Most of the volunteers who travel to Nepal with us do so for a short duration, usually three to four weeks. This allows them to get a good feel for village life in rural Nepal, and to see many of the great cultural sites the country has to offer. We’ve never had a volunteer who wished they couldn’t stay longer, or who didn’t express an interest in returning, and maybe bringing friends and family along with them.
For the villagers, short stays like this give them ample opportunity and time to get to know their Western visitors. Even a single week’s stay in Batase Village is long enough for some of the village women and children to strike up real friendships with their counterparts from the West, and to experience the very real differences in lives and life styles.
This meeting of worlds is something we encourage, as it helps broaden the minds of the villagers, especially the younger children for whom the village and village life are all they have known. When they encounter young Western volunteers little older than themselves living lives they could only dream of, it opens them up to the possibility of something greater — the very real possibility that with the right education, their prospects in life could be larger than they had dreamed.
The volunteers also gain a lot from these short trips. A week spent helping out in the village school, or tending to the goats along with the young village children. A week spent eating and living with the locals, communicating thoughts and feelings. A week spent expressing wonder, and at times, maybe a little unease at what they see around them. These things stay with you. When the volunteers return home to city life in Sydney, or to a very different style of rural living in Queensland, they are often left changed. For months and sometimes years after, they find themselves wondering what their friends in Batase would think of a shop, a day’s outing, an expensive item of clothing, a barbecue.
This is what volunteering with Take on Nepal is all about.
But sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes the volunteer might feel that they really wanted to immerse themselves in Nepalese life for a longer duration. That both they and the villagers would benefit more from a stay of three or six months instead of three weeks. And in some cases they would be right.
Volunteers who bring real skills to the village, such as teachers, nurses, construction workers. Or even volunteers who simply have a feel for village life and who strike up real friendships with the villagers. These volunteers are welcome to stay for longer periods.
We’ve recently started a Long Term Volunteer program which runs from the conclusion of the shorter volunteering trips. As part of the program, you decide how long you wish to stay in Batase. Costs are kept to a minimum, barely covering accommodation and food. The purpose of the long term volunteering placements is to allow the villagers to have a richer exposure to individual Western volunteers, and to truly learn from them over time.
If you feel that this is something that might interest you, more details are available on our Long Term Volunteering page.
© Take on Nepal 2020