Have you ever dreamed of visiting Nepal? Are you interested in spending a week, or more, in this magnificent country as a volunteer? Does combining affordable travel and helping a good cause appeal? If you said yes to any of these questions keep reading for details on some of the best volunteer opportunities in Nepal – from the top providers around.
Nepal, nestled in the breathtaking Himalayas, is a highly popular volunteer destination. Each year, hundreds of volunteers travel to Nepal with the goal of making a difference in the country. As a result of the overwhelming interest in the country, many volunteer organizations are running volunteer programs in Nepal. However, all these volunteer Nepal organizations are not the same in terms of price, quality, professionalism, services, and other aspects.
Try searching the Internet using the phrase volunteer opportunities in Nepal and you'll find it returns hundreds of hits, with each company promoting their own programs, fees, restrictions, and requirements, and prices which range from the hundreds to the thousands for a two week placement!
This is at best a confusing and time wasting activity, and at worst could easily leave you out of pocket or have a poor experience. So how can you find the best volunteer opportunities in Nepal?
In this article, our research team has examined hundreds of organizations offering volunteer opportunities in Nepal and analyzed them in regards to price and affordability, online reviews, business history, reputation, professionalism, and commitment to community.
Out of these hundreds of volunteer organizations, we have selected 15 of the most highly reviewed and inexpensive volunteer programs for you to choose from. Using this article, you will be able to save time and money in your goal of finding the perfect volunteer opportunity in Nepal. Feel free to contact as many organizations as you would like until you find your perfect match!
Based in Nepal, RCDP is the country’s first and best volunteer organization, trusted by thousands of volunteers since 1998. Each year, they welcome over 1,000 eager volunteers who wish to make an impact in sustainable community development that benefits the underprivileged and poor through their affordable and flexible volunteer programs in Nepal.
Their focus is on orphanages and underfunded schools, and they team up with a variety of UK and USA based volunteer organizations to improve the lives of hundreds of orphaned children. RCDP Nepal currently runs two of its own orphanages in Kathmandu and Chitwan.
RCDP is a wonderful volunteer program in Nepal that offers several impactful projects in Nepal. Whether you want to work in an orphanage and teach English to children, or have always dreamed of teaching English to Buddhist Monks, RCDP has you covered. They also offer programs specializing in environmental conservation, health care, construction, and photojournalism.
Volunteers who are interested in spending some time easing into their volunteer placements in Nepal can opt to participate in a two week orientation program consisting of language training, cultural tours, village hikes, visits to popular tourist sites, and a 2-3 day stay at the Chitwan National Park with a jungle safari.
RCDP Nepal is a very highly rated volunteer organization with no shortage of positive reviews. You can sift through their volunteer stories and reviews and get first-hand accounts of volunteers’ experiences, or search the web to read the more than 200 online reviews and handwritten testimonies. RCDP Nepal is widely praised for its high quality programs, warm and helpful support staff, and reasonable prices.
RCDP Nepal runs very affordable volunteer programs in Nepal, and is a great option. Program fees range in price depending on length of stay and chosen program, with some beginning as low as $99! The weekly fees described below cover the costs of host family/hostel accommodation, three meals per day, and services of the local staff members.
Volunteer Initiative Nepal is a non-profit, local charitable volunteer organization established in 2005 by Nepali native Bhuprendra Ghimire. It is now one of the best local volunteer organizations in Nepal, with over 1,000 volunteers and interns participating in their highly affordable Nepal volunteer programs. VIN aims to empower marginalized communities, with a special focus on women and children, by working in the areas of education, health, income generation, basic infrastructure, and by promoting equality, economic wellbeing, and human rights.
VIN is a member of several international volunteer networks, such as the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), Network for Voluntary Development in Asia-Pacific (NVDA), EU Volunteer Alliance, and more.
VIN has many engaging and impactful volunteer programs in Nepal to choose from. You can join as either a volunteer or an intern, and choose from their ten program categories: teaching, child development, public health, environment and conservation, public interest, women empowerment, youth empowerment, adventure and volunteering, journalism, management and administration.
These are mid to long term projects that will immerse you in Nepalese life and culture. Each program includes an induction period that can last from one day up to one week, depending on your program duration.
VIN is an extremely well respected organization whose volunteer programs offer a truly unforgettable work experience that will put you face to face with the local communities and workforce of Nepal. You can read through their volunteer testimonials and success stories to learn exactly what you should expect as a volunteer. VIN is often praised for its impactful community involvement and affordable prices.
VIN offers very affordable volunteer opportunities in Nepal without compromising the quality of your experience. Program fees are based on the duration of your stay, although fees vary for the Volunteer & Charity Trekking program, Volunteer & Travel Tour program, and Buddhist Monastery program.
Program fees cover transportation, program induction, food and accommodation, administrative costs, and community project funding. An additional €75 program booking fee is required of all participants, and covers processing and pre-departure support.
Global Crossroad is a U.S. based international volunteer organization that has offered affordable volunteer opportunities in Nepal and all over the world to over 18,000 volunteers in 18 different countries since 2003. With program fees starting at just $99, volunteers can focus on their humanitarian work rather than worrying about cost.
The work of Global Crossroads focuses mainly on orphaned children, disadvantaged local residents, and rural women’s groups. The organization has received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) continuously since 2007.
Global Crossroad’s Nepal Volunteer program promises a safe and meaningful experience in South Asia. They offer seven different areas for you to choose from, including teaching English, teaching Buddhist Monks, working in an orphanage, nature conservation, medical/healthcare, photojournalism, and volunteer and travel (four week summer program).
No matter which you choose you will be doing engaging work, while also taking in the beauty and adventure of the country. Projects begin on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, and can last up to 12 weeks.
Volunteers can also opt to participate in a one-week Language and Cultural Immersion Program in the capital city of Kathmandu that includes language training, history and culture lessons, visits to local villages, guided tours and explorations, and more.
Global Crossroad offers best volunteer experiences in Nepal. Their volunteer programs are extremely well known among the volunteer community, and have been highly rated by almost 95% of volunteers.
Quality of programs, hospitality of host families, and program support are just some of the services the organization is lauded for. If you are interested in the program, read through their volunteer blog to familiarize yourself with life as a volunteer.
Global Crossroad is known as a very affordable volunteer option for those who want to participate in volunteer opportunities in Nepal. They are also unique because fees are paid directly to the host family or project, so you can be sure your money is going toward something good. In addition to a $299 application/registration fee, each program’s fees differ depending on length of stay. For a detailed breakdown of fee allocation, click here.
IFRE is a leading volunteer organization offering the best of low cost volunteer opportunities in Nepal. IFRE Volunteers is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization based in the U.S that offers volunteer opportunities in developing and third world countries. Since their start in 2006, nearly 17,000 volunteers have participated in their programs in 18 different countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It remains one of the most trusted and affordable volunteer organizations, with a near 99% satisfaction rate.
They believe that the most impactful experiences are made through working hands-on with grassroots projects and locals.
IFRE Volunteers has many wonderful volunteer projects in Kathmandu, Chitwan, and Pokhara. You can work in an orphanage, teach English in rural schools, work on a medical/healthcare project, teach young Buddhist Monks, participate in a nature conservation or photojournalism project, or sign up for the Summer Volunteer and Adventure Program.
IFRE Volunteers promotes a “complete” volunteer experience, which includes language courses, cultural immersion, and amazing travel experiences, in addition to its volunteer opportunities. 80% of volunteers have participated in one of IFRE Volunteers’ orphanage projects, with the average stay being six weeks. Opportunities in Nepal begin at just $99!
IFRE Nepal Volunteer Program has many positive reviews. Their extremely dedicated and experienced staff and project coordinators are always available to make sure your experience is meaningful and customized to your liking.
Their U.S. based client-care team members, in-country coordinators, and internationals partners ensure that your questions will be answered before, during, and after your trip. In-country coordinators are also very familiar with the needs of the local community and have worked extensively with local organizations.
IFRE Volunteers offers some of the best and most inexpensive volunteer opportunities in Nepal. And because it is a 501(c) 3 organization, your program fees are tax deductible. You will pay a $299 application fee, which covers advertising, staff salaries, taxes, and other operational expenses, in addition to your weekly program fees, which are paid directly to your host families and projects.
Program fees vary depending on chosen project and length of stay. Participants of the five-week Summer Volunteer and Adventure Program pay a set program fee $2065.
Do you have a burning passion to help others? Do the world’s tallest mountains fascinate you? Do you ache to learn more about Asian religion? Then Nepal is the perfect volunteer destination for you. By volunteering in Nepal, YOU can make a real difference.. YOU can enjoy captivating landscapes, and you can experience a whole new culture along the way.
From the snowy Himalayas to its luscious jungles, Nepal offers travelers every landscape imaginable. Unfortunately, high poverty rates have left thousands of children without homes, without an education and without the medical attention they need to survive. As an IFRE volunteer in Nepal, you can help change the world and combat these rising epidemics.
Since 2006, IFRE Volunteers has provided more than 22,000 volunteer opportunities in Nepal and continues to add to its participant database every year. You will teach English, assist with healthcare programs and aid nature conservation efforts. No matter what area you seek to aid, volunteer work in Nepal will change your life.
Interested? For more information contact us with any questions or concerns. We love Nepal and we’re happy to tell you why!
From working in a Nepali orphanage to exploring the countryside as a photo journalist, these popular volunteer projects in Nepal offer volunteers the most comprehensive opportunities out there. With
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Violence, war, poverty and disease have left thousands of children across the country without homes and, more importantly, without the care and attention they need to flourish into healthy young adults. When you volunteer in Nepali Orphanages, help teach basic English skills, improve hygiene and create educational and exciting games. Your help is needed immediately, and the children will thank you dearly.
Volunteering in Nepali orphanages does not require any prerequisite skills or qualifications. However, we ask you maintain a calm, energetic and, most of all, patient attitude. Orphans have experienced so much heartache in their life that they require a lot of attention, but in return they will drown you love. Please realize how valuable you are in improving the lives of these children because they certainly do, and they won’t hesitate to show you that.
Daily work during your volunteer opportunity in Nepal as an Orphanage assistance requires between 3-4 hours of teaching English in the mornings. Afterwards, volunteers will help their students dress for school, care for the bodies and improve their overall health. In the evenings, volunteers organize exciting interactive games for the children, which could include anything from sports training to musical empowerment!
Available locations include working in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara.
Nepal is an extremely diligent nation, but English is unfortunately not part of Nepal’s rudimentary curriculum. Because of this, many poor families cannot afford proper English lessons for their children, and so their children arrive to higher levels of education with a strong foundation. By volunteer teaching in Nepal, you can help children gain the skills they need to not only flourish in school but internationally as well. Your direct aid can help satisfy the dreams of countless young children across Nepal.
Apart from both written and spoken fluency in English, volunteer teaching in Nepal requires no specific skills or qualifications. Take note, however, that you may work with children who have no prior experience with English and it your job to transition them from novice students to capable English speakers. You should be resilient, patient and good with children as your days will consist of personal lessons and one-on-one interactions.
Volunteer teaching English in Nepal and work for two to three hours a day for six days a week. Work will vary between public and private schools and most students will range between the ages 6 and 13. Volunteer teachers do not work alone and will have access to teachers within the school. Activities you will organize include drawing, singing, dancing, playing music, playing sports and more. You may also be asked to assist with homework, educational tours and administrative support if necessary. Before beginning your volunteer opportunity in Nepal, you can choose to work as a main teacher or an assistant teacher depending upon your experience level, but in either case you will most likely follow a regimented English curriculum.
Available locations include teaching in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara.
Nepal may be a small country, but it is home to a dense population. As such, considering incredible poverty rates, many homes and families are left without the proper health care they need to survive. Rural community facilities, locating in neighboring towns and villages lack both the manpower and resources to effectively aid their community. A medical volunteer in Nepal will work directly with these health outposts and rural clinics to ensure a proper deliverance of material and care. Possible roles include working alongside a head doctor or as nursing assistant. In each case, your medical volunteer experience in Nepal with greatly aid the local communities.
Like teaching and working in an orphanage, a medical volunteer in Nepal does not require any prior healthcare experience or education. IFRE’s medical volunteer programs in Nepal are geared towards a wide variety of educational backgrounds and climates. So, whether you’re a professional, retiree or student, there is always help to be needed. Your hands can make the difference between life and death in many rural Nepali homes.
Work responsibilities as a medical volunteer in Nepal vary based upon your level of skill, education and experience, but daily work will always include recording vital statistics, measuring blood pressure, taking temperature and marking down height and weight numbers. Throughout your time in Nepal, medical volunteers will assist doctors and other medical staff with all health center related duties and tasks. You may also find yourself distributing medical supplies, offering advice to patients on health care and disease prevention, sanitizing minor injuries and wounds, recording patient logs and offering nutritional information. Though your help may be needed on site, as a medical volunteer in Nepal you are prohibited from performing major surgical operations due to liability reasons.
Possible locations include offering assistance in Kathmandu and Chitwan
Though Buddha was enlightened in India, he was born in Nepal and as a result Nepal and the Himalayas are known as the epicenter of Buddhism. Much of the country adheres to Hinduism, as you’ll notice throughout the city streets, though a large percentage follows Buddhism. Elegant monasteries and vibrant Buddhism architecture are scattered throughout Nepal’s mountainous landscape as homages to its importance. Furthermore, there are countless Tibetan refugees and exiles living and practicing Buddhism in Nepal. As a volunteer in a Nepali monastery, you will help teach practicing Buddhist monks valuable English vocabulary and grammar. As you teach, you will immerse yourself complete in Buddhist culture and experience the mysticism behind Buddhist meditation and enlightenment.
There are no prerequisite qualifications or skills required when volunteer in a Nepali monastery. However, we recommend that you are a respectful, patient and serene individual as every day you will interact with highly respected figures. Prepare to follow strict and exemplary stipulations as you live by their sides. Therefore, we suggest you come from a disciplinary background when applying to volunteer in a Nepali monastery
Volunteer teachers in Nepali monasteries will work principally as English instructors in either the local Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu’s center or alongside the schools of Tibetan Children’s Village in the nearby area. Prepare to teach 3-4 hours a day of English lessons, six days a week. In the afternoons, you will also enjoy the opportunity to organize exciting extra-curricular activities that include singing, dancing, drawing and other creative outlets for education. Your early mornings and evenings are completely free. Many volunteer monks in Nepal even take this time to hone their own practice. Feel free to join in with the Buddhist monks on their meditation, ritual practices, prayers and songs, A project such as this one provides volunteers a rare sneak peak into a world unlike their own. A world rich with religious aspirations and lifestyles contrary to their own.
Possible locations include teaching in Kathmandu and Pokhara
With a rise in industrial labor, deforestation, desertification, landscape fragmentation and other major environmental conflicts face Nepal’s growing economy. As a nature conservationist volunteer in Nepal, you will work with IFRE’s close rural partner in Chitwan. Here, you will join a community nursery program dedicated to distributing and replanting indigenous tree seedling around the country. Your efforts come at no cost to local farmers, communities, NGOs and schools and thus maintain an altruistic aim. The nursery’s specific role incldes digging, filling plastic bags, irrigating land masses and weeding. Other related duties include tending to local vegetable gardens that help feed local orphanages. Definitely consider this project if you’re an outdoorsy, eco-friendly volunteer!
There are no required skills and qualifications to become an environmental conservation volunteer in Nepal. We do, however, recommend a strong physical and environmental background as most daily work occurs outside and a fit physical form would greatly help. Moreover, an outgoing, eco-friendly and entrepreneurial spirit will go miles when volunteering with conservation efforts in Nepal. If you have a background in plant nursery, gardening or landscaping and really want to volunteer in a country like Nepal, then we highly suggest this program. Our staff in Chitwan is amazing.
Volunteer duties will range from administrative to field work, but all will support local nurseys across Nepal and their efforts to repopulate indigenous seedling populations. Prepare to get your hands dirty regularly by digging, sowing seeds, weeding, pruning, trimming, filling plastic bags, preparing nursery beds, watering plants, gardening and landscaping. You may also be asked to plant, replant eradicate diseased trees, inventory current flora and fauna and collect seeds. In addition to conservation efforts, a environmental volunteer in Nepal will work near to an orphanage in Nepal and, in their free time, can organize English lessons if they so wish. All this can be arranged upon arrival in Nepal.
Possible locations include volunteer in Chitwan
Perhaps the most intriguing, IFRE’s photo journalism project is an expert opportunity for a budding photographer or journalist and the perfect way to enhance your skills while acquiring field experience. A photo journalism volunteer in Nepal will work under the supervision of an experienced professional. As such, you will learn a flight of photography and journalism tricks that will help increase your knowledge and expertise. In some cases, resources can opt for an internship position as opposed to a volunteer role if their interested in dedicating more time and resources towards a final product that demonstrates newfound skills. As a photo journalist in Nepal, capture exciting festivals, cultural events, local faces and landscapes throughout your travels. You will emerge with twilight shots of peace pagodas, Buddhist stupas, the Kathmandu valley and impromptu festivals. Undoubtedly, an experience like this one will broaden not only your experience level, but your mind as well.
To become a photo journalist volunteer in Nepal, you must understand how to operate a camera and know the basic concepts of modern photo journalism. Nepal is a fast-paced Asian country and thus requires constant attention to grab the perfect shot. You must be comfortable receiving direction and following rules, but you must always be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. In the world of photo journalism, the focus point is always changing, and if a festival arises or important event, you must be ready to readjust with the team and capture the spectacle as it happens. Cameras are not provided, so you must bring your own.
Along this trip, volunteer programs in Nepal will occur under a tenured professional to learn the tips and tricks necessary to succeed in photo journalism. The professional you will work under operates for a local respected newspaper and will organize you daily to travel to and from different project locations. You will often travel by motorcycle, which is the ideal form of transport when navigating Kathmandu’s labyrinth of streets. By the end, you will learn to admire every event from a photographic lens and in turn, your skills will mount tremendously.
You will work in and around the Kathmandu Valley
If exploration is your forte, then look no further. Slotted into the colossal hanging mountains of the Himalayas, Nepal is perhaps the most beautiful country in the world. There is no other country that offers such a juxtaposition of geographic and ethnic diversity. From the highest mountains in the world to the Sherpas that survey their ridges, to the forested jungle of Chitwan and their tiger fighting guides, Nepal offers travelers everything and anything they could possibly want to see. In addition, numerous festivals and traditions enrich local culture and as an adventure volunteer in Nepal you are encouraged to take part. Balance humanitarian practices with exciting new travel experiences as you embark on what will become the most impactful five weeks of your life.
Apart from an enthusiasm for adventure and a level headedness to take on the world, this project requires no particular skills or qualifications.
For the first week, photojournalism volunteering in Nepal will occur within the thriving city of Kathmandu, exploring its fabled temples and shrines as you study the Nepali language, culture and traditions that realm the wonderous city. During this time you will also spend three nights in the local village of Lamatar where you will hike, visit temples and monasteries and enjoy a fleet of other cultural excursions.
The second two weeks will immerse you into a service project. In either Kathmandu or Chitwan, join an orphanage and become a beacon of hope and admiration for needy orphans. Help teach basic conversational English and organize exciting educational activities for the kids in the afternoons. As a photojournalist volunteer in Nepal you may also need to offer a helping hand during meal time, but afterwards you’ll enjoy plenty of time to explore the hiking valleys and tranquil place that settle of the Nepali land.
Spend the final two weeks of your photojournalism volunteer program in a mad dash to the Annapurna Base Camp, the most dangerous mountain on earth. Trekkers from all over the world flock to this incredible mountain to witness its incredible stature. Your 14-day route will weave through local valleys and enthralling villages, influencing you with their every smile. This program is even supported by the world famous Gurung or Sherpa ethnicity, who are the most prolific climbers in the world!
Traveling as a family is always a fantastic way to see the world, but a family volunteer vacation in Nepal is an even better way to bond. Explore a beautiful scenery as you challenge your family in new and exciting way. Through this program, parents can instill incredible qualities in their children that include a motivation to serve human kind and explore our environment.
Begin your volunteer family vacation in Nepal with 1-7 days of family bonding. Depending upon your desires, explore local society, religions, culture and more. After a short orientation, travel to your project location where you will work in a community of valued relationships. Assist elders and help fellow human beings rise to prominence in Nepal. Your family trip to Nepal will be extremely well organized and catered to your personal family.
Curious about travel?
As a volunteer in Nepal you will fly in to Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Once you provide your flight information to IFRE, an airport pick-up and transport company will be arranged. From there, you will settle into a five-room hostel in Kalanki for one night before you set out to begin your respective adventure. If you miss your flight or arrive late, please be sure to contact our placement groups and arrangements will be made to pick you up at the newly set time. Our clearly distinguishable representative will flag you down at the airport with a name-plate and a date and time indicating your arrival. We suggest you arrive in Kathmandu a day before your program starts to settle in before your project. If you choose to come earlier, our hostel will make arrangements for you for an addition $15. At the conclusion of your trip, transportation will be arranged back to the airport.
Wondering about food and accommodation?
Throughout your project’s duration, you will be served local Nepalese dishes including rice, vegetables, lentils, soup, pickles, biscuits and breads. Large meals are served in the morning and night with snacks during the day. All volunteer programs in Nepal will include host families who you are free to check with prior to your departure regarding issues such as Wifi and in-house facilities. Depending upon your work setting, electricity access can vary sporadically so we suggest you carry a torch light as well. Hot showers are hard to come by outside of major cities. At our home base, however, hot water is readily accessible. We do not recommend drinking local water. Feel free to guard any valuables in your home and dietary restrictions should not pose a problem in Nepal.
What about staff support and communication?
Feel free to reach out to your local coordinator by phone prior to your arrival. A thorough orientation will explain all field conditions, local practices, taboos and cultural obligations that you should follow while volunteering in Nepal. Establish programs guarantee well-run programs. If you want to contact family members, you can buy a local sim card with the direction of our guides for a very low price. Because of this, we recommend you bring your phone.
How is the climate in Nepal?
The climate in Nepal is extremely varied. In the winter months, it is cold but not rainy. If your volunteer project in Nepal occurs between September and February, please pack sufficient clothing to keep you warm. If it falls between March and August, pack lighter, summer clothes. The summer months in Nepal are quite wet so please prepare for a lot of rainfall if you find yourself abroad between June and August.
Wondering about your Visa and required paperwork?
We suggest that when you volunteer for Nepali programs, you acquire your visa prior to departure, however, depending upon your country of origin, you may be able to obtain a tourist visa upon your arrival at Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. If you do wish to apply before hand for a visa, you can seek out your local Nepali Embassy or Consulate for aid. Otherwise, you will complete a form upon arrival and then give it to an immigration officer for the official visa. You can purchase an either 15,30 or 90-day visa, which will cost $25, $40 and $100 respectively. You do not need any documents prior although coming with a small photo will help expedite the process. Simply write TOURSIT in the visitor section of the application and everything else will work itself out between 30-40 minutes. If you wish, you can extend your visa to a total of 150 days if you wish.
How safe is Nepal?
Nepal is one of the safest countries on Earth, so you do not need to fear danger during your volunteer program in Nepal. To ensure further safety, we will transport all volunteers to and from the airport to the hostel and we will also brief each volunteer with a comprehensive orientation segment that will teach you the associated safety precautions, local do’s and don’t’s, and customary regulations. Regular supervision as well as two-week checkups will ensure not only your safety but also happiness. Each host family is experienced in hosting foreigners and extremely welcoming. In case an emergency does occur, we have a 24/7 field staff that will come to your aid as well as a hotline that you can reach at all hours.
What about money?
Nepal is not as technologically advanced as other countries, so credit card access is not as readily available. Because of this, during your volunteer program in Nepal, we recommend you carry cash on you. Allot between $10-$15 per day for expenses, which should everything including your internet, phone, tea, snacks, coffee and transportation. Your food, accommodation and program placement will be covered through the program fee.
How do I maintain a healthy body?
Nepal is a developing nation and unfortunately suffers from a lot of poisoning bacteria. Stomach diarrhea, vomiting and discomfort are very probable symptoms if you do not take the precautions we recommend. Make sure to drink plenty of water, but make sure that it is bottled. When choosing locations to eat, make sure the location is hygienic and feel free to check reviews online beforehand. Some kitchens are not as sanitary. You will also want to be weary when showering and brushing your teeth as even the tiniest bit of water can upset your stomach. Before volunteering in Nepal, we recommend you acquire general immunizations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Tetanus. Prevention from Malaria will also help prevent any unwanted medical diseases.
What to pack?
We recommend the following items for your best and cheap volunteer trip to Nepal.
Any other general questions?
If you need internet in a giff or want to make a call, Kathmandu has more than enough internet cafés to suit your need. If you’re worried about providing a gift to your host family, the safest bet is always something that represents you, your country or your family. Connection goes a long way.
When deciding on volunteer work in Nepal, take your time to choose the right program for you. Some are challenging, some more physical, but all will broaden your horizon with an experience like no other. Nepal is a wonderful, stunning country and volunteering there is the perfect way to explore its infinite landscape!
ELI is a U.S. based organization that strives to connect eager volunteers with meaningful project placements in Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. Founded in 2001 by Dr. Kevin O’Neill, ELI has welcomed volunteers from 44 different countries ranging in age from 18 to 82.
They focus on developing trusting relationships with local organizations to bring participants the best volunteer opportunities possible. They are also a registered 501(c) 3; which means your program fees may be tax deductible.
ELI’s inexpensive Nepal volunteer program offers both volunteers and interns a wide range of areas to work in. As a volunteer, you can assist in providing basic care and education to orphaned children, or teach English in a Buddhist monastery or public school.
As a volunteer/intern, you can work in the area of women’s empowerment and human rights to promote gender justice, and non-discriminatory and rights-based behaviors and practices.
This program requires a BA in a relevant field and at least a 6-8 week commitment. Other projects include helping with the construction of earthquake-damaged schools, medical and dental work, and helping to develop veterinary and animal health policy (summer and fall only, minimum two-week commitment required). All volunteer programs in Nepal are limited to a maximum of five months due to visa restrictions.
ELI’s amazing programs have earned many great reviews. Participants have been especially impressed with the quality of organizations they have been placed with. If you want to learn more about what to expect before going abroad, ELI’s website features photo journals, interviews, videos, and participant blogs.
ELI’s offer very manageable volunteer opportunities in Nepal so that you do not have to worry about cost while volunteering abroad. Their application fee is only $200 and comes with a 7-day refund policy.
Program fees include pre-departure information, airport pick up, a city tour and orientation, two meals per day, 24/7 emergency service, and more. Fees for the medical and dental programs are higher because hospitals charge an internship fee.
Participants live together in a volunteer house in Kathmandu that is close to all the shops, cafes, bookstores, and transportation options.
Love Volunteers began in 2009 by a New Zealander named Julian, who then recruited his two sisters to join the organization. Now, this family venture has become a unique and trusted volunteer organization that promises life-changing experiences in 35 different countries. Their focus is on community, volunteers, and partners.
Each year, they send hundreds of volunteers abroad to participate in meaningful and sustainable projects that really have an impact on local communities. Love Volunteers also run best and cheapest volunteer opportunities in Nepal.
Love Volunteers rewarding volunteer program in Nepal takes place in the cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara. You must be at least 18 years old to participate and stay for a minimum of one week.
Love Volunteers has several wonderful programs to choose from in Nepal, each with the goal of improving the quality of life and living standards for the Nepalese, with a particular emphasis on those who are disadvantaged. Teach children in poverty through their Education Program, provide child care for orphans, teach in a monastery, participate in their Healthcare and Medical Program, work in special education, or renovate dilapidated schools.
Each program has specific skill requirements, so be sure to check all the details. Orientation takes place on your first day and includes a visit to your placement location, an introduction to your host family, and a tour of Kathmandu.
Love Volunteers is a wonderful organization with a small but dedicated team working to provide enriching experiences. Their team members are known for providing prompt and helpful responses to all questions and concerns. Read through their volunteer blog and many testimonials to find out what you can look forward to. Love Volunteers has been featured on GoAbroad.com, The International Wanderer, and Go Overseas.
Love Volunteers offers affordable and flexible volunteer programs in Nepal that will allow you to travel and impact local communities without spending a lot of money. The organization is small, with no huge overhead costs or luxury expenses. They also work with local organizations, which helps keep administration costs low and puts money directly into the local economy.
Love Volunteers require a registration fee of $249, plus program fees that vary by program and length of stay. Program fees include accommodation, food, orientation, transport, in-country support, and future program development.
AVA is a Canada based organization established by Erin Kieffer in 2007. The organization is run entirely by volunteers and aims to create connections between people and communities in need so they can bring about social change and awareness. They offer low cost volunteer opportunities in Nepal, so you can be sure the organization is highly focused on bringing positive change to these areas.
Programs are open to all ages, from high school students to retirees, and they promise to respond to your application within two days.
AVA is extremely dedicated to making an impact in Nepal. Their volunteer Nepal programs in Nepal immerse you in Nepalese culture, language, and everyday life. Provide care and teaching to children in orphanages, teach English in a local school, or participate in healthcare projects.
For those who want to focus intensely on learning about Nepalese culture, there is a Cultural Exchange Volunteer Placement, which includes culture and language training and immersion into local culture. AVA also has a Rebuild & Repair Nepal program that is focused on rebuilding schools and buildings damaged in the most recent earthquake.
A $450 donation minimum is required for this program to help fund building materials. Each program comes with optional cultural training ranging from 3-7 days. Details are described in the chart below.
AVA is an excellent organization with high reviews. They are frequently praised for their quick response and dedicated staff, the quality of their programs, and the high level of exposure to Nepalese culture that volunteers experience. AVA has been a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency since 2008 and is listed on idealist.org and GoAbroad.com.
AVA is dedicated to keeping volunteer Nepal costs low to ensure that volunteers from all economic backgrounds can participate. There is a $275 registration fee, which is refundable if notice is given 60 days prior to departure. The registration fee covers administration, marketing, fundraising, and direct support to partner organizations in Nepal.
The registration fees described in the chart below cover transportation in Nepal, staff supervision and check-ups, accommodation, and project supplies. If you wish to extend your stay at all, each consecutive week in Nepal costs just $55.
Started in 2007, International Volunteer HQ is a New Zealand based organization that offers quality and low cost volunteer opportunities in Nepal and over 30 different countries. IVHQ has sent over 51,000 volunteers abroad since their start and earned a reputation as one of the world’s most trusted and experienced volunteer travel providers.
Their focus is on building lasting partnerships with responsible local organizations to ensure that both volunteers and local entities are benefiting.
IVHQ places volunteers in four main areas in Nepal – Kathmandu, Chitwan, Chitlang, and Pokhara. In Nepal you can teach English in public and private schools, assist with childcare in orphanages in Kathmandu and Pokhara, pick a medical elective and work at a local hospital, or work in a remote health clinic.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, unless accompanied by a guardian. The Nepal program begins on the first and third Monday of every month, and volunteers can stay for up to 12 weeks.
The Nepal program is very popular, and there are usually between 30 and 60 other volunteers that begin the program each month. Special short-term volunteering options are also available. All volunteers also receive free interactive pre-departure training.
IVHQ is a highly trusted volunteer organization and a great choice for volunteering abroad. They have placed over 51,000 volunteers abroad and are verified by several international travel portals including GoAbroad and GoOverseas, where they have over 300 reviews and a 94% positive response rate. IVHQ adheres to their own specific “foundation,” which includes affordability, responsibility, quality, support, safety, friendship, need, loyalty, experience and enjoyment.
IVHQ is consistently ranked as one of the most affordable volunteer organizations in Nepal and in the world. The majority of programs average between 250 and 450 volunteers each year, and because of these high numbers IVHQ can keep prices low while ensuring the quality of programs stays high.
Programs in Nepal start as low as $250. There is also a refundable $279 registration fee, which covers ongoing support from IVHQ staff, marketing costs, information packets, administrative costs, travel costs to inspect programs, and donation to the IVHQ Fund. The Medical Elective Program has an extra cost of $35 per week to cover training and resources. Program fee details can be seen below.
Cross Continental is a Canadian volunteer organization started in 2010. It is a federally registered organization in Canada and also a registered trademark in the U.S. Cross Continental boasts volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural adventure, language immersion, and gap year programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Their international programs aim to make a difference in the global community and promote cross cultural understanding, while at the same time remaining customizable, affordable, and flexible for the volunteers’ needs.
Cross Continental offers low cost volunteer programs in Nepal that vary from urban to rural locations, including the Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Sanepa Lalitpur, Chitwan, Jhaukhel, Pokhara, Dhading, and Nuwakot districts. In addition to the available locations, other areas may possibly be arranged upon request.
Start dates are also very flexible, and volunteers are free to start any week of the year for a duration of one week to six months. Placement subject areas include teaching, orphanage work, teacher development, agriculture and environment, healthcare, women’s empowerment, medicine, international journalism, and sociological/anthropological studies.
Participants under the age of 18 may apply with permission from a guardian. Volunteers are able to fully immerse in the Nepalese culture by living with host families, and workweek schedules and options are very flexible to fit the volunteers’ needs. Many host families even arrange cultural or recreational activities for volunteers, such as cultural and language classes, yoga, and meditation.
Cross Continental is a very good and trusted option for anyone looking to volunteer in Nepal. It is a great choice for those looking to customize their volunteer experience, because the programs remain extremely flexible. Look through their reviews and photos to get a better sense of what life is like as a volunteer through Cross Continental.
Cross Continental’s Nepal volunteer fees are among the lowest in the industry and inexpensive volunteer programs in Nepal begin at just $180. There is a $290 enrollment fee, which covers fixed costs such as program inspection, staff salary, and marketing costs.
Fees may vary depending on the program, as certain placements may require additional charges. Program fees (described below) cover airport welcome, orientation, accommodation and meals, work placements, hotline for local support, and regular cultural/recreational activities.
GoEco began in 2005 by two volunteers from the U.S. who wanted to promote the idea of responsible tourism. They began by introducing the concept of volunteer tourism in Israel and have since expanded to offer volunteer opportunities in over 33 countries including Nepal.
They send over 1,000 volunteers abroad each year and are eager to accept volunteers who wish to travel and contribute to the community, wildlife, and environment they visit. GoEco partners with organizations around the world that focus on humanitarian aid, wildlife rehabilitation, and ecological conservation.
For volunteers interested in teaching English, there is a minimum four-week commitment required, with a maximum 12-week commitment. Prices begin at $1,350 for four weeks. Volunteers can range in age from 18 to 70, with accommodation including a shared or private room in the monastery and three meals per day on weekdays (two meals on weekends).
The program for empowering women requires a minimum two-week commitment, with a maximum of 12 weeks. Prices begin at $900. Nepal volunteers range in age from 18-75, although younger volunteers may be accepted with parental consent. Volunteers share a room in the volunteer house and receive three meals per day.
All volunteers, regardless of program, receive a weeklong orientation where they are immersed in Nepalese culture and language.
GoEco is rated very highly and has been recommended by USA Today, The Boston Globe, MNS, The Guardian, Huffington Post, US News & World Report, and more. They are also listed on GoOverseas and GoAbroad.
Their volunteer blog features fascinating first-hand accounts of volunteer experiences abroad. They are highly praised for their focus on environmental conservation and nature protection.
"In addition to the teaching, I got to work at an orphanage in Kathmandu. I cannot explain the effect of those astoundingly beautiful children. Just to hold a child in need of a hug. To feel a hand slip so readily into yours simply to feel love and affection freely given. To feel special to someone. It bursts your heart. Their delight in each other and what little they have is truly inspiring and I will never forget them." – Melanie, volunteer in Nepal.
Fees for GoEco’s Volunteer programs in Nepal are cheap and they vary depending on length of stay. Teaching English varies from $1,350 (four weeks) to $3,190 (12 weeks), and includes accommodation, food, in-country and 24-hour support, airport transfers, pre-departure kit, and orientation.
GoEco is unique in that they also include comprehensive travel insurance in their program fees. The Empowering Women program ranges in price from $900 (two weeks) to $2,900 (12 weeks) and includes the same services as the Teaching English program. For all programs, a 100% refundable deposit is required to hold your place.
Pod Volunteer is an award-winning non-profit volunteer organization that began in the UK in 2001. Their focus is on promoting responsible volunteering and travel for volunteers in 10 different countries around the world. Their projects, which range from teaching, to working with animals, to conservation and more, are chosen for their sustainability and proven lasting impact on local communities.
Each year, they send over 600 volunteers abroad. Pod Volunteer has many awards, and is a finalist in the Best Volunteering Organization category of the 2015 British Youth Travel Awards.
Pod volunteer offers one of the best and cheapest volunteer programs in Nepal. Volunteers in the Pod Volunteer’s Nepal program can choose from five interesting and unique projects, including child care volunteering, creative arts volunteering, film and photography volunteering, sports coaching volunteering, and teaching volunteering.
Nepal projects can last from two to 16 weeks, with the exception of teaching volunteering, which can last from 3 to 16 weeks. All Nepal projects take place in the city of Pokhara, with new volunteers beginning every Friday. All volunteers stay in a centrally located family run guest house.
Pod Volunteer has received many reputable awards and has been mentioned in several media outlets including The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and more. They are listed on GoOverseas and many other volunteer-abroad databases. Pod Volunteer has been highly praised for their dedication to responsible and ethical volunteering and their sustainable projects.
Nepal volunteers have had a lot to say about their experiences abroad. In general, 96% of volunteers rate their experience as good or very good, and 97% of volunteers would recommend Pod Volunteer to their friends.
“I did a lot of research and Pod seemed to me to be by far the most ethically sound charity. Through supporting local projects and its transparency, I felt that it was a reliable and trustworthy organization - I am glad to say I have been proved right!” – Sarah, Teaching Volunteering, 2013
“My time in Nepal was amazing. I worked with incredible kids, stayed with lovely people, lived in a beautiful country and met friends for life. I would recommend it to anyone as it is such a rewarding and wonderful experience that I will always remember.” – Hannah, Childcare Volunteering, 2013
Pod Volunteer Nepal Volunteer Program Fees
Pod Volunteer offers high-quality volunteer opportunities in Nepal. They are dedicated to transparency when it comes to explaining the allotment of their fees. Program fees for a two week stay in Nepal begin at $1,105, with each additional week costing $120. The fees for the teaching volunteer project, which requires a minimum commitment of three weeks, begin at $1,225.
Pod Volunteer program fees include many benefits, including a single point of contact for Nepal, an in-depth volunteering guide, discounted online TEFL courses, exclusive rates for travel insurance, recommended travel agencies, financial protection, and much more.
Kaya was started in 2008 by Heilwig Jones, who started the organization after serving as a volunteer herself for many years. The word “kaya” was chosen as the name of the organization because of its many transcendent meanings – “I can do it” in Filipino, “my spiritual home” in Zulu, and “the enlightened one” in Buddhism.
Their mission is to promote sustainable social, environmental, and economic development, empower communities, and cultivate educated, compassionate global citizens through responsible travel. Kaya is based in the UK and welcomes volunteers of all ages and skill levels. They offer programs in 27 countries.
Kaya’s affordable volunteer program in Nepal boasts six different areas for doing volunteer work. As a result of the devastating earthquake in April 2015, you can participate in the Nepal Earthquake Disaster Recovery Project (starts at $1,278 for two weeks), and assist in the rebuilding of schools, roads, and homes that were damaged.
You can also do work with Women and Child Empowerment in Nepal (family volunteering, starts at $1,978 for two weeks), or Empower Women on a Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (starts at $1,278 for two weeks).
There is also a Global Health Placement in Rural Nepal (starts at $2,144 for four weeks), Daycare Center and Education Support for a Nepalese Rural Community (starts at $1,278 for two weeks), and Public Hospital Work Placement (starts at $1,601 for two weeks).
Kaya offers the best and highly rated volunteer opportunities in Nepal. Kaya is featured on GoAbroad, GoOverseas, and AbroadReviews with many wonderful reviews. Volunteers have been especially impressed with the ease of booking and the meaningful experiences they have had through Kaya’s programs. The Kaya Community is filled with many blog entries, photos, and reviews directly from current and past volunteers.
Kaya is an affordable and dependable option for volunteers looking to make a sustainable impact in Nepal. Program fees vary depending on program and length of stay. While a majority of the projects begin at $1,278 for two weeks, certain projects require additional payment for needed supplies and other costs.
Program fees include accommodation (shared room in volunteer house), three meals per day, airport pickup and drop off, one night in Kathmandu upon arrival, bus to rural placements, pre and onsite orientation, 24-hour support, and excursion planning.
Frontier an international volunteer organization that began in 1989 and features over 400 projects in over 60 countries. For over 25 years, they have successfully served their volunteers and have worked hard to protect biodiversity, build sustainable livelihoods, and inspire people of all ages to make their travel meaningful.
They are a leader in conservation and development, while also offering a wide range of projects in other areas. Frontier volunteers can be found on every continent in the world except Antarctica.
There are many great volunteer programs in Nepal to choose from with Frontier. The Nepal Children’s Hospital Medical Project (starts at $1,395 for two weeks) will allow you to work in a hospital in the capital city of Kathmandu.
With the Nepal Teaching & Temples Program, you can teach English to children or young monks (starts at $1,245 for two weeks). You can also teach in an orphanage (starts at $1,695 for two weeks), or participate in the Nepal Earthquake Relief Project (starts at $1,495 for two weeks) or Nepal Environmental Conservation program (starts at $849 for two weeks).
Projects take place all over Nepal and have flexible schedules so that you can both enjoy doing meaningful work and explore the beautiful countryside.
Frontier has been a well-respected volunteer organization for over 25 years. They are fully verified on Abroad Reviews, GoAbroad, and GoOverseas and have a 96% positive rating. For all their years of service, Frontier has over 600 online reviews. Volunteers have praised the organization for their well-organized programs, helpful support staff, and impactful projects.
Emma Gibson, 9 Sep 2010
“Nepal was an experience that I will never forget! Being able to see things that you would never be able to see in a hospital in the UK, such as observing operations, births and much more! Living with a host family was great as they were so welcoming, friendly and always willing to help if you had a problem.
The hospital itself was quite basic; however in some areas of the hospital they had more technology. Getting to the hospital itself was an experience, being on a bus with the locals! If you had a white coat on (which you have to on this work placement) you were considered to be a doctor!
Seeing the difference in the home life, culture and religion from the UK was amazing to watch, like the festivals that they celebrate. I would highly recommend doing this project as it is an amazing experience!”
Frontier’s affordable volunteer program in Nepal has fees that vary depending on length of stay and program. All programs require at least a two-week commitment.
Program fees include accommodation, three meals per day, airport pickup and drop off, in-country transfers, language and cultural orientation, in-country emergency support, 24-hour international HQ and in-country back up, pre-departure support, travel & medical advice, discounted medical kit, frontier t-shirt, and more.
GVI is a UK based organization that was established in 1998 and has served 25,000 volunteers in over 25 countries. They run high impact volunteer and international education programs by working closely with local communities and organizations that facilitate real change.
Some of their partner organizations include Save the Children, South African National Parks Board, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Jane Goodall Institute, Rainforest Concern, and the Kenyan Wildlife Service. GVI has won multiple awards and practices social responsibility at the corporate level.
You can choose from six different GVI volunteer programs in Nepal. Volunteer on construction projects, work with children, contribute to a women’s empowerment project, work in healthcare, or teach English.
You can also choose to do a Volunteer and Adventure Experience, where you volunteer on a child care project and then embark on an adventure to the Mount Everest base camp. This must be done for six weeks at a cost of 1,775 pounds. All other projects take place in Pokhara and begin at 850 pounds for two weeks, with the exception of the construction project, which begins at 900 pounds for one week.
Each program also includes an orientation that includes language and cooking classes, as well as an excursion to the Tal Bahari temple. You will have ample free time to explore the country when you are not working, with great advice from local staff on places to go.
GVI holds the award for Best Volunteering Organization in 2011 by Responsible Travel, and has numerous additional awards for specific projects. They have been featured in many international media outlets, including The Times, The Guardian, Daily Mail, BBC Holiday, and BBC’s ‘The Dark.’ They are reviewed on TourRadar, GoOverseas, and Volunteer Forever with hundreds of reviews.
I worked with GVI as a volunteer every summer from 2006 to 2012 and had the opportunity to take part in the most inspiring projects where GVI is promoting community development and sustainable livelihoods. Although GVI has been involved in different projects in different continents, all of them were designed to be holistic and focus on people’s needs and resources. This integrated conception of development caught my attention from the beginning, and has taught me that education sits at the center of all efforts to enhance the resilience of fragile communities all over the world."
GVI’s affordable volunteer Nepal programs mean you can go abroad and have a life-changing experience without spending all your money. Most programs begin as low as 850 pounds. Project durations vary, so be sure to review the charts below.
With so many affordable volunteer Nepal programs offered by the organizations featured in this article we are confident you’ll be inspired to start planning your own volunteer Nepal travel adventure. It is truly a wonderful way to see the world while making a meaningful and impactful difference in the very locations, and with the right people, which need your time and talents the most.
Age, experience, background and income are no barriers to getting involved, as the wonderful world of volunteering in Nepal truly is open to all, so all you have to do is choose between the many amazing, well organized and interesting projects which are on offer here.
If you have any experience with, or ambition to join, any of these top, affordable and meaningful volunteer programs in Nepal why not share them with other readers? We’d also love to hear about your plans, or your experiences, and even perhaps see some photographs if you have finished a program mentioned here.
Looking forward to hearing from you. Happy volunteering.