Nepal Earthquake Recovery

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from All Hands and Hearts.

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About

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu, the worst of its kind in more than 80 years. More than 9,000 people were killed, a further 23,000 were injured and the destruction to infrastructure and homes was massive. On May 12, 2015, a second 7.3 earthquake struck the country, causing further devastation and loss of lives. 72 hours after the first earthquake, All Hands Volunteers arrived and got to work.

We are currently completing a school rebuild program, building 7 earthquake resistant schools in remote communities in some of the hardest hit areas in Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot. Last month, we completed 3 schools in Nuwakot which will impact over 8,000 children in Nepal. Our volunteers work on our school rebuild sites completing all types of construction work including ground work, steel work, carpentry, masonry and finishing. Our volunteers live and work in the communities they are supporting to recover.

Highlights
  • Free accommodation and meals for each work day
  • Construction training
  • Cross-cultural exchanges - you will meet volunteers from all over the world!
  • Helping a local school recover post-disaster

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 13 reviews
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
Amy
10/10

Nepal Earthquake Program - Life Changing

I arrived in Nepal on April 25, 2016, 1 year to the day since the earthquake struck. As soon as I arrived I knew this place would be a second home and I would never want to leave! I immediately extended my stay on the program to the full 5 months (Nepal visa restriction) and it was the best decision I have made!

This was a life-changing experience for me in so many ways. I was able to form strong bonds with the local community and as well as other volunteers on the program. I can honestly say these people will remain in my life forever. All Hands also allowed me to develop professional skills and gave me a foot in the door to working for a Humanitarian NGO.

The work is tough, you will sweat like you have never sweated before, but it is all for a good reason, that reason is the community you are helping. The love and kindness they showed me was worth every second of work I put in!

I ended up returning and in total was with All Hands and Hearts in Nepal for 11 months.I attend the handovers of 6 schools that we built, and the teams have since built even more! As soon as I can I will absolutely be returning!

How can this program be improved?
No possible way. Keep going!
Yes, I recommend
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Hillary
9/10

One of the best experiences of my life

All Hands Nepal was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. The work was challenging but it was really rewarding to look back at the end of the day and see what you had accomplished. We had an amazing group of people (standard All Hands) and I loved spending time together at the end of the day. We were living in a remote village and got to really know some of the locals which was lovely! I also really enjoyed the lifestyle, we all became quite addicted to it. Would really recommend this program to everyone!

How can this program be improved?
Healthier options with food.
Yes, I recommend
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Nicolette
10/10

The Best

I spent over 5 months in Nepal with All Hands, and I can say that it was one of the best experiences. It was my 5th time volunteering with All Hands Volunteers, and as always the organization exceeded my expectations. The volunteers work their butts off, and the staff work hours and hours into the night to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You arrive onto base and you immediately feel at home, and as if you're with family. The work you do is meaningful, and the communities truly need it.

I recommend everybody to volunteer at least once with AHV, to live in not perfect living situations, to come home exhausted every night, and know that what you've done has made a difference.

Yes, I recommend
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Colin
10/10

Volunteering how it should be

Volunteering with All Hands was a great experience. No prior skills/experience is needed and you get food and accommodation in exchange for your work. No fees. Atomosphere around the base and work site was always fun and everyone worked very hard as you can see the difference it makes to the community, the work that All Hands does. Work on site varies from day to day and if there are any small issues, staff are always very helpful. All hands interact well with the local people (also hiring locals on staff) which helps so much to he project, and also improves the experience for the volunteers

Yes, I recommend
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Melissa
10/10

Life Changing Experience

I have had a very difficult time tying to put the right words to adequately describe my experience in Nepal with All Hands. I have come to the conclusion that there are not enough superlatives to describe how amazing this experience was for me. I will do my best to share this most awesome experience.
Firstly, the people of Nepal are the kindest most resilient group of people I have ever encountered. Their lives were turned upside down by those devastating earthquakes yet they greet you with the warmest of smiles and greetings. To be able to help these beautiful people was an absolute honor that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
All Hands is an amazing organization because it hired the best staff I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I have worked for some amazing organizations so it speaks volumes to say that the staff in Nepal are best. More importantly, they bring in the best volunteers from all corners of the world. The relationships that I formed with the people I served with in my short six week timeframe have become some of the most important relationships in my life. I am still amazed that I fell so completely in love with so many people in such a short span. When you serve with All Hands you become this big beautiful family. Most of the people I served with are my daughters ages. I love them as if they are mine and they reciprocated that love back to me in the most beautiful and loving manner. Going to Nepal and working with All Hands to rebuild hope has changed my life. I am a better person because of the people I served and the people I served with. I am eternally grateful for this experience and for every staff and volunteer I had great honor of working with.

How can this program be improved?
More funding for project for tools, internet cards, and other office supply needs. The staff would also benefit from having updated computers.
Yes, I recommend
Randy
10/10

Team Leader to a Global Service Fellow

I started my volunteer experience with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. Through AmeriCorps, I discovered All Hands Volunteers in Project Detroit Flood Rebuild. All Hands Volunteers (AHV) completely blew my mind in regards to an incredibly high-caliber work ethic, multi-talented team leaders, site supervisors, organized and intelligent staff...especially for a non-profit. So I decided to leave AmeriCorps to join AHV. My goal with AHV was to become a rebuild site supervisor. Within 3 months I was trained how to dry wall, mud and tape, how to install chair rails, baseboards, how to frame, the safety of mucking and gutting basements ridden with dangerous molds and debris, and much much more. I was taught so well that I became a rebuild team leader with zero knowledge of any of this type of work before I joined AHV.

Shortly after this Michael Hecker, an AHV mentor came to Detroit explaining a new program called the Global Service Fellowship (GSF) within AHV that "offers emerging leader a transformative experience in the US and abroad rebuilding communities impacted by natural disasters, empowering volunteers to serve and challenging themselves to become innovators in the non-profit sector all the while enhancing AHVs capacity to achieve its vision. GSF Fellows work as understudies in three key work areas: Volunteer Coordination, Program Management, and Field Coordination."

I was recommended by the Project Director, Reuben Grandon at the time to apply for this position and sure enough I was accepted into the GSF. After a two week orientation learning about what the fellows would be a part of, we were sent out to our projects. I was sent to Melamchi, Nepal along with another Fellow. I have learned a great deal about how AHV is run in another country in regards to the staff positions and work that the volunteers were doing. Through the Fellowship in Nepal, I have been able to learn a great deal of the Nepali language, cover different staff positions whenever needed, attended the Hackathon led by effect.org where employees from Google, AHV, and Nepal Rises put their heads together to create technological solutions to issues that NGOs are having (My idea actually won the entire Hackathon), I have also been able to build my resume tremendously, network with amazing people, and build overall life skills in ways I could never have learned otherwise.

How can this program be improved?
The program itself in Nepal is absolutely amazing. Issues we are facing in Nepal are factors such as the Nepal fuel crisis, lack of clean drinking water, worried volunteers in terms of minor earthquakes and tremors, and volunteers sick from either food or water. But alas, AHV has more than successfully accomplished it's work even with all of these obstacles.
Yes, I recommend
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Michael
10/10

A Life Changing Experience

Be prepared to be tired and dirty in exchange for the best experience of your life.

As a volunteer with All Hands Volunteers in Nepal you could be demolishing damaged schools to make them safe, working with volunteers from around the world to remove rubble from a family's home, or in a team with local skilled staff to build homes and schools. Whatever you do, you'll be part of an incredible group of people helping Nepal recover from the earthquake.

You'll work side by side with local families affected by the earthquake, you'll learn a new language, gain skills you never thought you could have, and maybe even get a blessing! After a hard day's work you'll come back to base and share stories with people of all ages from all over the world.

Volunteering your time and hard work here is life changing. You can really make a difference to people who have been hit hard by a disaster.

How can this program be improved?
My experience here couldn't have been improved. It changed my life and everyone's contribution with All Hands changes the lives of the people they help.

The volunteers and staff here care about the views of volunteers, so if anyone on project has ideas for improvement they always want to listen to what you have to say.
Yes, I recommend
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Olivia
10/10

Namaheeeeyyy!

I arrived in Nepal in October 2015 thinking I would stay just a couple of months. It is now April 2016 and I am so sad to leave my new home!
All Hands is a truly wonderful organisation where like minded people can come together and simply help. The organisation provides a platform for everyone to come and share their ideas and create an experience of their own. There are opportunities to team lead, where you can gain knowledgeable skills in leadership and organisation. You can also take on a base manager role and help the operations staff with the running of the base. Considering all the mobile (camping) sites logistics can be hectic and busy so if you like a challenge and want to learn more about the organisation base managing is a perfect place to start.
The work on site is hard but so rewarding! You will build muscles you never knew you could and learn construction skills that you don't usually get the opportunity to!
You will also make some of the best friends of your life and amazing connections with these beautiful communities.
All Hands has given me these astounding opportunities and I can't wait for the next time I can come back and volunteer!
Dhanyabad All Hands! See you on the next one!

Yes, I recommend
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Andrew
10/10

Best Job I've Ever Had

All Hands Volunteers(AHV) offers one of the most unique and valuable volunteer experiences through cultural immersion, program structure, social culture, and tangible meaningful work for those skilled and unskilled. A volunteer on All Hands Volunteers Program Nepal said during his leaving speech after 6 months on program, "Best job I've ever had". A perfect description of the trans-formative experience offered on AHV programs. If you ever do visit an AHV program, you will hear this a lot, "i signed up for a week, here i am 2,4,6, 12 months later". In my case, i signed up for one month in 2014, since then i have worked on 7 different programs, for a total of 18 months. Each program different in work, leadership, and location, but consistent in vision and quality.

How can this program be improved?
Generally the only improvement i would like to see would be the staff should work less. We always see them working in the office well past work hours. However, it is no easy job creating and maintaining this incredible environment.
Yes, I recommend
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Jon
10/10

Best Job I Ever Had

Ever wanted to be a par of a family that you were not born with? Ever want to go out and do some of the most intense physical work and yet come back at the end of the day with the biggest smile on your face and feeling a sense of accomplishment rarely found when not travelling? Do you feel the need to help people who have just experienced a major natural disaster but are not sure how to go about it ? Join All Hands Volunteers. Best job I ever had.

How can this program be improved?
Make sure that the staff running this program have as much support as possible.
Yes, I recommend
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Vicky
10/10

First transparent, serious, effective and FREE volunteer experience!

Finding a serious NGO that provides a FREE volunteer experience is an odyssey! All Hands is not only serious and transparent but also FREE and you don't have to have any specific background or nationality to be able to join. Everyone is welcome!

I will treasure forever my experience with AH in Nepal. The work we do directly impacts the community and you witness it first hand! Staff and volunteers are from all over the world and the fact that we become a huge family of around 70 people working together for a good cause, only makes it better!

Life on base can be pretty crowded but there is always interesting people to meet.

AH provides food and accommodation! Food can be spicy but it is amazing and Nepali style!

Work is hard for the first couple of days, but everyone can do it! After a couple of days out in the field your body gets used to it! You will definitely leave project with more muscles than when you arrived!

During my time in Nepal we cleared debris (rubble), built transitional shelters, worked with IDP camps (Internally Displaced Persons), built TLC (Temporary Learning Centers), built toilets, and did some demo... did I mention Rubble?

It is a great opportunity to see a different side of Nepal, get involved with the families and community, learn a bit of nepali, build up your tolerance to spicy food and get blessed by the families we are helping every time they have the chance!

Yes, I recommend
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Thomas
9/10

All Hands Volunteers in Nepal

All Hands Volunteers is an organization geared towards skilled and non-skilled volunteers looking to make a difference in disaster-affect countries. They have the right blend of volunteer experience and community impact.

My time in Nepal was a wonderful experience. We worked in rural areas - we were really out in the country. We met (and helped!) all sorts of local people.

The work was tough and physically demanding. You will sweat and become sore from moving rocks all day. The projects ranged from rubble to demolition to construction. AHV focused mainly on schools, shelter and site clearance. They had a few smaller projects here and there but most of the time was spent moving dirt and rocks from damaged homes. It was not easy, but that's what made it so gratifying!

The accommodations were not perfect but very nice. They provide 3 meals a day and a bed to sleep - for free! It's communal living and you get to meet all sorts of lovely individuals who have so many different backgrounds and stories. The people are a big part of what made this a great experience for me. AHV draws a unique person, someone who is looking for a challenge, a different adventure. It was a great way to really experience Nepal without falling into tourist traps. I've made some great friends who live around the world, which helps me plan my next adventure!

I cannot recommend AHV enough - it's a great organization with transparency and moral fiber.

How can this program be improved?
Illness in Nepal is prevalent. Be prepared to get sick within the first week as your body adjusts to the local microbiota.

Communal living provides challenges. Common spaces fall victim to the "tragedy of the commons". Your bunkmate might snore or be messy. There were a few occasions were people got too loud after quiet hours. Flexibility will go a long way.

The staff are great and very accommodating but they cannot be there for you 24/7. Sometimes you have to do things yourself, which isn't necessary a bad thing. You just have to remember that this not a hostel or a hotel.
Yes, I recommend
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Katie
9/10

Best Time of my Life

My time spent on Project Nepal has completely changed my life. This was my first time seeing such destruction but also such hope. The team in Nuwakot is full of ambitious, loving and driven folks. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has put their heart and soul into making sure this is an experience where you walk away feeling positive and proud of what you've done. Everyone is on the same team and you feel that in every moment, from waking up together to falling asleep together. My time was indescribable.

Yes, I recommend

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About All Hands and Hearts

All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response is a US based, 501 c3 non-profit organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations, and local...