HOPE & HOME runs the first phase of the program at Kathmandu. It covers language and cultural classes, visits to important places in Kathmandu valley. We organizes guided city tours of Kathmandu.
The length of the training program depends on the duration of the volunteering period. If you are volunteering for less than four weeks, the program may be shortened. This basic training program to prepare you for the cultural differences, to understand enough Nepali language to function in a village where few English speakers live.
After general orientation in the first phase, volunteers leave for village/home stay. Volunteers will live with local families, eat traditional Nepalese food, observe village culture and get a general feel for village life.
During this time volunteers will have some classroom observation and practice teaching sessions in the local school to prepare for placement.
This is an example of 2 weeks program:
Day 1 – 3 : Arrival in Katmandu, airport pickup and transfer to your accommodation. Relax and explore Katmandu. Training and orientation in Katmandu with sightseeing in the afternoon.
Day 4 – 13 : Transport to your project location. Your volunteer work starts at your project.
Day 14: End of the program. Return to Katmandu for your onward journey.
Host-Families – HOPE and HOME
We normally place our volunteers in local host-families. This provides these families with a regular income – we always pay above the market rate – and this enables them to afford additional benefits, such as extended education for their children or better access to healthcare. It also develops cultural understanding – on both sides – but perhaps most importantly for our younger volunteers: perhaps the experiences they have today will help to shape their attitudes when they become the opinion-formers of tomorrow.
The people who host interns are of all kinds. Couples with or without children, joint families, single parents, single people etc. Host families provide accommodation, food, emotional and moral support, and guidance for the exchanges (interns). A routine day in a host family is the behind-the-screen-look into the culture of the hosting country and gives a large insight into the customs of a family; an experience like no other can give to one who wants to learn about another culture.
Not only learning but also understanding why the culture is like the way it is. Host families help the exchanges (interns) to interact with the local community, which increases their chances of making friends and contacts. Members of the host family play an important role in guiding the exchanges (interns) in their everyday life during the exchange term, as they will be the first ones to whom the exchanges would ask questions. Host families expect the exchanges (interns) to follow the house rules, duties and live exactly like any other member of the home or household. Also it is expected that exchanges (interns) be treated in the same way as any other member of the family.
A Nepali host family requires that the volunteer who live in their home should be willing to become part of his/her host family with the same rights, that he/she should be prepared to help with the daily household chores (clean his/her room, help to prepare meals or to clean the dishes, etc.)
What we look for in You:
Volunteers should exhibit cross cultural sensitivity and a creativity and willingness to work with diverse communities. A basic understanding of the historical and contemporary religious, political and cultural realities of their site is expected. Volunteers should be friendly, mature, adaptable and independent. The ability to deal with uncertainty, ambiguity and contradiction is a plus, as are patience, persistence, initiative, good listening skills and a sense of humor. Volunteers should demonstrate flexibility that will be needed to respond to unique situations and circumstances.