Nepal is a land of ancient culture and contrasting scenery. From the majestic Himalayas which contain 8 of the world’s 10 tallest mountains to the rainforest in the Terai, home to wildlife such as tigers, rhinos and elephants, there are plenty of tourist opportunities to enjoy. Home to some of the most important religious sites in the world, including Lumbini the birthplace of the Buddha, Nepal is also a popular destination for pilgrimages. However, Nepal is also one of the world’s poorest countries – ranked 15th poorest in the world with over half living the population living on less than 80p a day. Nepal has a turbulent history and much need for development. Since the end of the civil war in 2006 and the Maoist party entering into a coalition government, aid money and tourists have returned to Nepal, although much still has to be done to help improve the lives and potential of those living outside the major cities. Foreign aid is still a significant part of Nepal’s economy, and sustainable development is absolutely essential in allowing Nepal improve and progress.
Aims of the Project
1. The construction of a building(s) for use of the local community.
2. The education of children from the poorest backgrounds in a wide variety of subjects in order for them to compete against other students from more wealthy families.
3. The fostering of cultural links between the United Kingdom and Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world.
4. To increase the awareness of our volunteers and to expand their horizons and personal development.
Details of the Project
Overall the project lasts for 6 weeks, which includes 5 days of language and culture training at a place called Dhulikhel to the north of Kathmandu. The rest of the time is spent on placement. During the training the volunteers will be taught the basics of Nepali language and take part in cultural lessons, learning among other things the protocol for eating and for working on the construction site. It also allows the volunteers to get to know each other better and get used to living in Nepal. This year SVA aims to send 12 volunteers to Nepal.
On the project the volunteers will be split into groups of six and will live with host families who will cook them local Nepali food (mostly Daal Bhat!) and help immerse them in the local community. Each group will also have a Nepali counterpart, normally a Nepali student, who will help them translate both at home and on the work site and assist them with any difficulties. The project itself will consist of both construction and teaching. Teaching can involve any subject that the volunteers wish to teach; last year’s group found that English was the most beneficial to the students but there is scope for other subjects such as P.E and Art. The construction will typically involve building classrooms or community halls for poor villages in rural Nepal. The project will run from the last week of June until early August (with potential to travel before and after for volunteers). Some weekends are free for the volunteers to do with as they wish. There are plenty of things to see and do and PSD or the host family will help volunteers organise this.
The budget for the project is £10,000 to be raised between 12 volunteers.
Flights usually cost about £700 on average depending on travel plans before and after project. Immunisations can vary in price, for more information about these you can visit the NHS website Fit for Travel:
NGO: Partnership for Sustainable Development Nepal (PSD Nepal)
Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) is a non-governmental, social development organization which aims to support the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Nepal.
P.O.Box 19782, Buddhanagar
Tel. 977-1-4780369, 4780631
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepal - good for general information and history.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12511455 - another site for keeping up-to-date with news and latest figures.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal - everything you could ever hope to know about Nepal.
http://psdnepal.org/ - information about the NGO volunteers will be working closely with in Nepal.
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SVA is a Scottish Registered Charity: No. SC 030081 c/o. University of Glasgow SRC, The John MacIntyre Building, University of Glasgow, GLASGOW, G12 8QQ