Supporter for a Community Based Social Enterprise

founded in 2006
people and places
Coordinator | sallie
Coordinator | sallie
This program supports a social business enterprise in Kathmandu, which is working towards strengthening the skills and earning potential of home-based women workers. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+


Sabah is a social business organization which works towards strengthening the livelihoods of financially deprived home based women workers.  More than 2500 women are registered with the organization, which works in 14 different districts of Nepal.  Members of Sabah work in the areas of food, textiles and crafts.  They already have many traditional skills in making these products, and Sabah provides the training and organization required to enable them to produce these goods at the quality and consistency required for the sales market, and and to find outlets to sell them.  

Across Nepal more than 2.2 million women are working at home in various ways to make a little cash to supplement the family's income.  By registering with Sabah this work is legally recognized and a range of training opportunities are provided to enhance their skills, both in technical production and in wider areas such as leadership development.  As the production teams are organised in community groups, the women have a safe and secure environment in which to work.  

The project

This program works to support a social business organization in Kathmandu.  The local people who manage this project welcomes volunteers with the following areas of expertise:

  • community workers
  • small business skills
  • mentoring
  • film and digital story-telling
  • marketing and advertising
  • design of promotional materials
  • product designers
  • practical skills
  • financial manamgement
  • IT and literacy skills
  • nursery school support
  • teacher training (nursery level)

Volunteer Work

The volunteer program currently supports the community base at Khokana, a semi-rural suburb of Kathmandu which suffered considerable damage during the earthquake of 2015.  220 women work here, in the areas of weaving, stitching, knitting, embroidery, straw weaving, food and market gardening.  There is a nursery school to enable the women workers to leave their children in a safe environment while they work uninterrupted.  There is a cafe serving local recipes, with all food produced in the women's gardens.  There are weaving and sewing workshops, all producing goods to order.  

Volunteers will be taken to Khokana every day by car (included in the costs) from their accommodation in Patan; there is currently no suitable home-stay accommodation in Khokana due to earthquake damage but as rebuilding takes place this will become available so we hope to offer this as an accommodation option in future years.

There are many ways in which volunteers can offer support here, depending on individual skills and experience, and each volunteer will have an individual placement outline written for them to ensure that they can make a real contribution in meeting local needs.  A volunteer with business experience may have a placement outline which focuses on financial management or developing the supply chain.  Someone with skills in design may be asked to help with product development,  and someone with experience of advertising could be asked to help with marketing strategies.  A teacher or childcare expert may do their placement in the nursery school, helping the teachers develop their skills in pre-school teaching. 

There are as many different ways to support this project as there are volunteer skills - each volunteer will be matched with a local person and will work with them on a skills-share program.

Typical day

Every volunteer's day will be different, depending on their individual placement outline and the nature of the work they are doing.  Full details will be provided a part of the preparation process.  

However, typically a volunteer will work from about 9.00 - 16.00.  They will accompany the person who they have been matched with for their placement as they go about their working day, taking every opportunity to share skills with them.

Free-time activities

Volunteers will be staying in Patan, a part of Nepal with many shops and restaurants and plenty to do.  It is not far from the World Heritage Patan Durbar Square, and there are many cultural buildings to visit.  It is also easy to arrange transport to other areas of the city so all the heritage sites and tourist facilities of the busy city of Kathmandu are easily accessible.  

Our local partners in Kathmandu can help volunteers make arrangements to travel more widely in Nepal at weekends or after their placement has finished, so hikes into the mountains are to be recommended.


Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
at High school level
Required Documents
life story and references
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Other than the specific skills listed in the program description, volunteers need an ability to get on with people and to be flexible.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

Included Services

Services by people and places

Costs include:

  • bed and breakfast accommodation
  • airport transfers in Kathmandu
  • full local orientation
  • city tour
  • language course
  • weekend hike
  • welcome and farewell dinners
  • local SIM card
  • daily transport to project
  • project and placement liaison
  • contribution to project

Airport Pickup at Tribhuvan International Airport

Volunteers will be met on arrival at Kathmandu International Airport and driven to their accommodation.  A welcome dinner will take place, either that evening or the next day depending on arrival time.


Volunteers stay in a small, locally-run guest in a quiet area of Patan, close to local shops and restaurants.  Volunteers have a private room, with en-suite facilities.  The guesthouse provides bed and breakfast accommodation, and there is a restaurant in the grounds.  It is the site for the popular local Sunday market.

Food & Beverages

Bed and breakfast is provided at the accommodation.  There are many restaurants and supermarkets in the vicinity where volunteers can purchase food for other meals.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu. We assist you to find cheap flights to Nepal.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Nepal provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Nepal you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Nepal.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Volunteers may join this program at any time throughout the year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 3,870
5 weeks
$ 3,175
6 weeks
$ 3,450
7 weeks
$ 3,725
8 weeks
$ 4,000
9 weeks
$ 4,275
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 8,478
Average fees
$ 837 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. people and places will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with people and places during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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What are people saying about Volunteer World?

  Asia Southern Asia Nepal  Kathmandu, Patan 44700

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