Nepal - Volunteer in Children's Home (Orphanage)

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from The Umbrella Foundation.

Video and Photos

My brothers and I. Yes, I look crazy, but the boys slathered tika all over my face to show me their gratitude, respect, and love. Plus, they thought it was pretty funny!
The boys all ready for school. Don't they look handsome?
Football with the boys :)
The Gang up the mountains - great times!!!
My tikka (leaving party) - everyone in that picture is AWESOME!!!
Up in Gatlang, near the Tibetan border!
Umbrella Foundation Volunteer Nepal orphanage
Umbrella Foundation Volunteer Nepal orphanage
Umbrella Foundation Volunteer Nepal orphanage
Umbrella Foundation Volunteer Nepal orphanage


This three-month programme is an exciting opportunity to live and work closely with the children in our Childcare Homes. The role of the volunteer is that of a mentor or big brother/sister to the children. Volunteers help to nurture and develop the children as well as assisting with day-­‐to-­‐day activities in the childcare homes. This includes playing games, organising activities, helping with homework and walking the children to and from school.

**-We are not a volunteer agency, we are a charity that accepts volunteers. The contribution we ask volunteers to raise covers their accommodation and food with the remaining amount going towards the direct care of our kids within our projects-**

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Questions & Answers


based on 10 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 10 of 10
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to The Umbrella Foundation!!

I spent just over 2 months working at The Umbrella Foundation. It was one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of my life. The children and staff are fantastic. We had breakfast with and walked the children to school. Then we had the day to organise activities for them. We setup sporting events, participated in a women's rights day and performed for the children. We also ran the weekly pub quiz in Thamel and travelled with the children to the remoter parts of Nepal.
We also helped setup an education programme for the girls and boys.

This was a brilliant experience and one I would recommend to anyone!!!

Go, now!!!

Yes, I recommend this program

Nepal is Love

I loved volunteering at Umbrella. I fell head over heals in love with Nepal, and will be back next summer :) Mornings and Evenings were spent with the kids, who are incredible, and during the day you are free to explore the wonderful country of Nepal. This organization does a great job of exposing you to Nepali culture, as you live in an unadulterated Nepali community, complete with Nepali living arraignments, chores, and food. Still, Umbrella leaves you feeling safe while in the country, and gives you room to be a tourist, too. As far as day-to-day life goes, you eat with the kids, walk them to school, plan their activities, and help them with their homework. You are considered their di or didi (big brother or sister), and you feel like they belong to you, too. I love these kids so so so much, and am so grateful to have been a part of their lives and their family. Honestly, I can't speak highly enough of Umbrella. My summer their totally changed my life. It is wonderful. And Umbrella goes above and beyond the call of duty for these kids, in its efforts to reunite families, and give the children true homes, once again. It is an incredible place, changing the world, one kid at a time.

What would you improve about this program?
I think there could be better management at the top of umbrella in regards to staff-volunteer relationships. That said, the staff on the ground is amazing, and the kids are worth it. !10% worth it!
Yes, I recommend this program

Recommended to EVERYONE!

Apart from the awesome staff, awesome kids and the awesome other volunteers, you really get a sense of doing REAL good because you see directly where donations are going, to HELPING people - its an AMAZING programme. The reason I chose Umbrella in the first place was because they had a reputation for not swallowing all the donations in administration. I really seen this when I was there, as you could see that your donations were going to the children and they (as should be!) were the number one priority! I have raised money for other charities and will continue to do so in the future, but I have often been disappointed by the way that the money has gone to pay peoples wages rather than do any actual work for the people who need it most - that is why Umbrella is the best for me! So I'd urge anyone thinking of volunteering overseas, please consider Umbrella, you'll have the best time and you'll be doing a whole lot of GOOD!

What would you improve about this program?
I really have nothing bad to say about it, I loved every minute of every day - sometimes things are tough, but the Nepali people are so friendly and the staff are so kind, that I never once found myself criticising the programme or the way it was run! I would hope they could get MORE donations to help, but thats true for all programs I guess!!!
Yes, I recommend this program

Never Ending Peace And Love

It truly is a testament to the Umbrella family -the kids, the volunteers and the staff-that so many of us keep returning to Nepal and to Umbrella. My first time in Nepal volunteering with Umbrella was in 2011 - I was terrified. However, within minutes of beginning this journey and stepping into a home of 26 teenage girls my life was changed. Yes, it was hard at first- as any group of teenage girls will test you and unlike the little kids they will not warm up to you upon sight; however, after spending time with them and getting to know each girl individually, I earned their trust and friendship and from then on we were family.

Not only will you have a remarkable experience volunteering for an organization that actually works on reuniting children with their families, but you will have a great time with the other volunteers. I went back again in 2012 and half the girls in my house were no longer there. While on a selfish note I was sad, I realized that Umbrella worked at finding these girls' families and they were home where they belonged. The number of children Umbrella has helped to reunify is truly incredible.

It is the most amazing organization and i can't recommend it highly enough.

Yes, I recommend this program

A truly humbling, unforgettable experience

As a volunteer during my time in Nepal, I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the real Nepal and meet some wonderful children at the Umbrella Foundation in Swayambhu. I was a volunteer in a children’s home – children who had been rescued from corrupt and abusive homes and were being reunited with their families. It was incredible to be a part of that – a truly humbling, unforgettable experience. To describe it is beyond my descriptive prowess but I’ll try. It was amazing. I did not waste a single second. The kids are incredible - they are so full of life, determination and happiness. These kids have been through pain I can’t even imagine, some have lost their families, been trafficked, abandoned, left to starve, sold into slavery, run away from abuse and forced labour but despite all this, they carry on with a surprisingly positive attitude and unbeatable spirit. The only thing these kids want to know is that someone cares about them, that they are not forgotten and that the people they care about are looked after and have a normal life. They are incredibly grateful for what little they have and they don't dwell on the pain in their past. They inspire happiness in others - whenever I felt a touch of home sickness or in any way down, I'd be told “Brother, don't be sad, be happy”.

What would you improve about this program?
No complaints. Umbrella are not a volunteer agency, there are a charity that accepts volunteers. A MAJOR difference. They are doing great.
Yes, I recommend this program

A real Difference

In the summer of 2012, I spent three amazing months at the Umbrella Foundation in Kathmandu. I was volunteering in a children's home, with thirty Nepali kids aged 8 to 18. While I was nervous at first, I never could have imagined how much I would enjoy the following three months. As a big brother, my duties included bringing the kids to school, helping them with homework, planning activities and, of course, playing hours and hours of football! I was able to build a strong, lasting friendship with the kids, providing them with the emotional support to grow personally. Achieving this in just a few months reflects the friendly and welcoming nature of the children at Umbrella, and the Nepali people overall. While living in Nepal requires stepping out of your comfort zone a little, it took no time at all for me to settle in. Day trips around Kathmandu with the children, as well as a volunteer's trip to Gurje, made me love Nepal even more. These memories will stay with me forever. What impressed me most about Umbrella was its sense of community. The children, volunteers and staff are one big family. Volunteering as a part of this family was a unique experience in which I was able to learn about myself, make new friends and help the amazing cause that is Umbrella. My only regret is that I didn't stay longer, it's only a matter of time before I go back! As a volunteering opportunity, I cannot recommend it highly enough!

What would you improve about this program?
The money goes where it should in Umbrella and I have seen the difference my contribution made. Therefore, I have no criticisms at all.
Yes, I recommend this program

My New Family!

I had just finished University and wanted to experience something completely different. My sister who had volunteered with the Umbrella Foundation and who brings Irish students for a two week volunteering summer program advised me that if I wanted a life changing experience then I should go to The Umbrella Foundation. From the minute I arrived in Umbrella I knew it was where I should be as soon as I was placed in the Sagarmartha house of 23 girls.

On my first day I remembered walking to the house and all I could hear was laughing, chatting and singing I thought this sounds like fun. From that moment I felt at home and part of the family. Each girl was so individual, each with their own special personality.

I became a big sister to the most amazing group of girls in the world and Ifell in love with all my little sisters, their country and of course their beautiful culture. I do believe that volunteering with The Umbrella Foundation was the best thing I have The volunteers that I met were also incredible people. I would consider them as great friends and will be in contact with them for the rest of my life. done with my life so far. I will never forget the girls of Sagarmartha they are imbedded in my heart and the most difficult task was saying goodbye which is why I am planning to come back for a year as soon as possible.

Dolores, Ireland (January- May 2012)

Yes, I recommend this program

Little Princes Orphanage

I heard about The Umbrella Foundation from the book "Little Princes"I was inspired to come to Nepal after reading “Little Princes” by Conor Grennan. I always knew I wanted to travel to a developing country to volunteer and after researching Umbrella I knew it was the place for me!

From the moment I was introduced to the girls at Gauri Shankar, I felt right at home. I now have 36 new sisters and my time at Umbrella couldn’t have been a more positive experience! I fell in love with the Umbrella children, the people and culture of Nepal. Volunteering with Umbrella is something I will look back on with the fondest of memories and I will always be thankful for my time with the kids!

Niamh Burke, Canada (September - November 2011)

Yes, I recommend this program

So Hard to Leave -So I'm coming back!

I heard about The Umbrella Foundation from the book "Little Princes" by Conor Grennan. From that point on, I knew I had to see Nepal and meet the children in Umbrella. I was placed in Kanchanjunga House for my three month stay and loved it from the beginning. The boys made me feel right at home, teasing me just like my younger brother would. They even taught me some dance moves and let me play football with them. Even the house parents, didis, and the tutor treated me like part of the family.

When it was time to say goodbye at the end of my three months, I didn't want to leave. I loved Nepal and the people so much that I decided I had to go back. So, I found a job with another INGO and am now moving back to Kathmandu!

Megan Goth, USA (July-September 2011)

Yes, I recommend this program

Umbrella is Amazing!

Arriving in Kathmandu was like stepping into a completely alien environment for me but after about five minutes with the Gauri Shankar girls it was like I had instantly found a new family. My housemother’s warm welcome included her showing me where the Irish tea bags were kept in the kitchen and telling me to treat the home like my own.

There were so many highlights during my time with Umbrella and one of them was spending a couple of weeks in the stunning district of Rasuwa, helping the teachers of the school in Gatlang village. This village is where some of the Umbrella children have been recently reunited with their families. Entering Gatlang is like stepping back in time to a small farming community. The welcome you get when you are there is overwhelming and it is pretty special to see the children back where they belong and happy with their own families.

My three months with Umbrella just seemed to fly by. Saying goodbye and leaving everyone behind was very difficult but I know I will definitely be back soon for a visit.
Aideen, Ireland (January- March 2012)