Awake the humanitarian in you!
Teach English or help out at the schools
Using your skills abroad to help others can be very rewarding, plus you’ll take home new abilities, knowledge and practical work experience. Taking part in a volunteering programme can add immense value to your CV and the benefits are infinite. Volunteering is also a great way to really experience Nepalese culture. Living and working in a rural village is basic and conditions can be interesting but the rewards and experiences far out way the challenges.
Here are a few of the tricky bits
There are often power cuts in Nepal for days at a time, washing is in an outhouse with a bucket of hot water and a cold tap, and although you will have your own small room with a bed and lock on the door, it won’t be like a hotel and privacy will take a new meaning. Every now and again you might see a big spider hanging out on a wall!
Due to the political instability of Nepal, the country is forced to close for days at a time. Everything stops and shuts; restaurants, banks, schools, transport until the strike has been resolved. It is not dangerous or threatening but can be very inconvenient. There are many festivals and holidays so schools are often closed up to a third of the year! Do check with us first before you book your flights.
The main volunteering role is teaching English in the schools but you don’t have to be a professional teacher to volunteer. Some teaching experience is helpful and there are short courses you can attend in the UK to give an idea how to structure a class before you travel http://www.uk-tefl.co.uk/courses In Nepal the lessons are 45 minutes long and the class sizes range from 5 to 25. Children love fun teaching methods and warmly welcome a change from their usual learning habits. If you have knowledge of some games, sports, singing and enjoy having fun with children this could be the right role for you.
There is no time frame for you to volunteer but a week is an absolute minimum, the school week is Sunday to Friday lunchtime. There are only a few facilities in the schools so it is recommended you take some teaching aids with you, such as something to play music, drawing books, coloured pencils and aids for sports games. The staff and the children would be very happy to host you and you will be a welcomed and honoured guest in their environment.
Accommodation and getting there
Homestay accommodation is with a local family and you will have your own room with all meals and hot drinks included. It is not essential but it is a part of the Nepalese culture that you make a small donation to the school whilst you are there. Your experience will start in Pokhara where a local representative will meet you and escort you by jeep to the school. On arrival, you will meet the English teacher who will usually be your main contact whilst you are living in the village.
An idea of costs
Currently we are not running a volunteer programme but should this be something you are interested in, do take a look at www.responsibletravel.com for volunteer holiday suggestions in Nepal.
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