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NGO Support Volunteer Program in Nepal

In Nepal, NGOs play an important role in the development of the country and improving the quality of life for locals. However, many are in need of volunteer assistance, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to assist under-resourced organizations. Your volunteering can help these worthy initiatives to achieve both the long-term development goals of Nepal and important fundraising goals that directly support the immediate community.

These small, local NGO’s operate in areas including youth and women’s empowerment, education, environment & conservation, public health, management & administration and journalism. Hard-working, independent volunteers who have relevant skills and experience are well suited to this project.

NGO Support volunteer in Nepal with IVHQ

Your tasks can include administrative work, monthly/annual reporting or working in communities to support the initiatives of the NGO you’re placed in. You can expect to work between four - eight hours per day, where your tasks will depend on your individual skills and interests, as well as your program duration.

The NGO Support project is open to all volunteers who have an interest in international relations, social work, development studies, social issues or those who want to learn about project management. A basic knowledge of how non-profit organisations operate is preferred and this understanding will help you maximize your time in Nepal.

Your placement will be decided based on your skills and interests, as well as the needs in Nepal at the time. You will need to be flexible and understand the workload and type of work will vary depending on the time of year and the exact placement you volunteer at.

This project has a minimum duration requirement of 4 weeks to give you enough time to understand the needs of the NGO you’re assisting and maximize your contribution as a volunteer. You need to register no later than four weeks prior to your start date to allow the local team time to arrange your volunteer placement.

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Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $250 for 1 week
  • Provide support in NGOs working in a range of important sectors

  • Placements decided based on your skills and interests, plus the local need for assistance

  • Placements include youth and women’s empowerment, education, environment & conservation, public health, management & administration and journalism

  • Suited to enthusiastic, flexible volunteers willing to make a difference where it’s needed

  • Minimum duration of 4 weeks

  • Volunteer for up to 4-8 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Nepal at a glance
  • Projects based in popular Nepalese towns and cities of Kathmandu, Chitwan, Chitlang and Pokhara

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast and dinner each day, and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a guesthouse initially, then local homestays

  • Between 30 and 60 volunteers start in Nepal each month

The Nepal volunteer program has volunteer opportunities located throughout Nepal, with volunteer projects located in Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara and Chitlang.

Nepal Volunteer Project Locations

  • Medical Elective (Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara)
  • Childcare (Kathmandu, Pokhara)
  • Women’s Education (Kathmandu)
  • Teaching English (Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara)
  • Special Needs Care (Kathmandu)
  • Construction and Renovation (Kathmandu, Chitlang, Pokhara and Chitwan)
  • Sustainable Agriculture (Chitwan, Pokhara)

Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and volunteer projects here are located on the outskirts of the city, in rural and urban areas. Chitwan is located approximately 150 kilometres from Kathmandu, in the middle of Terrai - a flat fertile plain that borders India and stretches right across Southern Nepal. Chitlang is a rural location, about 2 hours drive from Kathmandu and accessed through tough terrain. It is located in mid-hills along the Mahabharat range, to the south west of Kathmandu valley. Pokhara is located in mid-western Nepal and is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its amazing mountain views.

The Nepal volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Please note that Childcare project in Pokhara has a 2 week minimum duration.

Volunteers are required to fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu), which is a 10 to 12 hour flight from most major airports in Australia.

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Kathmandu on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu. Australian travellers are eligible to gain a tourist visa on arrival for up to 90 days. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Kathmandu. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Nepal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up at a prearranged destination in Kathmandu on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Nepal team in Kathmandu and runs over the course of 2 days. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Nepal – Introduction to Nepal, Nepalese Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Nepal, Introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to visit local temples, sample authentic Nepali food, meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

If you are you placed in Pokhara or Chitwan, you will travel to your placement location on the Wednesday and you will begin work on the Thursday. If you are located in Kathmandu, you will visit your placement on Wednesday and begin work on the Thursday.

First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays: While a volunteer daily schedule will vary depending on the specific placement, a typical day is as follows:

7.30 AM Breakfast at the homestay.

8.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. There is usually a tea break and a lunch break.

2.00 PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house, go sight seeing, or do some shopping.

7.00 PM - 9.00 PM Dinner at the homestay.

On arrival in Nepal, volunteers are accommodated in a guesthouse in Kathmandu for the 2-day duration of orientation. Volunteers are then accommodated together in homestays and hosted by local families, who have been approved by our program staff. We give your host family a fee for your support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a host family, providing you with a unique opportunity to learn about the Nepalese way of life, meet local people, try traditional food and speak the local language. Please note, host families in Nepal speak limited English. Living is basic but comfortable and most homestays have electricity and running water, however some rural homestays do not have electricity or running water during the dry season. Squat toilets are the norm in Nepal and you will not come across many western toilets. Volunteers can also expect low-pressure showers that are generally not heated, however, this is refreshing after a day in the heat. You can expect to share a room with one to three other volunteers and bedrooms are comprised of single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. It is recommended volunteers bring their own sleeping bag and mosquito nets for any trips away.

WiFi is available in the volunteer homestays, however those based in Chitwan should expect to walk to a nearby cafe for internet access. If you would like to keep connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Nepal.

The staple meal for most Nepali families is dal bhat, which consists of lentil soup (dal), rice (bhat) and vegetables in curry (tarkari) and/or meat (masu) with side of pickle/sauce (achar). Indian and Tibetan influenced dishes also very common in Nepal, including plenty of curries, breads and potato-based dishes. Volunteers are served two meals per day at their homestay and can purchase additional food to supplement this if they wish. Bottled water is readily available in Nepal and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 (AU$8) per week for this (2 litres per day). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.

“The placement was fantastic and I’ve made a promise to myself and everyone at the Kathmandu childcare centre that I will return as soon as I get the chance. The experience was unreal and the love and relationships I built in such a short space of time with the elders as well as the children was truly amazing. It was a completely humbling experience that children with absolutely nothing can have so much happiness in their lives regardless of the situation that they are in.” - Jitesh Mistry (Childcare Volunteer in Nepal)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Nepal here

Nepal

Length of Program Program Fee $USD
1 week $250
2 weeks $380
3 weeks $510
4 weeks $640
5 weeks $770
6 weeks $900
8 weeks $1,140
10 weeks $1,380
12 weeks $1,620
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • To see prices in your local currency, use this currency converter.
  • The Medical Elective project has an extra cost of US$60 per week, while the Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of US$50 per week to cover training, resources and materials used in these projects.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program (Pre-arranged airport drop off from Kathmandu can be arranged for US$14)
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Nepal generally find US$20 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Nepal. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield and engage in tourist activities, such as trekking, jungle safaris and visits to temples.

See our Nepal Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Nepal!

Capital Kathmandu
Population 27.47 million
Languages Nepali
Currency Rupee (NRs.)
Time zone UTC+05:45

Weather and climate: The climate in Nepal varies largely due to the variations in typography across the country. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons with dry weather and moderate temperatures. The Kathmandu Valley and other areas of high altitude experience summer temperatures of up to 28°C (82.4°F) and in winter, temperatures range between 2°C (35.6°F) and 20°C (68°F). The summer temperatures in Chitwan can reach up to 35°C (95°F) and in winter they range between 7°C (44.6°F) and a mild 23°C (73.4°F). The climate in Pokhara is similar to that of the Kathmandu Valley, with slightly warmer temperatures.

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to to learn more.

All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Nepal. Additional requirements apply for Medical Elective, NGO Support and Sustainable Agriculture volunteers.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!