About the Nepal Volunteer Project
Volunteers are needed to help on the following projects in Nepal, both in Rural locations across the country, as well as in the cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara. You are welcome to spend time on more than one project during your stay, although some projects have minimum durations and varied availability.
Environmental Volunteering on a Traditional Farming Project
This is a primarily cultural and environmental placement for people who want to experience the lifestyle of rural Nepal, where the majority of people still farm using traditional methods. This project is very hard work and not for the faint-hearted, but it shows the reality of life in rural Nepal. This project involves working with local farmers that rely on their land to sustain themselves and their families. Volunteers live with the families and help work the land, feed the animals and make repairs to fields and structures.
You will live alongside a family and help them work in the nearby rice fields. Placements are available in several locations including the Terai of Chitwan in southern Nepal, and the foothills of the Himalayas near Gerkhu. By becoming a part of the family you will truly experience the real life of Nepal and its people. Depending on the season you will do many different jobs, from milking the buffalo, to planting rice, or cutting grown rice and carrying to the house where it’s beaten by hand. There is always something to do on the farm, but you will have plenty of time to relax and chat with the locals and have the chance to experience the local community.
The project is available all year-round, but the best time to come is generally in April-May or October, which is when the rice is harvested & replanted.
Medical volunteering & establishing healthcare camps
We currently offer two projects for medical volunteers in Nepal; longer-term projects working in a Government hospital in Kathmandu or Pokhara, and short-term medical camps where we establish health camps in rural areas.
Volunteering in a Government hospital in Kathmandu or Pokhara
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 of 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.
Medical treks & establishing rural health camps
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.
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.