Contribute your time and affection in making a difference to the lives of neglected children in this visually arresting, off the beaten track destination.
Our programmes in Nepal work with children who have been orphaned or whose parents cannot afford to look after them. These children have been dealt a bad hand in life, but by volunteering your time and affection you can make a real difference to their lives.
Volunteers will need to have plenty of energy, as the kids can be quite a handful! It’s a good idea to make sure you think of plenty of games and educational activities before you arrive in Nepal, so you have lots of ways to keep the children entertained. The children’s level of English will vary and therefore you should prepare activities for a whole range of abilities and ages. As well as practising English, arts and crafts activities are always popular with the children. Some of the orphanages have large outdoor spaces for games with the children too.
Aside from providing invaluable help with hands on work at the orphanages, volunteers Programme Fees are used to provide financial support for the projects. The orphanages have no regular income, so funds are donated to maintain the orphanages and invest in making them sustainable.
You should arrive into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (airport code KTM) on the selected Sunday start date. Programmes start on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The programme ends on the Sunday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.
Can I use this program as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.
The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.
In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.
All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hardcopy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on-hand to assist you.
Volunteers are up early (around 6am) to help prepare breakfast and get the children ready. After walking them to school, you can help out with chores around the orphanage. These include cleaning, tidying and preparing meals as well as helping to feed any livestock or maintain the garden area. These tasks tend to finish at around 10am. You are then free until the children return to school. There maybe childcare work available during the day at a nearby project but this depends on your placement location and need at the time. You can discuss this option with our local team during your in-country orientation.
At around 3pm, volunteers pickup the kids from school. From then your role involves helping prepare and serve dinner, assisting the kids with their homework, teaching English and organising activities for the little ones. The children are of various ages (8 to 16 years of age) and backgrounds. At the orphanages there is generally between 8 and 12 children at each project site we support with the orphanage mother looking after the children who you will assist with hands on support.
IN & AROUND CHITWAN, POKHARA & KATHMANDU
PMGY volunteers are offered a choice of rural and urban locations in this stunning and visually arresting country with volunteer programmes in Chitwan, Pokhara & Kathmandu. Each location is unique in its own way.
This off the beaten track destination offers such stark and beautiful scenic contrasts from mountains to jungle and there are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland.
Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons. This is a guide to just a few of them.
Chitwan is located in the vast flat and fertile Terrai region close to the Indian border, offering a different landscape to that of Kathmandu and Pokhara, which are closer to the Himalayas. The main city in the region of Chitwan is Bharatpur and the region generally has a much hotter climate than the rest of the country!
Paddy fields, ox-towed carts and an array of wildlife, make this a perfect location for those seeking a quieter and more rural atmosphere. However, at the weekend there is still so much to do – elephant bathing, jungle safari, white-water rafting…there is definitely something for those seeking adventure! Whether you cross the country by mountain bike, motorbike, raft or tourist bus, Nepal offers an astonishingly diverse array of attractions and landscapes.
Far from the earthquake epicentre, and almost unaffected by the disaster, Pokhara is blessed with spectacular scenery and a booming adventure sports scene. One of the worlds best paragliding spots, surrounded by white-water rivers and gateway to the world famous Annapurna range treks, what’s not to love about this laid-back, lakeside town with views of snow-capped mountains just 20km away.
You’ll find everything you need from western restaurants to international hospitals. But if you prefer a more rustic experience we have placements in quaint rural settings just outside of Pokhara.
This square, where the city’s kings were once crowned and ruled from, remains the traditional heart of the old town and Kathmandu’s most spectacular legacy of traditional architecture. It’s easy to spend hours wandering around this Unesco World Heritage Site with its popular watch-the-world-go-by temples.
On-arrival into Indira Tribhuvan International Airport you will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. It is advised that volunteers purchase a PMGY volunteer t-shirt and wear it on their flight, as this makes it easier for us to identify you at the airport.
Host Family or Project Residence
Project Residence – Some of the orphanages we support have separate living quarters for volunteers (these are located next to the project). Rooms will fit between 2 and 4 people with bedding provided. Wi-Fi may be available, but will be intermittent if so. Volunteers have their own space and privacy Volunteers have their own space and privacy and should expect cold showers. The orphanage mother will prepare meals for you and the children. You’re more than welcome to lend a hand in the kitchen and learn how to cook traditional Nepalese dishes.
Host Family – Staying with a host family is a great way to become immersed in the Nepalese way of life. You will either have a private room or share with fellow volunteers and you can be sure you will be made to feel like part of the family.
It is important to note that accommodation in Nepal is comfortable but generally very basic; particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western style toilets however some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers. Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle, so enjoy every peaceful second!
You will be served three freshly prepared Nepalese meals a day by your host family. Traditional Nepalese food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yogurt and lots of rice so its may take a little getting used to.
Dhal Bhat is the national dish and is usually served for breakfast and evening meal every day. It is a dish comprised of rice, lentils and seasoned vegetables.
Most meals are vegetarian with typical dishes being pasta or noodles complimented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.
Volunteers are advised to notify our local team if the food is not to their taste who will aim to adjust the food appropriately.