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Volunteer on Construction Projects in Nepal

Volunteer on community construction and renovation projects in Nepal

Program Code: NPHE0377P

Program Information

Immerse yourself in historic and fascinating culture when you travel to Nepal to join an international team of volunteers working to improve the lives of the local communities by building and renovating basic infrastructure and educational facilities. Discover the wonder of this mountainous, landlocked country in your free time.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

Immerse yourself in an historic and fascinating culture. Travel to Nepal to join an international team of volunteers working to improve the lives of local communities by improving educational centres and other community facilities. Discover the wonder of this mountainous, landlocked country in your free time.

Depending on the needs on the ground at any given time, you will work alongside community members to build facilities and resources or renovate schools and centres to establish improved living and learning environments.



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. Our post earthquake support included building an early learning centre in one of the mountain villages and repairs to a temple and community centre in a rural area.

School renovation

Schools throughout Nepal are often extremely basic, and you will help make them more effective as learning environments. You may be getting out the paintbrushes and brightening the place up with a splash of paint, or you could lend a hand in helping to reconstruct, build or rebuild school’s facilities.

No previous experience is required for this project. Our staff will be working along side you and you'll have access to the skills and experience of locals, such as builders who can support and guide you.There will also be GVI field staff at hand. If you have special training that may be an asset to the project, please let us know when applying.

Highlights Include…

Discover the culture, traditions and spectacular landscape of Nepal; immerse yourself in Nepalese culture through living with a host family; work with an international team of volunteers; experience life amongst some of the highest mountains and most incredible landscapes in the world; feel safe in the knowledge you will be making a serious and measurable impact in the community.

Program Details

Program Type: Volunteering
Location: Asia - Nepal - Pokhara

Select a Start Date

  • 2019
  • 2020

Select a Duration

Select a start date first.

Select Add-Ons

+ $30
 
+ $370
 
+ $185
 

Life On Base

So what does Life on the Project actually involve? See below for an idea of what to expect on a day to day basis…

Monday to Friday

Upon arrival, you will receive a welcome orientation covering health and safety and cultural awareness that will fully prepare you for life on the project and in the community.

Your time on the project will be spent assisting schools and other local facilities with physical improvements. Depending on the needs at the time, the project may include building, painting, repairing or landscaping. All of our projects strive to improve local facilities.

Such is the nature of the work involved, this project can be physically demanding, which you should be prepared for.

Saturday and Sunday

Weekends are yours to spend as you wish. Nepal is an outdoor and adventure enthusiasts dream, with world class hiking trails, paragliding and mountain biking among the many activities possible. For more information on your time off project and side trip details, see the Free Time section above.

Field conditions

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.

Accommodation Upgrades

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 It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Live Updates

Follow GVI Pokhara's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
 
GVINepalPokhara

Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.


As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.


 
 

Meet The Team - Senior Field Management

Jill Walker

Deputy Director of Programs
Meet GVI’s Jill,also known by her rap name, Rainmaker, or her spiritual name, Field Whisperer. Her journey with GVI began back in 2007 as Thailand's Country Director, where she helped set up GVI’s first TEFL program!

Now she is based in Chaing Rai, Thailand. Jill's role involves providing support for all of our programs around the world. Working closing with each base, she looks to identify and manage any issues that occur so GVI are able to offer the best programs possible.

Project Details

The support you will provide goes a long way to improving the health and education of local people. By helping to renovate educational facilities, you can make a real contribution to this project.

How this project makes a difference

Whichever construction project you are involved in, you will be making a significant contribution to the development of underprivileged communities. Working in schools, you will be helping to create an environment suitable for learning that the children deserve.

*There are many religious and cultural festivals throughout the year in Nepal, as well as school holidays and exam periods. During these periods we may run activities and programs that are slightly different to our regular programs. Its possible that during these periods you might support the running of 'Holiday Programs" for children in local communities, create lesson plans and resources to support our work, facilitate adult training programs related to a range of issues or help out with some construction or maintenance work to improve educational facilities. Where possible we would also like you to enjoy the festivities and engage with our partners in the community to share these experiences. There may be times when we are able to enjoy the celebrations, food and traditions that Nepal has to offer.

Nepal's short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Nepal:


1. Support students to reach learning goals appropriate to their Age (under 5s) Grade level (5-18 year olds) or Individual Need (students with Special Needs)

2.Support students to expand their English vocabulary

3. Increase the knowedge and understanding of Healthcare in the community with an emphasis on prevention

4. Develop the skills of women in the community in order to improve their potential to generate income or to become more self sufficient

5. Support the local community with improved facilities with an emphasis on educational and health and safety needs

6. To minimize our environmental impact in Lakeside and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and the students with whom we work

Publications

The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research. Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies. We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.


Training

A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.


For All GVI Participants

Welcome Presentation

Introduction to GVI as a whole and the work in your specific location. Learn about the short, mid, and long-term objectives of the sustainable development projects at your base, which United Nations Development Goals they impact most directly, and which local partners we work with.


Health and Safety Training

Learn about the Emergency Action Plans in place at your base, the full Risk Assessment, and best practices for personal safety.


Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Training

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.


Exploration

Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.


Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.


Weekend Trips

National Parks

You can access several of Nepal’s most abundant wildlife parks via Pokhara. The Annapurna Conservation Area, is not only home to Annapurna I, the 10th highest peak in the world, but also endangered species like the snow leopard and Himalayan wolf. You can also visit Chitwan National Park which is known for its large population of the vulnerable Indian rhinoceros species. Although more remote, you can also make a weekend trip to Bardia National Park, for a more pristine landscape.

Mountain Bike

This is one of the newly popular activities for international visitors to Nepal. It allows visitors to experience many of the same landscapes as those trekking through the Himalayas while perfecting their mountain biking skills. Rent a bike and gear in Pokhara and choose to either complete a short trail or a two-week tour from Pokhara to Kathmandu.

Canyoning

Explore the river gorges and waterfalls of Nepal through one of the many canyoning tours offered in Pokhara. Bungee jump down cliffs, abseil down waterfalls, raft down fast-moving rapids, or simply kayak or tube gently along the rivers. This is an excellent way to experience Nepal’s breathtaking natural environment first-hand.

Paragliding and Skydiving

Paragliding is incredibly popular in Pokhara and one the best ways to view the spectacular natural landscape. There are many operators working in Pokhara through which you can book a guided tandem paragliding tour starting at around thirty minutes in the air. If you are keen on an even bigger adrenaline kick then why not book one of the many skydiving experiences offered in Pokhara.

Himalayan Treks and Flights

Nepal is perhaps most well-known as the location of Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak. Everest is located in the Himalayan mountain range, which features some of the other highest mountain peaks in the world like Kanchenjunga and Lhotse. There are plenty of trekking tour operators to be found in Pokhara and we even offer inclusive volunteer and adventure packages that include trekking.  If trekking isn’t your thing you can also book a helicopter or small plane flight to get a bird’s eye view of the famous mountain range.


Paragliding and Skydiving

Paragliding is incredibly popular in Pokhara and one the best ways to view the spectacular natural landscape. There are many operators working in Pokhara through which you can book a guided tandem paragliding tour starting at around thirty minutes in the air. If you are keen on an even bigger adrenaline kick then why not book one of the many skydiving experiences offered in Pokhara.


National Parks

You can access several of Nepal’s most abundant wildlife parks via Pokhara. The Annapurna Conservation Area, is not only home to Annapurna I, the 10th highest peak in the world, but also endangered species like the snow leopard and Himalayan wolf. You can also visit Chitwan National Park which is known for its large population of the vulnerable Indian rhinoceros species. Although more remote, you can also make a weekend trip to Bardia National Park, for a more pristine landscape.


Canyoning

Explore the river gorges and waterfalls of Nepal through one of the many canyoning tours offered in Pokhara. Bungee jump down cliffs, abseil down waterfalls, raft down fast-moving rapids, or simply kayak or tube gently along the rivers. This is an excellent way to experience Nepal’s breathtaking natural environment first-hand.


Further Travels

India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan

While you are in the region, why not take the opportunity to explore some of the other nations bordering Nepal. Visit India’s capital of New Delhi for an insight into modern India or, Rikshikesh, the world’s “yoga capital” to learn more about India’s historic culture. Travel to Bangladesh to visit its famous wildlife reserves known for their tiger populations or learn more about Buddhist culture by visiting the monasteries of Bhutan.

Kathmandu

A short flight from Pokhara, Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and it’s largest city, is known for its historic religious sites. Visit the sacred stupas, domed structures ubiquitous in Buddhist culture, at Swayambhunath or Boudhanath, or the sacred Hindu complex of Pashupatinath temple, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The expansive local markets are also a great opportunity to collect practical souvenirs like blankets and incense for those back home.

Himalayan Treks and Flights

Nepal is perhaps most well-known as the location of Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak. Everest is located in the Himalayan mountain range, which features some of the other highest mountain peaks in the world like Kanchenjunga and Lhotse. There are plenty of trekking tour operators to be found in Pokhara and we even offer inclusive volunteer and adventure packages that include trekking. Most trekking trips take several days to weeks to complete. If you are looking for a less taxing and shorter term option, you can also book a helicopter or small plane flight to get a bird’s eye view of the famous mountain range.

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.


Festivals

February: The Tibetan New Year celebration, Lhosar, is held in February. Buddhist monasteries decorate their temples, known as stupas, and there is music and dancing in Tibetan communities and families exchange gifts.

March: The Nepalese version of India’s Holi celebration, the festival of colours, is celebrated in March. In Nepal this festival is known as Fagu Poornima. This is an incredible visual festival during which crowds throw one another with coloured powders.

May: As the birthplace of the Buddha, Buddha’s birthday is a big event in Nepal. This is known as Jayanti day and is celebrated during May.

September to October: Probably the most popular and well-known festival celebrated in Nepal is Dashain. Taking place over the course of 15 days, it honours the main goddess of Hinduism, Shakti, in all her forms. This is a time when families come together and celebrate. Parades and feasts are common throughout the festival. It corresponds to the Navratri festival held throughout India.

October to November: Tihar is another festival held around the end of October or early November each year and corresponds to Diwali, the festival of lights, popular in India. The festivities extend for five days and each day features a unique celebration.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga evolved as part of the Hindu tradition. As a country with a large Hindu population, yoga is part of Nepalese culture. Nepal is one of the top yoga retreat destinations in the world. There are plenty of classes you can take during your stay in Pokhara. Mediation is also a central component of both Hinduism and Buddhism. Visit a Hindu tradition meditation class for to learn japa mala meditation or a Buddhist tradition meditation class for a Vipassana meditation class.

Cuisine

Possibly the most well-known Nepalese dish is dal bhat, a lentil stew served with rice. It is a smokey, spicy, wholesome dish which happens to be vegetarian-friendly as well, in keeping with the beliefs of the Hindu religion. Momos, traditionally thought of as a Tibetan food, are popular throughout the Himalayan region, and Nepal is no exception. Momos are a type of steamed dumpling, served with a dipping sauce, and come in a variety of fillings. When you are out and about be sure to stop at a street stall to try a sel roti, a fried, ring-shaped salty snack.

Religion and Spirituality

Most of Nepal’s population subscribes to Hinduism, specifically the Shaivism sect. You will find many Hindu temples throughout Nepal. However, Nepal is also home to one of the main Buddhist sites in the world, Lumbini, the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama and does have a significant Buddhist population as well. You can learn about both these traditions during your stay in Pokhara, by speaking to locals, and visiting the many religious sites in the area. Visit Tal Barahi, a temple located in the centre of lake Pewa, dedicated to the goddess Durga, or the World Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist stupa.

Languages

Although Nepali is the official language of Nepal, over 100 languages are spoken within the limits of the country. Throughout your time on the project you will have plenty of opportunities to learn more about the Nepali language while interacting with locals.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


 


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


 

Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


Support

Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Safety

Upon arrival at the airport participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.


Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov

HOW GVI UPHOLDS HEALTH AND SAFETY

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.


1 Nov

GVI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND SECURITY

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.


6 Nov

HOW GVI REMAINS PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.


5 Nov

HOW GVI MANAGES PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)