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Special Needs Care Volunteer Project in Nepal - Kathmandu

Special Needs Care Volunteer Project in Nepal - Kathmandu

Eager to be a Special Needs Care volunteer in Nepal - Kathmandu? International Volunteer HQ’s Special Needs Care project empowers volunteers to assist in specialist day care centres for children with disabilities. These centres are often under-resourced and assistance from volunteers can make a huge difference in helping local teachers provide individual care and connection to students who need it to grow, learn and thrive.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from £228 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help children with disabilities with education and sensory activities

  • Explore Nepal’s amazing mountain ranges

  • Stay with a local family for a unique experience of Nepali life

Key information

Provide care & connection for disabled people
Based in specialist day care centres
Homestay accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from £228 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Yoga and meditation retreat available
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Compassionate, caring volunteers who want to help and support people with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities. You’ll work alongside local staff so there is no need to have prior experience, but physical therapists are especially in demand at this project.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

For those with special needs, being able to spend time in specialist day care centres means they’re able to spend productive time learning and socialising. These centres are often not well resourced, so volunteer assistance can make a huge difference in helping teachers to deliver personalized care that can improve quality of life for those with disabilities.

As a Special Needs Care volunteer you’ll help to look after children with disabilities aged between 3 to 16 in Kathmandu, or at one placement in Chitwan. Working in a special needs placement can be challenging, but very rewarding. Your tasks will include:

  • Teaching life skills and basic lessons
  • Cleaning up
  • Feeding and helping with meals
  • Arranging games and activities

There is also scope to assist with physical therapy if you have relevant experience.

To note: if you are looking to join this project for a 1 week duration, it is important to be aware that there is a 2 day orientation and as such, your volunteer placement would run from Wednesday - Friday.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Good mental and physical health is key to sustainable development and building healthy and happy communities. Now more than ever, we must increase access to free healthcare and health education across the globe to achieve an acceptable standard of living and wellbeing for all.

Why do Special Needs Care volunteering in Kathmandu with IVHQ?

When you volunteer to help care for people with disabilities in Nepal you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving care and education for people with disabilities
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining experience working with disabled people
  • Immersing yourself in the Nepali way of life
  • Discovering Nepal’s diversity of culture

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

CC
Chi Kiu Jacqueline Chui
19 Dec 2023

I have learned more about the Nepalese culture and the volunteer experience was unforgettable. The overall experience has made me more grateful for what I have now and treasure them.

...
AT
Amelia Thomas Sherratt
18 May 2023

Really helpful guidance and preparations resources were provided by IVHQ. My IVHQ Program Manager was amazing. The local team are absolutely fantastic and so incredibly helpful and welcoming.

...
JM
Janice Macdermid
18 May 2023

The guidance and preparation resources I received from IVHQ before starting my trip were very easy! The local team were excellent. My recommendation for future volunteers is; Do it. The experiences are both challenging and rewarding. I wish l could have done it when l was younger.

...
BG
Bentley Grattan
01 Mar 2023

IVHQ have been excellent and have provided lots of detailed information to ensure that I was well prepared and well set up for my time in Nepal. The family who I stayed with were very welcoming and friendly.

I'm still yet to be able to put the impact this volunteering trip had on me into words - however the time volunteering and living locally gave me the time to appreciate all of the little things in life and the skills that each of us have. I came to learn how important it is to have skills and to be able to share these skills with those who live in the communities in which we call home. Being able to volunteer in an area that needed my professional skills was incredibly rewarding. I was able to share my skills, knowledge and experience with local team members to ensure that they can continue to deliver high quality services going forward.

Volunteering requires you to fully immerse yourself within the life and culture of the local community. This will force you outside of your comfort zone and into a state of learning, enjoyment, exploration and fun. You are always welcomed like an old friend people will want to learn from you and help you in return for you learning from them and helping them.

...
JA
Javiera Adriazola Salazar
25 Jan 2023

The guidance and preparation resources I received from IVHQ before starting my trip was very nice and complete… and the answer was fast. The host family was amazing and nice!!

...
AC
Amy Collins
01 Dec 2022

In general, the local team was supportive. The accommodation positively exceeded my expectations. Hosts were gracious and thoughtful about volunteer needs. The volunteer cook is an awesome cook. She was also conscientious about volunteer's food preferences (i.e. how much, how spicy, vegetarian/non-vegetarian).

It's worth the uncertainty and risk because it enriches both your life and the lives of the people you serve.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

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Learn about course credit
Volunteer Abroad in Nepal with IVHQ

Location

Land-locked in the middle of South Asia, Nepal is known for its astonishing alpine scenery and breathtaking mountainscapes. But this diverse country offers much more than its remarkable natural environment. Among Nepal’s 28 million people, there are more than 100 different ethnic groups speaking as many languages and following a large number of religious and cultural traditions. It also faces the challenges associated with a history of civil war, natural disasters, political corruption and a lack of resources and infrastructure to support its population.

Volunteers can have a meaningful impact on Nepalese communities by providing assistance with a wide range of activities that help make life, and the future, better for local people. IVHQ has a number of volunteer projects in Nepal. Some are located on the outskirts of the capital city of Kathmandu in rural and urban areas, while others are in Chitwan 150 kilometres away, in the middle of Terrai - a flat fertile plain that borders India and stretches right across Southern Nepal. Pokhara is located in mid-western Nepal and is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its amazing mountain views.

Arrival and orientation

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. 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 two days. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Nepal – an introduction to Nepal, Nepalese customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Nepal, and an 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 placed in Pokhara or Chitwan, you will travel to your placement location on Tuesday afternoon and you will begin work on Wednesday. If you are located in Kathmandu, you will begin work on Wednesday.

Volunteer schedule example

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. There is usually a tea break and a lunch break.
2:00 - 5:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house, go sightseeing, or do some shopping.
7:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the homestay.

Weekends:

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Nepal. Known for being home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mt Everest, Nepal is an adventurer’s paradise. It has a vast selection of exceptional hikes in the Himalayas with arresting views in every direction, white-water rafting, canyon swings, paragliding and scenic flights. It also has a rich multicultural heritage and a huge collection of temples, pagodas, shrines, carvings and ancient architecture, not to mention an astonishing array of wildlife and an interesting cuisine influenced by its many ethnic groups and cultures.

Accommodation and WiFi

On arrival in Nepal, volunteers stay in a local hotel in Kathmandu for their two-day 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 - especially when host families in Nepal tend to have limited English.

Living is basic but comfortable and most homestays have electricity and running water, with the exception of some rural homestays which are without these conveniences 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 have 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 most of 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.

Meals

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 a side of pickle/sauce (achar).

Food in Nepal is heavily influenced by the country’s Indian and Tibetan neighbours and includes 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 £4 per week for two litres a 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 there is a need to be flexible.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week £228 Equivalent to £33/day
2 weeks £336 Equivalent to £24/day
3 weeks £444 Equivalent to £21/day
4 weeks £552 Equivalent to £20/day
5 weeks £660 Equivalent to £19/day
6 weeks £768 Equivalent to £18/day
8 weeks £967 Equivalent to £17/day
10 weeks £1166 Equivalent to £17/day
12 weeks £1365 Equivalent to £16/day
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, lunches, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Nepal generally find US$30 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as lunches, and local tours and activities.

Free-time experiences & tours in Nepal

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Nepal! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Nepal program.

Chitwan Jungle Safari (2 nights/3 days)
Chitwan Jungle Safari (2 nights/3 days)

Embark on an unforgettable jungle safari to witness Nepal’s captivating wildlife in its natural habitat.

£149
Everest Base Camp Trek (14 days)
Everest Base Camp Trek (14 days)

This iconic expedition is the most popular trekking route in the Himalayas and is unlike any other in the world.

£1224
Hatha Yoga and Meditation Retreat (1 week)
Hatha Yoga and Meditation Retreat (1 week)

Reconnect with tranquility and mindfulness during a rejuvenating one-week yoga and meditation retreat, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the Western world.

£435
Everest Base Camp Trek (14 days)
Everest Base Camp Trek (14 days)

This iconic expedition is the most popular trekking route in the Himalayas and is unlike any other in the world.

£1224
Hatha Yoga and Meditation Retreat (1 week)
Hatha Yoga and Meditation Retreat (1 week)

Reconnect with tranquility and mindfulness during a rejuvenating one-week yoga and meditation retreat, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the Western world.

£435
Chitwan Jungle Safari (2 nights/3 days)
Chitwan Jungle Safari (2 nights/3 days)

Embark on an unforgettable jungle safari to witness Nepal’s captivating wildlife in its natural habitat.

£149

Check what's required to visit Nepal

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Kathmandu
Population 28 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 geography 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.

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How to get started

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