This project has been specially designed for those looking to volunteer, but are aged between 15 and 17 years old. Throughout this project, our younger volunteers will have greater supervision, training, and world-class leaders in the field who have been chosen for their mix of relevant experience and ability to mentor and inspire young people.
Travel to Nepal, a stunning and mountainous landlocked country, home to an astonishing eight of the ten highest peaks in the world making this volunteer trip something truly unique.
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.
As with many of our construction projects, what you will work on is determined by the needs and requirements of our local partner communities, but will involve either building water tanks for drinking water, improving sanitation facilities or renovating schools to provide healthier learning environments.
Through your contribution and our relationships with local communities, you can be sure that your efforts are being channelled in the correct ways to meet overall aims and goals.
Please note that this program offers durations of 2 to 4 weeks. Please speak to your Country Expert for further information.
Being immersed in the Nepali culture; learning about the fascinating language and culture; witness firsthand the world’s tallest mountain range, a truly stunning site; make a difference even in the short term; overall, participate in a truly unique volunteer holiday that makes a genuine difference, and top it all off with a 4-day tour and trek that take you in and around the Annapurna mountain range, consisting of some of the world’s tallest climbs.
"These two weeks have truly been an amazing experience! I loved going to Pame to play wth the kids and to help out. I feel like I made so many great friends I would never meet at home and I had a blast with them. The trek was a challenge and not easy but I’m happy I did it every single morning when I woke up to incredible landscapes. I am very sad to be leaving but I don’t feel like I’m going to regret not doing something because we had the chance to volunteer, go on a trek and visited Pokhara and a bit of Kathmandu. I really enjoyed the day when we visited Pokhara, the Peace Pagoda and the suspension bridge etc and went to the Tibetan refugee camp and to the outdoor cinema. Overall it has been an amazing and unique experience I will always remember.
<em>Lucia Gasser Hidalgo, Spain</em>"
These updates cover all programs in this location
Your two or three week cultural adventure in Nepal begins when you are picked up from Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International) airport and taken to a hostel in nearby Thamel for the night. During a traditional Nepali dinner, there will be a presentation introducing you to GVI’s work in Nepal and around the rest of the world. The next day will see us taking a short domestic flight to Pokhara, followed by a short bus journey to your new home for the next couple of weeks.
Upon arrival there will be a welcome presentation and introduction, a history and background of the projects and a health and safety debriefing. After lunch, you will be given a guided tour and orientation around the community, learning more about the local culture and language.
The Work Begins…
Your construction project kicks off the next day when we arrive at the project site for an orientation to the location, community and project work. Volunteers will then be organised into various task groups and given goals to be achieved by the end of the two weeks. After a quick lunch, the hard work will begin!
As with many of our construction projects, the exact work will depend on the needs and requirements of our partners at the time, but volunteers can typically expect to be involved in either building water tanks for drinking water, improving sanitation facilities, renovating schools or painting and brightening up the classrooms with murals or other artwork.
Over the next couple of days your group will be hard to work, keeping to tight deadlines in order to meet your project goals. By the end of your project, your last day on the site will see you putting the finishing touches to your project and presenting your lasting contribution to our partners and the children.
Cultural Weekend and Adventure Side Trip
As your final week in Nepal looms closer and with your volunteer work completed, it is now time to appreciate the rich cultural history and diversity the region has to offer. Over the course of our cultural weekend, you will take part in an array of activities, ranging from visiting beautiful temples, exploring local customs, appreciating the amazing architecture, visiting bazaars and markets, and most importantly, meeting local people and learning about the traditions and history of Nepal.
Prepare to trek to your heart’s content!
The last leg of your journey in Nepal begins with a hearty breakfast before we head off to begin your week long trekking adventure! The trail will lead us away from the bustle of urbanization and up into the foothills of the picturesque Annapurna mountain range. The higher we climb, the more spectacular the sights will get, with views all the way down to Rupatal Lake, and all the way up to Machhapuchare and the entire Annapurna range. We will spend the night in the charming village of Chisapani, home to a tiny Buddhist monastery.
The next day we continue our trek, with the mighty Annapurna II, Manaslu and Lumjung looming near. If you aren’t an experienced hiker, don’t worry, the tracks are relatively easy and the views more than make up for the occasional tough spots. The end of day two will bring us to the quaint village of Lipiyani, where we will spend the night and prepare for an early start the following morning.
An incredible view of watching the sun rising in the east awaits us as we begin the final two days of our journey. After a quick breakfast, we will begin our descent to reach the area between Rupa and Begnas Lake. As we trek down, we will make our way through rice paddies and pause for lunch at the village of Sundaridada where we will re-join our transport and make our way back to Pokhara.
On your last day in Pokhara, we will sit down and reflect on the trip, the impact you have made and review your experiences as you prepare to say your final goodbyes. After some last minute shopping and a departure dinner, you will be dropped off at the airport to make your way home with a camera full of amazing pictures, new friends and a myriad of new experiences.
What's Not Included
Your support and presence is vital to the continued improvement of basic standards of health and hygiene, and in the improvement of educational facilities.
As a volunteer you will be expected to serve as a community role model, promoting respect for Nepal’s heritage and environment.
Our goal is to transfer new skills and develop a foundation to improve the lives of the Nepalese people by providing volunteers to support in various construction projects through the community.
How this project makes a difference:
Nepal is a landlocked and developing nation, and its people suffer from a lack of hygiene, education and skilled labour with more than one third of the population living below the poverty line. By working to improve many basic issues you are helping to improve the lives and opportunities of the local communities with which we work.
What's Not Included
Although this trip follows a structured itinerary, don’t think you won’t be seeing and doing some amazing things! You’ll embark on both a cultural weekend and a four day adventure side trip of awesomeness to discover all the amazing sights the region has to offer!
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.
Meet Ruth, our Project Manager in Nepal. Although she’s a qualified skipper and dreams of joining the Honour Fiji journey, she says there’s nothing quite like Nepal. “Waking up to the magical Himalayan Mountains is absolutely breath-taking!”
Apart from discovering that drinking turmeric in hot water cures a cold (!), Ruth has also seen the impact that the volunteers have had in the time that she’s been there by the changes in the local children’s English and learning abilities, and the trust that’s been built with the local community.
What does Ruth think about what the volunteers bring to the table? ‘Volunteers have assisted me with work that we couldn’t do without the extra pairs of hands. If we didn’t have volunteers, it would be simply impossible to help so many worthwhile projects in Pokhara.”