The Kathmandu Program
For those volunteers wanting to change the lives of women for the better – this program delivers. Based in the quaint rural areas of Nepal, but less than an hour from the bustling city of Kathmandu, volunteers on this program will be working on essential programs with severely marginalized women. Unfortunately, Nepali women are some of the most disenfranchised in the world, born into a patriarchal society, married early, with little or no education, no land rights or independent income. Nepalese women are dependent on men for their welfare and face discrimination and high levels of violence against them. Many are preyed upon by organized trafficking groups who kidnap or deceive girls who are then sold for sex across Asia. Those who are rescued suffer discrimination and the physical and psychological effects. Love Volunteer’s wonderful partner agency seeks to improve the quality of life of women living in the underprivileged, rural communities where they provide them with economic tools, a basic education, improved health and a life without violence. Any volunteer who aims to help women in need will find this an extremely worthy project to be part of.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide essential teaching and support to vulnerable girls and women
- Improve the future prospects of young women and girls who have been discriminated against
- Give impoverished women and girls a quality education, compassion and a sense of hope
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike
How You Can Help
Through the empowerment of women and children an entire community can be transformed. Volunteers on this essential initiative work on programs within rural communities in the Kathmandu Valley to support women aged 14 to 45. The initiative focuses on sections of the community where there is acute poverty, dependence on subsistence farming, poor health and sanitation and gender discrimination. The program consists of three main areas of focus - Education, Rights and Life Skills, Microcredit Cooperative Support and Income Generation & Marketing. Please see the 'Additional Info' section for detailed information on each topic area. Volunteers work within the community alongside project staff and local volunteers to teach and promote women’s rights, initiate discussions on health issues or lead activities promoting life skills. Volunteers will find this a challenging program as they deal with cultural issues, work around the busy schedule of the women's daily lives and tackle language barriers – but at the end of the program the rewards are clear in the amazingly positive effect on the women. This program makes a true difference to women’s lives and will be a volunteer experience like no other.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Spend time with the women to boost their confidence
- Help teach basic English and other subjects
- Teach women about their rights
- Teach safety and prevention skills against trafficking such as awareness, education, and economic opportunities
- Teach basic life skills and income generating methods
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help us provide support to some of Nepal's most marginalized and vulnerable women. While this challenging project does not require participants to have a background in the fields of social work, counselling and/or Women’s studies, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
Volunteers on this program have the opportunity to experience Nepal's vibrant capital city during the comprehensive 3-day orientation. The city is a juxtaposition of urban sensory overload (traffic, people, sounds, smells) and serene temples. With so much to see and do in the city itself and located on the foothills of the Himalayas this is an exciting destination for the international traveler.
Whilst on placement volunteers will be living and volunteering in the rural village locations of Jitpurphedi or Kavresthali in Shivapuri National Park at the Northern end of the Kathmandu Valley. The National Park is a rich haven of birdlife, monkeys, rare orchids, waterfalls and trekking options. An absolute treat for the international visitor!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start on the 1st and 15th of every month with volunteers arriving the preceding day.
Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu you will be collected at the airport and taken to your accommodation. A comprehensive three-day induction is provided which will include specific information about your placement as well as covering the basics of the Nepalese language and an insight into the culture. This is a great opportunity to mix with other volunteers and get to know the local team.
- Arrival Day: Volunteers arrive on either the 14th day of the month or the last day of the month.
- Departure Day: 7 days after arrival for every week volunteering.
- Arrival Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal (Code: KTM)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this program have the unique opportunity to stay with a local Nepalese family. Host families are experienced at caring for volunteers and are welcoming and supportive. Their homes may be basic by international standards and the levels of English may vary but this is more than made up for by generosity of spirit.
Initially volunteers stay in a Volunteer House in Kathmandu and are provided with a three day orientation session before transferring to their host family home. Lunch is provided daily during the orientation with breakfast and dinner readily available for little cost.
Living conditions in Nepal are far from luxurious and will vary between homes.The accommodation will have running water but hot water is uncommon as are heating and air-conditioning. Electricity will be available but is unreliable and may be turned off for a period each day.
When volunteering during Nepal’s winter months (particularly December, January and February) warm clothes and a heavy sleeping bag are recommended.
WiFi may be available in the Host Family Home for a small fee but we recommend that volunteers purchase a local SIM card and data package on arrival in order to stay in touch with friends and family.
Three simple and delicious meals per day are provided by the host family whilst on placement and are normally vegetarian with staples such as rice, lentils (dal) and vegetarian curries. Volunteers are encouraged to take a lunchbox or one can be purchased on-site.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Volunteers have the option of working in the following topic areas.
Women's Education, Rights and Life Skills:
Volunteers facilitate literacy classes and life skills training through:
- designing and delivering training in areas such as assertive communication, decision making, creative and critical thinking, self-esteem, stress management, team building, sanitation and disease prevention.
- planning and delivering lessons in relevant subjects including English and basic maths.
- assist with report writing and data analysis and provide training in these areas.
Income Generation Support:
VIN works to develop women entrepreneurs and volunteers are asked to assist with activities including:
- research and develop income generation opportunities
- provide training in areas such as commercial and organic farming practices, business planning and promotion, non-agriculture ventures such craft making, beauty parlours, value add food production, sewing, jewellery making etc.
- design and revise training manuals, business and funding proposals.
- assist with networking and promotion
- conduct field and market surveys to measure opportunities and results
Microcredit Cooperative Support
VIN aims to give women economic freedom and has established a micro credit system to combine individual savings into a Women's Cooperative that offers improved saving and credit services. In addition the cooperative encourages a sharing of ideas and community spirit. Volunteers assist with:
- training in record keeping and accounting
- cooperative reporting and marketing activities
- assist with identifying projects and funding opportunities
- develop networking opportunities