Most disabled individuals in Nepal are ignored and neglected; often locked out of sight. The situation for deaf people is little better. Volunteer in Nepal with VSN and give these people the support they deserve
Disabled people in Nepal are often forced to live in dark rooms because their family members feel ashamed and angry at having lost prestige and respect in the community through their relative’s disability. Often these individuals live a life where they feel no love, care or self worth and with no financial support, are often reduced to begging on the streets.
Meanwhile 24.6% of the population in Nepal is deaf or hearing impaired, and most live in rural areas without access to education or Sign Language training. It is therefore very difficult for deaf students to get a proper education. Even at deaf schools, there is no curriculum designed for deaf students.
Volunteers have several options for working with people with special needs:
- A school for deaf children
Centre for Children with Intellectual Disabilities,
- Physiotherapy Hospital & Disable Centres
1. Volunteering at a school for deaf children
How do volunteers help?
Deaf students are eager to learn and warmly welcome a chance to improve their skills, especially in reading and writing. Volunteers spend up to 6 hours a day at the school, typically assisting teachers in preparing lessons for the children and also helping to run the classes. Deaf children are particularly keen to learn English, so this is often the main role of a volunteer at the school. Depending on the volunteer’s level of experience they may provide the school with advice on new teaching methods and introduce creative activities for the children.
Based on experience and skills, volunteers may also provide vocational training, income-generating programs and introduce the use of technology in the children’s learning.
Do I need any specific skills or qualifications for this placement?
You must have an understanding of international sign language to volunteer at the school for deaf children. When choosing to work at a school for deaf children, you must be patient, friendly and approachable. It is very important that you are willing to learn Nepali Sign Language too, and you must be prepared to enter a completely different world of signs and silence. This work can be very challenging because of the different modes of communication used and learning difficulties encountered, but the staff at the school are always on hand to help guide the volunteers.
A day in the life of a volunteer at a deaf school…
Where in Nepal can I volunteer in a school for deaf children?
The deaf school in which we regularly place volunteers is located in Banepa, 22km East of Kathmandu in the Hills Region. Being located near the city, you will have easy access to cultural urban centers. With a combination of a small-town feel and easy access to Kathmandu, Banepa is a peaceful and interesting place to live.
2. Volunteering at a center for disabled children
VSN also places volunteers in centers for mentally and physically handicapped children.
How do volunteers help?
Volunteers spend up to 6 hours a day at the center, typically assisting caregivers in preparing and running activities for the students. For those who are able to learn, the volunteers may teach the children basic English. Volunteers can also help to plan outings in the local area and design creative learning sessions. Depending on the volunteer’s level of experience they may provide more education on care methods for the Nepali staff, vocational training, income-generating programs and introduce the use of technology in the student’s learning and play.
If you have a preference about working with physically or mentally disabled students then please state this in your application.
Do I need any specific skills or qualifications for this placement?
If volunteers have had previous experience with disabled children then they may enjoy this placement more, but previous experience is not a requirement. When choosing to work at the disabled centre you must be patient, friendly and approachable. This work can be very challenging because of all the different learning and physical difficulties encountered, but the staff at the facilities are always on hand to help guide the volunteers.
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 Special Needs 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 >>>>
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.