Food, Lodging and Travel
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.
Type of Volunteers needed
Volunteers should be aged 18 years upwards and speak English. All nationalities are welcome. Volunteers do not need any specific skills or qualifications (except for the medical projects), but any skills you do have will be useful for the projects. For the projects in the government hospitals, 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, 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 to Western standards.
The quickest and simplest route is to fly to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. It is also possible to enter Nepal via bus from India, though this takes longer. The main Airlines arriving in Kathmandu are Thai Airlines, Qatar, Etihad and Jet Airways, which is usually the cheapest option. Upon arrival at the airport, you can easily obtain a standard tourist Visa with no restrictions, which will take around 15 minutes and you will need to pay for in cash. Indian nationals do not require a Visa.
Safety and Security
We have friendly staff who are experienced in supporting international volunteers and we will ensure you are living and working in a secure and safe environment. Staff will also be contactable at all times throughout your placement if you have any issues.
Communications and Health
In most areas where we work in Nepal there is access to communications either by phone or the internet, so it’s relatively easy to keep in touch with friends and family. However please note that most host families’ homes do not have wifi/internet access, so it is usually a case of travelling to a local internet cafe during your free time and when combined with occasional power cut you should not expect to have regular internet access for the whole duration of your stay. We will also provide the numbers of our Volunteer Coordinators in Kathmandu in case of emergencies if needed, and your host family will also try their best to resolve any issues you may be having as well.
It is advised that you visit your doctor before departing for Nepal to get the most up to date information on possible vaccinations required. A course of Injections typically takes around 6 weeks. In Nepal, there are pharmacies in every town, and the Project Manager also has direct contact with doctors if required for volunteers.