Experience the culture of Nepal as you work at local centres around the city. Nepal is renowned for its elaborate local culture, infectiously welcoming population, and ornate religious structures and traditions. Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest city. Like other areas of Nepal, Pokhara is challenged by wealth disparities and inequitable access to resources. Our projects aim to address these inequities.
As a volunteer, your time will be divided between childcare, teaching, and women’s empowerment projects. Time allocated at each location depend on the needs of the community at the time. Each project’s long-term goals contribute to an overall commitment to improving the quality of life for the people of Nepal.
Internships are geared at developing your leadership skills, allowing you to develop a variety of key soft and hard skills that will put you a step ahead the rest of the pack. GVI have been running community development, education, and conservation projects since 1997 and our highly motivated field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects.
"I was immediately treated with unbelievable hospitality from the local people. Being the age that I am, most of the village is my age which helped me make friends with them and feel apart of the village. All were welcoming to help me learn more about the culture as well as answer any of my questions.
I taught at a local Mosque for an hour before school, then went to the local government school to teach for 2 hours. The afternoons were free to relax and work on lesson plans before an after-school program with local students."
What's Not Included
Life on the Internship
As a short-term intern you will spend the weekdays working full time at the various project sites. Your focus will be working on the childcare projects where you will assist local teachers with day-to-day activities. Responsibilities will include leading games and activities, implementing creative and educational art projects, assisting with homework, and organising recreational sports games.
Beyond childcare you will also assist teachers at the local primary school with English lessons and general classroom activities. Women’s Empowerment projects focus on supporting local women to learn English and to develop a variety of skills such as sewing, first aid and other skills relevant to the women at the time including income generating topics.
In the evening you will have free time in which to explore Nepali culture, the local Lakeside area, and get to know other volunteers. There may be evening activities that are organised offering you a further glimpse into the local culture, from cooking classes to dance workshops.
As a short-term intern, time will be set aside for leadership development that will further assist the projects and contribute to your personal and professional development. As part of your internship you will plan and implement your own project that contributes to the long term development goals of the project and the community as a whole.
On weekends you can explore the beautiful country of Nepal. Pohkara has a number of activities to get involved in from trekking to white water rafting or for something more low key there are markets to explore and relaxing boat rides to be enjoyed on the lake.
During your internship you will stay with a local Nepali family providing you with a unique homestay experience/ Rooms will be shared with other volunteers. Meals will be provided by the host family giving you the chance to sample local cuisine on a daily basis. These meals include vegetable curry, rice and lentils.
What's Not Included
Your work as a short-term intern contributes to the long-term aims of our work with the communities of Pokhara. This includes working with young children, teenagers and local women.
As an intern you will be expected to take a leadership role on project and be a positive role model for both the students and other volunteers.
Long-term goals for our Community Development internship work towards ending the cycle of poverty through education and improved resources. The key is to have children staying at school as long as possible and providing education that contributes to positive options for the youth of the future. Working with the women allows them to develop confidence and skills, particularly since many women do not have the opportunity to attend all or attend school long enough to receive a full education.
*There are many religious and cultural festivals throughout the year in Nepal, as well as school holidays and exam periods. During these periods we may run activities and programmes that are slightly different to our regular programmes. Its possible that during these periods you might support the running of 'Holiday Programmes" for children in local communities, create lesson plans and resources to support our work, facilitate adult training programmes related to a range of issues or help out with some construction or maintenance work to improve educational facilities. Where possible we would also like you to enjoy the festivities and engage with our partners in the community to share these experiences. There may be times when we are able to enjoy the celebrations, food and traditions that Nepal has to offer.
Pokhara’s short, mid, and long-term objectives:
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfill our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Pokhara:
1. Support students to reach learning goals appropriate to their Age (under 5s) Grade level (5-18 year olds) or Individual Need (students with Special Needs)
2. Support students to expand their English vocabulary
3. Increase the knowedge and understanding of Healthcare in the community with an emphasis on prevention
4. Develop the skills of women in the community in order to improve their potential to generate income or to become more self sufficient
5. Support the local community with improved facilities with an emphasis on educational and health and safety needs
6. To minimize our environmental impact in Lakeside and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and the students with whom we work
What's Not Included
Nepal’s second largest city Pokhara is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Nepali culture while still having access to a few home comforts. Situated at the base of the Annapurna mountain range in the Himalayas the city sits snuggly around the banks of glorious Lake Phewa Tal; a phenomenal destination for those looking to soak up the local culture before they head to the mountains.
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 Himalaya. Shorter treks are also great options for weekend trips. Adventure activities abound in this area from rafting trips to kayaking the white-water of the Trisuli or Seti river, mountain biking, or canyoning.
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.
As part of your arrival weekend you will have the opportunity to sample a range of traditional Nepali food. We’ll teach you how to eat Daal bhat, the traditional way, and you will have the opportunity to try momos, pakodas, chowmein, fried rice, chips chilli just to name a few. There are plenty of opportunities to sample local food in your time here including our delicious meals prepared by the host mother at the home stay. Momo’s are Nepali dumplings filled with minced meat, they can be eaten as a snack or a meal depending on how many you order. Sag is a popular dinner option made of either spinach or mustard greens mashed up to compliment rice. A surprisingly tasty staple of Nepalese cuisine.
Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.
When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!
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.