There is a real shortage of skilled physiotherapists and occupational therapists in Nepal. If you’re currently training in physiotherapy or occupational therapy (with at least one year of experience), recently qualified or mid-career, your help in Nepal can provide valuable treatment to babies, children, and adults with a wide range of physical problems.
The experience of completing a physiotherapy or occupational therapy placement in Nepal will in return give you a greater understanding of how professionals in the field operate in developing countries. And it’s an opportunity to utilize your skills for the benefit of others.
Projects that we offer are:
- The Disabled Rehabilitation Center in Kathmandu
- Center for children with intellectual and physical disabilities in Kathmandu
- Disabled Home in Kathmandu (children and adults)
- School for children with physical disabilities in Kathmandu
- Rehabilitation hospitals in Kathmandu
- Special Rehabilitation Centers in Kathmandu or Banepa (about one hour’s drive from Kathmandu).
- Elderly homes in Pokhara
- Autism Center in Pokhara
Your role as a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist
It is important for volunteers to have a positive attitude and a real willingness to help children and adults with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities if they are to work in either one of these placements.
In some centers there is a schedule that allows each child to spend quality time in the physical therapy room as often as possible. Each child or adult has different needs: some are learning to walk, some suffer from muscular problems, while others need to have their joints massaged regularly to maintain their physical health. Extra assistance with these tasks will allow more children and adults to get treatment on a regular basis.
In many places you will work alongside one of the local physical therapists and assist children and adults with a variety of ailments including landmine victims, people who have suffered from polio, people with cerebral palsy, and children with club feet. Depending on your level of knowledge and experience you may be given your own patients to work with. When you work at the hospitals, your rolewill vary depending on your education and experience. First, you will begin by shadowing the local Nepali staff. When you show enthusiasm and develop a good relationship with the staff, you will be rewarded with more responsibilities. The hospital’s facilities are often basic and the treatment standards will probably be different from what you’re used to. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases, and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients.
What accommodation will I be living in?
Wherever you choose to volunteer in Nepal you will be placed in a home stay with a local Nepali family. By living with a family you will gain a greater insight and understanding of Nepali culture. The standard of lodging will depend on whether you are in a rural or urban area. In a rural area the facilities will be basic with minimal running water and a squat toilet. However, in an urban placement you will most likely have a flushing Western style toilet and a shower. All of your food will be provided for you at your home stay and you will never be more than 30 minutes from your place of work. For more information on what to expect in a home stay have a look at our Food and Accommodation Page.