Kathmandu is Travel to Teach's base in Nepal and all volunteers initially arrive in Kathmandu for their induction before moving on to their placement. The capital of Nepal, and the countries only major city, Kathmandu is a fascinating place. Set in the Kathmandu Valley, with the Himalayas rising to the north and the gentler slopes of the Mahabharat Range to the south, Kathmandu is in places as crowded, dirty and bustling as virtually any developing world city. Other areas are architecturally stunning and home to numerous notable Hindi and Buddhist temples and ancient buildings.
Kathmandu, and particularly the tourist area Thamel, has a large variety of Western food, shopping, guest houses and Internet cafes, however even this can have an old world feel with its labyrinth of small restaurants and shops. A feeling that increases when the area is plunged into darkness by scheduled daily power outages.
The amount of time volunteers spend in Kathmandu will depend upon the length of their placements however all volunteers will start their stay with 2 days training and sightseeing in the center of the city, before moving onto stay onto the Kathmandu Happy Home for further training. You will then move onto one of our two training villages in the Kathmandu valley for further cultural and language introductions and initiation into Nepali life before leaving for your placement.
As well as our training villages, Dhulikhel and Sanga, we place volunteers in other villages around the Kathmandu valley and also within the city of Kathmandu itself. All of the villages are located within one and a half hour's bus ride from Kathmandu’s center and most have a well developed infrastructure, with water readily available, and reliable roads. In addition to a local tea house most of the villages have a few shops where you can purchase bottled water, biscuits, and stationery. International phone calls are usually possible however Internet access is less widely available.
Travel to Teach place volunteers in orphanages and at local schools in Kathmandu and the valley. Our work in schools is based around English teaching although work can also involve teaching life skills such as personnel hygiene. As well as helping to care for the children our orphanage volunteers work to educate staff, improve conditions around the orphanages and help the children with their studies. Our main projects are listed below.
Happy Home Children's Care House
Setup in February 2005 by Asim and Namrata our partners in Nepal and run by them with the help of volunteers, the Happy Home aims to provide a caring home environment and education for up to 12 children. Most of the children here are orphans, or from very poor landless families and have been rescued from child labour. All of our volunteers visit the Happy Home at some point during their stay and it is used as part of our training programs for new volunteers and also as a kind of second home for volunteers staying in or visiting Kathmandu.
As well as looking after the children and helping about around the home volunteers also help the children with their homework and teach English and personal hygiene (brushing their teeth, personal care, etc) and arranging events for the children. Such has been the success of the Happy Home that second and third Happy Home's are being built in Kathmandu and kathmandu_volunteering.
Pabitra Orphanage Home
The Pabitra Orphanage Home is situated in Jorpati within the main city of Kathmandu. The home houses 55 children aged between 1 and 14. The majority of these children are orphans although some have been placed in the home by parents who are unable to feed them.
The home currently has 8 staff looking after 8 bedrooms and a kitchen and is financed by donations and from various charities and private donors. The home also provides funds to send around 30 of the children who are old enough to the nearby Eyelens English School, paying there tuition fees and providing books and stationery. We have previously sent 5 volunteers to the home, who help out in the children's daily routine in various ways including teaching basic hygiene and assisting them with their studies.
A small village around one hour from Kathmandu Sanga is used as a training village and with volunteers staying here during there first week in Nepal whilst receiving there language and culture lessons and becoming acclimatized to Nepali life.
Volunteers are also given long term placements in Sanga where we work to improve the health and sanitation in the village, and to also teach the villagers environmental awareness. Ongoing projects here include building toilet facilities, building an enclosed shower, and water filtration systems. Volunteers can also work in the library, which has been established with the Tulsimeher Youth Club.
Dhulikhel is our second training village use to acclimatize volunteers during their first week in Nepal. Approximately one and a half hours from Kathmandu the area known for its views of the Himalayas. In Dhulikel we work in a local government school where volunteers teach English with local teachers and help students with their academics. The school also has some very basic computer teaching facilities.
Manibaya Children’s Orphanage, Kathmandu:
The Manibaya orphanage is based in Maharajgung in Kathmandu. It currently houses 41 children, aged between 4 –14. The orphanage is extremely basic with the children sharing 3 bedrooms, with many to a bed. We are working hard to improve these conditions and have so far sent 5 volunteers to the home where we have work to teach administrators better management and hygiene skills. We have also worked to eradicate various infestations (bed, body, hair lice etc) that the children suffer from, and improve their lives.
Through donations and the work of volunteers the orphanage is slowly becoming better equipped with new furniture and proper blankets and bed sheets and study equipment for all the children there. Donations are also used to pay the children tuition fees. Everyone at the home is thrilled with the changes that have been made so far.
Birendra Peace Children Welfare Center
This small children's home is in the region of Balaju, a rural suburb a few km north of Kathmandu. There are 13 children in the home, ranging in age from 3 to 13. They live in four rooms of a shared house, and share a backyard with the other families who live there. This is a new project where we have only recently begun sending volunteers and donations. The first volunteer worked to improve hygiene, teach English, and encouraged play activities and donations have been used to by school uniforms for the students and improve a previously bare room designated as the school room, with the addition of carpets and posters for the walls.
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Read how your fees are spent or compare our
prices with other volunteer organisations.
View our prices in other volunteer locations's or combine your stay in with stays in other locations as part of a combination stay.
Our application process typically takes two or three weeks, but can
be speeded up if there is a need for that. When we receive the initial application from you, we will send you our
full application form.
(1) Complete the Initial Application Form:
The first stage of the application process is to fill out the brief initial application form. Upon receiving this we will send you the full application form.
(2) Complete the Full Application Form:
Fill out the application form. After receiving this we will assess your suitability and place you on one of our programs.
(3) Placement info:
We will return detailed placement information and an invoice. If you accept the placement you should clikc the link to say so. The fee can be paid with credit card through PayPal or by bank transfer.
Once you have made your traveling arrangements you should mail your time of arrival and the means of transportation and we will confirm pickup.
For the majority of our Nepal programs, you can join us for any amount of time from 2 weeks to 4 months. However, some projects have minimum time restrictions.
We recommend a trip of 2-4 months since it offers the best value. Regardless of the length of your stay, you will have time to get to know a new culture, come to know its people, and form relationships that will outlast the duration of your stay.
June: Sat 22
July: Sat 6, Sat 20
August: Sat 3, Sat 17, Sat 31
September: Sat 14, Sat 28
October: Sat 12, Sat 26
November: Sat 9, Sat 23
December: Sat 7, Sat 21
|January: Sat 4, Sat 18
February: Sat 1, Sat 15
March: Sat 1, Sat 15, Sat 29
April: Sat 12, Sat 26
|May: Sat 10, Sat 24
June: Sat 7, Sat 21
July: Sat 5, Sat 19
August: Sat 2, Sat 16, Sat 30
|September: Sat 13, Sat 27
October: Sat 11, Sat 25
November: Sat 8, Sat 22
December: Sat 6, Sat 20
Volunteers in the Kathmandu area either home stay with local families or if working in an orphanage they often stay in the orphanage. Nepali people are extremely hospitable and volunteers will be well looked after however the accommodation will be typically Nepali and therefore basic by Western standards. Toilets and showers are usually Nepali style and the electricity supply in Kathmandu is unreliable with scheduled 3 hour power outages for much of the year. We have four different home stay families in the area all of whom have lots of previous experience with looking after volunteers. Volunteers staying in orphanages are given their own room within the orphanage.
There are numerous things to see and do around Kathmandu. Among the highlights are the Three Goddesses Temple, Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Mahakala Temple, Pasupatinath and Bodhnath and shopping and bargaining around the touristy Thamel area.
The staple food for most Nepali families and in orphanages is "Dal Bhat" which consists of rice (Bhat), lentil soup (dal) and vegetables in curry (Tarkari) and/or meat (Masu) and a small amount of pickle /sauce (Achar), other popular Nepali foods are either Indian or Tibetan influenced with lots of curries, breads and potato based dishes. There is a massive selection of international food in Kathmandu although most of this is around the Thamel area.
Volunteers can either eat with their host family or go out to eat, although the variety of locally available food will depend greatly on where in the area they are located and their proximity to Thamel. Volunteers from other areas of Kathmandu usually travel into Thamel on weekends to socialize with other volunteers and eat Western food. A typical meal in Kathmandu will cost anywhere from 50 – 300 rupees ($1-$5).
Weather in the Kathmandu valley is some of the most moderate in Nepal. In summer (May to September) the temperature rarely rises much above 30 degrees, the monsoon season (June to September) is less dramatic than most areas and winter temperatures (December to February) are usually above 10 degrees during the day with snow being extremely rare. It can get quite cold at night especially in the higher elevations around Kathmandu.Kathmandu Weather Chart
In order to fly directly to Nepal from your home country, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. TIA has direct airlink with Osaka, Shanghai, London, Frankfurt, Hongkong, Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Bombay and Calcutta. Lufthansa, Royal Nepal Airlines (RNAC), Air India, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways are the airlines that carry most of the foreign travelers into Kathmandu; and if you buy tickets from any other airlines, you will probably connect with one of these airlines for the final leg of your flight.
Volunteers will be met at the international airport in Kathmandu by our in country coordinators.
Namrata is the Mother of 5 year old Nawaras, 1 year old Nirnaya and all the children at Happy Home. She has six years experience working with volunteers. She is very generous with her time, along with being a busy mum, she tutors the volunteers in Nepali Customs and helps the volunteers shop in Kathmandu to make sure they get the right prices, especially for female volunteers getting Kurta Shalwars and Saris. (Typical Nepali dress). Namrata is a warm and friendly person and provides a family feel for the volunteers when they stay at the Happy Home.
Rama is a co-coordinator, supporting volunteers throughout their training in Kathmandu. Rama also takes the female volunteers for shopping and sightseeing. Rama teaches Nepali language as well as accompanying the volunteers to their placements to settle them in. Rama is a very friendly and open girl with very good English. Rama has visited Thailand, Burma, Mongolia and China during her studies.
Asim, T2T's partner in Nepal, directs our Nepali programs. He lives with his wife Namrata and his two young sons Narawas and Nirnaya, at the Happy Home Children's Care House. Asim has nearly 20 years experience working with volunteers and managing programs for various NGO's and has travelled to the UK as part of a cultural exchange program. His interests include working in the theatre and writing plays, he has also made one series for Nepali National Television.
Bicky is our Nepal Program Director and Co-coordinator. With over 6 years experience working with volunteers, Bicky is responsible for co-coordinating our volunteers and scheduling their training programs as well as matching each volunteers to suitable programs. Bicky has travelled extensively around Nepal and also been to Holland and China as part of volunteer exchange programs. As well as travel his interests include social work, especially with orphanage projects and in the local communities surrounding our projects.
A Visa can be obtained from the Royal Nepalese Embassy or Consulate office located in your country. It is also possible to get a Visa upon arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. However, it is recommended that you obtain your Visa prior to arrival as the Visa lines at the airport tend to be quite long.
The fee for a Single Entry Tourist Visa to Nepal for 60 days is US $60. Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum of 150 days. The Visa extension fee for 30 days is US $30.
If you are planning to work in Cambodia then you will need to obtain a police records background check before starting your placement. For details on the application procedure in your home country please take a look at: www.travel-to-teach.org/CRB-information.php
At all other locations you will be required to abide by the Travel to Teach Child Protection Policy.
Volunteers should consider vaccines/medication for the following:
Please consult your doctor before traveling. More information is available from the WHO's (World Health Organization) Travelers health information
One of the conditions of entry onto our programs is that volunteers have travel insurance. Most importantly the insurance needs to include medical treatment and repatriation in case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Volunteers should purchase insurance independently and bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them for their local co-ordinator to check before starting their program. Read our terms and conditions.