Volunteering in Nepal
Nepal is the ancient land protected by Buddhist and Hindu Gods. Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, is in Nepal. Pashupatinath in Kathmandu, Nepal, is one of the world’s most sacred temples for the Hindus all over the world, which is also UNESCO World Heritage Site of cultural importance. Nepal is not only a wonderful travel destination but also a nice place to live and work. The government encourages foreigners to live and work in Nepal.
When you come to live and work in Nepal, you will not only get a lifetime opportunity to see the mighty Himalayas including the world’s tallest peak Mount Everest and the majestic Annapurna, but also get to know the people who belong to 103 ethnic groups and speak 93 languages. Nepal government offers different types of visas, including work visa and residential visa.
Non-tourist Visa or work visa is granted to the foreigners who wish to work in Nepal. You can obtain a non-tourist visa by applying in Nepalese embassy in your country, or in any other country. Remember, when you travel to Nepal on Tourist Visa, you cannot convert it into a work visa. To apply for a work visa, you have to present an agreement with your employer along with your visa form.
Nepal offers Residential Visa to the foreigners who want to live in Nepal. To apply for Residential Visa you have to be a person with international reputation, or invest at least one thousand dollars in Nepal.
Nepal government offers honorary Nepali Citizenship to the foreigners who have lived in Nepal for at least 15 years and who can speak Nepali language.
Nepali FacesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Jobs available for the foreigners in Nepal
Every year lots of foreigners travel to Nepal to live and work. They work in social and economic developments projects, international agencies like UN, Save the Children, etc. human rights organizations, conservation projects, and international media. Foreigners also work in health and education sector, hotels, aviation, tours and travel companies.
For English speaking Westerners, teaching jobs are easily available in school, colleges and universities, but you must be aware that payment is low compared to the Western standard, however, more than enough to live in Nepal. There is a craze for English and other European languages in Nepal, you can easily find jobs in language schools. Well paid jobs are available for foreigners in international agencies, travel and aviation companies, hotels, resorts, and aid agencies. For skilled professionals it is easy to find work in Nepal.
If you have some money and want to do a business in Nepal, you can apply for a Business Visa. Nepal welcomes 80 percent Foreign Direct Investment in every sector. Many hotels, restaurants, holiday inns, resorts, trekking agencies, travel companies in and around Kathmandu are owned by foreigners. The first luxury hotel in Nepal was operated by a Russian businessman. The first trekking company was established by a foreigner named Bill Tilman.
Nepali Art and ArchitectureClick thumbnail to view full-size
Volunteering in Nepal
There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Nepal. Foreigners may volunteer in the health care, education sector, Himalayan rescue operations, development and conservation projects, orphanage etc. One of the benefits of volunteering in Nepal includes easy visa extension.
When you choose to volunteer in Nepal, you are offered free food and accommodation. Student Partnership Wordwide (SPW) is one of the trusted organizations that offer free food and accommodation to the volunteers. SPW offers volunteering opportunities for students and places volunteers in different parts of Nepal to work in their health and education projects.
Many volunteering organizations expect volunteers to pay for their own expenses, some even ask you replacement fees. The charges depend on the types of organizations you join as a volunteer. You pay less for the local agencies, and pay more for the international volunteering agencies. The money you pay for the volunteering organizations is used to fund projects.
VSO is one of the most trusted organizations that specializes in volunteer placements in different countries, including Nepal. If you are skilled professional, you can apply for long term volunteering work, which lasts up to 2 years.
Organizations that places volunteers in Nepal
There are many organizations working in social, educational, health, and conversation projects in Nepal. These organizations hire people to work for their projects in different parts of the country. Travel agencies, hotels and resorts also operate childcare home, health and education programs, environmental and conservation projects for the sustainable tourism initiative. These organizations constantly hire foreigners to work in their projects.
If you want to volunteer in Nepal, you can start with Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project (KEEP). You have to commit for at least two months time and pay US$50 as a joining fee applicable for the entire year. KEEP arranges volunteer placements in different local non-governmental organizations. KEEP also hires volunteers to teach English and other skills to the porters and guides in July/August and December/January.
Some of the organizations that hire volunteers to work in Nepal
Volunteer Service Nepal works on social and education sector in Nepal
Helping Hands is an organization based in the United States. Helping Hands needs volunteers to work at their clinics in different parts of Nepal
Global Volunteer Network, an organization based in New Zealand, places volunteers in different countries including Nepal. Global Volunteer Network seeks volunteers to work for their health, education, childcare and development projects.
Cultural Destination Nepal offers a home-stay and Nepali language course along with one to three months volunteering placements.
Volunteer Nepal National Group seeks volunteers to work for education, conversation and development projects.
Global Vision International seeks volunteers for one month work in education and conversation projects in the Everest region. If you want to do volunteering work in the Everest region, this is the ideal organization.
Prison Assist Nepal seeks volunteers to help the children whose parents are in prisons
Himalayan Healthcare organizes medical treks in Nepal. If you want to do some volunteering work while trekking in Nepal, Himalayan Healthcare is the ideal organization.
Rural Community Development Program is an organization that arranges volunteering opportunities combined with trekking.
Insight Nepal not only organizes trekking in Annapurna region but also places volunteers for cultural and educational projects in and around Pokhara city.
Cultural Tourism Restoration Project seeks paying volunteers for trek and restoration work in Mustang. Mustang was closed for foreigners until recently.
Nepali Sathi arranges volunteer placements in central Nepal
Sustainable Agriculture Development Program seeks volunteers for their sustainable and organic agriculture projects near Pokhara city.
Ford Foundation provides free accommodation for the volunteers. Ford Foundation works on education and childcare.
Mountain Trust Nepal is an organization based in the United Kingdom places volunteers in variety of social projects in Nepal
Kanchenjunga School Project not only arranges trekking but also places volunteers in the villages in Kanchenjunga region for their health and education projects.
Esther Benjamins Trust provides volunteering opportunities for the people who want to work for trafficked and abandoned children.
© 2012 Vinaya Ghimire