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Nepal Volunteers Council

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About

Nepal Volunteers Council is a Nepal based, grass roots volunteer organization headquartered in Kalanki, Kathmandu, Nepal. Nepal Volunteer Council’s mission is to bring a positive change in the lives of the people. Nepal Volunteers Council runs a school in the slums of Kathmandu valley to educate the children coming from the under-privileged communities. There is a lack of teachers at the school. Volunteers are needed to teach at the school throughout the year. If you would really like to make a difference, this can be the best option for you. Nepal Volunteers Council offers scholarships to the students in the remote areas of Nepal. We highly value education and firmly believe that change is possible by means of education.

Nepal Volunteers Council helps orphans living in the different orphanages by providing support in paying rent, providing food materials, paying school fees, etc. Participating in the NVC program is a great way to immerse in the Nepali Culture.

Reviews

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Kathrin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was in August, September 2013 in Kathmandu. And I was for 2 months in the project of the NVC. It was a great experience for me.

My English is really bad. But I try to give you some information about my experience.

Living:
The volunteers were living all together in a big house. In the evening and all so at the weekends you have time to visit the sightseeing places in and around Kathmandu and time to talk and have fun with the other volunteers and also with the person from NVC (Keshab, Manoj and Mahesh). In the morning and in the evening we ate all together. The food was always very good!!!

Working:
I was teaching primary class 2-5 in mathematics in a school in Kathmandu. I was working from 10am - 3pm. The kids are very interesting in learning new things and during the breaks they like to do small games. We also did a one day school trip once. And the kids were so happy. Was wonderful to see that. And the good thing is, you can really help. Because the school always need teachers.

Nepal:
A great country. The nature is beautiful and the people are wonderful. About Nepal the people say: "You go to Nepal because of the mountains and the nature and you go back to Nepal again because of the people." - it's true.

I can recommend this project to everybody. If you have the possibility don't go only for one or two weeks. For the kids is good if they have a teacher for a little bit longer.

Default avatar
Adam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Adam Ward. I am a 29 year old male from the UK, but I have lived for the past 4 years in NZ. I came to Kathmandu and worked at Deeya Shree English Boarding School (the name is a misnomer there are no boarding students) for a period of two months.

I was rather naive when applying to volunteer in Nepal. At the time of applying and paying the program fees I was in the process of completing my PhD and so most of my attention was focused on that. However, once I had booked my flights people began to tell me various horror stories about volunteering in Nepal. If I could make one point clear with regards to the above project it would be this:

THE PEOPLE AT THE NVC (KESHAB - THE LEADER AND PRINCIPLE OF THE SCHOOL, MANOJS & MAHESH) ARE VERY HONEST, VERY GENUINE, VERY CARING PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING A GREAT JOB IN HELPING THEIR COMMUNITIES. FIRST IN THEIR MINDS IS THE WELL BEING OF THE CHILDREN THEY EDUCATE IN THE SCHOOL AND OTHER PROJECTS THEY ARE WORKING ON. THEY ALSO SET YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING AS A PRIORITY. I CANNOT SPEAK HIGHLY ENOUGH OF THEIR CHARACTER. WHILST I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE OTHER PROJECTS RUN BY THE NVC, CERTAINLY VOLUNTEERING AT DEEYA SHREE SCHOOL IS A WORTHWHILE PROJECT.

THE SCHOOL ITSELF:
The school itself is situated right next to the international airport in kathmandu. As you fly in take a look out of the right hand side of the plane. You should be able to see the (slum) area where most of the children live. If you get to the school early enough in the morning you can see most of the students walking to the school from this area. Certainly this is a very underdeveloped area and there is no doubt that the children are in need of the support of the school (which provides education for free - this is unusual in Nepal).

The school itself has pretty basic facilities. mainly desks for the children to sit o n and whiteboards for the teachers to write on. The textbooks used are fairly old, but from what I can gather these are the standard textbooks used across Nepal. The children have uniforms and school bags. Apparently, some previous volunteers have taken this as a sign that the students are somewhat affluent and therefore not deserving of aid. I believe this to be a mistake for the following reasons....
1. As I said most of the children live in the slum area near the school.
2. All schools in Kathmandu have uniforms. You will see hundreds of children walking to and from school in uniform even in the most deprived areas.
3. The children have to wear something to school. Having one set of designated clothes is probably beneficial rather than having to provide lots of different sets of clothes.
4. It is quite evident that a lot of the children's uniforms are hand me downs from older siblings.

The school consists of classes 1,2,3,4,5 & 6. In each class there is a large range of abilities and ages. This is because the children start school at different ages and in order to progress from one year to the next it is necessary to pass an exam in Nepal.

TEACHING:
There are not enough teachers at the school. Sometimes this results in classes either not having a teacher or one teacher taking multiple classes at the same time. As such, your presence there is definitely useful. However, before you go you should consider what lessons you can teach. If you have no teaching experience then perhaps a shorter stay is best. Simply being able to look after a class and so fun activities is an important thing. However, you cant do this for a whole year say because ultimately the children need to learn something. My advice would be to contact Keshab, tell him your experience and see what he suggests.
Having been a maths lecturer in Auckland I spent most of my time teaching maths to the students. This was not so difficult. However, they also asked me to teach English to class 2 and class 3. This was a lot more difficult as I had never worked with children so young before. Generally speaking, if you give a lecture at a university the students do not start running around, fighting or teasing each other. :)
If I could give some advice it would be this "It is better to be feared than loved". The first day at the school you should shout at anyone being noisy and threaten to (or actually do) send misbehaving students to the principles office. By doing this you will set the tone that you expect the students to work and do not tolerate misbehavior. After a couple of days ease off a little bit and reward students when they do something well.
Whilst this may sound harsh, ultimately I think it is better for the students. As most foreign teachers do fun activities with the students they have unconsciously been trained to think that a lesson with a foreign student is playtime. If you actually want to get them to learn something you must establish yourself as an authority figure rather than as a friend.

CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
Yes. The school needs teachers. No one can save the world on an x-month volunteering trip, however, I think you can make a positive impact on the education of a group of children who sorely need it. Whilst evil may prosper when good people do nothing, even the smallest candle lights the whole room.

Default avatar
Alyze
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The staff is so welcoming and helpful. From the moment I arrived, they always made sure I was full and not overworked; even made special meals when I was sick. Very conscientious about how much volunteering you want to do versus seeing the country. I taught at their school and the kids were awesome! They loved that I was there longer than the other volunteers and I really got to know them on a personal level. They all drew pictures and made cards when I left. I had a great time planning lessons and Keshab and the rest of the staff is happy to help you figure out what/how to teach as well. They are all very passionate about their mission and will do anything to help the kids.

Nepal itself is an awesome place to visit! Very easy to get around to any city, just walk up to a bus and ask if they are going to your city; they will tell you which bus to take. It does take a while to get around the country, but it is not difficult to figure out how. The language barrier is not a problem, and the people are all friendly; it is quite safe. The smog is an issue in Kathmandu but on your first day they will take you to get a mask if you would like. The power is regulated by the government and is out at somewhat random times (though usually during the day), but this is not as much of an issue as it seems because they have solar powered lights in the house.

What would you improve about this program?
Since so many of the teachers at the school are volunteers (so they are coming and going), it is not always organized as to what lesson the kids are supposed to be learning when you start in the classroom. Some of the lessons have been taught to the kids many times. Even just having a volunteer mark the page they were on when they leave would be very helpful! Also, most of the volunteers only taught for about 1 1/2 hours a day and stayed for 2 weeks. Since we are there to volunteer it would be nice if they taught for longer in the day, and it would be better to volunteer for longer so you get to know the kids better and they don't have so many changes in teachers.
Default avatar
Melissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I did a medical internship in a village hospital and stayed with a host family. I learned a lot about healthcare and culture. The friendships I created will last a lifetime. The NVC staff was incredible, they addressed any concern I had right away and always made sure I was safe, happy, and getting the most out of my trip. I was able to travel around some and they took me to all the near by historical sites. I was amazed at how accommodating they were! They were easy to work with from overseas to set up my trip and they made sure everything I needed to arrive was in order. I look forward to going back to see them in the near future. Working one-on-one with the doctors was fantastic. They taught me so much, and were respectful of me and eager to get me involved. It was an unparalleled experience.

What would you improve about this program?
They have made some changes since I went, so the housing situations may be different. I stayed in a hotel the first two nights, as a female traveling alone I was a bit nervous as Kathmandu is a busy city and it's quite different than anywhere else I had traveled. I was perfectly safe, and when I told the NVC I didn't like the hotel they told me they would not have other volunteers stay there and of course that I should have told them right away and we could have changed it. My advice is if something isn't a good fit for you, just speak up immediately. The biggest adjustment for me had nothing to do with the actual program, but with Nepal's power. It was out for many hours at a time, this is just something to be aware of be prepared for.
Default avatar
Amy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I cannot speak highly enough of NVC and the work they do.

I've been back to work with NVC twice now and have loved every minute. Not only are they warm, caring and welcoming people, but the Program Leaders take real action against poverty with the best tool possible: Education.

These guys need all the help they can get and deserve it.
Please pick NVC if you really want to directly help the wellbeing and future of children of Nepal.

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Alumni Interviews

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

Adam Ward

My name is Adam, I'm a 29 year old male from the UK. I spent 2 months working as a teacher at Deeyra Shree English Boarding School (the name is a misnomer - there are no boarding students) in Kathmandu which is run by the Nepal Volunteers Council (NVC). Basically, having finished my PhD in Auckland NZ and having taught at the university I simply googled "teach maths abroad" and up came a link connecting me with the NVC. I would certainly advise anyone else looking to do volunteer work in a developing country to put in more research than I did with regards to the validity of the project you will be working on (which is probably why your reading this). However, take it from me that the people at the NVC - Keshab, Manojs & Mahesh - are all very genuine, good people and teaching at the school is definitely a worthwhile project.
volunteer

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Adam: The school begins with registration at 09:40. Whilst this may seem late by western standards, this is the norm in Nepal probably due to the lack of transport infrastructure. Usually Id get there at 9am to avoid the chaos that is the local buses. Classes begin at 10:00 and my schedule was as follows...

10:00 - 10:40: Class 6 Maths

10:40 - 11:20: Class 2 English

11:20 - 12:00: Free period for me

12:00 - 12:10: Break time

12:10 - 12:50: Class 3 English

12:50 - 13:30: Class 4 Maths

13:30 - 14:00: Dinner time

14:00 - 14:40: Class 5 Maths

14:40 - 15:20: Class 6 Social Studies

15:20 - 16:00: Free period for me

After this I would travel home and prepare my classes for the next day before it got dark (there's no guarantee of power in Nepal).

Ten years from now, what's the one thing you think you'll remember from the trip?

Adam: As cliched as it sounds I will remember the people. Keshab, Manojs and Mahesh all made a big impression on me. They are good people who seem to work tirelessly to improve their country and community. As Hindus they have an outlook on life which I find fascinating even if I don't share their beliefs. They have big plans about how they wish to develop the school & I sincerely hope they will achieve them.

students in Nepal

Of course, I will remember the children as well... Nikkil & Biplop in class 6, Pensang (who has the ability and stubbornness to become a very good mathematician) and Angela in Class 4, the little girl in Class 2 (Sushmita?) that is a nightmare to teach but impossible to get annoyed at, etc... etc....

Has your worldview changed as a result of your trip?

Adam: No. There are inequalities in wealth everywhere in the world if you open your eyes enough to see them. Walk from your home to the Main Street in your town or city. If you don't see any homeless people I'd be surprised. The "other half" aren't just in some far off corner of the globe, they are all around.

My time in Nepal didn't make me appreciate the material aspects of the west more, but it did make me realise how lucky I am to have friends and family around me.

What was the most interesting cultural difference you encountered?

students in Nepal

Adam: Two things really. The area of Manchester I grew up in, whilst developed, is pretty rough and consequently I always have the suspicion that the majority of people are out to harm you rather than help you. Whilst, in the tourist areas of Nepal you will get hassled by people trying to make money out of you, outside of those areas the Nepali people are (in general) very friendly and helpful. I think that says as much about the UK as it does about Nepal.

Secondly, the population density. I have lived in NZ for the past 4 years. NZ is twice the size of Nepal and has a population of 4m. In contrast, Kathmandu itself has a population of 4m.

Where would you most like to travel to next?

Adam: Having been away from the uk for 4 years I'm looking forward to heading back. However, if doing more voluntary work, Nepal and the NVC would be my first option.