Why Volunteering In Nepal
Nepal is home to hundreds of sacred sites and monuments dotted around medieval towns bearing influences of Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions from neighboring India and Tibet. This cultural and architectural landscape is unique to Nepal. In Kathmandu Valley alone, seven groups of monuments have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List: The Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bouddha, and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. Three other UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal are the Sagarmatha National Park, home to Mount Everest, Chitwan National Park in the Terai region, and Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.
According to the United Nations, Nepal ranks 138th in the world in overall human development, behind such countries as India and Bangladesh, making it one of the least developed countries in Asia. Rural healthcare services are at best rudimentary, with government health posts often going unstaffed and undersupplied for years. Nutrition is inadequate and vaccination rates are poor. Access to education is irregular, and low literacy rates remain a barrier to economic progress.
- 25% of the population live below the national poverty line
- Over 30% of Nepalese live on less than US$170 per person per year
- 15,000 orphans are living on Kathmandu’s streets
- 43% illiteracy rate throughout Nepal
- 5 doctors are available for each 100,000 inhabitants
- 54% of Nepali children are malnourished
- For every 1000 babies born, 29 die before their first birthday
Data drawn from the Asian Development Bank, National Living Standards Survey, Rural Poverty Portal, and UNESCO.