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We have asked former volunteers to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and some which they had themselves before coming to Nepal.
Feel free to have a look to see if your query has already been answered.
What is the usual duration of a placement?
The minimum duration for a placement at the “Home of Hope” is 4 months. Although we believe a more extensive stay to be more effective, because of the time it takes getting used to the life in Nepal. The longer you stay the more intimate the contact and connection to the children will be, as well as your insight into the Nepalese culture and life in Kathmandu.
The maximum duration is 10 months as there is a 5-month cap (150 days) for tourist visas per calendar year.
How many volunteers are usually staying at the Home of Hope at the same time?
The number varies but at the moment there is a maximum of 18 places. The summer is usually much less busy than for example autumn, however there will always be someone there.
Which medication are useful or necessary?
It isn’t uncommon to incur some kind of stomach irritation or similar. Hence it is advisable to be prepared, even though you will have to wait through most of them. I can recommend Electrolyte-solution to get back on your feet quickly. Bepanthen and plasters for you or the children never go to waste. Here is a list of other things I took with me to Nepal:
A well-stocked pharmacy is located in close proximity to the houses. The personnel are competent, and they can speak English. There is a good hospital not far from the houses for any more severe issues, so no need to be worried.
What can I bring with me for the children?
The organisation will hand you a package (ca 5-10kg) containing various stuff for the children for you to transport to Nepal. Feel free to bring other things for the children, if you have any space left. Balloons, jumping ropes, balls of any kind, badminton rackets, Mandalas, drawing books, stickers and utensils (like child safe scissors) are very popular with the children. Shoes and clothing donations are also appreciated. If in doubt you can always get in touch with the organiser or current volunteers in Kathmandu for clarification.
What kind of Visa will I need for volunteering and where can I get it?
You will require a tourist Visa for your stay. There are two ways, set out below, to acquire such:
Option 1 / Upon arrival:
When entering Nepal on can apply for a 15-, 30- or 90-day Visa. The price, varying with the duration, ranges from 25 to 100 US Dollar and can be paid in cash (Euros are an accepted form of payment, too). Furthermore, you will need a passport photograph, address and name of the charity in Nepal and a passport with a remaining validity of at least 6 months. You will have to extend your visa at the immigration office in Kathmandu.
Option 2 / Preceding arrival:
You should be able to acquire the visa in your home country at the Nepalese consulate or delegation. There you should ask to have the rules of your stay be confirmed in your own interest.
Visa and travelling information from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Visa information for American citizens
Visa information for UK citizens
Visa information from the Nepalese Department of Immigration
How much 'pocket money' will I need per month?
That depends heavily on how often you plan on going out for food, personal shopping, the number of trips you plan on doing and so on.
Generally, most goods are much cheaper than in first world countries like Germany, the UK or the US. Around $150 per month will suffice for the basics. Some need more others less but it’s never a mistake to have a bit of a financial buffer in case you want to take an extra vacation.
How much does board and lodging cost?
At the moments its $30 per week for food, drinks and accommodation. This is due to the fact that the Nepalese legislature doesn’t allow any foreign volunteers to live in the same house as the children. Therefore, you will live in a separate apartment close by.
You can receive donation confirmations for you to submit to the finance authority.
The flights, allowance, visa et cetera must all be paid by the volunteer.
Whats the food in the house like?
The Nepalese national dish “Dal Bhat” is served for breakfast and dinner in the house. It consists of Dal (lentil sauce), Bhat (rice) and vegetables which vary on a daily basis. Once a week meat is served with it.
To spice it up a little Rajma, a beans curry, is served with rice or Roti (Naan bread) each Monday and Thursday.
There is a little snack (Tiffin) for lunch.
What is a regular day at the Home of Hope like?
Why not follow this link 'Everyday life' and check out a more detailed account of the daily routine.
What will my tasks consist of?
The main task for the volunteers will be supporting the children with their homework and to organise their leisure time activities. Of course, this will involve lots of organization, discussion and planning which will all be your responsibility. For example, you will be able to do handicraft work, sport competitions, a range of workshops, dances, trips and so on with the children. So, the main thing to take with you is fun, motivation and commitment for the work with the children!
How will my working hours be scheduled?
The work hours are correlating with when the children are home, on schooldays from 6am to 9am and 3.30pm to 7pm (the younger ones) 8pm (the older ones). During holidays and Saturdays you will be busy all day long. Additionally there will occasionally be meetings and preparation periods, you will find more details about time management under Everyday life and agenda.
Will I be able to make a journey or go on a vacation to discover Nepal?
Volunteers will have free time whenever the children are in school and there is nothing to plan or organise. This free time can be utilized for trips in and around Kathmandu. More extensive travel is possible, too. However, it shouldn’t happen during the children’s holidays and must be discussed with the Home leadership in advance. Depending on your total stay your holidays will somewhat be limited, but discovering this beautiful country is definitely worthwhile and recommended.
How can I envisage my placement more vivid? And where can I get more information about volunteering at the Home of Hope?
Some of our recent volunteers kept a journal and the blogs below draw a good picture of their daily life, the activities with the children and discovering Nepal. Now you can discover their experiences and get a clearer picture of life in Kathmandu. Sadly, all of those blogs are in German. We hope this will change as more English-speaking volunteers work for our organisation!
Blogs by current and former volunteers:
We didn’t answer your specific question? Then feel free to ask it at our next information seminar or contact us:
A lot of the children are still in need of a sponsor. An individual sponsorship is possible for as little as 30€ per month.
Alternatively, you can support us by making a single donation to cover for all the arising needs and the continuously increasing cost of living.
IBAN: DE44 6145 0050 1000 0511 51
Banking institute: Kreissparkasse Ostalb
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