Reach new heights in Nepal

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Volunteer in Nepal

Equal parts cultural exploration, Himalayan trekking, and sustainable impact.

Travel to a country steeped in rich cultural and religious traditions. Live and volunteer in Nepal, in a village surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. You can make a measurable impact alongside our community partners, through projects focused on global health practices, women’s empowerment and early childhood development. 

Unique to this location: join an adventure trek and volunteering combination program. We offer Everest base camp and Annapurna sanctuary treks. After your adventure, head to our base in Pokhara for a well-rounded and exciting volunteer abroad experience. 

Positive<br/>impact

Positive
impact

Build a better world by contributing to vital, locally-led project work that strives for a more just and equitable future.
Ethical<br/>work

Ethical
work

In line with the UN’s SDGs, we are committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with our local partners and communities.
Beautiful<br/>community

Beautiful
community

Learn from the world’s most unique and significant cultures, in breathtaking remote locations.

Volunteer in Nepal

Overview
Programs
Location
Ethics
FAQs

Imagine waking up in the Himalayan foothills, surrounded by lush, green mountains and in the distance, snow-capped peaks. This is the GVI Nepal base in the lively tourist town of Pokhara, three hours from the capital city of Kathmandu. You’ll work alongside established and reputable local organisations to make a long-lasting and measurable impact. You’ll also be based in one of the friendliest communities in the world, allowing you to experience the region’s rich cultural heritage. 

When you volunteer with GVI in Nepal, you’ll work on projects that:

 

What your contribution means 

Our volunteers in Nepal want to know that their contribution is making a positive impact, in a safe and respectful manner. At GVI, we emphasise collaboration with reputable organisations on the ground. We are dedicated to inclusive, sustainable and meaningful engagement with the local community and economy. 

All of our volunteers and interns in Nepal work alongside local community members in the coordination and day-to-day activities of these programs. Our projects are also fully resourced through local businesses, supporting economic development and growth.

The volunteer projects and internships we run in Nepal are driven by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is because we believe in a multi-faceted approach to development and impact-driven volunteerism. By volunteering in Nepal with GVI, you can contribute to lasting change in SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality, and indirectly to more of the 17 official goals. 

Women’s empowerment volunteering

One of our main partner oganisations in Nepal is SASANE, a survivor-led anti-human trafficking organisation that is dedicated to spreading awareness about the prevalence of human trafficking and its effects on the lives of women in the region. 

We believe that this is vital advocacy work and are proud to work with them. Alongside SASANE, our volunteers and interns in Nepal contribute to progress on gender equality initiatives in the region. You’ll also assist with regular workshops aimed at enhancing literacy, numeracy, professional skills development, public health, and conversational English classes for local women and girls.

Early childhood development volunteering

Collaborate with local educators to help children in Nepal achieve developmental milestones and learning outcomes. Participants in this program will work in a local Nepali primary school on projects based on the needs of our partners.

The aim of our early childhood development program in Nepal is to nurture children’s literacy and numeracy, as well as skills such as hand-eye coordination, social interaction and teamwork. We also work with children to improve their conversational English, a skill that contributes to future education and employment opportunities. Additional volunteer teaching in Nepal includes arts and crafts or sports for fine and gross motor skills development.

Global health volunteer projects

Help foster better healthcare practices and support community well-being in Pokhara, Nepal. Volunteers work alongside local staff and students to facilitate healthcare workshops for young students and women in the community. Topics include UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program, basic first aid, and broad healthcare topics. Some of the targets for this program are increasing access to clean drinking water, increasing access to clean toilets, and increasing health skills in the community.

If you’re interested in doing a bit more travel and experiencing other communities and landscapes, consider volunteering on our global health in Thailand and Nepal program. This is an excellent way to contribute to health and well-being practices while immersing yourself in more of Asia’s rich and diverse cultures.

International development principles and practices

Elevate your career experience by completing a short-term internship on international development in Nepal. Gain experience with setting up and running development initiatives, and contribute to existing projects. Put theory into practice by working with local organisations to run programs across all of our impact areas.

Nepal is known as one of the world’s most desirable adventure destinations. With 8 of the 10 highest mountains on the planet – including Mount Everest – it’s a hotspot for outdoor-lovers. The country’s geography is incredibly diverse, with fertile plains, forested hills, and towering mountains. 

The weather can occasionally be unpredictable and interrupt regular activities. This is all part of the adventure. Our field staff are well-prepared and always make a plan! 

Pokhara, where our GVI base is located, is a popular tourist destination and the second-most visited city in Nepal. The region is well-loved for its tranquil environment, scenic vistas, views of three of the highest mountains in the world, and beautiful Phewa Lake. From here, volunteers in Nepal can take part in many travel and trekking activities, or learn about the region’s rich culture and religious traditions.

Mountain trekking 

One of the most exciting privileges of becoming a volunteer in Nepal is having the Himalayan mountains in such close proximity. Challenge yourself on one of our trekking experiences. Ascend across green meadows and wander through traditional mountain villages, reaching panoramic views of the valleys below. As you trek, you’ll stay at locally-owned tea houses that dot the trail.

GVI offers two different trekking opportunities that are combined with our volunteer experience in Nepal for a well-rounded experience:

 

Our trekking experiences support local organisations with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity and respect. 

Cultural immersion 

If you’re interested in the region’s rich cultural and religious heritage, there is no shortage of incredible and elaborate Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries in this region. Spend time reflecting at the Tal Barahi Temple on a tiny island on the nearby Phewa Lake. Or pay a respectful visit to the Shanti Stupa – a hilltop Buddhist monument and World Peace Pagoda dedicated to spreading kindness. 

Festivals and holidays

There are a lot of festivals in Nepal! It’s often said that while there are 365 days in a year, Nepal has 366 festivals. It’s important for volunteers to be adaptable, flexible and willing to try new things. September to November are the busiest months for festivals and holidays. During that time we strive to offer alternative activities (for example when schools are closed) wherever possible and our volunteers are involved throughout the process. 

When participating in a volunteer experience in Nepal, you can rest assured that your safety and health are paramount to GVI. That’s why we put in place rigorous ethical guidelines and employ on-the-ground ethics officers to ensure that our projects follow rigorous and current best practices and standards. 

GVI is governed by our ten ethical principles and five human empowerment principles. Our badge of ethics is a dedication to continuously reflect on and improve our policies and practices. 

To ensure the safety of everyone involved, all of our staff and participants are required to complete a police background check before arrival. On-site child protection training is provided to all of our volunteers in Nepal. To protect children from cyber and real-world threats, we ensure our marketing material follows child protection best practices. Please see our child and vulnerable adult protection policy for more information. 

GVI doesn’t support orphanage volunteering or donations to orphanages. For more information, see our stance on orphanage volunteering. We support ChildSafe, a global child protection initiative, and regularly review our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection policy

To learn more about the incredible work our volunteers and interns have done, please review our recent Impact and Ethics Report

GVI is a British Standards 8848 compliant provider

The people who participate in our internships and volunteer projects in Nepal are eager to learn and contribute to meaningful projects. So we understand that you probably have some questions about the program! We’ve addressed some of the commonly asked questions here. Please reach out to our friendly enrolment team if you have any other questions.

Who can volunteer in Nepal?

You can! Across the GVI volunteer programs, we welcome anyone over 18 (including college students and gap year students), people on a career break, and older adults

While there’s no maximum age for volunteers, if you’re under 18 and want to volunteer, we offer a wide selection of teen volunteer programs all over the world. You can find more information here.

Do I need any special skills or qualifications to volunteer in Nepal? 

We don’t require any pre-existing qualifications or certifications. We provide on-the-ground training for certain activities and you’ll have 24/7 support from the field staff as you go. You’ll certainly gain new skills while volunteering in Nepal.

If you plan to join one of our trekking experiences, you will need to be physically fit to complete the activity. If you’re uncertain about your ability, chat with one of our enrolment managers about your options. 

Is it safe to volunteer in Nepal?

GVI puts safety first in all of our volunteer and intern activities. We take every precaution to make sure our participants feel comfortable and safe in their work and living arrangements, no matter where they are in the world. Our trained support staff are available 24/7 to ensure that all participants are well taken care of.

You can speak directly to one of our enrolment officers or alumni, who can answer any and all questions you might have about life in Nepal and on the GVI base. 

What is the accommodation like for volunteers in Nepal?

At our base in Pokhara, participants live in homestay-style accommodation, which is similar to a hostel. It’s a very comfortable multi-story house, with plenty of space to socialise and find quiet time. This gives volunteers an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local community and participate in cultural exchange, while getting to know their fellow housemates. You’ll live with people from all over the world with similar interests and a passion for making an impact. 

The accommodation itself is shared rooms with Western-style flushing toilets, showers and basins in your en-suite bathroom. The home itself belongs to a local family, who live in the accommodation on the top floor. 

We also offer an accommodation upgrade option, for participants who would like extra privacy at the end of the day. This option is just next door to the shared housing, so you aren’t far away from the fun when you want to socialise!

How can I keep in touch with people back home when I’m in Nepal?

Wi-Fi is available on base and in local coffee shops. You can also get an affordable Nepali SIM card to keep in touch with friends and family back home. Top-up cards for data are regularly available and you’ll easily be able to make and receive calls this way. WhatsApp is the most commonly used form of communication on base for volunteers and staff. We’ll definitely help you out with this process, so don’t worry!

What else do I need to know about volunteering in Nepal?

Volunteering in Nepal can be a life-changing experience. It’s an absolutely beautiful country, with warm, friendly people, and rich cultural history. We always recommend that people come to Nepal as volunteers with an open mind and a willingness to be flexible and adaptable. This is especially true regarding the high number of festivals and holidays, and the unpredictable weather. There’s always something new and exciting going on in Pokhara, Nepal!

I’m interested. What are the next steps? 

We can’t wait to meet you! Click here to enquire or apply. One of our trusty enrolment officers will take it from there. 

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New and Exclusive: GVI Experiences

A locally curated selection of extra activities are now included across our programs.

Cook Nepali and Tibetan dumplings family-style

Share customs and cuisine in a Tibetan community

Join a Monk chanting session

Bike around Fewa Lake

Boat on Fewa Lake and learn local folklore

Watch a movie in a natural amphitheatre

Learn Buddhist principles at the World Peace Pagoda

Visit a Newari mountaintop village