Whilst full of natural and cultural beauty, the people of Nepal are financially poor. You will teach on much needed community and education projects against the incredible backdrop of the Himalayan mountains.
Surrounded by the beauty of the mountain scenery, and immersed in the local language and culture, you will start your time in Nepal with an orientation visiting sights such as world heritage Hindu and Buddhist temples.
Following the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, our projects adjusted focus to provide disaster relief to those in need. In conjunction with our partners, trucks of supplies and family care packages were taken to some of the most affected areas. Now our projects are focused on initiatives within our local communities, who have needs around education and improving educational facilities.
Once your orientation is completed, you will provide invaluable support to the education centres and over-crowded schools through your work on your assigned placement. Through this work you will help students grow and improve their future opportunities, and provide the extra educational attention the students need.
Being immersed in the Nepali culture, learning some Nepali language, meeting and living with members of the local community and working with some amazing children. Nepal also has fantastic opportunities for adventures such as trekking in the Himalayan region and white water rafting. The World Peace Pagoda is also one of the must-see highlights.
"I was immediately treated with unbelievable hospitality from the local people. Being the age that I am, most of the village is my age which helped me make friends with them and feel apart of the village. All were welcoming to help me learn more about the culture as well as answer any of my questions.
I taught at a local Mosque for an hour before school, then went to the local government school to teach for 2 hours. The afternoons were free to relax and work on lesson plans before an after-school program with local students."
What's Not Included
Monday to Friday
Your daily activities will include assisting local English teachers with the curriculum, one to one teaching with students, providing support for extracurricular activities,and playing sports with the children in a local school. At the end of the day you will have time to plan for the following day, and to spend time relaxing with your fellow volunteers.
Your accommodation will be based in a homestay with a Nepali family and the volunteer group in shared bedrooms and bathrooms in the heart of Pokhara, giving you the rare opportunity to truly experience life inside a Nepalese community. Typical food will include a mix of Nepali and western food such as vegetable curry, beans, rice and pasta which are provided for you.
If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.
What's Not Included
Your support and presence is key to the continued operation of educational facilities in which you will teach struggling students. You will teach subject such as English, Maths, Science and grammar in schools and community centres, as well helping with sports, basic computer skills, and team skills.
Raising cultural awareness and assisting in community-based conservation programs, are all ways in which you will serve as a community role model, promoting respect for Nepal’s heritage and environment, helping the children to develop into responsible citizens.
Our goal is to transfer new skills and develop a foundation to improve lives by providing enthusiastic volunteers to support the education centers in Nepal.
How this project makes a difference:
In Nepal more than one third of the population lives below the poverty line and most schools can’t afford the teachers or supplies needed to provide an effective education.
GVI supplies local schools with ongoing support to increase the community’s educational opportunities. If the students can improve their English skills they will have a better chance of getting further education and a good job, breaking them out of the cycle of poverty.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Nepal!
Included Side Trips
During your orientation you will visit the Tal Bahari temple which is situated in the middle of the beautiful Fewa Tal Lake surrounded by the Annapurna Himal. You will also get the opportunity to learn about the local culture with local Nepali language lessons and cooking classes.
Optional Side Trips
In Nepal, you are in a true adventure region. Don’t worry if you forget to pack your adrenalin, with these options, there are ample opportunities to top it up!
From a two day rafting or kayaking trip on the white-water of the Trisuli or Seti Rivers, to paragliding over incredible scenery to mountain biking, canyoning and bungee jumping, you could spend weeks here and still not do everything.
But if the adventure side of things becomes too much, Nepal will continue to provide and surprise you. Besides sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara, you could try a three-day/two-night elephant safari in the Chitwan National Park staying at the Royal Park Hotel, chancing upon tigers and rhinos out on drives. Also, if throwing yourself off of high places attached to a kite is not your thing, Nepal boasts some of the best hiking trails in the world. Embark on a four-day trek in the Annapurna Mountains, where you will immerse with the villages and communities of the High Himal.
Further Travelling Opportunities
There are a wealth of opportunities in Nepal for further travel and exploration of the rest of the country. This can include the foothills of the Himalayas in Langtang National Park, the ancient temples and villages of Tansen, Newari architecture in Bandipur, the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, Everest Base Camp, the ancient Hindu center of Janakpur, and so many other options that will leave you wondering why you didn’t give yourself more time...
Meet Binita, one of our lovely field staff members working on our childcare projects in Pokhara, Nepal. Before joining GVI, this Nepalese music lover helped struggling students in Kathmandu with their studies and decided that she wanted to help more.
Binita is passionate about her job at GVI and how she has been able to make a difference in the lives of others. She is enthusiastic about motivating the local local staff and helping them to learn new ideas. “My main highlight would be meeting the volunteers from around the world and sharing my country with them.” She loves welcoming new volunteers and appreciates all the fresh ideas that they bring to the project.
Her most memorable travel experience was when she travelled to Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal, to visit the different temples and to learn more about her religion. Binita’s proudest accomplishment since working with GVI was seeing the children become more confident in their English and achieving higher grades. She is not all work and no play; she can make 15 momos (steamed dumplings) in a minute!
Assistant Director of Programs
Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she's based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”
When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”
What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”
Lok Bahadur Gurung
Meet Lok, our Community Liason in Pokhara. Lok is bona fide Nepalese and worked as a kayaking instructor prior to joining GVI.
Being the Community Liason, Lok is involved in all projects we have based in Pokhara. His favourite aspect of his job? Working with the volunteers. “I get to meet amazing people from around the world and I love getting to know them. I feel that not only the volunteers, but myself as well gain a great cultural exchange.”
How do the volunteers assist Lok in his work on the projects? “They’re great at helping the kids gain the confidence to speak English and thereby improve their chances at a better future. Thanks to the volunteers, over 400 children now have access to a healthier learning environment!”
Meet Cheryl, our Base Manager in Nepal. A former teacher, headmaster and special needs educator, she was the first volunteer on our ‘Grade R’ project in Cape Town, and was exactly who we needed.
Cheryl’s main highlight since being involved with GVI? “When we first started 'book-time' at the educare centre, the children didn’t really appreciate books and stories. We were pretty persistent and the children now easily sit and enjoy a book for almost an hour, even the toddlers! It’s led to such a great improvement in their language skills, attention span and ability to learn. I’m also really proud of the work we have done concerning protecting children’s rights, especially in social media. We’ve set a really good standard.”
What does Cheryl think volunteers bring to the project? “The volunteers never cease to amaze me with their skills and talents! It’s so important to use these talents as best we can. These things have made a difference to the teacher’s ability to provide a program, and therefore, to the children’s ability to learn.