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Why Volunteer in Nepal?

Where you chose to work as a volunteer depends on what you’re looking for and on what you hope to achieve. In some cases language is a factor, as some volunteers prefer to work in countries where they can more easily speak to the locals. This is one of the reasons so many Americans choose to volunteer in South American countries—Spanish is very much the second language of the US, and a good proportion of young Americans have a grasp of the language.

Nepal tends to attract a different kind of volunteer: those in search of a more authentic and rugged experience, and those who want to see and experience something that they are not at all familiar with—something that they haven’t seen on TV shows or on the evening news.


Nepal is a country largely untouched by the western media. The locals in villages far from Kathmandu do not have access to or interest in Western culture. Apart from Mount Everest, the West has no interest in Nepal. There are no oil fields, no mineral deposit, and no precious metals to be found. It’s a poor country set in one of the most stunning landscapes in the world. The people are friendly and interesting, often going about their lives in the same way that their grandparents did years ago.

It’s a poor country, but not a starving country. Images of hungry children that we often see on our screens coming out of Africa are not a feature of life in Nepal. While a typical meal may consist of little more than rice and lentils, those meals tend not to be in short supply. It’s a relatively stable country in terms of violence and warfare—the problems of ten and more years ago have largely been resolved, and there is no more danger to westerners in Nepal than there is to westerners in Queensland.

The countryside is beautiful and exotic, wild and untamed. The Bengal Tiger roams the Lower Himalayas, as does the Red Panda. The chances of seeing one or the other is remote, and the chances of an unpleasant encounter even more remote, but their presence is a good indication of just how wild and untouched much of the Nepalese countryside is.

A visit to Nepal, especially one that leads you off the beaten track and off the tourist and trekking trails of Everest is an experience you will never forget. In truth, many visitors are not content to visit the country once. A single trip working as a volunteer is likely to turn into a life-long love for the country, so consider yourself warned.

But this sort of adventure is not for everyone. If you’re looking for something tame and easy going, you might be better suited to pick another country for your volunteer experience—somewhere with WiFi in every village and 4-star hotels at every crossroads. Many of the larger volunteer companies can send you to places just like this.

But if you have an adventurous spirit and a hunger to see and experience new things, then Nepal is the country for you. A short time spent volunteering here will stay with you throughout your life.

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