Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and altitude variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60 meters above sea level to the highest point on earth, Mount Everest at 8,848 meters, all within a distance of 150 kilometers resulting in climatic conditions from sub-tropical to arctic.
Nepal has been monarchy throughout most of its history and was ruled by the Shah Dynasty of kings from 1768. However, a decade-long Civil War by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties led to the establishment of a federal multiparty representative democratic republic. In October 2015, Bidhya Devi Bhandari was nominated as the first female president.
Nepal has a population of about 27 million people. Education is not compulsory here so only 57% of the population is literate. The primary religions in Nepal are Hinduism (80%) & Buddhism (10%). There are more than 60 different ethnic groups in Nepal, each having their own unique dialect and culture.
The staple Nepali meal is dal bhat. Dal is a lentil soup, and is served over bhat (boiled rice), with tarkari (curry/vegetables) together with achar (pickles) or chutni (spicy condiment made from fresh ingredients). Most of the Nepalese foods are very easy to eat for vegetarian. Much of the cuisine is variation on Asian themes. Other foods have hybrid Tibetan, Indian and Thai origins. Momo—Tibetan style dumplings with Nepali spices—are one of the most popular foods in Nepal. There are plenty of café and restaurants serving European food catering to originally to tourists but increasingly to local people too.
Prices for volunteering in Nepal start at £1225 for 2 weeks
Education in Nepal is severely lacking in structure, resources and delivery. Although there is access to education in Nepal, it is often lacking in quality or extremely expensive. English language skills are exceptionally useful in Nepal as tourism is its main source of revenue and therefore all hotels, tour companies and trekking companies, require English.
Therefore, children and young adults are extremely driven to study English and learn about other cultures. We work closely with rural government schools which lack even the most basic of resources, teachers who are disengaged due to low salaries and children who are desperate to learn. Even with little resources teachers have learnt to use what they can find and classes are often taught outside to engage the students with the local nature.
The government does not require extra-curricular activities and non-formal education and therefore children are lacking in skills such as arts and crafts, sports, music and drama. Without non-formal education in the school environment teachers battle to keep the children engaged and enthused with their learning.
Nevertheless, fantastic results have been seen over the past few years at our partner schools due to the influx of volunteers who tirelessly work with the children and young adults at our projects to improve their English, teach them sports and improve the schools resources.
For volunteers driven by improving education, working alongside local teachers at rural government schools will enable you to contribute and engage the younger generations of Nepal.
If you are a qualified teacher or a trainee teacher assisting and advising on new teaching methods, expanding curriculums and providing teacher training are all ways you can ensure once you have left Nepal, improvements will continue to be made. If you have no previous experience with teaching, this does not mean you cannot be involved with this programme.
Particular focus is placed on improving the quality of spoken English of the children and young adults that attend our partner schools; therefore, if you speak English you can help. Invaluable input is also placed on extra-curricular activities which you can choose depending on your skill sets.
Teaching the students about your home country and its culture will enable the students to quickly adapt to life in the tourism sector when then graduate from school or university.
This programme is sustainable as many of the students come from rural farming families who rely on the younger generation to support the older generation in later life. If the son or daughter of a family can receive quality education and seek a well-paid job, both the children and the parents will have a sense of life security.
Nepal is small but beautiful country, despite its beauty and grandeur it is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with over 25% of its population living below the poverty line.
A country of contrasts, Nepal boasts a dramatic landscape and a rich culture however it is susceptible to natural disasters like flood, landslides and earthquake. Along with this its feudal and religious heritage mean that discrimination between gender and caste still prevails.
The massive earthquake, which occurred between April-May 2015, has affected thousands of households. The livelihood of many has disrupted and there’s an immense need to help out the communities affected by the earthquake and poverty. Despite a pledge by the Nepal Government to the UN to empower its women by 2015, gender discrimination remains a constant harsh reality. A girl child is often seen by their family as a burden. Instead of receiving education and the chance of a better job, they are arranged to be married at an early age and become dependent upon their husband. Approximately 48% of the population remain illiterate, the statistics are significantly higher for women.
We are looking for volunteers who can bring positive energy and skills to help these communities affected by the earthquake and suffering severe financial crunches. We are working towards empowering young people especially women to help sustain a livelihood. Our aim is to help these marginalized communities to be financially independent.
We like to set up small businesses in the community and help it retain by bringing on experienced or skilled volunteers. We are also looking into helping young people secure jobs through skill building workshops on CV/cover letter writing, interview skills etc. Along with this, we want to give out vocational training to the interested members on beauty/salon, handicrafts, bakery, farming etc. This will ultimately support the communities, we work with, to secure a sustainable livelihood.
We look forward to welcoming volunteers who have any of these skills:
Nepal has been made famous for its tourism, trekking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, national wildlife parks, jungle safaris, bungee jumping, river rafting, sport fishing, and its many beautiful temples and places of worship. Here are three destinations to give you a hint of what Nepal has to offer.
Arriving in Kathmandu is a pleasant shock for those travelling to Nepal straight from home. The old-world streets, intense, bustling markets and crumbling architecture is a beautiful and captivating embrace on first arrival. Settle in and you will discover the beauty of laid-back Kathmandu, the breath-taking historic capital of Nepal. Located at a dizzying 4,600 ft, Kathmandu is the gateway to all of Nepal’s main attractions, with all treks and hiking trails available to book here.
Stroll through the charming medieval alleys of Bhaktapur and you will feel like you have traveled back in time in this well preserved city. Bhaktapur’s rich culture, ancient temples, and fine, intricate carvings are just a few reasons why you too should be caught by its majestic lure. Not to mention the fantastic backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
Patan is an ancient and beautiful temple saturated city containing a myriad of old brick lanes leading to unimaginably pretty squares and courtyards. It is located just the other side of the Bagmati River in Lalitpur district.
Everyone that travels to Nepal will agree that Pokhara is one of those gems that you feel you must revisit a number of times in your lifetime, and it’s almost always included in their ‘favorite cities’ list. You get the perfect opportunity to hire a bike and zoom off into the sunset up any of the surrounding mountains to get a scintillating panoramic aerial view of the lake.
The Inspire team in Nepal have arguably the most awe inspiring base to work from. Based in Kathmandu, they are able to work in sight of the mighty Himalaya’s every day! There to help you from project work to giving suggestions of how to explore this incredible country, our Nepal team are led by Sachita.
Sachita is a public health graduate from Kathmandu, Nepal. She is passionate about working with and for young people, especially children and women, taking them at the forefront of positive change and development. She has led youth projects like dance4life, a global initiative to equip young people with life skills to make healthy life choices in matters related to their Sexual and Reproductive health using music and dance, in Nepal. She was a part of curriculum development team for a project with UNICEF Nepal where she designed and developed a Comprehensive life skill manual for holistic development of adolescents. She also served as the Youth Representative in the Commission for Ending Childhood Obesity for World Health Organization. She is been working with FutureSense in Nepal since November 2014.
Sachita is joined by Sofia Hegstad Su, a 24 year old woman from Norway with Norwegian, Vietnamese and Chinese heritage. She recently finished her bachelor in Entrepreneurship and economy from BI Norwegian Business School in 2015. Most of her work experience has been from managing cafés and working at Michelin starred restaurants. In addition she has volunteered multiple times at orphanages in both Vietnam and Uganda. She enjoyed volunteering because you combine both travel and helping others. The reason why she applied to work with FutureSense Foundation was to gain more knowledge about the non-profit sector and to turn her passion for volunteering into a full-time job.
Prices for volunteering in Nepal start at £1225 for 2 weeks