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Volunteering in Nepal

Volunteering in Nepal

Trip Fact -

  • Trip Code: PMTREKS244
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Grade: Moderate
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About Trip -

Volunteer Travel to Nepal with Pink Mountain Treks and Expedition will assist you to realize the volunteer vacations or voluntourism is travel which includes volunteering for a charitable cause. In recent years, "bite-sized" volunteer vacations have grown in popularity. Volunteer vacations very widely in scope, from low-skill work cleaning up local wildlife areas to providing high-skill medical aid in a foreign country. Volunteer vacations participants are diverse but typically share a desire to “do something good” while also experiencing new places and challenges in locales they might not otherwise visit.

There are also other types of traveling that engage people with scientific research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Participants cover a fee that would include expenses on the different sites worldwide, and engage in projects according to their interest or location.

History

Originally most volunteer vacations were undertaken by people with a direct connection to a particular cause and were considered more as short term, intense volunteer projects rather than vacations.Many of these organizations were long-standing international development assistance organizations

During the 1990s the travel industry developed niche products and firms to provide volunteer vacations to people who had no previous experience with a cause, and to cater to the increasing number of young people taking gap years.[citation needed] These providers expanded the market but also drew criticism for the impact of their methods. At the same time, the first edition of "Volunteer Vacations" by Bill McMillon was published, featuring under 200 non-profit organizations which facilitated such service opportunities. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, more than 55 million Americans have participated in a volunteer vacation, and about 100 million more are considering taking one.

Volunteer Base

Volunteer tourism appeals to a wide variety of travelers, but the majority of volunteers are made up of high school and college students. Many students use these trips to boost their resumes, travel with friends, and as a way to gain world experience and see new countries. Recently there has also been an increase in baby boomer volunteers. One possible explanation for the increase is that baby boomers are transitioning into a new stage of life and their focus may shift toward finding activities that give their life new meaning. Voluntourism is therefore appealing, as it is specifically targeted at travelers who want to make a positive change in the world, while still providing a tourist experience. People generally volunteer in order to increase their international awareness, to contextualize poverty and its effects, as an education opportunity, and to help people while having a morally rewarding experience. Many believe that the trip will change the way they think when they return home. However, others are just looking to give to others and do not believe that their experience will cause them to think twice about their lives back home.

Vacations have been hit hard by the recession. However, voluntourism has remained stable because it offers individuals the opportunity to take a guilt free vacation. As criticism for excessive, lavish spending increased, volunteer vacations have become an attractive option. As many volunteer vacations include tourist activities at the end of the trip, these vacations provide volunteers with an enjoyable vacation that has an enhanced value. Families participating in volunteer vacations may feel better about spending money on their trip while still enjoying the bonding time vacations provide.

A survey by CheapTickets.com of 430 US adults 18 and older found that half of their respondents would consider voluntourism for their next vacation. In addition, 55% of respondents would consider adding volunteer activities to an already planned vacation. While 48% had heard about volunteer vacations, only 5% of applicants had actually participated in one.

Controversy

While some experts on volunteering welcome the expansion of volunteer vacations as an opportunity to provide more resources to projects and to encourage a volunteer ethic in people,[citation needed] others have pointed out that the business methods used by tour operators, such as exclusivity deals, and catering to the needs of the volunteer rather than the volunteer project, exploit the communities the projects are intended to help.In many different provinces in these third world countries where voluntourism is most prominent, orphanages often take children out into the main city where they play in the streets with one another or play instruments, in an attempt to garner donations from tourists and volunteers. Many also invite potential and actual donors to visit the orphanage itself, and many then ask them to volunteer there. What these donors do not know, is that orphanages network themselves with volunteer organizations to ensure a steady flow of money and volunteers to their organizations. In addition, in order to ensure that such funding is never reduced and to promote additional donations, some orphanages are deliberately kept in decrepit conditions despite having adequate resources for dramatic improvements. Some news organizations have done inside reports on the volunteer industry finding exploitation.

Economic effects on host countries

Claims by volunteer tourism organizations that these activities contribute to improving people's lives and contributing to development goals are yet to be evaluated in the vast majority of cases. It is true that many countries have greatly benefited from the influx of tourism. Local economies and businesses have benefited as volunteers stay in their hotels, eat at their local restaurants, unwind at local bars, and stroll the local markets. However, it is possible that volunteer travel might exacerbate existing problems in the host community.[10] Dr Anna Mdee of Voluntourism.org contends that while there is still a lack of understanding of the direct impact volunteering overseas has on development activities, there is a much larger value that can be gained from working and living in another culture. Such value is often gained by the volunteer individually. However, short term volunteer vacations may serve to strengthen the ‘us and them’ dichotomy instead of acting to bring people from different backgrounds together. While solidarity between the volunteers and recipients is part of the goal, the actuality may be that volunteers see a deeper divide between themselves and those they helped. In addition, voluntourism may help reinforce stereotypes and preconceived ideas rather than providing a deeper understanding of other cultures. This is especially likely to occur if volunteers lack knowledge about the country in which they are volunteering, and about how the policies and history of said country have affected poverty or development. In order to make a genuine change, it is essential that volunteers are qualified and reasonably well-informed.

Social and psychological effects on the orphans

A Human Sciences Research Council report suggests that voluntourism companies treat orphans like commodities and that the projects can create "adverse emotional and psychological effects" on the children.

Abuse at orphanages

At the beginning of 2011, the government of Cambodia began inspecting orphanages, almost all of which are privately operated and funded, due to claims that many orphans in fact had at least one living parent. More than 250 orphanages are under review after one study found that only 28% of the 12,000 children in these orphanages had actually lost both parents. UNICEF has publically expressed concern as the number of orphans has doubled in the past five years. Coincidentally, trips to orphanages have proven to be one of the most popular, and best-selling, volunteer vacations. In fact, “the rate of growth in the number of Cambodia’s orphanages over the past five years matches the increase in the number of tourists visiting the country during that same period.” [14] In Ghana, a government study found that almost 90% of orphans had at least one parent and that only 5% of orphanages were licensed. UNICEF estimates that less than one-third of the money orphanages receive, through both income and donations, actually

Vacation

A vacation or holiday is a specific trip or journey, usually for the purpose of recreation or tourism. People often takes a vacation during specific holiday observances, or for specific tivals or celebrations. Vacations are often spent with friends or family.

A person may take a longer break from work, such as a sabbatical, gap year, or career break.

The concept of taking a vacation is a recent invention, and has developed through the last two centuries. Once the idea of travel and recreation was a luxury of wealthy people alone. In the Puritan culture of early America, taking a break from work for reasons other than weekly observance of the Sabbath, was frowned upon. However, the modern concept of vacation was led by a later religious movement encouraging spiritual retreat and recreation. The notion of breaking from work periodically took root among the middle and working class.

(With source of Wikipedia)

42 days Volunteering Tour to Nepal

This is a unique blend of various activities particularly devised for students taking a gap year. The multi activities holiday includes a volunteering service focused on the development of local community, cultural exchange activities, a soft adventure trek in a magnificent Annapurna and Manaslu region and guided visits to the cultural and historical legacies of Kathmandu valley,Beautiful Pokhara City and Jungle activities at Chitwan Forest.

To make volunteer work most exciting and highly educative, we have conceived an idea of ‘home stay program’ where we put students together with local families of the region, at least 2 to 3 students share a family and we make sure that all the students are given a warm hospitality and maintain top hygienic level while catering to the guests. We are very hopeful that this program offers students a highly rewarding holiday where they can interact with local families involving themselves in various volunteering activities such as teaching in local schools, helping local health post, assisting in various community services and so on.

The activity concludes with a weeklong trek to Manaslu region. The trek starts from Aarughat Bazar. after 4-5 hours drive from Gorkha. Following a trail upstream Budhigandaki  river through ethnic Gurung villages, lush green forests and wide spread Tsum valley.

Surrounded by snowy peaks from all fours sides, we ascend up to Kyangjin at 3800 meter, where we get an opportunity to ascend Kyangjin Ri [4350m], from where the 360 degree mountain views are truly spectacular. After an ascent of Kyangjin Ri, we retrace our route back down the valley to Syabru Bensi and then drive back to Kathmandu. The trek is not considered strenuous, yet, it remains challenging as it reaches the altitude of 3800 meter at Kyangjin Ri at 4350 meter.

Volunteering in Gorkha village, staying with local family, soft adventure trek in magnificent Annapurna and Manaslu region and guided visits to the cultural and historical legacies of Kathmandu valley,Beautiful Pokhara City and Jungle activities at Chitwan Forest.

Outline Itinerary -

Day 01:Arrive Kathmandu

Day 02:Sightseeing Kathmandu

Day 03:Sightseeing Kathmandu- evening briefing and discussions on further activities

Day 04:Bus to Gorkha, participate in volunteer services

Day 05:Continue volunteer service

Day 32:Drive to Aarughat (4-5 hrs) [1950 m]

Day 33:Syabru Bensi to Lama Hotel (2748m)

Day 34:Lama Hotel to Langtang Village (3500m)

Day 35:Langtang Village to Kyangjin (3800m)

Day 36:Rest Day in Kyangjin

Day 37:Kyangjin to Lama Hotel (2784m)

Day 38:Lama Hotel to Syabru Bensi (2000m)

Day 39:Drive back to Kathmandu

Day 40:Free day in Kathmandu

Day 42:Depart Kathmandu

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Detail Itinerary

Day 1Arrive Kathmandu Soon after landing on Kathmandu airport, our representative and driver will escort you to your hotel. We will then make apt preparation for the trip.

Day 2Sightseeing KathmanduAfter early morning breakfast, we set off for our sightseeing tour around the major attractions of Kathmandu like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka, Pashupatinath temple, Kumari temple, Boudhanath, Swayambunath etc. This culturally stimulating and exciting trip explore every facets of Kathmandu.

Day 3Sightseeing Kathmandu- evening briefing and discussions on further activitiesOn this day also we continue sightseeing more of Kathmandu city. After we get enlightened on the historical, cultural, traditional and cultural aspects of the city, we head back to our hotel. Amidst the comfort of the hotel, we get thoroughly briefed out on all the necessary and important details of the trip.

Day 4Bus to Gorkha, participate in volunteer servicesWe take a bus from Kathmandu to Gorkha. Our mission is to benefit the community of Gorkha with our volunteer service.

Day 5Continue volunteer serviceWe spend 27 days in Gorkha contributing for the empowerment and development of the local community through our volunteer service. We can live with local family of the community to internalize their reality. This gives us clear perspectives and insights about the socio-cultural practice of the place. In the end besides the target group, we also benefit from our good cause. We can participate in various volunteering activities like teaching in local schools, helping local health post, assisting in various community services etc.

Day 32Drive to Aarughat (4-5 hrs) [1950 m]After we are done with our commitment, we make arrangements to venture into trekking adventure. You will drive to Aarughat for your Manaslu Region Trek.

Day 33Syabru Bensi to Lama Hotel (2748m)The trail initially crosses the Bhote Kosi, flowing down from Tibet, literally a few kilometres away, and then gradually climbs up through the sub-tropical forests, teeming with bird-life, to join the trail from Syabru. We then follow the river, climbing through uninhabited forest of oak and rhododendron and maybe catching a glimpse of langur monkeys roaming through the trees. We climb along a steep trail to our camp in the forest.

Day 34Lama Hotel to Langtang Village (3500m)As we continue climbing there are occasional glimpses of Langtang Lirung between the trees. At Ghora Tabela (3000m), the trail emerges from the forest. Once there was a Tibetan resettlement project here, but now it is a Nepalese army post though it has no permanent inhabitants. The trail continues to climb gently and the valley widens, passing a few temporary settlements used by herders who bring their livestock to graze in the high pastures during the summer months. There is a monastery which we can visit shortly before arriving at the village of Langtang, the headquarters of the Langtang National Park. The houses of Langtang and its neighbouring villages are of the flat-roofed Tibetan style, surrounded by stone walls enclosing fields of buckwheat, potatoes, wheat, turnips and barley.

Day 35Langtang Village to Kyangjin (3800m)The trail climbs gradually through small villages and yak pastures as the valley opens out further and the views become more extensive. After crossing several small streams and moraines, the trail reaches the settlement at Kyangjin. Here there is a small monastery and a government-operated cheese factory. We should arrive at Kyangjin by lunch time allowing time to acclimatise and explore the area. It is a dramatic setting, with snow covered peaks surrounding us in all directions.

Day 36Rest Day in KyangjinA day to rest and explore the area. We can visit the monastery and the cheese factory, walk up the moraine to see the spectacular ice faces and tumbling glaciers of Langtang Lirung or ascend Kyangjin Ri (4350m), directly behind the village, for a breath-taking panorama of the Langtang peaks.

Day 37Kyangjin to Lama Hotel (2784m)From Kyangjin we retrace our route, following the Langtang Khola to Langtang village and on to Ghora Tabela. After lunch we continue the steep descent to Lama Hotel.

Day 38Lama Hotel to Syabru Bensi (2000m) We continue retracing our steps to Syabru Bensi.

Day 39Drive back to KathmanduAfter we have our share of adventurous and memorable trekking experiences, we head back to Kathmandu.

Day 40Free day in Kathmandu We have two days to pursue any activities of our choice. We can either rest or go shopping, sightseeing or roaming aimlessly around the city.

Day 42Depart KathmanduTransfer to the airport in time to catch you flight home.

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