VIN seek enthusiastic volunteers or interns to work side by side with Nepali farmers. Our Agro-Farm Program aims to teach farmers in marginalized, rural communities new farming techniques while preserving the cultural heritage embodied in farming practices passed down by their ancestors.
Agriculture provides subsistence and employment for 75 percent of the population of Nepal, accounting for approximately 39 percent to the total GDP. The development of the sector is crucial for the empowerment of those who rely upon it and for the national economy. Nepali agro-farm is performed on a subsistence basis; livestock, crops and other enterprises exist side by side. However, as well as threats from soil erosion and water pollution, a more commercial approach is needed to maximise farm yield.
VIN’s overriding objective is the empowerment of marginalised communities, with our focus on those most marginalised; women and children. We have been working with Jitpurphedi Village Development Committee (VDC) since 2007 and we have now begun work in Okhaldhunga district, in the Everest region. Developing sustainable agriculture is one of the most effective ways to transform communities, which informs one of our major pieces of work with the women of the community; our Income Generation Program
VIN seeks volunteers or interns keen to learn about the Agro-Farming techniques of different indigenous people of Nepal, such as Balami, Tamang and Newar. Work on their agro-farms and learn from their techniques, while encouraging them to incorporate the new ones advocated by our Income Generation Program.
You will live with a Nepali host family. Your role will be to assist in the field, exchanging knowledge of agriculture with the local people. You will soon become immersed in the culture and language; agriculture being one of the largest sources of income, it has a strong influence on the identity of the people within the community.
The Agro-farm Program is a great opportunity for those involved in or studying agriculture, the environment, climate change or women’s studies to obtain an insight into a culture and way of survival still steeped in national heritage.
• To give volunteers the experience of working within the system of traditional Nepalese Agriculture;
• To raise awareness within our targeted community about dignity of labour and motivate them to start income generating agricultural enterprises;
• To generate income from our farms and use that income to help improve the conditions of the rural communities we work with;
• To bring some visible changes to the livelihood of very vulnerable farmers within the local areas; and
• To study the locals who engage in indigenous agricultural practices that one rarely finds anywhere else in the world.
• Empower socially discriminated, vulnerable, marginalized communities of Nepal;
• Provide technical know-how to the farmers without negatively affecting/disturbing their traditional knowledge and authentic techniques;
• Work towards Livelihood improvement for targeted communities; and
• Raise funds for community development work.
While what awaits you on your placement is exciting, we do understand that it can also be daunting. Throughout your volunteer placement you will have the full support of VIN. Your safety is our highest priority. On arrival you will be greeted at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transported to your hotel (alternative arrangements can be made for those already in Nepal prior to the start of their placement). You will then receive a comprehensive three-day induction, during which time you will be provided with information about your particular placement as well as general information, including basic Nepalese language and culture. This is also a good time to mix with other volunteers or interns who may be great sight-seeing companions and a source of support during your volunteer placement.
During the induction you will be accommodated in a hotel. You will then be taken to your host family, accompanied by a VIN employee. All our host families are experienced in accommodating volunteers – although their ability to speak English will vary – and they understand their responsibilities toward you in terms of serving food and water and other basic needs. In the event you need it you will have 24 hour access to contact and support from our staff members during your placement.