GVI: Volunteer in Nepal

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About

Surrounded by Himalayan mountains, Nepal is home to eight of the highest mountains in the world, with Mount Everest as the tallest. Contribute ethically to projects with short, mid, and long-term sustainable objectives that are measured by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

You could join projects focused on community development, infrastructure, education initiatives, gender equality, child development, workshops supporting economic development and public health.

When you aren’t on base, join a trekking expedition in the Himalayas, watch the sunrise over Annapurna and Machapuchare mountains from one of Pokhara’s viewpoints, or go on a river rafting adventure.

Highlights
  • View some of the highest mountains in the world and have the opportunity to join in trekking adventures in the Himalayas.
  • Volunteer in an ethical way that supports the objectives of various projects in community development, gender initiatives, child development, public health workshops, and construction.
  • Learn about different cultures and languages in Nepal, while staying in the country, connecting with local communities and people from other parts of the world.
  • Gain technical and social skills, with first-hand experiences in your chosen project focus.
  • Learn about the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

GVI global programs are open!

We're thrilled to announce that nine of our global locations are now open, including Greece, Thailand, Nepal, Seychelles, South Africa, Costa Rica and Mexico. We're also taking bookings for our Thailand, Chiang Mai, Lao and Peru locations for 2021. Stay tuned for more locations coming your way soon, including a new location addition in the Canary Islands.

Popular Programs

Woman painting a wall in Nepal.

Support the development of community infrastructure in Pokhara. You’ll assist in the renovation of various facilities, primarily learning environments, such as schools, classrooms, libraries, and bathrooms. By joining this program you are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry Innovation And Infrastructure and Goal 4: Quality Education. Experience life from the Nepali perspective during your stay, trek along Himalayan trails and meet people from around the world.

Woman helping a young girl learn in Nepal.

In Pokhara, a city in central Nepal, support the education of pre-primary and primary school learners. You will work alongside local teachers to assist in the development of their educational resources, the children’s reading and mathematical abilities, motor coordination, conversational English skills, and social developments. In your free time, you could join nearby yoga classes, try out the local cuisine, or trek along Himalayan trails.

Male volunteer learns cooking skills from a Nepali woman

This is an opportunity to stay in Pokhara, where you will contribute to various international development projects in education, public health, gender equality, and economic initiatives. With other international volunteers, you’ll trek to Annapurna Base Camp, going through Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal’s largest protected area, home to tropical biodiversity and communities of varying cultures and languages.

Woman posing in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal.

Travel to Everest Base Camp, experiencing the climb to the base of the highest mountain in the world. In this active GVI program, you will be placed in Pokhara, a city with surrounding mountain ranges. Contribute to the renovation of schools and classrooms, teaching English and facilitating classes for community youth and women. Each GVI program measures its sustainable impact against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Women at workshop in Nepal

Learn about different gender dynamics and culture in Pokhara, Nepal as you assist with educational classes for both women and girls focusing on literacy and numeracy. Facilitate skill-based workshops, and conduct discussions in local communities on human rights violations and health. You will be contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 4: Quality Education.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.65 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 17
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Carol
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

I spent five weeks in Nepal four of those were spent in Pokhara on the "Womens Empowerment Program" what a truly amazing experience, Nepal is a beautiful country, people and the scenery is breathtaking. The program was a very rewarding experience, Im 52 and would never have thought I would have had the confidence to stand up in front of a class and teach English to a room full of strangers. Thanks to Hannah and Sita the lovely GVI staff they helped me overcome my nerves and help me find my confidence. I thought I was there to teach and empower these lovely girls and ladies, in actual fact they were there to teach me. I learnt so much about myself, and loved spending time with the students, children and fellow housemates in my homestay. I have made lifelong friends and any travel I do in future I will do as a volunteer its so very different than travelling as a tourist, you are embraced into the community and really feel you are making a difference to peoples lives. What a fabulous experience , do yourself a favour and step outside your comfort zone, It really is life changing.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
On my weekend off my fellow volunteers and I decided to fly in a small plane to Lumbini in the South of Nepal to see the birthplace of Buddha. The flight had been delayed by 3 hours due to poor visability eventually we boarded the flight. We flew into heavy cloud flying over the Himalayas the scenery was breathtaking the plane was bouncing around. The Nepalese lady in the seat beside me was praying. It was the most terrifying and exhilarating experience of my life. But I would do it again in a heartbeat as the size of the mountains we flew over was mind blowing .Fabulous Experience
Default avatar
Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The most amazing 4 weeks!

In February 2020, I spent 4 weeks in Pokhara, Nepal on the GVI Healthcare programme, and I can honestly say it was the most amazing 4 weeks of my life. I spent time visiting two different schools, conducting healthcare workshops on a variety of topics from hand washing and dental health to friendship. The children seemed very engaged and receptive to our workshops, and being allowed to independently lead the classes gave me the opportunity to improve my leadership skills, whilst always being supported by the GVI staff so I never felt alone. The GVI staff were all incredible, always taking onboard volunteers suggestions and creating a happy and supportive environment. One of the main reasons I loved the GVI Pokhara base was because of its strong sense of community with all staff and volunteers being united by their unwavering commitment and determination to complete all project tasks to the best standard possible. The work done by GVI in Pokhara and its surrounding areas is so clearly appreciated by the people there and the fact that if you ever mentioned you were working with GVI you would only ever receive a positive response highlights the fabulous work done by the GVI team. I would not fail to recommend GVI to anybody, and particularly the Pokhara base, which provided me with 4 unforgettable weeks and is somewhere I am hoping to return to in the near future.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The more you put in the more you get out of the volunteering! But with lots of effort and commitment, you are guaranteed to have a life changing experience!
Default avatar
Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing month in Nepal

I spent a month in Pokhara, Nepal working with the women's empowerment team. I had a brilliant time, every day working with the various groups of women was exciting, interesting, and no day was the same! We worked in Pokhara and in communities in villages outside the city, meeting lots of different women, and getting to experience different sides of Nepal.
We were made to feel welcome by everyone we met in Nepal, from the house 'mother' and 'father' we lived with in the homestay, to the GVI team and the women we worked with. The homestay is comfortable and clean, and only sharing a room and bathroom with one other person is fab compared to a hostel type situation! We're given breakfast and dinner, and lunch is sorted for us out on project in local cafes and restaurants.
Pokhara is a lively place to be, with lots of cafes and bars, yoga studios, outdoor cinemas, lakeside restaurants, and there are so many things to do, from paragliding to day trips to mountain villages on your days off. I would highly recommend exploring the countryside around Pokhara, including going up to Annapurna Base Camp, walking up to the Peace Pagoda, and visiting Dhampus. It's a really beautiful country.
I would highly recommend this project, and would love to go back!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would go for longer! Pokhara was a really easy place to feel at home in, and I would have loved to stay for another month or so.
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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI construction program in Nepal!

If you're looking to make a difference in a beautiful country full of beautiful people then this is the trip for you! GVI caters for everyone and I always felt safe and well looked after even though this was my first time in Asia. The construction coordinator Bibek always makes sure you have something to do so you feel like you are making the biggest impact you can!
As well as the volunteer experience you gain, you also meet fantastic people, I still keep in contact with today, a year after meeting them!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Although the week is packed full of your volunteer duties, the weekends are yours to spend as you will. I faced my fear of heights by paragliding over lake fewa which was an unforgettable experience organised by GVI!
Default avatar
Lisa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI volunteering - just do it!

As a first time solo traveller, and volunteer in my 40s, I can't say enough about how welcoming and supportive the GVI team were. Having read about the potential negative impact of some so-called 'voluntourism' programmes, it was essential that I found a highly ethical, sustainable, accountable and well-structured organisation. GVI was all of that and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to people of all ages - from teens to seniors. From the moment I booked on my programme I was supported with a wealth of information and on arriving in Nepal I was greeted by an amazing team, of staff and fellow volunteers. I won't lie, the teaching I did on the Women's Empowerment Programme, was harder than I expected, mainly due to the frustrations of limited resources in a developing country. But it was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I have taken away new skills, forever memories and lots of new friends. I am not sure if I alone made a significant difference but I am confident that each of us, together, doing our little bits, is having a collective positive impact on the communities we worked within. Nepal is a beautiful, complicated country and, with GVI, not only did I get to meet some inspiring people (locals and volunteers) but I also got to explore this amazing part of the world when I was not volunteering. If anyone is thinking whether volunteering abroad is for them, I'd say - just do it - and GVI is a good place to start your journey.

What would you improve about this program?
I think a bit more information and training on how to prepare for lessons, during the volunteering programme, and a structured plan from the local staff that we could help deliver. Lesson planning was left very much up to the volunteer which was initially a bit daunting, although within a couple of weeks it became second nature.
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Gaia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Childcare program in Pokhara

I've been volunteering in Pokhara for two weeks, in the early childhood teaching project. It's been the most enriching and challenging experience of my life so far. I had the chance to get to know amazing people and children, and I got in touch with the Nepali culture, which I ended up falling in love with.
The staff members and the other volunteers were so welcoming and supportive that after few days I already felt at home.
I will never be grateful enough for this experience!
Being the only voluteer on project with the staff members, made me question myself and gave me the possibility to be as involved as possible in the choice and organization of the activities.
Moreover, Nepal is an incredibly beautiful land, and Pokhara is literally a little corner of paradise.
There's no better place for volunteering.

Read my full story
Default avatar
Shameera
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Women's Empowerment in Nepal - best decision I have made.

I did the Women’s Empowerment project in Nepal, Pokhara from about mid July to mid August 2019. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. It was perfect for me as I was looking to get experience in development whilst also broaden my experience and understanding of the world. In regard to the actual project itself, we would work Monday to Friday with local women in nearby villages from about 9am to 3pm. I personally thoroughly enjoyed the work and it was evident how vital the opportunity was for the women through their eagerness and commitment. One of the good things about the way the project is structured is that the work load doesn’t hinder any exploring of Nepal that you want to do, so in the evenings and weekends I could often go and see and do what I wish; and Pokhara as a town itself has a lot to offer. There is a local travel agency GVI work with who provide excellence service (car hire, treks, flight bookings ect) however, tend to be a bit more pricey then other local agencies however the quality of their service, their kindness and reliability make up for it. The staff in Nepal are amazing, the project manager Hannah offers a lot of comfort in that if anything goes wrong or there are any issues she tends to know what to do and the project co-ordinater of WE, Sita, is so kind and offers so much support and guidance if needed. From the second I arrived I felt so welcomed and comfortable in the homestay; it is very nice living conditions and the food is delicious.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have stayed for longer! Because for the first week you are just learning and adapting to the role and place I felt like I only had 3 fully effective weeks. So in future I would stay on project for 6 weeks and then another 1 or 2 weeks just travelling/trekking in Nepal.
Default avatar
Ikanander
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in nepal

My time in Pokhara, Nepal on the volunteer teaching programme was truly amazing! I was only there for two weeks due to time restraints but would have loved to have stayed longer. It was lovely to see how passionate and enthusiastic the whole team in Nepal are and how much thought they put into running the projects sustainably. The location of our homestay is also brilliant as there are many places to visit nearby when you have time project. Can’t recommend it enough! The orientation at the start of the programme was very through to help adjust to the local culture and we had plenty of activities to do outside of programme hours if we wanted to. The school projects themselves are very rewarding and GVI has good links with the schools they work in.

What would you improve about this program?
Working more with the teachers at the school to improve their skills.