, and are usually accompanied by Nepali doctors and a translator, and travel together as a group, either trekking or taking buses to different locations and then setting up the camps, although in some cases we set up only a single camp for the full period, to ensure people are able to return to us for second treatments & to see as many people as possible. It’s very challenging work, but an effective way of providing healthcare to remote areas.
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.
Volunteers should be self-motivated, adaptable and flexible and willing to live and work in basic conditions, particularly for the Traditional Farming Project. 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.
The medical camps are held on fixed dates only, generally, we hold two camps per year over the Spring and Summer, and each camp lasts approx 2 weeks.