In 2010 a group of close friends from Pokhara, drawn together by their compassion, decided they wanted to make a difference to the conditions throughout their country. From this desire Himalayan Volunteers was born. We began as a small group of family and friends who shared a common goal of improving living conditions within Nepal. When we first began working with international volunteers we were still a small network, but driven by our passion we have grown and now worked in many districts throughout Nepal as well as with volunteers from all over the world. We offer fun, safe and structured placements giving participants the opportunity to have a direct impact on local communities, while also getting a genuine experience of the culture and character of Nepali people. We believe in providing a true grassroots experience where participants will spend time in regions their help and support is most needed. This will of course mean volunteers will not reside in luxury hotels, but will enjoy a more authentic environment living with the people who inhabit Nepal.
Many of our projects have focused on education in Nepal, as in many areas the standard of education is well below where we would desire it to be. We have also run projects to improve agriculture in the more rural areas of Nepal and lately of course our work has focused on providing aid to victims of the earthquake which has devastated the country we love. We believe in the power of volunteering and have seen the amazing things volunteers can achieve. We believe in Himalayan volunteers and all that this inspiring continent can offer to the world. We believe in the passionate people who work with us and alongside us to create tangible positive impacts and change lives.
To us, volunteering is a two-way thing. It’s not just about the hands-on help and skills that volunteers bring; it’s also about what this amazing continent, its people and its wildlife can give those volunteers in return. For many volunteers it’s their first time to Nepal and we want it to be the first of many. It’s our responsibility to make sure volunteers have a great time and are able to make a positive contribution to our projects; it’s also our responsibility to make sure that our presence on the ground is in the best interests of the local communities we work with.
To ensure that our projects are as sustainable as they can be, they are all thoroughly evaluated using a detailed scorecard before being set up. This involves analysing the long-term viability and the impact of the project. Every one of our projects has community stakeholders; we won’t run a project unless the community not only wants us there, but actually has ownership of the project. Community buy-in is essential. We take a holistic approach to the implementation and running of our volunteer programs in Nepal . We always aim to integrate ourselves into every level of the community working from grassroots to partnerships with local governments and we strive to maximize the power of volunteering and nurture a culture of mutual respect and understanding, and embracing diversity.