Programs

Teaching English at a School -

In our teaching placements you will teach in either a private or government school. The children will usually be aged between about 4 and 18. Their levels will vary according to age and may also differ depending on whether you teach in a private college or government school. The children attending private school are taught six of their classes in English and one in Nepali while in the government school students learn six of their classes in Nepali and only one in English. Also, English levels will vary if you are teaching in a village school or in Kathmandu. If you are teaching in a school you will live nearby in a host family, usually with children or a teacher from your school.

Working in Monastery -

There are many Buddhist monasteries across Nepal. If you are placed in a monastery you will be teaching English to young Buddhist monks. The young monks are sent to the monasteries to receive a better education and life but as some are home to as many as 50 to 100 hundred children, and inadequately staffed, the monks miss out on the individual care they would receive in the home. Often their day to day health and diet is not good. You will not only help the monks with learning English, but you will help them with day to day health and hygiene skills they will keep for life. You may also participate in their morning prayer sessions and Tibetan language lessons.

Homestay and Cultural exchange -

The homestay and cultural exchange programs are for those wanting to do a short term placement of up to one month. You will live in a traditional Nepali family and exchange elements of your country’s culture with your host family. In the village, the culture is very rich, and family, food, religion and tradition are all an important part of everyday life. In the beginning, Nepali village life may seem backward compared to life in the west, but volunteers will learn so much about living a different, more simple way of life. In the homestay and cultural exchange programs, the volunteer will become immersed in family life and may choose to assist with cooking, cleaning, caring for children, working in the fields, or any other necessary task.

Assist in orphanage home -

In our orphanage placements you will teach English and hygiene and care for children living in the orphanage home. You will either live with the children in separate quarters or in a host family nearby the orphanage home. You can play games and sports with the children or enjoy dancing and singing. You will have a lot of freedom in the orphanage home placements. The children attend school during the day, so they often need help with their homework in the mornings and evenings.

Primary health care and medical program -

Experienced medical students or professionals are best suited to our health care and medical programs. In our health placements you will be placed in a village hospital or health post and assist local doctors with the general health and hygiene needs of the villagers. You will live in a local host family, possibly with one of the doctors you are working with. We often arrange health posts in schools, villages and monasteries where we will provide you with medical supplies that you will give and administer to children and people in the villages.

Working in the disabled care house -

In this placement you will assist carers and provide updated care methodology for children with a range of disabilities including Autism, Down syndrome and other physical and mental challenges. You may also spend time teaching care-givers English to improve their ability to communicate with medical staff and interested third parties.



Environmental and Sanitation Awareness -

There are many environmental issues that our volunteers can help with in Nepal. Many schools and surrounding areas desperately need re-vegetation and volunteers can help to develop these areas. Often, volunteers in environmental placements also teach in a local school or orphanage and will also live in a local host family. Some projects you might take part in are planting gardens, trees, teaching local people about waste management and recycling, and building and maintaining a toilet.





Teaching Sports in a school -

In this placement volunteers with sports and recreation knowledge will participate in a standard teaching English or orphanage home placement but can offer their sports skills and knowledge to the students. The Nepali school system is examination based and often lacks the sorts of fun and games that Western students are used to. These kinds of activities allow for students to be active and enjoy while they are learning.

Provide Veterinary Care -

Work in facilities to care for wild and domesticated animals.

Develop Income Generating Programs -

Assist communities or women’s co-operatives.

Administrative Support -

Assist in the office with paperwork, email correspondence and general administration.

Volunteers are welcome to design their own program,

Volunteers are welcome to design their own program, if they have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the tasks. Previous volunteers have participated in business development, teacher training programs, and local economic development schemes.

It is possible to participate in almost all of these programs in each development community or region. Please let us know if you have a preference for a particular location.

Location


Kathmandu -

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and is also known as the City of Temples. The climate during the winter (November to February) can get as cold as 0 degrees Celsius at night. During the monsoon season (April to August) it is hot and wet, reaching temperatures as warm as 35 degrees Celsius. When volunteers emerge from the airport gate they will experience the crazy traffic and the narrow roads lined with various transport services. After a 20 minute drive from the airport you will arrive in our office. All of our placements in Kathmandu can be reached within 1 to ˝ hour by car, bus or motorbike from the BVN office. Our office is located nearby Thamel, the main tourist district of Kathmandu. You will also stay in a hotel in Thamel on arrival in Kathmandu, during training and after placement. In Thamel you can access the internet, international phone calls, money exchange, 24 hour ATM machines, western food, Nepali dancing, clubbing and much more….

Pokhara -

Pokhara is situated approximately 200 kilometres west of Kathmandu and can be reached in five to six hours by bus. The climate in Pokhara is similar to Kathmandu but is often rainier in the wet season due to its position near the mountains. It is the second largest city in Nepal and is also one of its most beautiful. The Annapurna mountain range is reflected in the stunning Phewa Lake. Pokhara is one of the major trekking starting points for travelers too. Our placements in Pokhara are near to lakeside where volunteers will have access to the same kind of facilities as Kathmandu. You can also visit local sightseeing spots like the Peace Pagoda, Devi’s Falls, and underground caves.

Chitwan –

Chitwan is situated south of Kathmandu in the flat, terai region of Nepal near India. Chitwan can be reached in five hours by bus from Kathmandu. The weather can get quite cold in the winter but in the summer time it is very hot and humid and can reach 40-45 degrees Celsius. The Royal Chitwan National Park is located in Chitwan, its entrance in Sauraha, a major town with resorts for travelers and other facilities. Narayanghar is another major town in Chitwan where many volunteers travel from their village placements on the weekends for food and other supplies and to use internet and phone facilities. Most of the villages in Chitwan will also have smaller shops which sell basic supplies like bottled water, shampoo and chocolates and will also probably have an international telephone.

ACTIVITIES


If you would like to go trekking in the Himalayas, white water rafting, exploring Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas in Kathmandu or go on a Jungle safari in Chitwan National Park during your time volunteering, we can arrange all of these things.

Trekking -

Volunteers who would like to participate in some trekking while they are in Nepal can easily do that as a part of their program. We can organise guided treks in the Annapurna mountain ranges which include tea house accommodation with warm showers and comfortable beds and three meals of Western or local food a day. Four day treks are challenging but suitable for most people at most levels of fitness. As a part of our program we do not cover the cost of bottled water on the mountain (you can supply your own water purification tablets to save money) or the trekking permit that is required to do the trek (2000 NR). If you would like to do a longer trek through the Annapurna ranges or perhaps even Everest base camp, we can also arrange this, however, it is recommended that you have done some training or had experience walking before. The Everest base camp trek takes from 12- 14 days according to your speed and fitness. It includes flights to Lukla, which is where you will begin your trek. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide and your meals and accommodation will be included in the cost of the trek. Once again, bottled water is to be covered by you and it can cost up to 200 NR the higher up the mountain you go.

White Water Rafting -

White water rafting is an awesome experience to add to your time as a volunteer in Nepal. Home to eight of the fourteen highest peaks in the world, Nepal’s rivers crash down its foothills and are filled by monsoonal rains combined with melting snow. Nepal has many rivers suitable for white water rafting including the Trishuli River, Seti River, Bhote Koshi River, Kali Gandaki River and the Karnali River which offer rafting experiences for 1-2 to 10 days. The rivers are home to some of the world's most exciting white water with a wide range of difficulty levels, temperate water and insect free beaches for camping.

Sightseeing in Buddhist Stupas and Hindu Temples in Kathmandu -

There are hundreds of Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples of various sizes across Kathmandu. As a volunteer with BVN Nepal we will take you to a variety of culturally significant sites in the Kathmandu valley.




Swayambhunath / Monkey Temple -

Swayambhunath Stupa or Monkey Temple, on the west side of Kathmandu, gives a global view of the whole Kathmandu Valley from the top of a hillock. The huge stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu valley out of a primordial lake. UNESCO lists it as a world heritage site.

Pashupatinath -

Pashupatinath is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. Legend tells that one day Lord Shiva grew tired of his palace atop Mt. Kailas, so he went in search of a place where he could escape to. He discovered the Kathmandu Valley. Without telling anyone, he ran away from his palace and came to live in the valley. He gained great fame there as Pashupati, Lord of the Animals, before other gods discovered his hiding place and came to fetch him. He disguised himself as a majestic deer and would not help the other lords when they asked for his assistance. When Shiva would not yield to their pleas, they planned to use force. Vishnu grabbed him by his horns and they shattered into pieces. Vishnu established a temple and used the broken horns to form a linga at the bank of the Bagmati River. As time went by, the temple was buried and forgotten. Then a cow was known to have secretly sprinkled her milk over a mound. Apparently, when the cow herders dug around the spot, they found the lost linga and again built a temple in reverence. However, Shiva once more escaped from Mt. Kailas and came back to the valley as a Kirati hunter, but Parbati followed him disguised as a beautiful huntress. Shiva tried to seduce her, discovered who she was, and returned home shamefully.

The surroundings in which these events occurred became known as the Pashupati area that has been worshipped by those faithful to Shiva for at least fifteen hundred years. However ancient the legend may be, the first proof to the establishment of the Pashupatinath Temple dedicated to Pashupati, is in an inscription on a Ratnesvara linga dated to be from 477 AD. The Chaturmukha linga of Pashupatinath, a linga with four faces, is one of the most venerated lingas in the whole world. The linga - male sex organ, stands on a yoni - female sex organ, and has four faces turned to four directions with the fifth face presumed to be on the top.

The ritual of offering gifts to Pashupati continued over generations as worshippers were drawn to the religious energy of the site. A circuit of the Pashupati area leads past a sixth century statue of Buddha, an eighth century statue of Brahma the Creator, skeletal images guarding temple gates, and gold covered temples. Other sites within the complex are the Rajraswari Temple built in 1407 and the Kailas area with lingas more than fourteen hundred years old.

The Bagmati River flows close by where the Arya Ghat cremation grounds can be found. Photographers should use discretion if taking photos of cremations and of bereaved families. Sadhus - sages who follow the lifestyle of Shiva - may be seen covered in ashes and minimal clothing. They may ask for money if you would like to take their photos. The main Pashupatinath courtyard may be entered by those of Hindu faith only.

Bouddhanath -

Bouddhanath is the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal. The stunning, large dome is covered with prayer flags and people circumnavigate it in customary clockwise manner.

The historical Buddha was born a Hindu Prince in what is now southern Nepal, about 2500 years ago. The traditions of both religions are to be seen everywhere in Nepal.

After the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the late 1950's many Tibetans fled to Nepal and India along with their spiritual leader the 14th Dali Lama. Near Bouddhanath are a number of large Tibetan style monasteries. Bouddhanath Stupa lies about six Kilometres to the east of downtown Kathmandu. It is huge at 36 meters high, and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design in the world. Bouddhanath, a World Heritage Site, is also known as Khasti - or dew drops - after a story that its builders had to use dew to mix the mortar as Kathmandu was suffering from a severe drought during its construction.

The Bouddhanath Stupa is one of Nepal's most holy sites for the Buddhist faith. No one is certain of the historical origin of the structure, but it has been a meeting point for worshiping Buddhists in the region for centuries. It was constructed as a monument to the Buddha, with a representation of his "all-seeing eyes" painted on the upper tower to watch the four cardinal compass directions. This tower, capped with a great pyramid, sits on top of a great dome and a base of 3 layers. The whole structure has a diameter of approximately 100 meters and a height of around 40 meters. Prayer flags are draped from the top of the monument and fly in the breeze. The site is located a few miles from the city centre of Kathmandu but is still bustling with traffic and street merchants. Tourists and monks alike appreciate the spot as an escape from the hectic city.

Durbar Square –

Kathmandu - Kathmandu Durbar Square is a complex of palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries that used to be the seat of the ancient Malla Kings of Kathmandu. An interesting piece found here is the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace representing writings in 15 languages. The Durbar Square, protected as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the social religious and urban focal point of the city. There are also three museums inside the palace building.

Volunteer Programs

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Volunteers' Testimonials

6th / Dec / 2008

Take lots of things to do and read, as in the mountains there are less people to talk with, and if there is no school...

- Tegan Burnet

Sep / 2008

The Langtang area is very impressive, and waking up every morning with the view of the massive mountains...

- Tami Nudel

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