Programmes

VSN runs programmes in the following areas: Teaching/Education, Community Maintenance, Women’s Education & Empowerment and Disabilities Day Care, whereby volunteers can get involved, share their skills, passions and experience and act as mentors to the community they serve.

Volunteers, who are in a Teaching/Education, Community Maintenance or Disabilities Day Care placement inside the Kathmandu Valley close to one or other of our own children’s homes, will be welcome to help out at the homes during the evenings, weekends and holidays. It is also possible to come on a purely Cultural Exchange programme, whereby you are not tied to any programme and can spend time getting to know the community you are living with, spending time with your host family and learning about the culture of Nepal.

Each programme brings its own unique opportunities and challenges and everyone who participates will be expected to be open-minded, proactive, use their initiative, and not just sit there waiting to be told what to do.

Although we may not tell you what to do on a day to day basis and when to do it, there is 24 hour support across all our programmes, with local staff happy to discuss and help facilitate your needs and plans.

Nepal is going through a time of development and change, doing its best to move forward as smoothly as possible to a properly run, multiparty democracy after so many years of civil war and political apathy. As with all development, there are glitches which can lead to interruptions to normal daily life, such as transport strikes, schools being shut for a day or number of days, adhoc Government holidays etc. Given this, regardless of the programme, each and every day has the capacity to be different and thus a flexible and willing approach is essential to get the most out of each programme.

VSN knows from past experience, that volunteers come from different backgrounds, have different expectations and are passionate about different aspects of volunteering. Given this we are incredibly flexible and are happy to accommodate volunteers who wish to also participate in other programmes/projects during their stay. The key to getting the most out of your time in Nepal is to keep the channels of communication open and let staff members know what it is you wish to achieve. This can be both before you arrive and during your placement. The earlier and the more you communicate with us, will directly affect the experience you have.

THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER WHEN SIGNING UP FOR A PROGRAMME HERE IN NEPAL, IS TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND HEART AND TO COME WITHOUT PRECONCEIVED EXPECTATIONS OR IDEAS OF WHAT IS NEEDED. AS HARD AS THIS MAY BE, IF YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT, YOUR EXPERIENCE WILL BE ENHANCED EXPONENTIALLY.

In order to participate in one of our programmes, you must be 18 years or older (or accompanied by a guardian), speak English, be fit and healthy, and finally you must provide a police report in advance of arrival in Nepal stating that you have no major convictions.

For most projects we have new intakes of volunteers twice a month, usually, but not exclusively the first and third Monday of the month (please contact us for start dates). You can volunteer with us for as little as 2 weeks up to 20 weeks, however, if your time and budget allows we recommend, a minimum of 8 weeks in order to get the most from your placement and Nepal as a country. If you are not sure how long you want to volunteer for, you can always initially commit to a shorter period and then extend while in placement.

All new volunteers must participate in our mandatory orientation programme prior to going to placement. Throughout orientation and for the duration of your placement, volunteers live with a Nepali host family.