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How to choose right volunteering organization


If you’re reading this page, you are probably giving some thought to applying for a volunteer or intern role overseas.  And, as you have probably noticed, there is a raft of organisations across the globe offering you increasingly diverse ways to donate your time and skills where help is needed.

At once this prospect can be exciting and overwhelming.  With the wealth of options out there, how can you chose?  How can you tell whether the organisation and program are right for you?

Before you begin to ask questions to individual organisations concerning their ethics, affiliations and costs, you must begin by asking some questions to yourself, starting with that big one: what do you want?

This can be broken up into several different areas:

Time.  Possibly the most crucial consideration.  We all have restrictions on our time, be those academic, professional or domestic.  The first thing you need to establish is how much time you have to give.  Be realistic and remember that you will be in a foreign country and will want time to explore.  You might even want to consider combining your volunteer placement with travel and tourism (link) if your schedule is particularly tight.

Location.  It may seem obvious, but ask yourself, where you want to be?  That can be the country you are looking to give your time in or the smaller stuff, such as whether you want to work in a primitive rural environment or perhaps a more developed area, where there are likely to be more modern comforts.

Skills.  You might have a skill (medical, construction, technological) that will greatly benefit others.  You might be looking for an internship to help you on the path to your future career or a volunteer placement that is a complete departure from your day job.  The diversity of opportunities available is phenomenal, only it pays to be clear about your objectives when you begin to search for the right opportunity for you.

Program.  Remember, completing a volunteer placement or an internship is an opportunity you will want to make the absolute best out of; but they are all different.  They run from the short to the long term, some will have specific outcomes, others may be more interminable.  Some programs will be in their developmental stages, others may be more established.  Some will be rely entirely on the help of volunteers, while others may be supported by paid staff members.  Give some thought to the type of program that you wish to work with and what will motivate you most.

Organisation.  Every volunteer organisation is different.  Some organisations will be global with a complex infrastructure, some may be national agents, placing volunteers in foreign countries and others will be ‘grass roots’ organisations, based in the country where you will eventually volunteer.  These organisations will have different structures and values.  They will also offer varying levels of support to their volunteers and interns and will charge significantly different fees for the experiences they provide.  Similarly, organisations may have faith or secular affiliation.  It is important that you understand these differences and how they align with your own values and beliefs.

So, you have finished the interrogation and now it is time to get more information about the organisations and the programs that interest you.  The following list of questions might be helpful:

  • Is the organisation non-governmental and non-profit?
  • What are the values and beliefs of the organisation?  Are they influenced by faith or secular concerns?
  • The volunteer organisation will in most cases charge a fee for the volunteer placement.  Can they clearly demonstrate how volunteer fees are spent?
  • Can the organisation provide evidence of results of the work undertaken in their programs?  Are development and improvement evidenced?
  • Is there a role description for the placement that interests you?
  • Can the organisation confirm exactly what support is provided to the volunteer, such as transport, guidance with visas, staff support during the placement?
  • Can the volunteer organisation put you in touch with other volunteers who have taken part in their programs?

 

Most of all, you must assure yourself that your objectives and values are aligned to those of the organisation you are hoping to work with.

Before you embark on a placement with VIN we are happy to provide all the information you require to make an informed decision.  We hope you are able to find a lot of information on our website, but we are always here to help if you have any further questions and we have a large community of past-volunteers who are more than happy to share their experiences with you.

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Volunteer vs Internship Programs


  • Nepal is prone and exposed to various types of natural disasters due to her rugged and fragile geophysical structure, very high peaks, and high angle of slopes, complex geology, variable climatic conditions and active tectonic processes. Hence every year the country has to bear the brunt of most common natural disaster claiming many human lives and huge economic loss.

  • teaching program

    Embark upon an adventure of a lifetime, accomplishsomething remarkable, immerse in a new culture, and discover what volunteering has to offer! Sounds like a dream? Perhaps, but this is what our volunteers and interns have told us of their experience while volunteering in Nepal with Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN). Why should I volunteer with VIN’s teaching program?Just Select a Project and Click Apply Now to Begin Your AdventureTeaching Projects:Explore Buddhist Culture by Teaching English at a Buddhist MonasteryExperience the unique opportunity to gain insight into Buddhist culture and practice. And no, you don’t have to be a Buddhist. Just come with a smile, your desire to teach and learn, and you’ll feel right at home. Volunteering as an English teacher to children in a Buddhist monastery is a deeply rewarding and unforgettable opportunity to give back.Read MoreMake Dreams Come True by Teaching English at a Community SchoolDiscover what it’s like firsthand to teach English in at community / public schools in Nepal as a volunteer or intern. When you volunteer to teach English you’ll be given an active role in the classroom. You’ll put your valuable skills to use by supporting dreams of students eager to learn English from teachers like you.

  • The volunteers will be involved in the projects that VIN implements in the working sites like Okhaldhunga, Nuwakot and Kathmandu. Volunteers with special skills to suit the professional skills are encouraged to apply.

  • Public Health Projects,VIN

    Experience a new culture through an adventure of a lifetime while developing and building a healthier, more sustainable, future for the world!You can, through any of Volunteer’s Initiative Nepal’s exciting Public Health Programs. Are you a health professional, student, animal lover, or a world-conscious and willing volunteer looking to get experience through hands-on opportunities? Then you’ve come to the right place. Why should I volunteer with VIN’s Public Health Program?Choose a Public Health Project AndClick Apply Now to Begin Your Adventure Public Health Projects:Empower Communities through Health, Sanitation & Hygiene EducationCreate awareness in local communities in Nepal while experiencing what it’s like to teach and educate in rural communities abroad. Through VIN’s Health, Sanitation, & Hygiene Education project, you have the opportunity to be a part of removing barriers to improved health, by providing basic sanitation and hygiene education. During your time as a volunteer you will experience local life in Nepal as you live with in a home stay with a Nepali family.Read More

  • Environment-and-Conservation-Program

    Collaborate with the Local Rural Community, Conduct Major Research, Promote Sustainable, Profitable Practices to Meet Environmental Challenges While Experiencing Nepal’s Colorful Culture! As a volunteer through Volunteers Initiative Nepal’s challenging, yet rewarding Environment & Conservation projects you will work first-hand with the locals, on the field, conduct research, learn, and teach, while experience Nepali culture. You will bring lasting change to Nepal regardless of your skill level. Why should I volunteer with VIN’s Environment & Conservation Program?Choose a Project and Click Apply Now to Get StartedEnvironment & Conservation Projects:Improve Nepal’s Water Resources by Conducting Water ResearchDo you like the adventure of working with the challenges of the unexpected? Do you also possess the relevant experience in water and sanitation research? As a volunteer in VIN’s Water Research project you will conduct major research on water resources and sanitation, while collaborating with and creating awareness in the local community. One day you might be at the water source taking samples, another day you might be in the lab analyzing samples, another day you could be in the office creating data analysis reports of your findings. No matter what, you be busy learning, doing, and having a lot of fun!

  • We need volunteers and interns to join VIN’s Youth Empowerment Program to inspire and encourage Nepal’s youth.  Engage them in community development or give them vital social and professional skills; you will help to bring positive change to their lives and to that of their community by participating in youth volunteer program.VIN launches Youth Club and Life Skills, English and Career Development, and Youth Entrepreneurship projects under Youth Empowerment program with an objective of developing skillful youth manpower in our community sites by the help of our local and international volunteers and encourage them to participate in socio-economic activities of the society.The youth of Nepal face significant challenges as they emerge into adulthood.  Many leave school without their School Leaving Certificate (SLC); the national pass rate for 2013 being a miserable 41.57 percent, 6 percent lower than the previous year.  Pass or fail, politically and economically unstable Nepal holds few prospects.  Skilled and unskilled, many leave for foreign countries, casting a black shadow across the future of Nepal.VIN’s overriding objective is the empowerment of marginalised communities, focusing on women and children.  We have been working with Jitpurphedi Village Development Committee (VDC) since 2007 and have begun to initiate work in Okhaldhunga district, in the Everest region.  We believe that youth empowerment of community is essential for the empowerment of the entire community.  They are the immediate future, full of potential to support community programs, such as Children’s Development and Women’s Empowerment and to develop themselves, given training and skills.VIN seeks volunteers and interns to support on our youth volunteer programs and help to develop the social and professional skills of community youth, helping to build their confidence to deal with problematic situations and ensuring that they become active in the community, promoting change and empowerment.

  • VIN seeks committed volunteers or interns to join our diverse Public Interest Program.  Whether your talents are in manual labour, planning, motivating or research, you can help VIN to make significant changes in Nepal’s challenging public landscape.VIN operates Traffic Management, Research Initiative, Construction and Manual Work, Emergency Relief & Disaster Management, Civil Society Initiative, Volunteering and Hospitality Management, and Animal Care projects under Public Interest Program to bring public awareness in Nepalese society from voluntary works.Nepal has been a Federal Democratic Republic since 2008, having emerged from 10 years of civil war and abolished its monarchy.  Yet, four coalition governments have consistently failed to write a meaningful constitution and much of the country remains in a state of flux.  The issues of health, welfare, lack of infrastructure and susceptibility to natural disaster still overshadow the country, demonstrating the overwhelming distance that developing Nepal has yet to travel.VIN’s overriding objective is the empowerment of marginalised communities, with the focus on women and children development.  Within our integrated community development approach, we work on four main areas; education, health, the provision of tools for economic well-being and the provision of a basic infrastructure.  We have been piloting this approach with Jitpurphedi Village Development Committee (VDC) since 2007 and now look forward to working with Okhaldhunga district, in the Everest region.  Our aim is to bring about a sustainable increase in the quality of life of those living in marginalised communities, ultimately leading to independence.VIN seeks willing and positive volunteers or interns to assist with a wide range of Public Interest Program, operating in and outside of our focused communities.  Help the Kathmandu Police in traffic management, work with local people to build vital village structures, such as schools and toilets, or pass on your skills and help develop a culture of caring for the elderly in Nepal.

  • administration,VIN

    At VIN we recognize that some people want to travel, experience new cultures and give something back using the skills they have developed through their professional lives.  We also recognize that there is a huge wealth of expertise and skill, not available in Nepal, that can be gathered from these people and in response have set up our Management and Administration Program to facilitate this exchange of culture and skills.VIN runs Volunteer Coordinator, Editor Writer, Marketing Advisor, Fundraising and Grant Writing, Website & SEO Professional, and Human Resource Advisor projects under Management and Administration Programs to boost management and administrative knowledge in Nepalese community with the help of expert and specialized international volunteers.Here at VIN, our overriding objective is the empowerment of marginalized communities, with a focus on those most marginalized; women and children.  We have been working with Jitpurphedi Village Development Committee (VDC) since 2007 and have recently begun work with Okhaldhunga district, Everest region.  Our community work is based on the foundations of health, education, the acquisition of economic tools and the provision of basic infrastructure. On these foundations we believe we can build empowered, independent communities.Since our beginnings in 2007 VIN has continued to increase in size and complexity.  We now have over 20 staffs and host hundreds of volunteers annually.  However, to ensure the consistency of our projects, the job security of our staff and the provision of life enhancing volunteer placements we must continue to develop the ways in which we manage VIN.  We must raise awareness of our work through our websites and social media for continued support.  Our website is crucial to our visibility and we must continue to innovate and to safe guard it for the future.  And, as a volunteer organization, we rely most heavily on people and must develop contemporary ways to care for this precious resource.

  • Journalism Projects

    If you are planning a career in journalism – audio-visual, photographic or print – then VIN’s Journalism Program can help you develop your experience and your resume.  This is a perfect opportunity for those planning a gap year or career break and contemplating or already following a career in journalism or print media.VIN’s Journalism Program enables interns or volunteers to develop a portfolio of work in an international context.  The program is conducted in Nepal in partnership with national daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly publications. You can work in Photo Journalism, Print Journalism, and Film and Documentary Making projects under Journalism program. If you are already a practicing journalist, Journalism volunteering will broaden your experience and show you a different way of working in journalism against the backdrop of a dramatic country faced with political and social challenges.The opportunity not only allows you to produce professional work for a large publication but to gain an insight into how the publication is run.  Whether you wish to work in print or celluloid you will gain invaluable experience as you traverse your career path.VIN is a non-commercial, charitable organisation whose overriding mission is the empowerment of marginalised, rural communities in Nepal, with a particular focus on women and children.  Since early 2007, we have been implementing our integrated community development plan in rural communities of outskirt of Kathmandu valley and have begun implementation in Okhaldhunga, the Everest region.   By taking part in our Journalism Program you will be supporting our efforts in these communities, helping to promote our relationships with partner organisations and raising our visibility.During your placement you will live with a Nepali host family, either in the working community or Kathmandu, dependent on your placement.  Where ever you live you will become immersed in Nepali culture and language, which will enrich your experience and indirectly inform your work.

  • Travel and Adventure,VIN

    Economically, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and yet one of the richest in landscape, wildlife and culture.  Nepal has been one of the top 10 destinations for the adventurers. Year upon year volunteers and trekkers come here to give their time and to experience all that Nepal has to offer.  At VIN, we recognise that your time is precious and while you want to give it to help developing Nepal, you also do not want to miss the chance to explore.  In response, we have designed the Adventure and Volunteer Programs, allowing you to volunteer and explore and trek safe in the knowledge that the staff at VIN have carefully arranged the details.VIN Adventure and Volunteer Program allow you to participate in natural based activities which has the power to enhance lives in unique and positive ways. You get chance to engage in Volunteer Trekking, and Volunteer Travel Tour under this program. It helps you in healthy character development and self-discovery through challenge and adventure. So you will be giving back to the community in need while exploring the natural beauty of the country.Nepal is home to eight of the ten highest mountains in the world.  Since Nepal’s borders were opened in 1949, this small, landlocked country has become the ultimate destination for trekking and volunteering to the adventurous global population.  But the mountains are only one of the draws: explore the temples and stupas, for Nepal hosts some of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world; explore the great rivers by kayak or raft; fly above Everest and the Annapurnas; Paragliding in Pokhara or take a safari in the jungle landscape of Chitwan or enjoy the Himalaya from Nagorkot.




Testimonials


Actually, this is my second time to come to Nepal and work with VIN. Last time I came here, I felt I would love to come back. And now, I feel the same as last year. So I would love to come back to Nepal and work with VIN in near future... again!!


Success Stories


A leader and a voice for many women Tarkeshwor Municipality-3 Jitpurphedi Dandagaun Sharmila Adhikari, a mother of two children, and a busy housewife, embodies a perfect example of perseverance and grit of a human being....


Vin Ambassador


I was an intern with VIN for 10 weeks from October to December 2015, working in the Environment and Conservation Program, with regards to Climate Change and sustainable agriculture. I graduated from the University of...


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Published on: April 18, 2019

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Martin and Kelly from Estonia has been filming to EU Aid Volunteer (EUAV), Pawel Bryk as the main character for a week who is working with Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN)...

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VIN organized a cardiovascular disease prevention campaign in Kavresthali. The campaign was done throughout March and will be continued on the first week of April.

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Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN)

Nayabazaar Khusibu, Kathmandu

Email: support@volunteeringnepal.org

Fax: 00977 1 4362560

Tel: 00977 (1) 4362560 / 4356679 (Office)