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Disaster Relief Volunteer Work in Nepal

Project Overview
  • Placement locations: Kathmandu
  • Role: To assist with ongoing relief work and help renovate and rebuild schools damaged or destroyed by the earthquake
  • Requirements: None. Anyone aged 16 and older can join
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse
  • Length of placement: From 1 week
  • Start dates: Flexible

Projects Abroad Disaster Relief volunteers dig foundations for a new classroom at a local school in Kathmandu, Nepal

Following the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, Projects Abroad is giving you the opportunity to help with vital relief efforts on the Disaster Relief Project. The project, which began in June 2015, has already seen a number of school reconstructions and renovations completed at our partner schools and efforts will continue for as long as it is needed.

Projects Abroad has worked in Nepal since 1999 and we have long-standing relationships with many organizations in Chitwan, Kathmandu, the Kathmandu Valley, and Ghandruk. All of these placements – especially schools, children’s homes, and hospitals –have been affected by the earthquake.

The primary objective of the project is to help children return to a normal school environment and routine as soon as possible. To accomplish this, our volunteers are working to renovate and rebuild schools that were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. If this is not possible in some areas, we are building new (temporary or permanent) classrooms and school buildings. Many of the schools we work with are small and receive no government funding, so your assistance is crucial.

While we working to restore a safe learning environment for the children with the help of volunteers, other volunteers are also setting up alternative spaces where children can continue learning and receive care and support.

As a Disaster Relief volunteer in Nepal, you will work at sites based in urban and semi-urban areas in the Kathmandu Valley. Unfortunately, rural areas are still too dangerous for our volunteers, due to a lack of access to clean water, medicine, hospital care, and adequate accommodation.

Your Role as a Disaster Relief Volunteer in Nepal

A Disaster Relief volunteer assists with the construction of a new classroom in Nepal, Asia

At the Disaster Relief Project, you will be involved in tasks such as:

  • Clearing sites
  • Digging foundation trenches
  • Mixing and laying cement and concrete
  • Laying bricks
  • Painting

Along with building and renovating classrooms, we are also working on building and reinstalling toilets and washing facilities. The above activities will vary depending on what stage we are on with the construction when you arrive. You don’t need any previous construction to participate, as our volunteers work under the supervision of a professional mason and a qualified construction engineer, as well as a Projects Abroad coordinator. They will teach you everything you need to know about building.

The first phase of our work is focused on one of our partner teaching placements, Sunrise School, which no longer has a safe building to use. Located in Bhaisepati, about 5km south of central Kathmandu, we have begun work to build a new school on nearby land.

We will also be concentrating on work to help provide washing and toilet facilities in the community of Bungmati, an area which was affected badly by the earthquake. 600 people in Bungmati are staying in temporary housing because they cannot afford to rebuild their homes.

We will also be helping more partner schools to rebuild and assist in their temporary schools, as well as assisting with the construction of 100 temporary homes for families whose homes have been destroyed.

Volunteering on the Disaster Relief Project in Nepal

A group of volunteers assist with the construction of a new classroom in Nepal

You can join this project at any time and stay for as long as you choose. You must be reasonably fit to participate.

During your time in Nepal, you will be accommodated in basic housing, such as a guesthouse, and you will be supported by full-time local Projects Abroad staff.

Unfortunately, as we do not receive any government funding we do have to charge a price for our projects. The Disaster Relief placement fee will cover all standard costs like your food and accommodation, health and travel insurance, airport transfers, support from local staff, transport to and from building sites, administration, support and information before you go and during your time away, as well as all project materials. Once all these standard costs have been covered we will make sure that all money left is spent on extra building materials needed on the ground in Nepal or donations towards aspects of the Nepal disaster relief work.

You can join the Disaster Relief Project in Nepal from one week if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period and may not see the completion of some of the building work.

If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Nepal.

If you are aged 50 and above you may want to join our Grown-up Special program in Nepal.

Volunteer ProfileVolunteer Rosie Cox talks about her experience on the Disaster Relief project in Nepal
Rosie Cox
The first day was very difficult, as I had to get used to the warm temperature. But after the first day I didn't notice the heat. Our project coordinator was always checking if we were okay and making sure we were drinking enough water, which was really great. All the staff were so supportive and helpful even when we weren't at the site. Read more...
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