Volunteering in Nepal can be a life changing experience if it’s done correctly. I have thankfully only had positive experiences when heading to Nepal to volunteer, that’s because I followed some expert advice and listened to people who had a lot more experience at the time than myself.
There are thousands of people that go volunteering in Nepal each year, as with everything there are good and bad programs so you need to make sure your choice is the best possible. There are also plenty of other factors to consider when you volunteer in Nepal. I’ve compiles a list of the key points you need to consider when you want to volunteers. Just wanting to volunteer and having good intentions is great but you need to make sure you’re going to be the best volunteer possible.
One of the biggest mistake potential volunteers make is taking responsibility for their decision to volunteer. I know that when you’re on the road it can be difficult to make and then stick to plans, but when it comes to volunteering you really need to make an effort. If you say you’re going to do it then you really need to follow through with that promise. Treat it just like you would do a job back home, if you’re going to be delayed make sure you give lots of notice and keep in contact. Many projects are under staffed and funded, so they’re relying on you being there when you said. I’m sure anyone reading this will be super reliable, we just need to make sure people keep it in mind.
Why are you there and what for? Before you get on the plane to Nepal you need to have a good understanding of the project expectations and also what you are hoping to achieve – sometimes projects don’t always make these things clear, so you need to insist they give you the required info. You may have skills that you want to use but the project needs other things, after communicating you can find out the best way forward and what you can achieve, setting goals is always good.
Remember that even though you are there to help, you are still a guest and need to be super respectful of culture and of course the people. When you come in with an open mind and are clearly showing respect local people will open up to you more than you expect, it will be really humbling the type of experiences you have if you’re not overbearing and ignoring certain cultural norms.
What tips do you have for volunteers and do you have any stories to share from your volunteer experiences? Please do let us all know what you think by sharing your knowledge in the comment section below. I’m looking forward to reading all your comments!