There is no better way to know what to expect when you volunteer with us in Nepal than to ask the people who’ve been here already
In this section of the website we want to share the direct accounts of past volunteers’ experiences working with us in Nepal. We have had volunteers from all over the world, doing many different programs across Nepal, so hopefully their reports will be inspiring and interesting to read.
Past volunteer contacts:
- Australia: Lucy – Volunteered at Centre for Children with Intellectual Disabilities, Kathmandu during October 2014.
- USA: Kirstin– Deaf school in Banepa
- USA: Nancy – Teacher Trainer in Kathmandu
- Holland: Marcel – Orphanage in Kathmandu
- USA: Maureen – Fundraising support in Kathmandu
- Hungary: Gabor and Kristzina– Teaching English
- England: Nick and Holly – teaching in Kathmandu
- USA: Mark – Group construction in Kathmandu
- Canada: Jason – Women’s Groups and proposal writing in Kathmandu
- Canada (French speaking): Michelle – Orphanage in Pokhara
- Japan: Yoko – Orphanage in Kathmandu
- Australia: Lee – Health clinic in Solukhumbu
- New Zealand: Naomi
- USA: Marielle – Orphanage work in Kathmandu
- Canada: Michelle – Health Clinic and Health Camps
- USA: Melissa – Health Program in Kathmandu
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Videos: You can also get a clear idea of Nepal and what we do here from our Videos page. Click here
Hana Frankova, Germany
Kaskikot little village somewhere near the Annapurna
Children singing voices. Namaste, new miss, namaste! big eyes and millions of questions. Children grabbing my hands. Me feeling surprised and happy. And speechless.
My school. So tiny, surrounded by snowy mountains, full of impatient kids, so eager to learn, yet both curious and concerned of who I was and what weird things I wanted. ‘Why should we answer in whole sentences, why is she correcting us, why can’t we simply write down few words and go home? And look she is not beating us! Can we get REALLY noisy then?’ These inner questions were obvious. But I was often doubting if I can make any change.
And then as the days went on, I realized it’s silly to try to change things, but it IS possible to influence them. I wasn’t able to teach them all the English I wanted to. But I could better it a bit. I could treat the kids as their friend, I could give them my attention and love, and I could receive theirs. ‘We have no elder sister in our family. So now YOU will be our elder sister, didi. And you have to call me bhai, younger brother, remember!’
Nepal is a beautiful Tolkiens Middle-earth like country breathtaking ancient temples, amazing nature, wide opened smiling kids eyes and deep wrinkled old men faces and contrasts. Wonderful people, and few bad ones. Joy, and sometimes sadness. Both hope and hopelessness around. And the magic thing about Nepal is despite all the political issues and poverty, that joy and hope always prevails.
During my month with VSN I’ve realized many things, many things became clearer. I gained new friends, both Nepali and other volunteers from different parts of the world, I got to know many things about Nepal, about children, and about myself. I’ve experienced the real local village life, I’ve learned not to be afraid of buffaloes and I was playing with little goats all around, I became more open to new things and cultures, I’ve learned that I can do more things than I would ever assume.
This whole experience gave me many things, and I hope I gave something to my kids, too. Before I came here, I was very nervous, scared, asking myself every day if this was really a good decision. Now I know it was.Will you remember us sometimes when you return to your country, miss? Yes, I will remember every single one. I know this, too. And I also know that I will come back.
Robert Yeilding, USA
Volunteering as a teacher in Kathmandu
My five weeks of volunteer teaching in Kathmandu was an experience like no other for me. I had the opportunity to learn the local language, create many lasting relationships, teach in different areas, travel and see the beautiful land, and give back to the children I have gained so much from. A typical day began at the orphanage a 2 minute walk away from where I was staying for about an hour of an English lesson and reviewing the children’s homework with them. I would arrive at one of the two schools I was placed in around 11 and taught anywhere from 2 to 4 classes on a given day. With the children so eager and interested to speak with me teaching was really fun.
I was even able to teach multiple subjects and especially enjoyed those of great interest to me in science and health. After the school day and a rest I spent evenings at the orphanage playing, relaxing, and practicing English.
From my first day in Nepal I felt so welcomed and comfortable. It took less than a week for me to feel like I was walking home from the school 15 minutes away to the wonderful family I stayed with. I recommend VSN Nepal to anyone looking for an amazing experience.
Pierre O. Brudrean, Canada
To look at the cloudy horizon and to lose yourself there a little… A smile which crosses the linguistic barrier in an impressive way… Nepal welcomed me, touched me and even more, continues to touch me… Here is in some words an outline of what was my environment and my daily activities for the few months spent in this beautiful country…
The introduction in the community made possible with the help of VSN Nepal, and the NGO (non governmental organization) was always there during key moments of our volunteering project, although not overprotective, leaving place for us to organize our activities. We were lodged by a family which was very much involved in the community for the total duration of our training course. Dimension of the family life was if not more important as much as the activities we had during our stay. Since the family and community values are very present and strong within the Nepalese culture, living with people of the community enabled us to be an integral part of the village and thus made the meeting and development of relationships easier. The contact with the culture itself, the life habits, traditions, festivals, etc was thus very strong. The exchanges with the members close to the family were particularly interesting and advantageous to the comprehension of the culture and especially pleasant and new, certain situations helping us to develop personal skills. To play with the children who were always around and felt like they were at home even if they were from different houses, to discuss the differences of preferences and models towards the teenagers regarding their culture with my host sister or simply to learn how to cook with the Nepalese…
Martin Charette, Canada
My experience with VSN Nepal is unforgettable. My friend and I were living With a family, in a village south of Kathmandu. Everyday, we were teaching English language to two groups of approximately 10 students. Students were job-holders or college students who wanted to improve their English skills. The great thing about teaching to adults is that you can really have interesting discussions, debates, and talk about more concrete topics in class, such as politics, environment, culture, etc.
We were also working in the local health post. Even if our practical Medical knowledge was limited when we arrived, the nurses and assistants were really kind with us, teaching us what they knew. From patients’ examination to injections, we learned to do everything that can be done in a health post!
People from VSN Nepal were really supportive too. before beginning, they gave us Nepali language classes, introduced Nepali culture and showed us important places around Kathmandu. During our volunteer work, they were always present and supportive, giving us teaching materials for our classes and more.
I will never forget what I learned in Nepal, and will always remember My nepali friends and family.
Stijn & Sofie, Belgium
After graduating as social workers we decided to do volunteer work. Now we just completed our 2-month volunteering experience. As we have so many things its very difficult to write in a summary because every day in Nepal was a different adventure! The first few days were a big culture shock! The traffic attacks all your senses, the culture is completely different and the language is hard to understand. Also the poverty which you can see everywhere was hard to take. But, VSN provided enough support with Nepali language and cultural classes, sight seeing, work orientation. All those supports compelled us to take every easily and started loving Nepal and Nepali people. We found Nepali people appreciate it very much when you just say some Nepali words. Everywhere where we went, people treated us so friendly and social! As Western people, we should take an example of this.
Our host family was great: a nice warm family who gives enough space to do the things that you want. All the people are very flexible and open, and they want you to be happy! When we start working in an orphanage with 42 children we felt very uncomfortable because the children didn’t know us, didn’t speak English and we didn’t know what to do with them. So we just find our way observing and playing and one week later it felt like we knew them for months! At the end of this volunteer work the contact with the kids is so warm that they ask us to stay¦the baby even cried when we said good bye in the evening. Sometimes we go home with mixed feelings because you see that they don’t have much toys, not much food, dirty clothes, no heat, so we tried, together with VSN, to solve as many problems as we can and give the children a nice home. For example: we provided fruits and vegetables twice a week, we painted all the dorms and the classroom, we put down some warm carpet and decorated the rooms. We saw that the kids love it and that gives so much satisfaction!