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Experience Nepali village life and help out at our school in Gandaki, Nepal

  • Favourited 5278 times
  • Last activity: 21 Apr 2024

Availability

  2024 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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Details

  • Description

    Description

    Namaste! My name is Shamser, I am the principal of an Academy, in my village, Gaunshahar, located in a beautiful part of northwestern Nepal on the top of a hill with stunning views on the Himalayas.
    I opened my first school in Gaunshahar in 2015, with the ambition to offer a free and non-violent education to the children of my local community:
    - Free because most families of my district are poor and often cannot pay for their children's education, leading to a high drop-out rate. This is why we offer all children school fees, uniforms, books, stationary and meals.
    - Non-violent because the educational system in Nepal is still often based on the traditional hitting system, with 80% of Nepali children educated with physical punishment and violent discipline, leading to physical and psychological trauma.

    This is the first free non-violent school ever open in Nepal, and this educational project led me to be selected as top 50 finalists of the Global Teacher Prize in 2019 (which is similar to Nobel Prize for teachers).

    Additionally I opened four schools in my district, in 2015 and 2022, and those four schools altogether welcome over 450 children from age 3 to 13. In 2021, we also started to run a school bus to allow children from remote villages to attend school. All children from the area are welcomed irrespective of cast and disabilities, and we have expansion ambitions as the demand for our school coming from all the surrounding villages gets bigger every year: this is why we need your help!

    We have just opened the School in the Besisahar province. We ask that volunteer spend some of their stay at this newer school because more help is needed there and it adds diversity to your experience. The new school is surrounded by rainforest and is remote. The new school is a 1.5 hour from Besisahar. We are excited to now have a western toilet and a hot shower at the new school, and volunteers can stay in three spacious rooms in the upper level of the school. Tents are also available for those who wish to use them, also organised by Shamser.

    We welcome any type of help, from teaching to building, painting or cooking: you can see more details and our current projects in the "Help" section!

    We ask volunteers to help 4 to 5 hours per day, 5 days a week, and work half of their time at the school in Guanshahar and half of their volunteering days at the new School.

    I will request that you stay at either in Guanshahar in Chiti based on where we need the help most. However, volunteers still have the option to the other school if they would like to experience both.

    Please note that during exam & holiday times the above mentioned work will change to activities that we cannot complete during school times, such as painting, construction (Now building a library and grade 9 classroom, agriculture & general maintenance) During these times we are still very much in need of the help of volunteers but don't want you to be disappointed if there is no teaching opportunities. The upcoming holiday/exam dates are as follows:

    1st term exams 5th July - 12th July 2024
    Summer vacation 14th July - 19th July
    2nd term exams 26th Sept - 2nd Oct
    Dassain festival vacation 3rd Oct - 16 Oct
    Light festival vacation 31st October - 4th November
    3rd term exams 19th Dec - 27th Dec
    Winter vacation 29th Dec - 1st Jan 2025
    Final exams 26th March - 2nd April
    End of school year vacation 3rd April - 15th April 2025

    During exam and vacation periods we need more help here= as requires ongoing help with classroom construction, painting, mural drawing and other building projects.

    Many thanks for your interest, and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    Teaching
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    My village is called Gaunshahar, it is the original abode of the royal family of Nepal that later relocated to Kathmandu. The small palace and courtyard still hosts traditional festivals that attract many people from all around many times a year. Gaunshahar is 4km uphill from Besisahar, which is a larger town with more accommodations, shops, and restaurants.

    During your time here you will get a strong sense of Nepali village life, and there are many activities you can engage in, including hiking, short walks in the nearby villages, or taking tea with the locals. If you are interested in longer treks, we can help you organize trips around Lamjung. In addition, Besisahar is one of the starting places of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, and the necessary permits can be purchased in town.

    The surrounding mountains and the tranquility of our village create a perfect setting for yoga and meditation. If you like, we can also give you some Nepali lessons, so that that you can be acquainted with Nepali culture, history and language. Sometimes we have campfires, and I can give you a tour of the village where you can try our local wine. We can also teach volunteers to cook Nepali food, such as Dal Bhat and organic local curry for breakfast or dinner.

    If you like, I can also give each volunteer a certificate at the end of your stay, to use for future volunteering or when searching for a job.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help

    Help

    We welcome any help you can give!

    Previous volunteers have participated in many different ways. Most commonly, people who visit help out at the school by assisting teachers, teaching classes, and running creative activities in the library. However, volunteer involvement is not limited to that. In the past, volunteers have designed, planned and acquired materials for projects to improve the infrastructure of the school, like painting projects, rebuilding old paths and gates and improving the electrical wiring. Other volunteer occupations have included teacher training initiatives, helping with grant writing and building our equine therapy program for our three students with Down Syndrome. Social media, fundraising, and photography are other useful skills volunteers have provided.

    We have many projects ongoing and we always welcome any new ideas that volunteers can bring. Don’t worry if you think you might not have any relevant skills, there are many ways to help in the school and the children will appreciate your efforts and support.

    We ask volunteers to give about 4 hours help a day, 5 days a week ( Saturday is off in Nepal), in any way you can. The rest of the day is yours! We are particularly looking for people who are interested in staying for long periods of time to become more integrated with the school, however we are still very happy to have people visit for any amount of time.

    --------------

    Current PROJECTS

    - Construction: we are currently building a community library in the School in Chiti (that will also be accessible to the Chiti community) and we need a lot of volunteers to help moving sand, plastering etc. We also need volunteers to help with an upcoming painting project at the School.

    - Computer Lab: We are starting a computer lab with four new laptops and will need volunteers to help teach computer literacy and computer skills to the children.

    - Gardening: we are starting a gardening project to teach the children about agriculture, horticulture and science. The items produced from the garden will also be used in the cooking classes. This project is at very early stage and we would need volunteers with gardening knowledge to kick it off! Please ask Shamser if this interests you.

    - Cooking classes: a kitchen is being added to the school to teach the children about hygiene, nutrition and cooking. We are interested in having volunteers sponsor this project and consider offering to teach the preparation of a dish from their country. We are excited about this activity as it will not only provide good meals for the children, it will expose them to a broad view of food and also provide an opportunity to teach English in an active setting. We expect to have six children at a time participate in the cooking classes which will take place on Saturday afternoons for 2 hours. (Saturday is usually a school day off so the children will attend school for only this event on those days.) If volunteers are interested in learning how to cook Nepali cuisine, arrangements can be made on request.

    We have many projects going and ideas to make our schools better. We especially appreciate volunteers who are prepared to take initiative and bring their unique skill set to our workaway.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Hindi: Fluent
    Nepali: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Our homestay, in Guanshahar, includes two shared guest rooms inside my family home, and a traditional Nepali eco-roundhouse made from stone and a metal roof with 10 additional beds. At the school, we have several rooms in the school that are available for volunteers to stay in, and we are planning on setting up a large tent in the fall. It is advised to bring your own toilet paper

    We ask volunteers to pay a small amount of 5 US dollars per day to stay here: this cost includes housing, three meals a day, hot and cold showers, and WiFi. Our food is sourced almost entirely from local ingredients and we can easily accommodate vegetarian diets. Please note that the served food is basic (we generally have Dal Bhat for breakfast and dinner, and lunch can vary depending on the school menu), however you are able to stock up on extra items from Besisahar. Next to our house, you can also find several shops where you can buy snacks, drinks and other items (such as toilet paper and water).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Getting to the Homestay

    From Kathmandu to Besisashar
    The quickest and easiest way is by microbus from the small Gongabu bus station (next to BG Mall). There are both local micro and tourist buses running from Kathmandu to Besisashar daily. The journey will take about 7 hours and the bus will stop several times for local food and a toilet break on the way. This bus should cost around 800 NPR (6 dollars). Try to take early starts (around 7:30 am) to be sure to get the last bus (at 5PM) from Besisahar to Gaunshahar.

    From Pokhara to Besisashar
    You can take either a tourist bus or a direct micro bus to Besisahar. There are several buses to choose from and the bus ride takes between 4 to 5 hours. This bus should cost around 500 NPR (4 dollars). Please try to 9 AM bus in order to reach Besisashar at 4 to take the bus up the mountain to Gaunshahar.

    From Besisashar to Gaunshahar
    You can either take the bus or walk up the mountain to our village. Walking up to Gaunshahar is quite steep so we recommend taking the bus. In any case, please inform me of the timing of your arrival at least 2 days in advance, so that I can supervise if necessary.

    The Gaunshahar bus (called "Royal Gaunshahar Kalika") leaves at 2:30 PM and 5PM every day of the week except on Saturdays (no bus) and bank holidays (bus at 2:30PM only). The meeting point ( )
    is in front of the Tukuche Hotel in Besisahar (the driver will pick you up there) and it costs 200 NPR. (With bagpack) If you arrive on a Saturday or on a bank holiday after 2:30PM, you need to reserve either a jeep for 2000 NPR or a tuk tuk for 800 to 1000 NPR: and if you need help you can ask me as well.

    If you miss the bus or prefer to walk, there is a trail up the mountain to Gaunshahar. There will be many people along your route and all will be happy to point you in the right direction. The hike is steep and will take about 1 hour 30 to cover the 4 km uphill to the village. You can also take the road which is a more gentle ascent but is 7 km long.

    The last option to arrive is to take a private car from Katmandu airport directly to Gaunshahar (cost is around 120 dollars), I can arrange this for you if you wish.

    When you arrive in Gaunshahar, just ask for Shamser's house, anyone will show you the way.

    If you have any questions please feel free to ask, or if you have any problems in Besisahar please just give me a call from your mobile or from Hotel Tukuche.

    --

    From Kathmandu to Besisashar (Udipur)
    Please follow the instructions as given to, however, instead of getting off the bus at Besisahar, you will need to get off ten minutes earlier at Udipur.

    From Pokhara to Besisashar (Udipur)
    Please follow the instructions as given, however, instead of getting off the bus at Besisahar, you will need to get off ten minutes earlier at Udipur.

    From Udipur to Chiti
    You can either take the bus, shared jeep or walk up the to the village. Walking up to Chiti is quite steep and would take at least 2 hours so we recommend taking the bus/shared jeep. The first transport leaves around 12:30 from Udipur & the last transport leaves around 4:30pm so it's best to arrive before this time. Otherwise the only way up will be to pay for a private jeep which will cost around 2000. In any case, please inform me of the timing of your arrival at least 2 days in advance, so that I can supervise if necessary.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

  • ...

    This host charges a fee

    read more
    we ask you to pay food costs - no more than US$5 per day
Host ref number: 169379873767

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