Her Farm, Growing Hope in the Himalaya
100% Rating
(3 Reviews)

Her Farm, Growing Hope in the Himalaya

Her Farm is an organic farm that is operated for, and by women. Life in Nepal isn't easy for women; domestic abuse is high, girls are discouraged from getting educated and often married off by families at an early age. Her Farm is a refuge from all that and the only model of its kind in the country. Women of all ages, and a wide variety of backgrounds live and work at the farm and are showing what women are capable of.

You can join them, work along side them and help in all aspects of organic farming in Nepal. We have nice housing at the farm and you'll enjoy fresh, organic food right from our fields daily. You will meet and become friends with a remarkable group of women. We have a before and after school program at the farm as well and over 80 children a day come, anxious for you to teach them English.

Located just 2 hours from the capital city with million dollar views, fresh air, good food and the chance of a lifetime to see the real Nepal.

Locations
Asia » Nepal
Length
2-4 Weeks
3-6 Months
Language
English
Housing
Hostel
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
We use a simple daily rate that includes airport pickup, overnight at our Kathmandu house then on to the farm. Shared rooms include beds and all bedding, towels, etc. 24-7 support staff on hand, unlimted internet, all you can eat breakfast and dinner daily.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    93%
  • Support
    100%
  • Fun
    100%
  • Value
    97%
  • Safety
    100%

Program Reviews (3)

Default avatar
Heather
Female
57 years old
London, U.K.
Other

Do you want to become immeasurably enriched

10/10

Returning to Nepal for a second volunteer placement, this time I chose the Mountain Volunteer Fund. I actually decided on the Mountain Fund because of the prompt email support offered by director Scott MacLennan with answering my numerous questions, and because the infrastructure was in place behind the program with both management from the U.S. (when Scott wasn’t in Nepal), and the facilities on the ground in Nepal. The fact that in 2010 Scott had been awarded the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal for his work in Nepal confirmed for me that the organization and their projects were solid. I was put in touch with two other volunteers who were going to be there at the same time, so we emailed before and this meant I was totally prepared, arrived hitting the ground running feeling excited to meet my new friends and start the program.

Her Farm is a work in progress. Long ago it was one building for animals and staff, but now more than adequate infrastructure and volunteer facilities exist. Soon there will be more buildings being built for the school and daycare centre and additional housing. It is a farm so crops are being planted, maintained and harvested with the seasons. Also while I was there, two pop-up medical camps were done in the local rural areas that do not have permanent facilities. You can teach or assist with teaching; do farm work, plan, build, dig, plant, harvest, cook, clean, and build mutually beneficial relationships with volunteers/staff/villagers and as the Mountain Volunteer profile says: explore, learn, contribute.

For me the highlight of the program was the connections made with people and what we were able to achieve together as a team. We planned and set up the school at Her Farm in Mankhu and helped put systems in place to help those teaching in the future. With volunteers supporting the permanent staff, the volunteer house and farm were undergoing similar positive improvements and were evolving. The first classes started under a verandah with an A4 hand held whiteboard, and by the time I had to leave we had created a beautifully painted, fully equipped classroom that serviced classes of up to 80 excited and motivated students. It was win-win for the volunteers, staff, students and the village. As part of the program I did teacher training and gave feedback to the teachers at the local primary school, offered teaching assistant support to the other volunteers and also got to teach a few pronunciation lessons at Orchid Garden in Kathmandu.

I took an extra suitcase of teaching supplies to set up the school (and procured an additional weight allowance from my airline), but as an experienced traveller in Nepal the only thing I didn’t use was a journal – my photos became my record of the trip. Others wrote and created beautiful journals on paper, but I spent my time feeling, reflecting and lesson planning and capturing digitally. Everything essential (except the no rinse toiletries) can be bought at the shops and department store minutes from the volunteer house in Kathmandu (and are probably cheaper than from home).

The program’s impact personally was huge. I returned a more serene, confident and multi-skilled person – even more creative and resourceful. Some of the changes were from overcoming personal challenges, and others from achieving amazing outcomes as a team. The biggest impact was a changing perspective on work, life and world issues. Doing the volunteer work as a teacher certainly adds to my professional portfolio as an ESL teacher in London. Volunteers will find enhanced ways to approach and live the challenges of life, much as Nepal will evolve and find its place in a modern world and both will be immeasurably enriched.

How can this program be improved?

To be honest it is hard to find anything that could have been improved. The cold showers were initially my adversary, but the harder the physical work, the easier they were to accept. Just take ‘No Rinse Waterless Shampoo and the Body Wash’ for the other days.

Default avatar
Monica
Female
32 years old
Irvine, California
University of California- Irvine

The best choice I have ever made.

10/10

I just returned home from volunteering with The Mountain Fund at Her Farm for two months. Working with them was one of the best decisions I have ever made, for several reasons.
During my time, I taught English at the Mountain Fund School in the village. We have three classes, broken up by age and English language proficiency. Students attend classes as a supplement to their regular schooling in order to make sure that they are actually getting the attention and language training that they need (English in village schools is often sub-standard or nonexistent). I had a wonderful experience teaching here. It was my responsibility to come up with lesson plans and take care of everything necessary for the classes to run smoothly, but I always had support from the staff whenever I needed it. It was incredibly fulfilling work. The children come to these classes voluntarily, and truly appreciate learning. It was wonderful to get to know them and watch their English improve. I developed relationships with the kids that I feel were mutually beneficial. I taught them English, but I also learned a lot from them about their culture, gratitude, friendship, and love, simply through my interactions with them every day.
Scott and Sunita, and the rest of their staff, are thoughtful people who are creative and passionate about their cause, and it shows. They are making marked and consistent progress toward their goals in the village – there are contractors out at the farm right now building more housing for staff and volunteers, a kitchen for the school, a future computer room, and water tanks to support improved year-round crop irrigation. The work is monitored closely and is moving along quickly. The new buildings are key in that they will provide space for Mountain Fund to grow, thus expanding the organization’s efforts, methods and reach. The staff also works incredibly hard on keeping the farm running smoothly every day, and they do a wonderful job. When I wasn’t planning lessons or teaching, I helped with the housework and farming. I participated in harvesting rice, millet, and mustard, I cut and carried grass to feed the animals, I helped cook and clean, and generally did whatever else needed to be done on a given day. I followed their lead and learned as much as I could from them.
I have never met such a group of dedicated people who work so hard, yet truly enjoy every minute of it and are so unmistakably happy. It was an amazing experience to work alongside these young people. Her Farm provides a safe, encouraging environment for its staff to support themselves, make their own choices, and have the freedom to be who they are. The values exemplified there are closely in line with my own, which is one reason why it felt so good to be a part of that community. From the very first moment, I felt right at home at Mountain Fund. And, beyond being treated with respect and kindness at every turn, over my time there the staff became some of my best friends.
I lived very comfortably in the volunteer house. I slept in a shared room with other volunteers on a decent bed with a provided mosquito net, sleeping bag and pillow. There is a western toilet downstairs, as well as a shower and outdoor sink for washing up. The water is cold, but that is not at all difficult to get used to. I came to enjoy the cold showers. I fell in love with the whole life – the routine of drinking tea, teaching, farming, cooking, talking and laughing, watching the sunrise every single day, enjoying the moon and stars every night, and staring at the beautiful mountains fading into the distance all around me.
It is difficult to describe adequately in words how wonderful my experience at Her Farm was. The best thing I can say is that I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in truly fulfilling work, and to have found a home and a family on the other side of the world. I would recommend this organization to anyone wanting to volunteer in Nepal. You can be sure that the work you are doing is real, and you will be in good hands for every moment of your stay. I feel that working with Mountain Fund also brought me very close to the country and the culture. I learned so much about Nepal, the world, and myself, and walked away with the incredible, cherished gift of new perspective. I plan to go back and volunteer with them again as soon as I can.

How can this program be improved?

There is nothing I would change. Living and working in Nepal is certainly very different than anything one would encounter in the West, but adapting to and embracing that alternative way of life is an integral part of the beauty of this experience. Go with an open mind and heart and there is nothing that you won't fall in love with.

Default avatar
Alia
Female
32 years old
Toronto ON Canada
York University

Never Ending Peace And Love.

10/10

I went into this program with no expectations. What I found and experienced was so much more than I ever could have imagined. I was immediately accepted into this beautiful family as one of their sisters. The work could be hard and frustrating at times, but the family never failed to take care of all of is. Always providing simple things like food and tea for a break. I absolutely cannot wait until I have the opportunity to go back and visit these wonderful special people.
This was an experience I never expected to have but that I will never forget. It resonated with me on a deeper level that I can't even describe.
I would recommend it for anyone looking to delve deeper inside themselves. Learn more than they ever thought they could and become more themselves than they ever have been before.

How can this program be improved?

I would change nothing. It was not about the program. The program is developing all the time. Our place is to be there and make the program better every time for the new people coming in.

About The Provider

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The Mountain Volunteer is a program of The Mountain Fund, a 501c3. We've lived and worked in Nepal for over decade and our director is the recipient of the Sir Edmund Hillary Medal.

All of our programs for volunteers take place at projects we created,

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