Volunteer Society Nepal has a variety of health placements to ensure that your medical expertise benefits the most people
Adequate medical care is a serious problem in rural and urban areas of Nepal. The rapid movement of people to Kathmandu due to the civil war and to seek better financial opportunities has left much of the city’s public health infrastructure desperately oversubscribed. For many of the poor living in Kathmandu seeing a doctor is simply not an affordable option, meanwhile in rural areas health facilities are also in short supply due to poor transportation links and funding.
Additionally, there is a cultural challenge in providing modern healthcare. Many traditional Nepali people are suspicious or do not know enough about Western medicine to trust it.
To improve the healthcare situation in Nepal organizations like Volunteer Society Nepal (VSN) have established health clinics and health camps to provide basic checkups and awareness in needy communities. VSN is also affiliated with some hospitals & health centers that require extra financial and personnel support.
How does a volunteer help?
Volunteer Society Nepal has three different types of health placements for volunteers in Nepal:
1. Medical student placements
If you are studying to become a medical professional then this is the placement for you. Volunteers on this program will have the opportunity to carry out basic health checks in clinics, observe Nepali doctors in hospitals, and practice in your elected field. For most of this placement you will shadow Nepali doctors, who will have good spoken English. On this placement you may also get the chance to run/take part in VSN’s own health camp, which moves between needy communities offering basic health care.
2. Medical professionals’ placements
If you are a qualified medical professional then you have the opportunity to work in hospitals, health clinics and the health camp.
Please note that working as a medical professional/ student in Nepal may be very different to your experiences in your home country. Medicine names and practices may differ here and volunteers have to adapt to these changes. Although VSN provides the service of an interpreter where necessary, communication can sometimes limit the actions of our volunteers. This said, volunteers often relate that these factors enhance their experience in Nepal, forcing them to learn quickly on the job.
3. Pre-medic placements
These placements are available for those who have a desire to work in the medical profession, but are not yet qualified or studying medicine. As a volunteer on this placement you will be given the opportunity to observe doctors in clinics and run your own health awareness programs in schools, women’s groups, orphanages and other community organizations. These awareness groups will provide local communities with sanitation knowledge and first aid training.
Do I need any specific qualifications or skills for this volunteering placement?
For pre-medic placements you must have a keen interest or be planning to study medicine in some capacity. For medical student placements you must be currently studying at or have graduated from medical school. For our professional placements you must be practicing in the medical profession. On applying for these placements please let us know your level of experience and field of expertise and we will do our best to find you a suitable placement.
Once you arrive we organize an introduction for you. We deem this to be highly valuable and it’s a program valued by many volunteer in the past. By means of an introduction you can acclimatise and prepare for your volunteering. You can begin at you project rested and prepared. In this way you can be really effective.
Arriving to work in a foreign country can be a nerve-wracking experience, this is why at VSN we provide a friendly and in-depth welcome. The in-depth welcome encompasses basic language training, cultural training and sightseeing through Kathmandu and surrounding. This is what you can expect from the moment when you touch down at Tribhuvan Intl. Airport. The program may vary depending on your time of arrival. We will manage to include all below mentioned activities in you introduction program.
While you volunteer with Volunteer Society Nepal you will be staying with a Nepali host family. Be part of a Nepali family. Eat together with the family. Play with the children. Experience the rich Nepali culture firsthand. Many volunteers tell us this unique insight into the culture of Nepal is a key part of why they come back again and again.
All our host families have conducted a training regarding hosting volunteers adequately. They know how to ensure hygiene and provide security. They will treat you as a member of the family. To secure the knowledge of the western culture and desires we train our host families yearly.
Although we do not experience it frequently and it can be considered very rare, it could be possible you are not satisfied at your host family. In that case, it’s possible to switch host family. We want to guarantee your happiness and secure the positive experience of Nepal. Hence, we remain contact if every runs properly at your host family during your stay.
When you arrive on placement you will be introduced to your host family by the VSN representative and given a full tour of the premises. Many of our host families have children and it seems many of our volunteers enjoy helping them with their English, learning to cook Nepali food and mixing in with their life. The other way around, we experience volunteers learn a lot from the hosts and children regarding the life in Nepal.
At the host families you will stay with or without fellow volunteers. You can clarify you preference and we will take that into account while arranging your host family. It is always possible to stay as a couple or group of friends in one host family. You should consider the host family as you temporary family in Nepal. As they will treat and value you as a family member. They can even so help you regarding how to discover the neighbourhood, advice on travels and offer you warmth in times of homesickness.
You should not expect luxury on your stay in Nepal. Nepal is a developing country and may well be different from what you are used to at home. However, you will have your own room unless requested otherwise, and the rooms are always clean and comfortable. The quality of toilet and washing facilities vary significantly between placements. If you are based in Kathmandu you may find you have a hot shower and a Western style toilet in your homestay. However, if you are in a rural placement then it is more likely that you will have a traditional squat toilet and a cold shower. If you feel like having a hot shower and flushing toilet is a priority then make this clear when you are applying and we will see if it is possible to find you one of our better equipped host families.
The electricity supply in all areas is limited. Due to nationwide electricity shortages the government imposes power cuts of around 12-14 hours a day. In the cities some houses have backup batteries that will run low power bulbs in key rooms, but in the rural areas you can expect to use candles. A head-torch is a very useful thing to bring.
On placement you will usually eat with the family and share the same food as them. At least two meals a day are provided for you while volunteering. The usual meal times are between 9 and 10 AM and 6 and 8 PM. You will usually be served the national staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari which is a tasty and filling plate of rice, vegetable curry, lentils and pickles. It may occasionally have meat such as chicken or mutton in it, although if you are vegetarian this can easily be explained. This may be supplemented occasionally by noodles, eggs and other snacks dependent on your host family and placement
Your hosts family will provide you with clean drinking water on your placement.
The Health Care Volunteering Placement Is Available At The Following Beautiful Places:
The Kathmandu Valley lies at the crossroads of ancient civilizations of Asia, and has at least 130 important monuments, including several places of pilgrimage for the Hindus and Buddhists. The cities of Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, Kirtipur and Chobhar are located in this valley, and each displays excellent examples of Newar art and architecture. The valley is the cultural and political hub of Nepal, but this melting pot of traditions and different Nepali >>>>
Dhulikhel is situated at an altitude of 5,500 ft above sea level, 30 km east of Kathmandu on the Kodari Highway and is a 90 minute drive from Kathmandu. It is a typical Newari town surrounded by nearby Tamang villages, and is set on a hill top, enveloped in copper soiled terraces with magnificent views of the central Himalayan peaks. Dhulikhel is well known for its beautiful sunrise and >>>>.
Pokhara valley is located at the very center of Nepal and is dominated by the peaks of the Annapurna mountain range. The town of Pokhara (913 meters), is only fifty kilometers from Annapurna 1 (8,091 meters), and the sharp decline of six thousand meters within the short distance of only twenty-nine kilometers gives the region. It is famous for the peaceful Phewa Lake and the magnificent >>>>
Himalayan Region:(Mt. Everest)
Salleri and Garma, Solukhumbu
Salleri is a small Himalayan town that serves as the headquarters of Solukhumbu District. It is everything you would imagine from the Everest mountain region: beautiful landscape; hillsides dotted with villages, a lively weekend bazaar, a Tibetan refugee camp, and many spectacular Buddhist monasteries. Recently road has been connected with Salleri and regular jeep service operates from Kathmandu. The duration of Jeep drive is about 10 hours.>>>>
Sitting at just over 5000 feet, Okhaldunga is an ideal destination for immersion in a genuine Nepali village. The magic of this town is conveyed in both its hospitality and natural beauty. Although a narrow dirt road now connects this district to the rest of Nepal, the hilly terrain makes travel to Okhaldhunga difficult at best, and at times quite treacherous. For most, a two day walk from the town of Katari continues to be the best and safest way to reach Okhaldhunga >>>>.
The name Chitwan means ‘heart of the jungle’ and is also the name given to one of Nepal’s most visited National Parks. This lowland area of jungle and reclaimed arable land is the centre of Nepal’s agricultural production. Matched to this, people flock to see elephants, Bengal tigers and the famous one-horned Rhino in the parks.>>>>
Why pay for volunteering?
You probably asked yourself on occasion. Why pay for volunteering? After all…you’re offering your services free of charge… and on top of that you have to pay? How ridiculous is that?? The question one should ask though is: “what is it I’m paying for?” In the following points, we will shed light on this question, and hopefully will have answered any misconceptions many people have on volunteering. As a potential intern/volunteer you need to understand that below is a list of reasons why a program fee is required.
Note: In some cases, you may work directly for the organization in need of volunteers and there may be volunteering program with little fee. These organizations may be local or international, and their process for applying generally differs from our organization as it will be more tailored to their requirements and needs and less so on those of the volunteers. But, be aware that they usually are unable or unwilling to provide above mentioned logistics and support like arranging housing, orientation, sight -seeing, language classes, visa Assistance, 24/7 support and social and Cultural activities etc.