FAQs - Volunteering

Volunteering is rewarding travel experience, allowing you to be immersed in a different culture, meet and work with locals and like-minded travelers and make a contribution to a community in need. Reading and following the advice on this page will help to ensure that your volunteering experience in Nepal is safe, ethical and worthwhile.

What challenges volunteers may face?

It’s obvious for volunteers and their relatives to be curious and concerned on several challenges and conditions volunteers may face during their time in Nepal. It could be general safety, health & living conditions, road safety and others. Volunteers may feel overwhelmed by the new environment, culture and people. Riddhi Nepal will be working hard in supporting volunteers to overcome all sorts of shortcomings. Riddhi Nepal is committed to make your stay enjoyable, meaningful and success.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and is intended to promote good or improve human quality of life. In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self=worth and respect. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialization, and fun. Volunteering is a unique opportunity to change lives for better for all concerned. It’s a process of giving but in return you will receive far more from it. Volunteering if performed on good faith and grounds can be an extremely rewarding and life-changing experience. Volunteer efforts can bring great changes in the lives of individual people and the wider community.

As a volunteer, your activities will be working side-by-side with local people to learn from them, exchange ideas, communicate and build bridges of mutual respect and understanding. Volunteering gives you the chance to give back to communities in need, but also increases your employability, improves your university admission chances, and helps you figure out what to do with your life! Your small involvement can help needy and disadvantaged people build a better future through education, community development and training.

It may sound appealing and easy but do not be mistaken, volunteering is a challenging act. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It needs kind but strong heart to accomplish. If you have the courage to go beyond your comfort zone and live with the very basics then you can choose to volunteer. Be the one that accepts challenges and make the adverse condition to your advantage. You can as the saying goes “Success is nothing, but courage is”.

Who can volunteer?

Any individual who is sympathetic and kind enough to work for the benefit of the people around us without expecting any material reward is rightly called a volunteer. Volunteering is an act of good Sumatran, who thinks and works for the general benefit for societies. Every effort, small or big, a person does for supporting others in various circumstances defines someone as volunteer. Part of being a volunteer is to love what you’re doing. Find something that you’re passionate about or something that inspires you, and then find a need in your community. There are dozens of reasons why you should volunteer – you just need to find the one that feels right. Some great reasons to volunteer are helping others, make a difference, find purpose, enjoy a meaningful conversation, connect with your community, feel involved, contribute to a cause that you care about, and other factors.

It is not essential for volunteers to have formal qualifications, but we do ask that all volunteers have a genuine desire to help people, and a commitment to seeing work through to completion. A positive and flexible attitude will also help you to get the most out of your volunteer work.

If you are applying to teach English or train teachers, a strong command of the English language is a necessity.    Similarly, if you are interested in volunteering at the Health Post, prior medical experience is needed.  For some specific programs such as teaching computer skills, environmental awareness program, medical programs, etc you should possess the skills and knowledge necessary to work within these programs.

The following attributes are essential for volunteer work, regardless of the program:

Independence

Patience

Good problem-solving skills

Sense of humor

Tolerance

Willingness to share

Flexibility

Self-motivation

Open-mindedness

Enthusiasm to learn about new cultures

With regards to volunteer work in general, it is useful to come with an open mind, and be realistic in your expectations of volunteering, as it is impossible for the projects and work here to be as structured as what people are used to in the west or from countries you come from. It helps to be flexible and adaptable in how you work, and understand some of the constraints in terms of language, resources etc.

 

Benefits that volunteering provides you are:

Benefit 1: Gain new knowledge and work experience working in another country will provide you with the opportunity to gain knowledge, experience and skills which you may not have been able to acquire at home. The obvious example is learning a foreign language much faster than you could at home by immersing yourself into the language and culture. In addition, by volunteering in your field of interest you will have the opportunity to learn new ways to approach different problems, and you will gain valuable work experience in a new environment.

Benefit 2: Enhance your CV/resume and increase your employability Volunteering overseas is a great way of making your CV/resume stand out. It shows that you are willing to step outside your comfort zone to make a difference to the lives of others. Employers appreciate this and they value the life experience, soft skills and cultural understanding that you will gain through volunteering.

Benefit 3: Experience improved self-esteem, self-confidence and life satisfaction by volunteering you will have the opportunity to experience personal development, which can take the form of improved self-esteem, self-confidence and life satisfaction. You are likely to feel a sense of empowerment and also begin to reflect on what you want from life.

Benefit 4: Learn about the world and different cultures Volunteering is very different to being a tourist because you will spend a significant amount of time in one place and you will be working on a daily basis with local people. This provides an invaluable opportunity to learn about different cultures, develop an understanding of the issues facing host communities and develop a sense of global citizenship

Benefit 5: Meet new friends and like-minded people one of the most long-lasting benefits of volunteering is the friendships you will make. You will meet people from all backgrounds and all walks of life but the challenges you will overcome together will often create life-long bonds.

Benefit 6: Improve chances of university/college success by taking time out to volunteer abroad, you will also increase your chances of success at college/university because you will be giving yourself the time to mature and focus your interests.

Benefit 7: Gain professional orientation/clarification International volunteering gives you the opportunity to take time out of your regular routine and think about what it is you really want to do with your life. By volunteering in an area you are interested in pursuing, you will have the opportunity to solidify your goals and career path. Alternatively, you may choose to explore new career possibilities.

Benefit 8: Improve college admission chances. Colleges and universities increasingly look for candidates with life experience and international travel experience. They value students who have taken a year out but are increasingly demanding as to how you choose to use your time out.

Benefit 9: Avoid burnout one of the reasons why universities are so in favor of a year out is that they recognize the need to avoid burnout. Before you embark on a major and pursue a degree program, it may be time for a break. Taking a year off before returning to school will afford you the opportunity to approach the next phase of your education with a fresh start and renewed vigor while staving off academic burnout.

Benefit 10: Have an incredibly rewarding experience Perhaps most importantly of all, volunteering overseas gives you the chance to give back and this can result in an incredible sense of fulfillment. Volunteering also gives purpose to travel and this has been highly documented in a variety of literature.

What challenges volunteers may face?

It’s obvious for volunteers and their relatives to be curious and concerned on several challenges and conditions volunteers may face during their time in Nepal. It could be general safety, health & living conditions, road safety and others. Volunteers may feel overwhelmed by the new environment, culture and people. Riddhi Nepal will be working hard in supporting volunteers to overcome all sorts of shortcomings. Riddhi Nepal is committed to make your stay enjoyable, meaningful and success.

Living & Working Conditions:

Volunteers living and working conditions varies depending on the programs and placements they choose and the location of it. All volunteers will be living along with host families in their home settings. Volunteers are treated as per the culture and capacity of the host family. Volunteers should keep in mind that they are there for volunteering not for holidays. As most general facilities & services are readily available in and around the placement locations and host families, however, it is advised to know and prepare for following general conditions you may find into during different circumstances.

Power interruptions and power cuts,

Lack of hot showers

Lack of western toilets

No internet/wi-fi

Poor public transportations

Dusty dirt roads

Poor water supply

Poor English knowledge

Safety Conditions:

The majority of people in Nepal are friendly, co-operative and welcoming. However, there are threats caused from social unrest like thefts, mugging, and riots and also from political situations like demonstrations, general strikes, political clashes and unrests. Volunteers are always advised to study the situations before embarking on any travelling. Further, during your time in Nepal always avoid the gathering of public and travel with the staff of Riddhi Nepal. Riddhi Nepal will inform you before hand of such places and any situations that might arise. In a new setting you need to be particularly careful and gradually build up your experience and understanding so that you can develop your ‘common sense’ to your new environment. Most people have a safe time in Nepal. The advice here is intended to make sure that you do too.     

Dress conservatively, giving consideration to local customs and dress codes.

Do not display cash, keys or other valuables.

Be appropriately groomed. Don’t look like a tourist!         

Always know where you are going (and if don’t act as if you do!).

Radiate confidence, yet be discreet and unassuming.         

Keep your wits about you! Be aware of your surroundings and alert to possible problems.

Avoid crowds. If they are blocking your way then do not attempt to pass. Find another way to your destination or change your plans.  

Maintain a calm, mature approach to all situations. Try to be unprovocative when confronted with hostile or potentially hostile situations.

Avoid being out at night. If you have to be then don’t travel alone.

Be careful on the roads. The rules are different here. Assume nothing.

Some cultural Do’s and Don’ts

With its diverse ethnic groups and traditional beliefs, Nepal has numerous cultural practices that may appear unusual to a person on his/her first visit to the country. Therefore, it is important for any overseas volunteer to take into consideration the different cultural aspects of the country to enjoy their stay in Nepal. Her are some tips which may e helpful to you.

Greetings

“Namaste” is widely used for greeting people.  Shaking hands is more western than Nepali and, whilst you may shake hands with a man if he offers his hand first, you should not shake hands with a woman. Holding hands/hugging between opposite sexes in public can be offensive (Relationships between men and women are usually restrained in public).

Dress

Women should always dress modestly. Avoid shorts, skirts, low-cut dress (and, in some areas, sleeveless dresses), open, tight-fitting clothes and see-through materials. Shorts are not acceptable for women, but men wear shorts at home

Shoes/feet

Shoes and feet are considered to be unclean. Take your shoes off before entering the temple, religious buildings, kitchen, and bedroom. Do not point at things/people with your feet.

It is a sin to touch a book with your feet.

Do not step over people, food, books etc.

Do not put your shoes upside down.

Eating and drinking

Do not eat from someone else’s plate.

Do not serve/offer any food or drink if someone has already touched it with the tips.     

Always use right hand for eating.       

Wash hands and mouth after eating.       

Burping is acceptable.

Nepalese prefer spicy food.

 

Others

Do not associate people or their behavior with the animal. E.g. “you eat like a monkey.”

Learn to address a person according to the Nepali tradition of respect, status and age. Privacy does not exist in Nepal the same way as you understand in the west. If you really want to be alone, try to explain that you want to rest or have some important work to do. 

Do not be embarrassed if someone ask about your age; whether you are married, and if not, why not (!?); your parents; and other seemingly private issues. 

Do not be embarrassed if someone remarks that you’ve gained weight. It is considered a compliment.

Always hand objects to other people using your right hand.

Heads are considered sacred; do not touch children on the top of their heads.

Social Activity

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Riddhi Nepal

Jorpati, Kathmandu

Nepal

Tel:01-6666666

Cell:98*******

Email: riddhinepal@gmail.com

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