Twenty enthusiastic volunteers on our inaugural team to Kathmandu, Nepal united with community partners of intention, vision and compassion to establish a steadfast partnership for development.  “Global Volunteers’ Philosophy of Service is a bridge for peace and justice, so it’s paramount that we be aware of our actions as we interact with individuals – especially the children,” Nepal Volunteers wrote in their team journal. “We’re reminded of John Lennon’s lyrics: Imagine all the people sharing the world in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one.”  

Nepal Volunteers Give and Help Without Reservations

The team learned that nearly four years after the historic 2015 earthquake, Kathmandu as well as remote villages, remain in need of assistance to rebuild. People remain in hospitals recovering from their injuries, widows and orphans still need basic necessities, and infrastructure and historic sites are still being repaired and reconstructed.  Global Volunteers’ work projects focus on needs to help restore children’s and families’ lives.

Community partners reviewed the volunteers’ skills and interests with an eye to placing them in work projects that maximize their contributions.  These service assignments will ensure Global Volunteers’ team members will continue to meet currently unmet needs.

Meanwhile, volunteers reflect individually on the important contribution they’re making to demonstrate kindness and support to people who struggle just to live with day-to-day living.  Veteran Volunteer Sue Surma offers her perspective on the important role volunteers play on the world stage:

“We begin to notice our impact:  The shy child who stood before the class and proudly said a full sentence in English, the little boy who stopped crying and took Kathy’s hand, Barbara’s business student who created a marketing plan, the wall that Greg, Barbara and Susan painted with thin white paint, that Sue and Holly quietly played a game with their students, that George sang 17 versions of ‘Five Little Monkeys,’ how Greg and Marcia taught a new teacher a few English words and modeled a new learning technique, and that Jon, Jeri, Kathy, and Ruth found ways to share their warm hearts and teaching skills to touch the hearts and minds of our beautiful students.

“I’m proud to be part of this Global Volunteers Team #1 in Nepal…and to be here trying to improve the world.”
28-Time Volunteer Sue Surma

At the same time, we’ve gotten to know each other and appreciate our different ways.  We have honestly shared our challenges and proudly felt our connections. There has been no bravado. Just a group of us wanting to do some good, learn, teach, have fun, and sometimes share the depths of feelings we have about our own lives and our hopes for humanity.  I personally feel proud to be part of this Global Volunteers Team #1 in Nepal and want to thank you for letting me participate in such a loving and meaningful way.

When we participated in the Hindu Holi Day festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil, forgiveness, the end of winter and beginning of spring, and a good harvest, we’re doused with colors and good fun. We can remember how fortunate we are to be here in Nepal trying to improve the world – one little step at a time.”

volunteer in Nepal

Team members on the first Nepal program taught conversational English to service workers who signed up at the hotel.

An Encouraging Start to Long-Term Change

The first team of volunteers gained a ground-level view of the future of our Nepal development partnership.  In the second week of the inaugural program, volunteers wrote in their team journal:

“For the past 10 days, we have been teaching, connecting, controlling, adjusting, loving, painting, communicating, eating, exploring and learning from our community partners, our fellow team members, our coordinators, our students and each other.  Each day, we experience what we expected for a “first team,” -successes, disappointments and some wow moments.

We are indeed making a difference.  Uma, the Vice President of Soroptimist, joined us to talk about some of the struggles of the Nepali women and share the history of Soroptimist. I continue to be amazed by Uma and her work. She refers to herself as a woman’s activist, and she’s indeed someone who “walks the walk.” My life has been enriched by my time spent with her and the women she supports. I am grateful to Global Volunteers for offering this service program. Time and money prohibit me from traveling as much as I would like, but the experiences of developing new friendships, waging peace, learning a new culture, and being able to show the world that movie stars and politicians do not define what being American or Canadian means. We came here as strangers, and we will leave here with memories to last a lifetime.”

volunteer in Kathmandu

A street scene outside our hotel lodging in downtown Kathmandu. Volunteers have time to shop and explore during free-time hours.


Join us in Kathmandu!  Teams forming now for five service program dates year-round.  Call 800-487-1074.

Volunteer in Nepal Webpage

You might enjoy these additional Nepal Program posts:

Inaugural Nepal Service Program

Volunteers Celebrate Holi Festival in Nepal

Free-Time Activities in Nepal

Kathmandu as a Volunteering Destination



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