• Nepal

Program Details

Host Family Hostel


Price Details
Here at Diamond Hill, we ask for 550 rupees per day. We will give you 3 meals per day, wifi and a comfortable sleeping place. 10% of all money raised will go towards our orphaned children and the Academy.
Apr 14, 2016
May 24, 2013

About Program

My name is Shamser, I am the headmaster at Diamond Hill Academy and I welcome you to my school and home. Here we have opportunities for volunteers to get involved in several projects including teaching English at the Academy, spending time with three orphans at my home, building community projects and helping out at Shamsers home and our village of Gaunsahar.

My family and I are happy to welcome you to our home, to eat with us and learn about Nepali culture as well as providing a bright future for the children.

Program Reviews

9 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 50%
  • 7-8 rating 50%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
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  • Impact 8.3
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

A refreshing and interesting volunteering experience

Coming from Singapore, where the city life really gets to you, it was indeed a very refreshing experience I had during my stay here at Gaunshahar with Shamser and his family. The many opportunities that I had to experience the Nepali culture from taking the local bus up to the village to attending the wedding ceremony of a local villager really opened my eyes to a whole new world. I came with the idea of offering assistance and help to the community in whichever ways i could but at the end of it all, I received a lot from them too.

Shamser and his family are very hospitable and made sure that my stay here was a very pleasant one. The rooms and facilities, though basic, were by no means uncomfortable. Food here was great and Shamser's wife, Kalpana, prepared fantastic dal bhat and was always happy to offer us tea/coffee. They have a really sweet son, Pujan, who I'm sure everyone will have a lot of fun playing with.

Regarding the volunteering activities that I did here, I really liked the flexibility that was afforded. Shamser took note of our preferences and made sure that we could do an activity that we wanted to. I did quite a bit of teaching at the school and was really pleased to see that so many children could receive education in the environment of a school. I experienced some problems communicating with the children though, but Shamser and the other teachers were always ready and happy to help.

I also really liked Shamser's enthusiasm and passion to learn and improve himself. He is always on the move, looking to implement ideas that will help the children and the entire community. As a whole, it was a great experience to volunteer at Gaunshahar with Shamser and it provided me with a wholesome experience of what it is like to live in a Nepali village.

What would you improve about this program?
I did most of my volunteering activities with the school and found certain issues that could be worked on. The system that is in place currently can be strengthened upon as there is a lack of documentation of certain processes, like a student's report and the yearly curriculum, along with the progress of the class as a whole.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful experience to help Nepali village people

We arrived on a saturday, when there is no bus from Basisahar to Samsher's house in Gaunsahar. But Samsher was so kind to help us carry our luguage up the mountain, a 2 hours walk up to his mountain village Gaunsahar. Samsher is an extraordinary man with a vision to help his village community. He is full of energy and started several projects to help his community and is also very dedicated to his job as a teacher and principal at his school, the diamond hill acadamy.

At his house we did several volunteering jobs, including gardening and painting. One of his projects is to start a small homestay hotel where guests can experience the real Nepali mountain village life. With this he also wants to show his community that their village has a lot to offer and he wants to create new jobs, because there are not many jobs in the village and villagers are leaving to find a job in the city or work abroad. Part of the money from the hotel will be used to further help his community where needed.

We also visited his school and helped with English lessons and played with his lovely children. Samsher is not only a good teacher, but is also very open to learn from the volunteers. One of the problems he encountered at school is that some children cannot make their homework because they do not have anyone to help them at home. We suggested that a homework class might be helpful and Samsher took this up to dicuss it with his teachers and parents and within one week! he organised the homework class for 8 children, and we will start working in this class next week.

Gaunsahar is a traditional Nepal mountain village and the people and scenery are beautiful. And Samsher and his family are taking really good care of their volunteers to offer them a great experience and help his commnity at the same time. Absolutely worth the stay and a great experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Start the working day earlier. Sunrise is at 5.30 and work usually doesnot start until 9 or 10. For the work outside, it would be better to start earlier when it is cooler.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

3 months in Gaunshahar

Well when I first got here the rooms were all full, but I got to spend a day at one teachers houses (it was very nice to experience a night with one of the staff in the traditional Nepali stone house). The accommodations at the the homestay are well constructed and there are plenty of blankets. The kids are a lot of fun, and I brought a Phonics program that we started at the first of the year (two weeks ago). Already most of the UKG class (Upper Kindergarten Group) is speaking more clearly, of course some kids are not interested but every class has a few. I asked to be included in any village activity that had benefit, and have been apart of many activity's. I and one other person sponsored a new roof for a widow of the lowest cast that has two children. Also I helped in building a new addition for the homestay (moving and breaking rocks, running electric, and some carpentry). Another building project I was involved with was a roof repair (working again with the person who co-sponsored the roof for the widow) and made many new friends for the donation of my time. Also there was a big festival and we organized a clean up crew of 4 people (volunteers). I made a couple rakes from bamboo and we did in three days what was projected as a 50 person clean up task (also inspired some of the children to help the last day after school) 9 children came after watching us work for two days. I did get sick one time but every one did (even Shamser), I think it was just a bug going around. I have had three meals a day freshly prepared by his wife and always very tasty. When I came I brought solar panels and batteries for the school (they do not have electric yet...) which has allowed us to bring laptops to play educational videos in the classrooms. Every day has been different and slightly chaotic, but all in all thing go forward at "Nepali speed" here in the village. Some more organization is the only thing missing but I have enjoyed every day but our sick day.

What would you improve about this program?
As I said above, the organization is shaky sometimes, because many volunteers are asked for input and that can lead to confusion (too many ideas at once).
7 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A fantastic opportunity not to miss

Shamser's project is an inspiring and worthy programme that I have had the pleasure of taking part in, you would be lucky to spend any length of time volunteering at Diamond Hill Academy and meeting the locals that benefit from the volunteers.

Shamser's approach to education is refreshing and personal, and that is shown in the respect and positivity so evident in the pupils at the school. Undoubtedly, these children (that, if it wasn't for Shamser, may never have seen a white person before) are benefitting from their interaction with the foreigners, and of course, developing their English skills at a much faster pace.

The location of the village and its beautiful lifestyle is an experience in itself. Located up a mountain, with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and far away from any city life (though Besisahar is reachable in one hour by bus if you do need to visit the city) it is a peaceful, untouched gem of nature and a true introduction to real Nepali lifestyle. Shamser's wife's fantastic cooking adds to the authenticity of the stay here. Shamser is enthusiastic to take volunteers on walks, meeting the locals and also explaining the very interesting history of Gausisahar.

The locals here also benefit from the volunteers, there are many ways in which you can contribute to their lifestyles - farming, carpentry among other things, and generally the cultural exchange enriches their lives.

Shamser's orphan children that he is hoping to adopt under his own roof have brilliant potential, and with the help and support of present, past and future volunteers they can achieve the lifestyle that they deserve.

I truly recommend volunteering with Shamser, you certainly will not regret it!

7 people found this review helpful.

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