Supporting women in Nepal is vital in helping the communities overcome critical global social issues, such as countless young girls still not receiving an education.
By supporting women in society and giving them access to equal opportunities such as an education, jobs and health care, everyone benefits. Infant mortality rates go down, more children stay in school, incomes increase and the cycle of poverty can be broken. By volunteering on this programme with GVI, you will join a dedicated team of international volunteers assisting on sustainable and invaluable women’s empowerment initiatives.
In Nepal, women are born into a society where their rights are subordinate to those of men. Girls are often married off at an early age with little or no education, no land rights or no independent income options available to them. Our initiatives in Nepal, hope to turn the tide against gender discrimination by empowering local girls and women. Through gender equality and alternative income workshops, educating them on a variety of health topics and providing educational centres where they have the chance to further their education by becoming literate or providing additional educational support for young girls currently enrolled in local schools.
GVI firmly believes that by giving Nepali women the necessary tools to gain social and economic independence, crippling social issues like poverty can be solved by investing in the futures of women in developing countries around the world.
Contribute to impactful and sustainable women’s empowerment initiatives, even in the short-term; discover the ancient culture and traditions of Nepal; meet volunteers from across the world; experience life among the world’s tallest mountain range; explore local temples and world class hiking trails; go bungee jumping; indulge your taste buds and make a serious difference in the lives of girls and women in the local community.
"I worked with GVI as a volunteer every summer from 2006 to 2012 and had the opportunity to take part in most inspiring projects where GVI is promoting community development and sustainable livelihoods. Although GVI has been involved in different projects in different continents, all of them were designed to be holistic and focus on people’s needs and resources. This integrated conception of development caught my attention from the beginning, and has taught me that education sits at the <span id="59247313-6ed6-4747-8d29-24ad75801688" class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark">center</span> of all efforts to enhance the resilience of fragile communities all over the world."
What's Not Included
During your time in Nepal, volunteers will be staying in the beautiful town of Pokhara, often referred to as the “Jewel of the Himalayas”. Your accommodation will be based in a homestay with a Nepali family and the volunteer group in shared bedrooms and bathrooms. The homestay is a wonderful way to fully immerse yourself into the local culture and experience an unfiltered view into the day-to-day lives of the locals. You will also have the chance to sample the traditional Nepali cuisine, with simple yet delicious meals provided to you for breakfast and dinner by your host family.
From Monday to Friday you will be delivering workshops to women and girls’ leadership groups.
Women’s workshops include teaching conversational English skills. We also support the women to develop skills such as sewing, crafts and computer literacy through fun and interactive workshops. We work towards supporting women in setting up income generating initiatives. Importantly the workshops provide a supportive and positive environment for the women.
Our girls’ leadership workshops focus on developing optimism and confidence with a view to employment and income generating initiatives in the future. Computing skills are a focus as well as highlighting positive female role models both in the local community and further afield.
Weekends will be yours to explore the surrounding area and delve deeper into the Nepali culture. With adventure activities such as paragliding or world class hiking trails and the nearby Tal Bahari temple, the “Jewel of the Himalayas” offers something for everyone.
What's Not Included
Following the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, our projects adjusted focus to provide disaster relief to those in need. In conjunction with our partners, trucks of supplies and family care packages were taken to some of the most affected areas. Now our projects are focused on initiatives within our local communities, who have needs around education and improving educational facilities. Our women's empowerment project will be focused on providing relief efforts and supporting women in the local community.
Nepal is one of the world’s least developed countries and, as a result, experiences high rates of poverty. Coupled with the gender discrimination Nepali women experience as a result of their culture, this has left them in critical circumstances, with one in every 24 Nepali women dying during pregnancy or childbirth and only 44.5% of literate females. GVI believes in turning these statistics around and providing equal opportunities through our various women empowerment initiatives. Volunteers on this project have the chance to help us achieve these goals in the following ways:
How this project makes a difference
- Providing access to education on literacy, rights and life skills
- Hosting alternative income generation skills workshops
- Educating Nepali women on various health topics and prenatal care
- Providing additional educational support to young girls in local schools
Through the various facets that this project focuses on, GVI is able to turn the tables on gender discrimination and highlight how gender parity is key to Nepal’s economic and social prosperity. By educating local women on family health, we can reduce infant and child mortality rates, thus creating healthier families and generations. By giving women access to the same local resources as men such as an education, we can help more kids stay in school, thereby increasing the income threshold of that household, break the poverty cycle and help women become more financially independent.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on the program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Nepal!
Included Side Trip
During your orientation you will visit the Tal Bahari temple which is situated in the middle of the beautiful Fewa Tal Lake surrounded by the Annapurna Himal. You will also get the opportunity to learn about the local culture with local Nepali language lessons and cooking classes.
Optional Side Trips
In Nepal, you are in a true adventure region. Don’t worry if you forgot to pack your adrenaline, with these options, there are ample opportunities to top it up!
From a two day rafting or kayaking trip on the white-water of the Trisuli or Seti Rivers, to Paragliding over the incredible scenery to mountain biking and bungee jumping, you could spend weeks here and still not do everything.
But if the adventure side of things becomes too much, Nepal will continue to provide and surprise you. Besides sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara, you could try a three-day/two-night safari in the Chitwan National Park staying at the Royal Park Hotel, chancing upon tigers and rhinos out on drives. Also, if throwing yourself off of high places attached to a kite is not your thing, Nepal boasts some of the best hiking trails in the world. Embark on a four-day trek in the Annapurna Mountains, where you will immerse with the villages and communities of the High Himal.
Further Travelling Opportunities
There are a wealth of opportunities in Nepal for further travel and exploration of the rest of the country. This can include the foothills of the Himalayas in Langtang National Park, the ancient temples and villages of Tansen, Newari architecture in Bandipur, the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, Everest Base Camp, the ancient Hindu centre of Janakpur, and so many other options that will leave you wondering why you didn’t give yourself more time…
Meet Binita, one of our lovely field staff members working on our childcare projects in Pokhara, Nepal. Before joining GVI, this Nepalese music lover helped struggling students in Kathmandu with their studies and decided that she wanted to help more.
Binita is passionate about her job at GVI and how she has been able to make a difference in the lives of others. She is enthusiastic about motivating the local local staff and helping them to learn new ideas. “My main highlight would be meeting the volunteers from around the world and sharing my country with them.” She loves welcoming new volunteers and appreciates all the fresh ideas that they bring to the project.
Her most memorable travel experience was when she travelled to Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal, to visit the different temples and to learn more about her religion. Binita’s proudest accomplishment since working with GVI was seeing the children become more confident in their English and achieving higher grades. She is not all work and no play; she can make 15 momos (steamed dumplings) in a minute!
Assistant Director of Programs
Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she's based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”
When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”
What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”
Lok Bahadur Gurung
Meet Lok, our Community Liason in Pokhara. Lok is bona fide Nepalese and worked as a kayaking instructor prior to joining GVI.
Being the Community Liason, Lok is involved in all projects we have based in Pokhara. His favourite aspect of his job? Working with the volunteers. “I get to meet amazing people from around the world and I love getting to know them. I feel that not only the volunteers, but myself as well gain a great cultural exchange.”
How do the volunteers assist Lok in his work on the projects? “They’re great at helping the kids gain the confidence to speak English and thereby improve their chances at a better future. Thanks to the volunteers, over 400 children now have access to a healthier learning environment!”
Meet Cheryl, our Base Manager in Nepal. A former teacher, headmaster and special needs educator, she was the first volunteer on our ‘Grade R’ project in Cape Town, and was exactly who we needed.
Cheryl’s main highlight since being involved with GVI? “When we first started 'book-time' at the educare centre, the children didn’t really appreciate books and stories. We were pretty persistent and the children now easily sit and enjoy a book for almost an hour, even the toddlers! It’s led to such a great improvement in their language skills, attention span and ability to learn. I’m also really proud of the work we have done concerning protecting children’s rights, especially in social media. We’ve set a really good standard.”
What does Cheryl think volunteers bring to the project? “The volunteers never cease to amaze me with their skills and talents! It’s so important to use these talents as best we can. These things have made a difference to the teacher’s ability to provide a program, and therefore, to the children’s ability to learn.