"Help us in helping the helpless !!" Authentic Tibetan culture survives only in exile in a few places like Mustang which has had long historical and cultural ties with Tibet. For as long as space endures and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world.

- His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

Frequently Asked Questions


When should I arrive?

- Any time of the year. We are very flexible in starting at any time. You don't needs any training for working as a volunteer but you can get orientation from other experienced volunteer working in this Children Home.

How do I get from the airport to the guest house?

- You will be met outside the airport terminal by a HCCH. Representative holding a placard with your name on it who will then escort you to the guest house. Please provide us your flight information at least 10 days before so that a punctual pick-up can be assured.

What are the major activities when I arrive?

- Once you arrived at Kathmandu you will remain two nights there. First day is arrival day for rest then in the second day you will have a side trip around Kathmandu. Finally third day is schedule for departing Pokhara. At Pokhara first you will be welcome by HCCH team and then the next day you will get orientation class regarding the HCCH. At the beginning of your arrival you will get at least two days basic language class Nepali and Tibetan. As per your requirement we can extend the language class up to one week.

Apart from volunteer job at HCCH, we can arrange trekking, home stay, volunteer for monastic school and other public school as per your interest.

If you want to do any specific activities being mentioned above as you completed the job at HCCH , then please kindly mention your interest with your application .

Does Nepal have a high rate of petty theft? Should I bring valuables along?

- Though petty theft is not as common in Nepal as in, say, neighboring India, it does still exist - and foreigners are the primary targets. As such, it is important to exercise caution and travel smartly. Bring a bag that you can wear crossed over your body, or if you have a backpack, bring a lock. Don't flash around money or other valuables, and keep an eye on your belongings - especially while taking public transportation.

Is there any way of securing valuable things at the ice?

- You can give your passport or plane ticket to a staff member at the office and they can keep them in the safe. Generally, your room at your placement will have a lock on the door or a locked compartment, and you should use it because the kids and your host family are really curious about you and they will rifle through your stuff. It is harmless but can get annoying and can account for the occasional misplacement of items.

How can I pay for the program fees?

- The program fees are due when you start to work as a Volunteer. Currently we do not accept. If you wish to extend your volunteering program in Monastery you must discuss this with Himalayan c.c. & e.c. program and pay the fee accordingly.

Do the fees have any insurance incorporated in it? Do I have to provide my own, if so what do I need to have covered?

- There is no insurance and so we recommend that you get your own travel medical insurance to protect yourself in case of illness or lost or damaged property

What happens if I decide to return home before the placement is completed?

- Once the volunteer commences its work, having paid the fee and received a receipt, Himalayan c.c. & e.c. program does not refund programme fees. However, if due to unavoidable circumstances (e.g. serious illness, family bereavement), Himalayan c.c. & e.c. program will consider a refund of 30% of the Host Family Costs, provided the volunteer is registered for a programme of more than 30 days. No refund will be offered for programmers of less than 30 days.

Is there a Training program?

- Yes, depending on your length of stay, you will receive up to 10 days of Cultural and Language training from the HCC&E.C. program staff. You should pay extra 5 euros a day.

How can my family contact me during my volunteers?

- Depending on your particular placement, your host family, internet email international phone service. In Nepal is not as reliable as in more developed countries. Any way you can contact through internet and phone as per availability.

What sort of Health Care Facilities is available?

- In Kathmandu, or Pokhara health care is relatively good - and also very inexpensive.

Is it worth while bringing a digital camera and/or video camera?

- Digital Cameras and video cameras are a good idea. You can also buy these quite affordably in Kathmandu. Mustang children all love being filmed and having their picture taken. It is a good idea to make sure you have a large memory card and extra batteries, or ones that can take 'AA' batteries if you're in a pinch. You can download the pictures to a CD in Pokhara lake side the tourist area close to the children home.

What is the weather like in Nepal?

- The width of Nepal is only about 200 km on average, but within this short distance the altitude of the land rises from lowly 60m to all the way up to above 8000m. Hence the weather depends upon the altitude of the place in Nepal. However, in general Nepal has four climatic seasons: Summer, Monsoon, autumn and winter.
Summer is from March to May. The temperature of this season fluctuates between 20 ºC to 30 ºC (68 ºF to 86 ºF). Monsoon lasts from June to August. These are also the pre-monsoon months with occasional evening-thunderstorms and hot temperature. Autumn starts from September and ends by November. During this period, the climate is dry and mild with temperature fluctuating between 20 ºC to 30 ºC (68 ºF to 86 ºF). Winter starts from December to February. The morning and evening are very cold while the afternoon is pretty sunny. The temperature during these months rises from 15 ºC to 20 ºC (59 ºF to 68 ºF).

What is the best way for me to access money once there?

- There are ATM's in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You can also exchange your money into rupees at a number of locations in Thamel, or Pokhara lake cash traveler's checks at a bank. If you're in a pinch, there are Western Union facilities in both Kathmandu and Pokhara. There is NO credit/debit card system here - leave your card at home.

Is there anything I can bring with me that would be useful to your organization?

- We would be very grateful for educational books (grammar, TEFL, science, health, etc.,) illustrated books, English novels and children's books. Also very much appreciated are donations of clothes, art supplies, and stationery.

What should I bring for my host family?

- The Nepali people are very friendly, and giving gifts to the volunteer on the day of their departure is very common. If you would like to bring gifts for your family, below are some suggestions:
  •     * A framed picture of yourself and your Nepali family (you can have this made while in Nepal)
  •     * A small photo album with pictures of you and your family/friends from home
  •    * A 'coffee table' book of your home town or country
  •     * Posters, stickers or magazine pictures from your country
  •    * Children's books
  •    * T-shirts (new) from your country
  •    * Flags
Whatever you decide to give your host family, please consider the next volunteer. Buying your family something elaborate or expensive will create an expectation in them to receive similar presents in the future. It is better to give them something sentimental (representative of your time with them or of your home country).

What Should I bring for myself?

- This will vary depending on what non-Himalayan children care& e.c. program activities you want to participate in (trekking, white water rafting, etc.) and how much you need to be comfortable during your volunteers. With the exception of medicine, first-aid-kit and high-tech trekking gear, you can buy everything that you would need for your placement in Kathmandu (likely cheaper than in your home country).
Here are a few suggestions:
  •   * Sleeping Bag
  •   * Hiking boots
  •   * Tevas / flip flops
  •   * Fleece jacket (during winter months)
  •   * Light-weight cotton clothing (see Program Guide and Volunteer Room for details)
  •   * Waterproof jacket (a fold-away windcheater is fine)
  •   * (Women) Sarong (or you can buy a lungi cheaply in Nepal)
  •   * Mosquito repellent
  •   * Sun cream
  •   * Water purification tablets and/or good quality water purifier
  •   * First aid kit
  •   * Flashlight (torch)
  •   * Penknife
  •   * Books about your country
  •   * Photos of your family / friends / home (essential!)
  •   * Souvenirs for your family and staff from your country
  •   * A few examples of your local currency
  •   * Music CDs
  •   * Basic Learner's English/Nepali/English dictionary - for simple definitions (buy a Nepali dictionary on arrival in Kathmandu or Pokhara)
  •   * Magazines
  •   * Colored pencils and pens, drawing books, stickers
  •   * Inflatable globe
  •   * Books on teaching English/English Grammar for your reference

  • What types of sanitary items are available in Nepal? What do I need to bring from home?

    - Most things are available here - shampoos, soaps, shaving products, toothpastes. It is recommended, however, that women bring tampons (if they wear them), as you cannot get those in Nepal. Hand sanitizer/ wipes should also be brought from home, as well as any name-brand/prescription medicine. Since rice is eaten with every meal here, some people may have constipation problems - volunteers should thus consider bringing fiber vitamins!

    Is it possible to find English books in Nepal, or should I bring them from home?

    - You can get English books in Thamel, Pokhara lake side both new and used, and the selection is wonderfully vast. Books tend to be around Nepali currencies 500 and you can get a 20% volunteer discount on used books if you bargain with the dealer. You will also get 50% back upon return of the book.

    What vaccinations should I consider having prior to arrival?

    - You should consider the following vaccinations, however, please consult your doctor / local travel clinic for the latest recommendations regarding vaccines and Nepal:
    •   * Diphtheria
    •   * Tetanus
    •   * Polio
    •   * Hepatitis A & B
    •   * Typhoid
    •   * Yellow fever
    •   * Rabies
    •   * Tuberculosis
    •   * Malaria tablets

    Can my family send me small packages, cards etc.?

    - Yes, we generally check the post office weekly. You can have mail sent to our P.O. Box and we will hold it at the office or try to send it to you depending on where your placement is.
    POSTAL ADDRESS:
    c/o your name
    Himalayan children care &e.c. program
    PO Box -85,
    Pokhara , Nepal

    If you are sending a package by Fed EX, or delivery method, please send it to the office, you will also need to put our contact :
    Himalayan Children Care & Environment Conservation Program
    Lake side -6, Jarebar, Pokhara, Nepal.

    What Makes a Good Volunteer?

    - Himalayan children care & e.c. program does not ask for any formal qualifications from our volunteers. All we ask is that you have a genuine desire to help people and are committed to seeing the Program through. A positive and flexible attitude will also help you to get the most out of your stay in Nepal. If you are applying to teach English, a strong command of the English language is a necessity. Similarly, if you are interested in volunteering at a Health Post, some prior medical experience and first aid skills would be useful. If you are applying to teach computers at the Resource Centre, to the environmental awareness program, or income generation program, you should possess the skills and knowledge necessary to work within these programs.

    The following attributes are vital for survival, regardless of the volunteers!
    •   * Independence
    •  * Patience
    •  * Good problem-solving skills
    •  * Sense of humor/ability to laugh at yourself
    •  * Tolerance
    •  * Willingness to share
    •  * Flexibility
    •  * Self-motivation
    •  * Open-mindedness
    •  * Enthusiasm to learn about new cultures
    • Please check the Volunteer's Corner for more details or send us an email.

    Food

    - Where meals are provided, you should receive at least two meals a day throughout your volunteers, which will be of a suitable quality or quantity by local Dhalbaat vegetable, tea standards. If you wish to supplement your diet with other foods the responsibility of these expenses are yours. We will only cover food and accommodation for the period agreed for your volunteers. If you go trekking or wish to stay in Nepal after your agreed period of placement you will be responsible for your own expenses. But we can arrange and approach for the required process particularly for trekking.

    Signature

    - I have read Himalayan children care & e.c. program's General Terms and Conditions included with this application and agree to my participation on a Himalayan children care & e.c. program Volunteers.