For a volunteer, Nepal is a fascinating location. A landlocked country in South Asia, it is in the heart of the
Himalayas and contains eight of the world's highest peaks including that of Everest. It is one of the least developed countries
in the world and gap year or career break volunteers for Nepal are much needed.
Nearly half of its population live below the poverty line and only 15% of households
have electricity. In addition, many thousands of children are engaged in hard physical work and live on
Only 42% of the female population are literate. Many girls do not go to school because they can't
afford the government imposed fees of £50 a year. Furthermore, human trafficking is also a
problem. The country is fascinating and diverse in its geography. The mountainous region in the north
contains eight of the world's highest ten mountains, including Mount Everest, whilst the south of the
country is humid, fertile and heavily urbanized. Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is 1,400m
above sea level and surrounded by four major mountains. Nepal's culture is rich and varied, and being
invited to a local festival is something of a highlight of volunteering in Nepal. Our projects are
based in both Hindu and Buddhist communities, and you will play an active role in daily life. As such,
you are almost guaranteed to be invited to join in with celebrations on a regular basis.
Outreach International have two bases for volunteering in Nepal, one in Kathmandu, the other in Pokhara. The latter is
probably the best centre for trekking, white water rafting and canoeing in Nepal. It is one of the liveliest
Nepalese towns but infinitely more tranquil than Kathmandu. Located on the beautiful Phewa Lake the skyline
is dominated by the Annapurna mountain range. There are wonderful day walks and longer treks into the Himalayas.
The best known of these is probably the trek around Annapurna.
Kathmandu is a wonderful 'medieval time capsule'. Ancient timber buildings have become internet cafes,
narrow lanes seethe with merchants and echo with the sound of bicycle bells, chanting, religious music
and car horns. The population is less than a million but Kathmandu is the melting pot of a dozen ethnic
groups from Nepal, Tibet and India. Sacred cows roam the streets adding their smells to those of incense,
spices and pollution. Our volunteer projects are in quiet, grassy areas of town. The hustle and bustle is
never far away and so are the mountains and rivers of the Himalayas.