We recommend browsing from our website to ensure the most relevant information Go to site
Continue browsing here
Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
New Program! GVI's Business Internships in Cape Town have just launched. Find out more here.

Geoff and Michele volunteer in Nepal

By 5 years ago
Categories Pokhara
Volunteering in Nepal

For my wife and I this was our first volunteering holiday , and after the trip won’t be our last.

From our first day our volunteering was well organised. We received cultural training, for example, we learnt cows are sacred and have right of ways on the roads, and spitting is normal. Over a couple of days we attended some excellent Nepali language sessions, for hello you say, ‘Namaste’, which actually translates to ‘I salute the god in you’.  A useful phrase was ‘babu na pita’, to ask a young boy to stop hitting – proved very useful with over excited kids, and yes, mostly the boys!

There were 3 main volunteering activities. Early in the morning we attended a program for street kids. There were 10 children aged 6 to 12 years old in a house under the care of a single mother. We helped with homework and organised activities. On Friday afternoons we took the children to ‘Jungle shower’. (A community tap located in the bush.) The children would wash themselves and their clothes from the week. Lots of water and laughs.

The second project was a Day Care Centre, where there were 15 – 20 children, aged 3 to 4 years old. We read books, assisted with activities and preparing a hot lunch, sang nursery rhymes and generally played! Most children had little or no English, but that never seemed to matter in enjoying each other’s company. At the end of the session was nap time, all the children, carers, and parents who arrived early, had a sleep on the floor. Something to see.
At the end of the day, we went to a local cafe, Shanti, for another project. This was the English Conversation Club, and was made available to any child who wanted to drop in. The children were aged between 8 and 15 and generally had excellent English reading and spelling skills. They just needed help with conversation and comprehension. It was interesting when you listened to ‘English’ speaking volunteers from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, America, UK and Australia. All of us spoke ‘different’ English, no wonder it is so hard. These sessions were often 2 way, with the children teaching us. They taught us Nepali, luckily they were very patient, and some origami lessons – learnt how to make a ball, a box and after some time, a flower. One of the children commented to a volunteer that prior to coming to these sessions she got low grades at school for English and stated very proudly, now her grades have improved.
Our non-volunteering activities included paragliding, souvenir shopping, a 4 day trek, visiting a Tibetan Refugee settlement & Monastery, happy hour, and a few restaurants.

It is my first holiday where I felt very sad on the last day. Some amazing experiences, priceless relationships, warm smiles, and wonderful nursery rhymes. (let me know if you want me to sing!)

Written by volunteer Geoff Murray