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Helambu Project


The Helambu Project was developed by a set of individuals who went through life-changing experiences while traveling abroad in the Himalayas and upon return decided to design a socially responsible venture dedicated to bringing about environmental sustainability without undermining the rich culture and history of local people. The Helambu Project runs a number of programs with the initiative to continue developing. Currently, volunteers can get involved in educational programs in Nepal. Visit the Helambu website for more information.


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Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered with the Helambu Project for one month in a remote village in Nepal teaching English. My expereince with the program was a great one! In the weeks leading up to my volunteer stint, the staff was very attentive and great at answering any questions I had. Helambu project serves many different types of areas so it is possible for them to place you in they type of environment you want to be in. The director of the program listened to that expereince that I wanted to have, and placed me accordingly. I wanted to go somewhere very remote and I was placed in a small, beautiful and very remote village.
The actual teaching of the children was difficult at times because of the obvious language barrier and the lack of resources in the school. In the village I was in, enducation is not a big priority so that also made it difficult...But the kids were wonderful.
I stayed in a homestay, which was an absolutely AMAZING expereince! I made a strong connection with my house mother and will remember this expereince for the rest of my life! At times it was lonely because most people in the village only spoke a few words of English but it was a wonderful way for me to reflect on myself! The food was absolutely delicious!
The Helambu project is doing really wonderful things in the communities it serves. During my volunteer time, Helambu project happened to be funding lots of new supplies for the school. A Helambu project representative came to the school and brought new dry-erase boards for the classrooms and an English book for each student! This is a very big thing in a school that had nothing! I was able to witness the wonderful effect that Helambu project hason these communities. I am very proud to say that I have been a part of this project and I hope I have a chance in the future to volunteer again!
If you are looking for a "real" Nepal expereince and to volunteer with an organization that is not at all concerned about your money, just what you have to share with the Nepali communities, this is the program for you!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I spent 2 months in Nepal working with this organisation and it was truly a life-changing experience. I worked primarily teaching first aid to local communities, schools and even a local temple/nunnery within the Helambu region.

The communities are as great as the countryside and staying with host families is an enlightening experience.

Be aware that although support is always available you may be on your own for long periods of time. This isn't a volunteering holiday where coordinators guide your hand at every turn; you do need to be self-reliant and have a strong character.

Aside from the one off donation which can easily be fund-raised, the money for staying with host families and food is paid to the families direct. You do not pay any second party within the organisation vast sums of money which is a great plus.

There is a massive amount of scope with the project. Although I focused mainly in health and first aid there is room for scope in projects such as women’s empowerment and equality, school teaching and improving local access to health.

The work that has been done there already has made some big impacts and with more effort and support I feel the region will greatly prosper.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I went to volunteer as an English teacher in Nepal in August 2011. This was my first big volunteering experience and my first trip to Asia. It has been the best trip in my life so far!

I met incredible people (not only from the organization but local as well) who are really making a difference in the communities they work. My host family was also very supportive, helpful and sharing their food with me. The conditions were basic but I felt like I was at home.

The children I taught taught me quite a lot with their never-ending smiles and attitude even though the conditions of their school were extremely basic. The experience changed me a lot and I often wish I could be able to go back again and do more for the community.

I would definitely recommend Helambu Project to anyone who wants to make a difference not only in the local communities but in their personal life as well.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I really loved Helambu Project's volunteering opportunity. It's low cost and affordable, they allow you to fundraise to cover your fee and they have very little overhead - meaning that the vast majority of your money goes towards projects in the area. They also spend a lot of time and energy making sure your stay is culturally appropriate and responsible.

They house you with really wonderful Tibetan Buddhist families in Helambu. Your home stay families treat you like their own children and the food is amazing. You have access to monasteries, day treks, and can even meet with lamas and other meditators in the region depending on their availability. The communities also welcome you to participate in religious ceremonies and events that go on when you are there.

The volunteering experience itself is also great. Helambu Project does a lot to try and make you feel supported. Many of the schools they work with are poor functioning government schools which Helambu Project aims to improve over time. The students in the schools are wonderful and there is plenty to help them with.You can even sign up to help teach one of their after school activities that promote subjects outside of the Nepali curriculum - like art education.

Overall an amazing experience that will change your life.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Steve volunteered at a health center and school while living with a host family in Nepal from August to the end of September 2011. He lives in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK. Steve, 23-years-old, currently works for the National Grid and will be student again (previous degree from the University of Leeds) in September 2012.

Why did you decide to volunteer with the Helambu Project in Nepal?

I chose the Helambu project as they seemed the most ethically correct group, they did not charge massive weekly fees or exorbitant amounts of money to volunteer with them like many other voluntary groups do. Other than the one off donation which I easily fund-raised towards all the living costs went directly to the local families you stay with, not via the organisation and eventually into their hands. There was no pressure to pay any monies up front or to some shady organisation which I'm afraid to say is the impression I get from a number of other voluntary groups.

They appeared to be set up quite differently to the standard 'voluntary' groups who set up health camps or other health work (which is what I wanted to do). They were very upfront and honest with what the work would entail and there were not surprises with the organisation or the work that I wasn't prepared for. Something that has befallen some of my friends who have been on trips to Ghana and other places unluckily.

How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

Well I have successfully gained a place in Medical School on an accelerated program although I do a very large amount of other charity work which probably also contributed to this. I feel a lot more independent and confident personally and have some great memories and experiences which will remain with me forever.