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Are you interested in seeing more of the world than you could on a regular vacation? Is taking an affordable, safe and unique trip to Nepal on your bucket list? Would you like to make a lasting difference to the lives of people who need help? All this and more is possible when you join an RCDP volunteering in Nepal program.
Nepal is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world, along with the Himalayan mountain range and a kind and gentle population who have lived and suffered through so much turmoil and loss. You might be wondering if you can make a difference – and the answer is ‘you certainly can’. They need the help of caring, compassionate and passionate people like you, who are willing to share their time and skills on meaningful volunteer in Nepal projects in several locations around the country.
RCDP have offered volunteer in Nepal programs since 1998, and worked with nearly 20,000 people of all ages. Our programs are all well structured, and volunteers enjoy 24/7 support from a local contact, along with comfortable accommodation, main meals, airport meet and greet and a program orientation. We also offer an optional one week program introducing the basics of Nepal’s language and culture.
Volunteer work in Nepal is the ultimate way to experience the authentic culture of an amazing country, and this unique insight will create many wonderful memories you will treasure for a lifetime.
Contact us now to register your interest and find out more about how you can enjoy both exploring this amazing country and helping the neediest of people have a better life.Get More Info Now
The world is full of fascinating countries and people who need your help, so what makes volunteering in Nepal such a popular choice amongst those who want to make a difference in the world? Here are just ten of the many reasons for choosing to pursue volunteering opportunities in Nepal.
A couple of weeks on a beach is fun, but the memories usually fade faster than your suntan. On the other hand, as a volunteer in Nepal your work is both useful and essential, and you can feel proud that your efforts will continue to have an effect for a long time after you have returned home.
Sometimes it can be hard to get an honest perspective on what your daily life is like, and small hardships can become more important than they deserve to be. Spending time on a Nepal volunteer program and getting to know people who live with poverty, hardship and limited opportunities can be eye opening. Many Nepal volunteer alumni report feeling grateful for the things they have and the lifestyle they lead after spending time with people who have so little, yet still strive to improve things for the sale of future generations.
The time spent on a volunteer program in Nepal provides invaluable hands on experience to add to your resume. However, you don’t usually need a background in a field to be accepted onto a volunteer Nepal program.
There is a lot to see and do in Nepal, so during your free time from your volunteer project, and both before and after your placement there will be plenty of time to enjoy the towns, cities, landmarks, scenery and natural wonders of this ancient and truly beautiful country.
Even learning a few words of Nepali will make your experience as a volunteer in Nepal richer. The optional language and culture course RCDP offer is worth considering if you would like to learn the basics, and then have lots of fun practicing with the locals when you start working on your project.
Volunteering in a developing country isn’t always easy. Your heart may ache at the situations some people live with daily, or the inequalities you observe between people. You may also find it quite difficult to live without the luxuries and comforts that are part of your daily life at home. Overcoming these issues is part of the journey, and perhaps essential to the process of personal growth.
Volunteering in Nepal involves forging relationships with a wide variety of people, including fellow volunteers, Nepalese people from the community and your project, and the staff who support you while you are on placement. Many volunteers forge lifetime connections and friendships from their time spent on an RCDP Nepal volunteer program.
While tourists enjoy the usual sights, scenery, food and cultural visits you can do all that and more as a volunteer in Nepal. Being part of a community based project grants you a level of access, experience and insight that is way beyond anything a regular visitor could ever hope for.
Many of our volunteers have never travelled without friends or family, so joining a project is a huge step. Your success cements a sense of independence and achievement which no amount of money can buy. Plus you will feel proud of being able to adapt to a culture and lifestyle which is vastly different to your own – and despite being challenged by different food, language, and beliefs about many things, you achieved your goal of making a difference.
There is nothing that can equal the feeling of knowing that you helped make a difference to the lives of real people, whether they are youngsters in an orphanage working hard to learn language skills, or elders who desperately need basic medical care. Although your volunteer program in Nepal will eventually come to an end, you can be sure that the effects of your footprint ill live on in the hearts, lives and minds of those who benefitted.
Kathmandu is a vibrant city, always bustling with traffic and people, but sometimes you just need to get away from it all. The great thing is that there are lots of places within a reasonable travelling distance which are just perfect for a weekend away, and that essential change of scenery and boost of fresh, air.
Nagarkot is a great place to hike, and maybe even see the Himalayas if the weather is in your favor. Share a taxi with 4 friends for the 90 minute journey. If you can manage a 2-3 hour commute the monks at the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Namo Buddha offer accommodation, while for something more luxurious a Sanga spa resort fits the bill. Being just 21 km from the city makes this a great day trip destination, and the pristine, peaceful parks there are a joy to wander in.
Searching online for information on volunteer abroad opportunities will return hundreds of results. Faced with pages and pages of organizations you may ask yourself why RCDP’s volunteer programs in Nepal are the best choice.
There are many reasons why we can confidently say our Nepal volunteer programs are the first and the right choice. Here are some of them: Our Vast Experience - We Have Offered Volunteer Abroad Opportunities Since 1998.
Through our dedicated hard work providing safe, exciting, meaningful and affordable programs to thousands of passionate volunteers we have gained an excellent reputation as one of the most experienced and trusted volunteer abroad organizations in the world. Year on year we proudly help our volunteers experience only the best volunteer projects, something we have made possible by taking the following initiatives:
Before offering a program destination to our volunteers we personally visit the project and check it out carefully, gaining essential first-hand experience. This means we can evaluate the level of hospitality and accommodation volunteers would enjoy – and make sure it is consistently high. Then, if we accept the project our staff can provide honest guidance to potential volunteers.
Our immense research, knowledge, and expertise in volunteering abroad opportunities and destinations allows us to provide outstanding levels of professional support, service, and suggestions to thousands of volunteers every year.
So, when you are looking to find a volunteer abroad organization which is not only responsible, but also provides high levels of safety and security, RCDP Nepal is the right choice.
At RCDP Nepal our aim is to promote the trend of volunteering abroad; so to make sure everyone can access this worthwhile experience we have kept our prices very low. When it comes to travelling as a volunteer affordability is the key. RCDP Nepal has always been recognized as the leading organization which provides volunteer travel opportunities for a low price.
We make our programs as affordable as possible by building direct partnerships with local organizations based in the same country. This way we can easily keep costs low, while also helping to boost local employment and community projects.
At RCDP Nepal, we value both honesty and financial transparency. This is why we have developed a fee model which involves you paying the fees which cover your food and accommodation directly to the host families, and the fees which support your volunteer project directly to the in-country coordinator. Our 100% transparent fee structure involves dividing the program fee into the following parts:
Weekly Fee – Every year volunteers on some other organization’s programs unwittingly spend a lot of money, (sometimes up to $2500), for a 2-week volunteer experience. In most cases they have no idea how their money is being used, or how much the host family is earning from this payment. Often it is only a tiny fraction of it, which means the host families are basically being exploited.
We require part of this fee to pay for your food and accommodation; the rest goes to help fund the project and cover the salaries of local support staff. Since you will be directly paying this fee to the host families and projects, (through the in-country coordinator), you can be reassured the money is going to the right people
Registration Fee – we require this fee (i.e. $269) to cover only the essential expenses necessary to allow us to continue offering you our volunteer support services.
Our ratings - 99% of our volunteers are highly satisfied
Renowned for offering a vast range of volunteer programs at an affordable price, RCDP Nepal prides itself in providing superior support services and programs to volunteers. Working together as a team, we are passionate about facilitating unique travel experiences for our volunteers. Consequently, on review sites we achieve very high ratings as being one of the best volunteer projects providers.
This is just one of the reasons why numerous volunteers return to us to book further volunteer abroad experiences, and use our volunteer support services. Please see our website and read what our volunteers are saying about our expertise and experience.
For us, quality goes hand in hand with responsibility. At RCDP Nepal, we make sure that our volunteer projects are not only run responsibly, but that they also have a long term positive impact on society.
However, this is not where our commitment starts and ends, as in addition to the volunteer programs we offer, RCDP Nepal is dedicated to helping communities improve their lives in other ways. Since we opened our doors we have tried hard to offer additional financial support, such as raising donations of around $200,000 to support victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 1998. Additionally, all of the projects we work with are designed to directly benefit those who are needy and in serious need of a helping hand. We make this possible as a specific amount of volunteers’ fees is directly allocated to local host communities.
From your very first contact with RCDP Nepal, to the time when you successfully complete your volunteer project, you will benefit from our consistently high level of service and support. After becoming a registered volunteer, you will receive useful checklists and information booklets that will remind you about the essential things you should pack before leaving home. An experienced project manager supervises this process to make sure you are completely prepared for your volunteering abroad experience.
Once you have reached your volunteer program destination, you will be met by, and always in close contact with, our local support team. They will help you out throughout your volunteering experience, right through until the last day of your volunteer program. Although the primary point of contact will be the local team members you will still be able to contact the program manager via email if necessary.
After the successful completion of your volunteer program we are always excited to hear from you, and to share photographs and stories from your amazing experience.
RCDP Nepal puts the top most priority on safety for all participants of our volunteer abroad programs. Our clear standards in terms of risk management mean we only place our volunteers into trustworthy organizations, institutions, and families; and of course all these sources have been carefully screened by the local team of RCDP Nepal.
To confirm we are reaching the criteria we set for running safe and secure volunteer projects, staff members conduct regular audits of each volunteer program. This helps them determine if risks are appropriately managed and eliminated. Since our focus is to provide maximum safety and security to our volunteers we offer our volunteer various training tools. In addition, our local teams conduct face-to-face briefings to help you get the most from these volunteering training sessions.
With around 200 volunteer programs available choosing the right RCDP Nepal volunteer program to suit your background, skills, and interests is easy. As we partner with organizations in 20 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America your hardest decision will be settling on just one of the exciting destinations we run programs in.
Many Nepal volunteers arrive in an unfamiliar country knowing nothing much about the culture, or being able to speak the language, but that is totally fine. We offer language training classes and cultural lessons, along with visits to historical places and the opportunity to spend a few days with a Nepalese family in their home. This is an excellent way to become familiar with the county and the people who will steal your heart before you begin work at your project.
Volunteering to teach English in Nepal is an amazing opportunity to meet, connect with and make a difference to the futures of deserving young people. You will be thrilled to find the students you meet on a volunteer teaching in Nepal project are both very keen to learn and to improve their English speaking skills, but also very grateful to those who choose to spend time helping them out.
If you choose a volunteer program in Nepal teaching English you will work in either a public or a private school. Sometimes you may be invited to help out with various other, school related activities such as major sporting or social events.
Please note that during holiday and exam periods the schools in Nepal are closed to volunteers, therefore if you choose to join a teaching program during one of those times RCDP staff will arrange for you to help on other child-focused projects, such as orphanage programs.
There are two roles on offer to you if you join this worthwhile program: main or assistant English teacher. This allows you to join this project even if you have no previous experience in this subject. However, if you do then this is recognized and you will be able to lead the class, supported by a local teacher as necessary.
Volunteering to teach English in Nepal involves spending 3 to 4 hours a day, for either five or six days a week. In most cases you will teach groups of students aged from first grade (6 years old), through to 8th grade (13 years). Even if you take the main teacher role the school’s own English teacher will be around to offer you support and insight. They are an excellent resource for ideas, tips on communicating without a strong shared language, and what to cover in each lesson.
Both native and fluent non-native English speakers are welcome to join RCDP’s teaching English in Nepal volunteer program. You do not need any special qualifications or experience, but of course you should have an interest in teaching and enjoy spending time with children.
Volunteers on teaching English in Nepal programs are expected to be reliable, patient, trustworthy, enthusiastic and an all round good role model for impressionable children.
RCDP offer an optional one week special program covering the basic of Nepalese language and culture. This is a great way to get invaluable insights into the country before you arrive, as well as have some language skills to help with communication once there.
The usual daily schedule involves:
Several school feature in our volunteer abroad teaching English in Nepal program. All details of your placement will be provided upon the completion of your application process.
The size of the schools in Nepal varies. Normally, a class will have around 20-30 pupils, while the school may well have anywhere from 250-500 children in total.
Most of the time you will be assisting the local Nepalese English teacher. He or she will be a great asset, able to help you with things like communication problems, and lesson planning. Very occasionally you may need to take charge of a class alone.
Yes, the Nepalese government provides a set textbook which everyone on a teaching English Nepal volunteer program in school must work from.
The volunteering teaching English in Nepal program is not available every month of the year, but when schools are closed volunteers will help out on other local child-related projects.
Despite their enthusiasm and effort many Nepalese people struggle to speak English in a way you can instantly understand, so patience when communicating is crucial. Be prepared also for the school you work in to be quite different from those in your home country.
Over 150,000 Tibetans live in exile, and around 20% of them have made Nepal, a country where they are able to practice their religion freely, their new home. Many live in the large monasteries based in the area surrounding Kathmandu’s mountains, where they spend their days living a devoted Buddhist lifestyle.
These days more young monks need to learn English but they don’t have anyone on site able to teach them, so they rely on people who want to volunteer in a Buddhist monastery to provide language learning opportunities.
Teaching English to Buddhist monks is an invaluable opportunity to get the kind of insight into the monk’s lifestyle, and the way Buddhism works which few people will ever have.
Volunteers stay on site, and hold English classes several days a week. The enthusiasm and appreciation of these young monks is incredible, and every day you can enjoy that rewarding feeling you get knowing your work is making a real and important difference to the lives of others.
Volunteer Buddhist monastery English teaching programs exist for young monks to learn the basis of the language from a fluent English speaker.
This role does involve some research and preparation, as a lesson plan must be provided for each session. It is also recommended that volunteers bring some resources, particularly basic, language conversation learning books; as such things are in short supply in Nepal.
Nepal monastery volunteer work isn’t all classroom based though. Volunteers are also asked to organize creative activities such as painting, drawing, and singing. There are also plenty of opportunities to observe or take part in traditional Buddhist rituals, and make memories you will carry in your heart forever.
You don’t need any specific qualifications to join our volunteer opportunity teaching English to Monks in Nepal. However, volunteers must always be respectful of the monks' high social status, and their attention to commendable life rules. Only very focused and disciplined volunteers with a sensible, mature attitude should join this project.
Gaining insight into the Nepalese language and culture is a good idea before you join your volunteer work teaching English to monks program. If this sounds interesting and useful you should consider enrolling in our one week Nepal Language Studies & Cultural Immersion program.
Living in a Buddhist monastery and teaching English to Buddhist monks is an amazing opportunity to both make a difference in the life of the monks and get first-hand experience of Buddhist culture. Volunteers in a Buddhist monastery are offered an open invitation to join in any of their regular religious activities, such as periods spent chanting and praying inside the temple.
Please note that this schedule may differ from monastery to monastery.
In most cases Nepal monastery volunteers both live and work at the monastery. There are a few exceptions, such as the odd monastery that is not allowed to have any females around after sundown. If that is the case the volunteers affected stay with a host family within walking distance of the project. The country coordinator will take charge of organizing your accommodation.
As we work with many monasteries in Nepal you will be notified of the name, and all other information you need regarding your placement and accommodation when we have received your completed registration form.
The age of the monks depends on the particular monastery in which you are appointed to. Typically, the monks who you will be teaching range in age between 6 and 16 years old.
A monastery usually has between 50 and 150 monks. A normal class size is between 10 and 12 students.
When you volunteer abroad teaching English to Monks in Nepal with this program, you will create your own lesson plan and teach basic conversational English. It is not unusual for two volunteers to share duties and teach together.
No, there is no set curriculum. It is up to you to assess your students and determine the individual levels and needs of your students. You will plan and teach according to your specific group of students; therefore, bringing conversational English books suitable for different grade level will be a good help.
You will typically be working Monday through Friday, and teaching for 2-4 hours a day. For the rest of your time at the monastery you are welcome to sit in on the chanting and prayer sessions.
Due to winter activities, the volunteer abroad teaching English to Monks in Nepal program is not available from the last week of December to the second week in February. Please confirm that you are available outside of this time period prior to applying for the program.
Volunteers in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal must not underestimate the amount of self and group discipline it requires. There are a lot of rules and customs which volunteers are expected to follow. These include both obvious vices such as a 100% ban on drinking alcohol and smoking, no matter how little, along with others, like not playing outdoor games which may be difficult to understand in a second language.
Sadly not all children around the world spend their young lives in a caring, loving, secure family environment. Every year hundreds of children living in the poorest of circumstances in Nepal leave their families and villages behind to look for work in big, bustling cities. They have no choice, but in most cases they don’t find any opportunity to reach for the dreams they imagined would be out there. In reality most of these children have little or no education, and end up working in the child labor trade, toiling for hours for little reward in hotels, factories and restaurants.
The positive news is that some people do care about this problem, and they work hard to place these disadvantaged street children in orphanages where they have some chance of an education, decent food and the love and care all children need to thrive. RCDP support these projects by placing caring foreign volunteers there to help with the daily care and learning needs of the kids who call it home.
Joining our volunteer Nepal orphanage work program is an amazing practical and worthwhile way to help provide children in need with a better future. It is an experience which is destined to change your attitude to life too, and one which will provide a lifetime of memories to cherish.
As a volunteer in a Nepal orphanage your primary role is to provide support and care. This involves a variety of tasks, such as teaching basic English, or other subjects such as math and science if you feel confident about doing that, to youngsters who are eager to learn. Plus it gets better - volunteers also plan and supervise leisure activities including games, sports, and creative opportunities involving drawing, painting and singing. This helps these deprived kids learn and grow in the way all children have a right to.
There are no specific qualifications needed to join our volunteer abroad in an orphanage in Nepal program. However, even a basic understanding of Nepalese language and culture is very valuable for Nepal orphanage volunteers, so it is worth thinking about signing up for our week long Nepal language studies and cultural immersion program which can be completed before joining the project.
Of course, all volunteers need to be extremely patient, understanding, flexible and have a genuine ability to understand and get along with children; as well as a passionate commitment to helping improve their lives and prospects.
In Nepal we work with many orphanages. Once you have completed the registration process all the information you need will be forwarded to you.
The tasks volunteers on this program get involved with are quite varied, so every day is exciting and interesting. Typical volunteer work in orphanages in Nepal on an RCDP project involve:
Yes! You can volunteer at any time!
The children that you work with and get to know are very likely to quickly become strongly attached to you; therefore it is important that you are a positive role model for these children at all times.
It is also advised that you do not leave the premises after dusk.
Nepal has many wonderful natural resources, and it is particularly known for its lush green forests. Unfortunately these wonders of nature are fast becoming depleted for two key reasons. Firstly, the nation has become seriously over-dependant on them for daily survival, and secondly, the majority of local people simply don’t understand or think about the long term consequences of deforestation at its current rate.
The RCDP Nepal volunteer work with nature conservation in Nepal program is helping to tackle this issue in several ways. Existing Nepal's indigenous species conservation efforts are supported by offering free tree seedlings for planting, while teaching local people key points about the importance of conservation. This is the perfect opportunity for those looking for meaningful environmental volunteer opportunities abroad.
This environmental conservation volunteer in Nepal program is located in the rural village of Chitwan; the ideal place to enjoy the natural beauty of this country. Nature conservation volunteering involves various tasks, so you will get hands-on experience of preparing nursery beds, sowing seeds, and weeding, trimming, pruning, and thinning various indigenous tree species.
The planted seedlings are grown and nurtured by our volunteers, then later they will be distributed at no charge to villages in other parts of Nepal. Depending on the season, additional tasks may include planting, collecting seeds, replanting, eliminating diseased trees, and inventorying fauna and flora. Your work in this conservation area of Nepal is extremely valuable, and each day you are there helps to create and safeguard a self sufficient future for the people of this wonderful country.
No specific qualifications are needed to join our volunteer experience with nature conservation in Nepal. However, some insight into Nepalese culture and at least a basic understanding of the language will make for an even more rewarding experience. It is worth looking at joining the one week language studies and cultural immersion program we offer before joining this useful and life changing environmental conservation volunteer project in Nepal.
Please note that many of the biodiversity conservation in Nepal projects are quite physical, so our conservation volunteers must be in good physical shape. You should also be enthusiastic and a self-starter, yet be able to follow directions well.
The schedule content and timetable depends on the time of year you join the program.
Between November and February volunteers work from 10am-5pm
Between March and October volunteers work from 7am-10am and 3pm-6pm
On a volunteer with nature conservation in Nepal project you will be assisting a nursery leader. The nursery leader will be in charge of drawing up timetables for and assigning projects for the volunteers.
Yes! The volunteer experience with nature conservation in Nepal project is available year around. However, the daily timetable and work assigned depends on the month you join the program.
Good health is essential to live a happy and productive life, yet a huge number of Nepalese people, from children through to the elderly, never have the chance to access adequate health care services. The government funds some public health centers to cater to rural residents, but the majority are understaffed, while many of the remaining workers are stressed, demotivated, and mostly unable to provide the care needed.
RCDP Nepal works with compassionate volunteer groups who care about overcoming this situation, and work towards making good quality health care available to disadvantaged people in Nepal. Want to know the best part? By organizing medical volunteer in Nepal programs RCDP contributes to breaking this cycle and facilitating positive change.
Choosing to volunteer in a Nepal hospital is a decision caring people with an interest or background in the medical field. Your main role will be to help and support local doctors and medical staff with patient treatment. Additionally, Nepal medical volunteers help with tasks such as updating records and treating minor injuries.
Due to the potential risks, and medical regulations, volunteers cannot treat patients or become involved in surgery during the project. Instead, medical volunteers in Nepal will shadow local doctors and learn mostly from observation.
Medical volunteer opportunities in Nepal generally attract those studying or practicing in branches of the medical system such as nursing, dentistry, medicine or the emergency medical services. In those cases it is advised you bring certification or proof of studies with you – as this may allow you to be assigned different tasks. However, anyone with an interest in healthcare, passionate about equal access to good health for all, and committed to helping those who have little or nothing is welcome to apply to volunteer in a Nepal hospital.
Although your exact duties could change depending on things like your prior experience, qualifications and the needs of the patients who visit each day, most medical volunteers in Nepal will spend their time at the project doing the following:
When you sign up for volunteer work on a healthcare project in Nepal, you will mainly work in hospitals in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara. However, sometimes volunteers are placed in small community based clinics.
Placements depend mainly on the skills and competence of each individual volunteer.
Yes! You can volunteer at any time!
Yes, you will be fully supported by hospital administration staff, who will teach you everything you need to know about each department and what they do.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that this program is not about standing in for local doctors or other medical professionals. Instead it is a valuable opportunity to learn, and to help with support tasks as required.
It is also good to have an open mind and a flexible attitude as a medical volunteer in Nepal, especially as cultural differences may mean things are done in an unfamiliar or surprising way, compared to your home country.
It is important to note that this is not an opportunity to fill the shoes of local doctors; this is more of a learning and observational opportunity. It is important to have an open and flexible mind.
NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) cover generic information, and therefore this should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly, so participants should always check things out before making any commitments.
RCDP’s innovative and exiting volunteer program in photojournalism in Nepal has two main aims. As well as providing journalism volunteers with the chance to document aspects of this magnificent country in picture form, there is a strong focus on cultivating skilled and open-minded photojournalists. To achieve the latter aim the guidance of an experienced professional, who works for a respected local newspaper, is available to help.
Journalism volunteers work alongside a supervisor, (an experienced professional who works for a respected local newspaper), covering various events and locations. Exact schedules will be decided between the volunteer and their supervisor/mentor, who will generally travel to the sites of stories together on a motorcycle, which is the perfect transportation to navigate the maze of Kathmandu's traffic.
RCDP’s excellent photojournalism programs require volunteers to understand how to use a camera and the basics of what makes for successful photojournalism work. You should also be able to take direction and think quickly, as this work is carried out in fast moving environments.
An insight into Nepalese language and culture is always valuable on a volunteer journalism program in Nepal, so we offer an optional one-week language studies and cultural immersion program to meet this need.
The exact activities and tasks assigned will depend on what was planned and agreed between the volunteer and mentor. However, below are fairly standard examples of the kind of activities you could be involved with.
Yes! You can join any Monday!
All volunteers will be regarded as freelancers, therefore in most cases you will not work exclusively with just one newspaper. However, if you have only one specific a publication you would like to work with please let us know and we will try to arrange it for you.
Your hours will depend on the specific story you are covering, but in most cases you can expect to be working for 4-5 hours a day. It may be less on quiet days, and more if a story breaks or is more complicated than expected.
There are two key things to keep in mind. Firstly, this program generally involves working with several publications on a freelance style basis. If you really only want to work with one you must mention this in your resume, and let your country coordinator know too. Then, secondly, getting the most out of your journalism volunteer experience means being constantly alert to opportunities to capture the shots you want.
Nepal – a country famed for being home to Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, the breathtaking scenery and tranquil landscapes are dotted with ancient temples, a true feast for the eyes of those who visit each year. Unfortunately, despite its natural beauty Nepal is not always a nurturing sanctuary for those who live there. With over 30% of the population earning less than $14 a month Nepal is considered to be one of the world’s poorest countries.
Thousands of Nepalese people living in villages around the Kathmandu valley, and in other parts of Nepal struggle to meet their basic daily needs such as food, and few can find enough cash to fund treatment for their numerous health problems and medical issues. Consequently, many people die every year from illnesses and conditions which could generally have been either prevented, or treated effectively if access to decent health care had been an option.
Unfortunately, the government has very limited resources available to invest in more medical services for such huge numbers of people; so without help from those who choose to join medical volunteer Nepal projects there is no hope of meaningful change for these unfairly disadvantaged people.
RCDP’s medical camps in Nepal aim to provide primary medical and health services to people in poor communities in Nepal. The camps are portable, so are easily moved between villages in and around the Kathmandu valley, and through the suburbs of Kathmandu, to best help as many of the locals living in poverty as possible.
Staffed by a handful of local staff and a team of Nepal medical volunteers, the camp stays at each village for one or two weeks at a time. This way, once primary health care services have been delivered it can simply be relocated to the next location. By joining a Nepal volunteer medical project you can use your medical skills and knowledge for the greater good, and have a hugely positive impact on the lives of those who need your care.
Medical volunteer opportunities in Nepal offer you invaluable hands on experience. You will deliver treatment and essential health care information to the elders, women, disabled people and orphan children who have been left to fend for themselves. You will diagnose them, treat them accordingly, and provide basic health education on topics such as how to purify water to prevent diseases, cholera diarrhea and stomach bugs.
The camp will be led and supervised by a local doctor who will also be your team leader. He or she will help you at every step of your experience, by explaining the common health issues you will come across, allocate some patients and relevant tasks to you, give you advice when necessary, and help solve any communication problems you face while working as a volunteer in a Nepal hospital.
RCDP’s Nepal medical volunteering program is open to all those with some form of professional medical experience or training. So whether you are a medical student, or a very experienced doctor, you can find the perfect role to make best use of your skills. The people of Nepal are grateful for the time and effort volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists and paramedics – both qualified and still in training – put into these amazing and essential programs.
During your time as a Nepal medical volunteer you will see for yourself how the health care system works in a different country, and experience the positive impact every volunteer can have in each village.
In Nepal the medical camp will be led and coordinated by an experienced local doctor, who will also act as team leader and local contact for volunteers in Nepal hospitals. Your team leader will give advice, guidance, supervision, and information about local health issues. This support will help you to have the most rewarding medical volunteer abroad experience possible.
Your team leader will be in charge of coordinating volunteers and theirs tasks to ensure that everyone's medical expertise is used efficiently. He or she will stay with the team during the whole program period, and sometimes, depending on the needs of the medical volunteer team, local nurses and interpreters will work with you too.
The daily program itinerary of Nepal medical volunteers working in the camps varies depending on the needs of the communities, interests of the group, and the goals of the program.
You can expect to be given different tasks and responsibilities each day, as there isn't a fixed program itinerary. Below is a sample of what your program itinerary might look like.
Your Nepal medical volunteer experience starts with an orientation program in our Kathmandu office. During this session your team leader will fully explain everything you need to know about the Nepal volunteer medical program. It begins with an introduction to your host country: looking at its culture, history, geography, politics, and demographics, as well as some contemporary issues.
You will also learn about the medical camp and how it is run: its purpose, location, activities, users, and the common medical conditions seen. Your duties and responsibilities will also be explained during this time, along with information about health and safety procedures, your accommodation, meals, transport, plus what to do and what not to do both during your program, and in Nepal generally.
At the end of the session your team leader will answer your questions, clarify any doubts you might have, and review the itinerary for the week, day by day. You will learn valuable information during this comprehensive orientation that will help you as a medical volunteer who is about to help those in disadvantaged communities abroad.
If time allows, you will visit the medical camp for the first time. Then, depending on what happens that day, you might even start your volunteer activities!
Most Nepal medical volunteer camps run from Monday to Friday, leaving you the weekends free to explore the local villages and temples, visit the capital, or do some sightseeing at one of the many important Nepalese landmarks. After ten years of running volunteering programs in Nepal and assisting thousands of volunteers, we are in a prime position to help you to plan your weekend. We can offer you travel information, or organize an outing for you; just let us know what you need.
This program is repeated in the following week(s).
Important Notice: The sample itinerary above is intended to give you a general idea of how we run the medical camp. Prior to your departure we will send you a final customized itinerary of your medical volunteer trip in Nepal.
The medical camps do not have fixed locations, as they move between the villages and suburbs of Kathmandu, the capital. Nepal medical volunteers will find camps set up in various places at each location, including schools, orphanages, clubs and health centers, depending on the needs of the villagers.
This medical volunteer opportunity in Nepal will help any villagers in need of essential medical services, and is of special benefit to the most vulnerable people, such as the elders, women, and young children.
Definitely not. The services and treatments provided by the Nepal volunteer nurses and other volunteers on the team are always completely free, along with any medicines given out. Sometime additional medicines and food are distributed to the village populations in general, and it is helpful if those taking up one of these medical volunteer opportunities in Nepal bring any supplies and medicines they are able to.
Usually, the camp runs for one or two weeks, but how long you participate depends on how much time you have free, the dates you can join a medical volunteer Nepal program, and the goals you have set for yourself to achieve while there.
Nepal volunteer medical camp work offers you a unique opportunity to get involved with a variety of medical tasks. Your work or responsibilities will vary, depending upon the health conditions of local people, but here are a few examples of the tasks you can expect to perform:
The Nepal volunteer medical program aims to offer essential medical care to those who need it. There are many patients in this region that have complex health issues and are therefore in great need of advice, help, and treatment from specialists. Of course the medical camp patients change daily, and it is impossible to predict how often your particular specialist knowledge and skills will be called upon.
Regardless, in the role of medical volunteer in Nepal your existing knowledge will be extremely useful and you are welcome to use it to help the local people. However, due to liability issues, our own medical limitations, and the inability to follow patient’s progress up, we ask all volunteers not to perform surgical procedures.
We ask all volunteers participating in this medical volunteering program in Nepal, to bring medical supplies whenever it is possible. It really helps us a lot.
If you are able to bring some medicines or supplies please let us know and we will be happy to provide a list of what is needed the most at that particular time.
We ask all the volunteers who participate in this medical volunteering opportunity in Nepal to bring medicines and medical supplies to the medical camp, if at all possible. We usually buy medicine locally, and give it away for free, but sometimes we simply don’t have enough.
Below is a [sample] guide to the typical medical supplies needed:
During your volunteer trip to Nepal program, RCDP Nepal’s weekly fees include providing all of a volunteer’s meals, [traditional Nepalese food for breakfast, lunch and dinner - all made from local ingredients.
Our volunteer program in Nepal meal program can accommodate vegetarian needs; however, we are not able to cater for other dietary restrictions. Food and drinks outside of mealtimes are the volunteer's responsibility, but in most cases there are restaurants and markets near the homes where volunteers stay.
In Nepal volunteer accommodation varies depending on the project. Volunteers working on the Buddhist monk teaching project mostly stay in the monastery’s hostel. The hostel offers volunteers a comfortable standard of living in either a single or shared room, with a western style of toilet.
On the other hand, Nepal volunteer opportunities on orphanage, health/medical, and photo journalism programs generally stay in either a shared volunteer house, [in Kathmandu], or with a homestay family. The volunteer house is located in a safe area, and only used by international volunteers, and it offers a comfortable, homely, relaxed and social environment.
Rooms are mostly shared with another volunteer of the same gender, and communal spaces including a kitchen, bathrooms with running water and western toilets, and a TV area are cozy and well maintained. Free Wi-Fi is available, and there are decent shops, restaurants and public transport links close by.
If there are a large number of volunteers on projects at the same time some may be housed with a host family instead. Our families are chosen carefully, and are esteemed community members who have experience of hosting international travelers. Host family residences are in comfortable, clean and safe neighborhoods; and rooms are usually for solo occupancy, simply furnished and tidy. Staying with a host family provides an instant support system to volunteers in Nepal, and a great opportunity to learn about the country's culture and customs.
Unless you are traveling with your husband or wife, opposite gender rooming will not be permitted. You will either have your own private room or will be sharing with a same gender roommate. You can request to room with your travel partner if you are of the same sex.
Sometime, volunteers working in the orphanage project, may live in the orphanage hostel.
When you join a volunteer program in Nepal, it is highly advised that you do not eat food from street vendors and do not drink the tap water. You are responsible for paying for bottled water, or asking for your water to be boiled to drink for the day.
Nepal’s capital Kathmandu is a truly fascinating city with an eclectic personality. A place where incense smoke drifting from peaceful temples in hidden backstreets sweetens the air, competing in an unspoken battle against the choking diesel fumes spewing from gridlocked vehicles on busy roads. While the beggars and pushy street sellers plead their cases just a few hundred yards away from secluded historical gardens, blessed oasis of calm in an often frantic city.
Understanding the very fabric of a place makes for a richer experience within it, which is why, as part of your volunteering opportunity in Nepal RCDP offer an optional add on in the form of a one-week language and cultural orientation.
Held in Kathmandu, our intensive language and cultural immersion program, which is available when you join a volunteer abroad in Nepal program, includes language training, lessons on history, culture, ways of life, visits to local villages, towns, and markets, plus a guided tour of Kathmandu as well as local tourist attractions.
When you understand the life and culture around you, your experience volunteering in Nepal will be richer and more rewarding.
As an international traveler and volunteer, it is highly recommended that you take advantage of this affordable and beneficial opportunity.
The Nepal volunteer Immersion program begins on Monday of each month.
So, volunteers need to arrive in Kathmandu on the day Sunday before orientation. After you have registered for the program please book flights which arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu.
When you arrive in Nepal you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team, who will take you to the volunteer accommodation in Kathmandu. There is nothing extra to pay as these things are included in your Nepal volunteer program fee.
If you are planning to arrive early and do some traveling in the country before beginning your Nepal volunteer adventure let us know ahead of time. In those cases we can arrange for you to be picked up at a different (more convenient for you) destination in Kathmandu on the day before your program orientation.
The orientation for RCDP volunteers in Nepal is hosted by our local staff team in Kathmandu. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date, and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Nepal. These are: an introduction to Nepal and Nepalese customs, language training, safety tips and guidance, as well as information on general rules and expectations relating to your role as a volunteer in Nepal, insight into travel opportunities in the country, and an introduction to your project and exact placement.
The orientation is a great chance to make connections with other volunteers, and swap contact details so you can meet again to travel, explore and socialize during your stay.
You can begin a placement every Monday, however, as volunteering in Nepal has become so popular that, in general, you need to apply at least one or two months before the start date you have in mind. If you wish to speed this process up, and join a volunteer program in Nepal within around three months of applying, you should contact our office to discuss available options.
Your application documents are first reviewed by RCDP Volunteers, before being passed on to our Coordinator in Nepal, who is responsible for finding the perfect Nepal volunteer program placement for you, based on your qualifications, experience and interests. As soon as this is finalized the details will be passed on to you.
In general the entre process takes between one and two weeks, though it can take longer during busy times of the year. However, if you need to hurry things on for any reason you may be able to expedite your application. In that case please contact RCDP's offices before you send any documentation.
In most cases you only need to complete and submit the online volunteer programs in Nepal application form. Alternatively, the same document can be downloaded, filled out, and sent by either post or fax to RCDP's USA-based offices.
Are There Any Necessary Requirements To Participate In The Nepal-Based Volunteer Programs? The only essential qualifications needed to take up a Nepal volunteer work opportunity are: an open mind, a willingness to teach others, a passion for helping those in need, enthusiasm about the idea of living abroad and meeting new people, and good general health.
Volunteering in Nepal requires a tourist visa, and arranging this is your responsibility. RCDP Volunteers strongly recommend all volunteers apply for and secure a tourist visa before departing for Nepal. Please call our office, or contact the local Nepalese embassy to learn more about visa, visa fees, and visa extensions.
We have an experienced and knowledgeable ‘In-Country Coordinator based in Nepal who is responsible for matching potential volunteers in Nepal like you with the best possible project, based on your qualifications, skills and interests.
Project schedules vary for each project in Nepal. Most projects are from Monday to Friday
Although the exact schedule may vary to some extent depending on the project, in most cases volunteer programs in Nepal run on weekdays only, and require you to be on site for around five or six hours each day. This generally leaves the weekends completely free to see the sights and explore Nepal as you wish.
We normally advise Nepal volunteers to stay for anywhere between 2-12 weeks, in order to have the best chance of building relationships, and being able to see the difference your work makes.
The only international airport in Nepal is in Kathmandu, so all international flights arrive and depart from here. You are responsible for buying your return ticket, but our representative will meet you at the airport.
Volunteers should arrive in Nepal the day before their projects start, which is usually on a Sunday. If you decide to arrive any earlier than this you will need to arrange a place to stay, and make sure you can get back to the airport to be collected by a company rep.
All Nepal volunteers are met at the airport by a member of staff on the local team. You will be asked to send your travel itinerary to us at RCDP Volunteers once you have made a reservation. We pass this on to the Program Coordinator in Nepal so arrangements can be made). When you arrive simply look out for someone holding a sign with your name on it.
In the rare case that you cannot locate the local staff member responsible for collecting you simply call the Coordinator – we will provide the extensive contact details - who will fix things straightaway. It’s unlikely that this will be necessary, but as airports are often very busy it is best to be prepared.
If possible it is best you try to call our Nepal In-Country Coordinator from your departure airport, and let him know the situation, and any information you may have on possible new flight times.
Everyone who has signed up for one of our Nepal volunteer opportunities will be given information on decent hotels, all of which are recommended as suitable for those who arrive into Nepal much later than planned.
Finally, you can call or email our Nepal in-country Coordinator once you arrive, so that he can help arrange for you to be picked up.
In the event that your arrival time is changed/delayed, requiring you to stay overnight in a hotel, (or if you failed to meet our representative at the airport for some other reason), you should hire a taxi at the airport, and go to a hotel featured in your placement details/pre-departure information. (Don’t forget to get a receipt from the driver.)
Firstly, make sure you have packed wisely. Check out the weather and living conditions you can expect as a volunteer in Nepal, so every item packed is going to be useful. Apart from clothes it is worth bringing well fitting trekking shoes, sun block, vitamins, painkillers and water purifying tablets.
Double check you have all the essential documents needed, such as passport, visa and travel/arrival information.
Organize your finances, making sure you have access to around $50 [US] a week to cover your travel and personal expenses.
Finally, spend time getting your mind and spirit ready for what lies ahead. Learning about the culture of your destination country helps reduce the level of culture shock which most people experience at some point.
You are free to arrive several days or even weeks before joining your Nepal volunteer program. However, in that case you are completely responsible for organizing your own accommodation and food, and of course still go to the airport on the date agreed to meet a member of staff who will take you to your project.
We ask participants to depart from Nepal on the Sunday after their project is completed.
All Nepal volunteers will depart from Kathmandu International Airport.
RCDP does not offer a return airport drop-off service, so when you are at the end of your volunteering opportunity in Nepal arranging transport for this is your responsibility. If you need help to do this your local co-coordinator or host family will help you with pleasure.
It is possible to do this at the airport itself; but they may charge you by the hour, so it is not a good option for an extended period of time.
The living conditions of volunteers in Nepal mostly depend on the area you are assigned to, but in most cases they are closer to basic than luxurious.
In most cases you will have your own room, unless you request to stay with another volunteer, of course. However, in some cases you will have no choice but to share a room with another volunteer.
In the monastery you will not be allowed to sleep in the same room, but this would not be a problem if you are staying with a host family.
This depends on the individual placement. On average we send around 5-10 volunteers to Nepal each month, so although not guaranteed it is quite likely. If working with other volunteers is crucial to you please let us know.
Volunteers in Nepal will have to do laundry by hand, which is worth bearing in mind when packing. Easy wash and dry, non-crease clothes will be much easier to keep clean.
Yes, so long as they are compatible with the electricity system in Nepal, which is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. You will require a voltage converter if you want to use a device which is designed for a different current.
You can expect tasty, healthy but quite plain food in Nepal. Typical meals include things like rice, dhal (lentil dishes), vegetables, pickles, and sometimes some meat.
Nepalese tap water is generally not safe to drink. We recommend that volunteers in Nepal purchase bottled water, [make sure that the cap's seal is not broken!] Alternatively you can request that your host family boil some water for you each day, which you can drink when cooled.
No, you need to either buy it yourself or boil and cool water from the tap.
Nepal is generally safer now, since peace negotiations between rebels and governments. However, political unrest does still flare up, and this can cause disruptions to such things as the transport system.
Before planning to volunteer in Nepal check the Center for Disease Control’s website, (www.cdc.gov), for up to date information on any current health concerns you need to be aware of.
Your physician or staff at a travel clinic will be able to advise on any necessary vaccinations required prior to travel.
Nobody wants to get sick when they are away from home, and luckily most people don’t. Still, I you fall ill or need medical help while volunteering in Nepal RCDP local staff will be on hand to provide support and advice as needed.
No! While you are in Nepal it’s vital you pay close attention to food safety issues, and where possible it is wisest to avoid eating food from street stalls. It is impossible to know if the goodies on offer have been contaminated with bacteria or chemicals, and in Nepal food storage, preparation, and cooking methods are probably quite different to those in your home country.
You should be prepared for public toilets to be dirtier than in your home country, and possibly not even to be the western style you are used to. Toilets in hotel lobbies are generally cleaner, so you could watch out for those when out and about.
Carry tissues with you as it is not likely to be seen in public bathrooms, and although it’s more likely, paper isn’t guaranteed to be found in hotel restrooms unless they are top end.
Nepalese toilets, if they have plumbing, generally can’t cope with things like feminine hygiene products, so throw them away in the trash rather than flush them.
Credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Master and Visa are generally accepted at large hotels or tourist stores. You also can withdraw cash from the ATMs of most international banks, but $2 - 4 USD surcharges will probably be added to each transaction. Remember that ATMS will only be available in the cities, so beyond those areas you should use traveler's checks.
Before flying to Lukla make sure you have cash with you, as this region does not have any ATM machines.
The official currency of Nepal is the Rupee.
Current exchange rates can be found using a currency converter like www.xe.com, or checking in a newspaper like the Wall Street Journal.
Foreign currency or traveler's checks can be exchanged for local money at various banks and hotels. Traveler's checks may be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages, and travelers are advised to have some cash on hand. [Travelling with large amounts of cash is never wise, so try to exchange only what you need at one time.]
Around $250 to exchange at the airport should cover things like transportation, and any extra expenses you might have. Beyond that, it's really up to you, depending on how much shopping and sightseeing you plan to do.
It is worth bearing in mind that although many things in Nepal are relatively cheap, eating out in the Everest region is quite expensive in comparison. Restaurant meals and bakeries offer very good quality food, but it will cost roughly the same as in your home country.
Carrying cash is not safe; therefore it’s best to avoid doing so. Important Reminder: Make sure you keep your receipts whenever you exchange any currency or traveler's checks to Rupees. Without the receipts as proof you will not be able to exchange Nepalese currency back to any other currency upon your departure.
The detailed contact information for your in-country coordinator will be sent to you with your placement details.
Possibly. It’s best to contact your provider about service and roaming charges, and check whether you can substitute a Nepalese SIM card, (purchased in Nepal), for your US card.
You can, and it will be quite cheap. Ask your local coordinator for more information or help.
Volunteers should dress conservatively when working at their projects. Jeans and a T-shirt, or knee length shorts are acceptable, but you shouldn’t wear revealing shorts or tank tops. Nepalese women usually cover most of their body.
In general Nepalese people have no issues with those with different belief systems, cultural experiences or lifestyles from themselves. However, this tolerance should always be returned by visitors, particularly in relation to Hindu temples or special religious festivals; which may not always be open to visitors like yourself.
Nepalese culture is rich in customs and traditions, and the people of this ancient country love to share their customs and traditions with foreigners, so feel free to ask questions or get involved. You can go with your host family on outings if they ask you to, or invite them along with you to a fun event. Simply helping your family do household chores will be another bonding experience that you can enjoy. Remember to be respectful of Nepali customs and traditions while traveling: for example, it's customary to use your right hand when eating, and motioning to or touching others while eating is regarded as ill-mannered.
Any time of the year is a great time to visit Nepal in general, though December to February is the best time to be in the Everest region. September through November, and March through May, are the best months for trekking, an activity best avoided in the summer due to the heavy rains.
The winters are mild in Katmandu with no snow, and in general the altitude helps defeat the heat of high summer, creating a decent but not overpowering warm climate.
Nepal is not always as cold as people think it is, or expect it to be. Geographically, the country is divided into three parts: the “Nepal” region is very cold in winter, while the "mid hill" region (Kathmandu and Pokhara), and "mid-terai" region, (Chitwan) have different climates in different seasons. In general it is wise to pack warmer clothing which can be layered as needed if visiting between November and February. Summer clothes are fine for the other months.
Lightweight clothing and rainwear is recommended, as well as warmer clothing for the evenings, (light jacket and/or light sweaters) for the summer months. See the information in the previous question for advice about winter clothing. A solid pair of walking shoes is highly recommended for trekking.
NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) feature generic information which is given in good faith, but not intended to provide a definitive guide to traveling in Nepal. Additionally, it is always important to check the political and social situation in any destination prior to traveling as situations can evolve over time. RCDP staff or other relevant sources may be able to help with this if consulted before your trip begins.