Go Where the Need is Great: Volunteer Teaching in Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal, a relatively small, landlocked nation with over 27 million people between India and China. In this part of the world, the need is great, but the resiliency of the local people is very strong. If you are looking to volunteer in a place where you will be deeply appreciated and, will change the lives of women and children forever, you’ve found it.
You Can Make the Difference of a Lifetime in Kathmandu, Nepal
The tourist images of Kathmandu, of Himalayan mountain treks, and graceful Buddhist temples, may distract people from the stark realities of the daily struggles of its people. Kathmandu experiences the extreme hardships felt throughout the developing world, including lack of access to sufficient education, primary health care, nutritious food, and reliable infrastructure. Moreover, the country is still rebuilding from two 2015 earthquakes, and many families struggle to find a way out of poverty. Children suffer the most in these conditions.
Global Volunteers’ Community Partners have shown that helping children and women learn English is their “passport out of poverty.”
“We need volunteers to help teach conversational English to disadvantaged students who don’t have the opportunity to learn English. English is the language of business in Nepal, and only the well-to-do can afford instruction. The poor don’t have this opportunity, but in reality, the change in their lives by learning English is actually greater than in the lives of the wealthy.
A service program with Global Volunteers is the best opportunity to make a difference in the world while you learn about the local culture and people.”Nepal Country Manager Stephen Raja Chinnappan
For volunteer Anne Marie Schachte, it wasn’t the appeal of the Himalayas that drew her to Katmandu, Nepal. Instead, it was the opportunity to improve children’s and women’s futures that launched her on her two-week volunteer adventure. Anne taught basic English lessons to classes of kindergarten to ninth-grade students under the direction of local teachers. She said, “To learn about Nepalese culture through service was simply a lovely opportunity. The kids were kind, warm, and eager to learn. I believe the people of Nepal were very happy to have us visit their country, and the kids were delighted we shared their daily experience at school.”
Improve the Lives of Children and Women – No Experience Necessary
Global Volunteers invites people of all ages and backgrounds to serve in this unique way – to give back and make a genuine difference by working with and learning from and about local people in their community. Global Volunteers established community partnerships with seven Nepalese organizations in 2018. Founded in 1984, Global Volunteers is a pioneer in engaging short-term volunteers in community-based, long-term comprehensive development projects worldwide, establishing hundreds of long-term development partnerships with community organizations in 36 countries on six continents over the past three decades.
“A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything”-Anonymous (etched on a wall at St. Joseph’s School, Kathmandu, Nepal)
Anne said English is seen as the language of “commerce and opportunity.” She said helping local leaders advance their vision for self-sufficiency was her primary motivation for serving. “The team (of volunteers) worked together to address a range of immediate needs,” Schachte said.
One daily entry in Anne’s Team’s Journal described the variety that team members enjoyed on a given day: The day ranged from working with cute three-year-olds to being challenged with the high-level science vocabulary that some students at St. Joseph’s School were learning. After sharing as a group, the team went out to dinner at a Tibetan restaurant close by the hotel. A trip for ice cream capped off their rewarding day of teaching!
The most important thing to know about volunteer teaching with Global Volunteers in Nepal is that no previous teaching experience is necessary. The proven Global Volunteers Conversational English Teaching Guide makes instruction in any country quite easy, and any native English speaker can utilize it. If you are a current or former teacher, you can share your special expertise with your fellow teammates as well as the students in Nepal.
Teach Children of All Ages
There are a variety of subjects you may teach as a volunteer in Nepal.
Volunteers teach conversational English, English grammar, science, mathematics, geography, and history to children utilizing our Conversational English Teaching Guide, Nepali textbooks, games, songs, and interactive activities. We have been asked to teach by three of our Community Partners:
St. Joseph’s English Academy is a private school with 515 students who study in three separate buildings: the Kindergarten block, the Middle school block, and the Secondary school block. Each grade averages around 20 students. The Kindergarten block requests volunteers to help with childcare.
Bans Bari School is a public school with Kindergarten, Primary, Secondary, and College level students. Each grade averages around 50 students, and the school is flexible to break the class into groups so volunteers can work with smaller class sizes.
St. John School is a private school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. The school has around 150 students, with each classroom averaging around 10-15 students.
Gender Equality and Education for Women
Volunteers may also help marginalized and low-income women by teaching at the following Community Partners:
Astha Women’s School is an academy for women who could not complete their school education when they were young. Now as adults, most of them are married and with children, and desire to complete their school education. Volunteers teach women and children’s health, science, English language, basic computer skills, nutrition, child development, personal hygiene, and cooking recipes, all in English.
Soroptomist Kathmandu is a non-governmental organization that focuses on women’s economic and social development, and other women-related issues, including gender discrimination, violence against women, and homeless women welfare. Volunteers conduct tailoring classes that provide local women a means of self-employment and livelihood.
Immerse Yourself and Your Family in Local Culture
Families with children 13 and older are invited to serve with Global Volunteers in Nepal. Parents and teens, grandparents and grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and nephews and nieces – all are welcome. Engaging with a Nepali school and children’s home will be a unique and life changing learning experience for your teen. Time spent volunteering together always creates strong family bonds.
Volunteers have free time during the evenings and weekends to explore shops, the market, and nearby attractions, including Chandragiri Hill, Swayambhunath Temple, and Mount Everest via a 1-hour scenic flight. But no matter where you visit, what you might remember most are the students you teach.
“In one of the poorest countries in the world, I found personal perseverance, creativity, ingenuity, community, and unconditional love.”Nepal volunteer Barbara Bicknell
Volunteer teams are forming now to serve in Kathmandu, Nepal for dates throughout 2023 and 2024. See more information here.
You may also like the following:
Your Guide to Volunteer Travel in Nepal
Building Local Capacity in Nepal
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