Volunteer Testimonials

I fell in love with Nepal. My experience really made things in my life click. I learned so much. The Hope and Home team members are awesome. They really become your friends and are really there for you every step of the way. Even when you go off to your placement you will totally be taken care of. I stayed at Aan Children’s Home in Pokhara. There were 15 girls and 2 boys. Milan the owner of the home was really cool. Sita was our house mother and cooked for us every night. She cooked delicious dal bhat. We spent many morning drinking tea with tea with the girls running around us, then spent the nights playing games with all the girls and helping them study. I also went bungee jumping, rode elephants in Chitwan and explored through the streets of Kathmandu and Pokhara. I highly recommend visiting and going through Hope and Home. My experience was perfect. I plan on going back as soon as I can.

Emily Taylor and Meghan Alvendia
Alabama, United States.


Namaste HOPE and HOME team and everybody who I got to know in Nepal
(also on the way there),

It’s already a year gone by and I took a bit of time to put together an account of my voluntary activities in Nepal last year. I spiced it up a bit with a couple of pictures. Enjoy the read. I enjoyed the experience! Please share it with family, colleagues, volunteers and the kids in your projects and activities around Nepal.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best Regards,
Kyrea Njuguna

136 Tanhouse Farm Road, Elmdon Park
Solihull, West Midlands
B92 9EY , U.K.


When you extend your trip when you are there, start planning your return before you leave, are missing it on the plane and are still thinking about it weeks after getting home, you know that people and an experience have really had an effect on you. I didn’t think that it could be possible after only spending a little over a month in a country but apparently it is.
My whole time in Nepal is a series of brilliant memories which I will treasure forever.
I was volunteering at Kanti Childrens’ Hospital which was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. The vast differences between the health care system in developed countries & one such as Nepal is astounding and experiencing it first hand has given me a whole new perspective on my priorities in life. I have learnt to be grateful for the amazing amount of opportunities offered to us in our country, to take as many of these opportunities as possible and use them to make a difference in a place such as Nepal where you will be greatly appreciated. The generosity and kindness of the Nepali people even in hardship is truly inspiring.
The Nepali people have brilliantly lived up to their stereotype of being some of the most friendly, big-hearted people I have ever met. From my lovely and generous family whose home I was welcomed into for a month, to the many shop and stall owners on the side of the road who quickly became friends, the guys at Holiday Adventure where I always seemed to end up chilling and drinking CHIYA (tea) and the brilliant HOPE and HOME crew whom I shared many a Chiya, Momos and laughs with. Everyone embraces you with open arms and welcomes you as one of the family.

I felt like during my stay I had a brilliant balance of cultural immersion, worthwhile activity, laughing, fun and developing friendships. From motorbike rides with the Hope n Home crew up to Sarangkot from Pokhara, chatting to my family over Dal Bhat about their religion and culture and an absolutely awe-inspiring trek to Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp through some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in my life, I loved every minute of it. If I were to do it all again I honestly don’t think there would be anything that I would want done differently. Except to stay for longer!
As I sit here back in Australia listening to Nepali music and drinking Nepali tea and trying to figure when I can next go back and if I can possibly wait that long, I think I can safely say that this experience and the Nepali people have made a significant impact on my life! I think the only thing that made saying goodbye little less unbearable (and by no means easy) was knowing that there was no doubt that I would be back to visit and experience more of this magnificent country and its people.

Tara Engelbogen
Melbourne, Australia


My experience in Nepal was overall a very good one. I came to Nepal because I was very fascinated by and interested in the country. I wanted to get to know the Nepali people, their lifestyle, their culture
and I wanted to see Nepal’s beautiful and therefore famous countryside.

A mixture of volunteering and traveling I had reckoned would be a good way to experience both and indeed it was.
While volunteering at the orphanage “support of children” I got the chance to see what daily life here is like and I could get directly in touch with Nepali people. Everyone at the orphanage was welcoming me and was trying his/ her best to make me feel comfortable. I liked the familiar atmosphere in particular. My
daily routine was as followed (in short):
– 7 am to 9 am playing with the boys
– 9.15 am to 9.30 am getting the boys ready to school and taking them to school
– 9.30 am to 4.15 pm off
– 4.15 pm to 8.00 pm doing homework / playing

In my free time I used to read, do little trips with Goma, wash my clothes, go to Thamel. Since I was the only volunteer there at that time it got a little lonely from time to time.

At the beginning I was quite surprised how organized things went at this place. So after some time “observing” what the routine was like I just tried to join and I really enjoyed being with the kids – playing, be goofy or just sitting cozily together and reading out books. With Goma, I came along very well and I think she is doing a great job.
The facility itself seems to be in quite good conditions by now, especially when I compare it to other orphanages I have seen here. Still, the rooms, in particular the floor and the kitchen are pretty dark at night and I guess in winter it gets quite cold up there. The volunteer’s room is fine.

During my program I was able to do some weekend/ day trips such as Chitwan and rafting. I’m very thankful to Rabyn and Hope and Home/the orphanage gave me the time off to do so. It’s just good to do something else in between and to see more of the country. After finishing the program, I went to Pokhara for one week to do some trekking. It was a great experience as well.

In the end, I did everything I wanted to do, which is a every satisfying feeling. All the time, Hope and Home supported me in everything I did and helped me to make things possible/ work. As well did the crew from Holiday Adventure Company.
All these people became kind of a family during my six week stay. People, I knew I could rely on and a place, I knew I can always go to.

THANK YOU!

Lisa Greulich
Würzburg, Germany



My stay at the Kathmandu orhpanage was one of my most cherished memories from my stay in Nepal. When I arrived I was greeted by some of the warmest children I have ever met and a kind loving family who made me feel welcome from the moment of my arrival. Along with a strong family environment, the orphanage is founded on strong Christian views. David, being the pastor of the local church welcomes you to be part of their community and to learn about their faith. The church community is a very kind group, encouraging you to experience and be part of their culture. You spend most of your time with the children, waking up for the morning prayer group and then playing with the children till breakfast. After which you walk the children to school then you have the morning and early afternoon to explore the Kathmandu valley. The local bus picks you up at the door of the orphanage and can take you into Lainchaur where it is about a ten or fifteen minute walk into Thamel. After you pick the children up from school you help them with their homework and then afterwards have time to play. Before dinner there is another prayer group and then dinner with the family.

With the children you really take on the role of a big brother or sister and keep an eye on them and get to know some of the most creative and sweetest children. It was a pleasure for me to get to know this family. I definitely feel that I would have had a very different experience if I had lived with a host family instead of taking up my stay at the orphanage and I am grateful that I did so. I feel I truly made a bond with the children and hopefully left as much of an impact on them as they did on me.

Kathleen Gens
Boston, MA


Namaste!

I think I had the best six weeks of my life so far in Nepal! When I first arrived it was definitely a culture shock – that first ride in the taxi was so exciting and I felt like I’d stepped into a crazier, brighter, faster and more colourful world! The first few days orientation were very well organised and did not disappoint! (and we were warned about Nepali time You all made very good guides and ready to answer all the questions we had about this or that temple and it was always fun and interesting. Also very much enjoyed the evenings out – the food was excellent and of course the cocktails at Tom and Jerry’s! It was good the way you encouraged all the volunteers to go out together, whether old or new, because it meant that while volunteering I felt there was a support network of other volunteers nearby to meet with on the weekends etc.

When I first arrived at DRC I was nervous and didn’t immediately know how I was expected to help. Luckily Michelle, Debbie and Mable were there to tell me all I needed to know.

All the kids at the DRC were bright, happy and playful. They were unspoilt and excellent at sharing and were one big caring family. I think it would be nice if they had more of a playing space outside, as they were all fearful of the fishermen, but they seemed content and enjoyed having volunteers to the full!

I stayed Aryal family who were lovely hosts. They made us feel like we could treat their home as our own and we could talk to them about anything – learnt a lot about the reality of life and culture in everyday Nepal! No problems there at all and of course the food was lovely – I’m so missing Dahl Bhat! Only in Nepal can it be made properly!! (same goes for MoMo’s, Lassis, tea..)

Definitely would recommend Hope and Home to everyone – and thanks for the mask it hangs proudly on my wall! Hope you are all well and having fun with new volunteers and let me know if there is anything else from my experience you would like me to describe. I think you showed Nepal in its best light and I would recommend it as a holiday destination to anyone! And a very rewarding and exciting place to volunteer.

Pheri Bhetaula,

Emma Rhys
Carmarthen, United Kingdom


  • My Volunteer Experience – Paulo

Words are not enough to express how much I enjoyed the DRC… I never felt that I was working there, simply because it was such a pleasure to wake up everyday and to see those kids. They just need someone to show them how special they are.

If you decide to go there try to plan as more activities as possible, and if you give just a little amount of your money there is so much that you can do! Don’t forget to bring loads of things from home. They will love all the pictures, clothes, toys…I really regretted not to have done it! However my mobile, mp3, mp4, camera and bicycle have been used all the time, till batteries were gone!

Playing football, singing some Nepali songs, helping with homework, walking to some of the temples near the DRC, going to the Zoo (before coming to Nepal I worked in a wildlife rescue centre in Thailand, but the kids were so happy, that we really had to go there..!) or simply going to buy new things like football and table tennis balls or plants for the garden were really a big event that they enjoyed a lot!

Paulo playing Football with DRC Kids

Paulo Palhota
Lisboa, Portugal


  • My volunteer experience with Hope & Home.

What can I say about my volunteer experience with HOPE and HOME. I have had the absolute best time! The H&H-gang was fantastic in making me (and the other volunteers) very welcome in Nepal. Besides that they were very helpful when needed. We became (and are still) very good friends.

HOPE and HOME placed me at the DRC Nepal, the Disabled Rehabilitation Center on the outskirts of Kathmandu. That placement seemed logical, since I have experience working with children with disabilities back in Holland.

From the first moment I walked inside the DRC-gate I knew I was at the right place for me. The kids impressed and charmed me from that first moment onwards.

I do admire their self reliance, their looking out for each other, their cuddliness, their happy go lucky attitude to live. For us westerners it me be hard to understand, that in spite of their disabilities and/or poor background they are so positive, loving, hardworking and totally lovely. But that is exactly what they are: and as a volunteer you will be inspired by their zest for live.

Besides to the kids I take my head off to the DRC staff. They work incredibly hard on behave of te kids and constantly make do with little materials and money. It is very obvious that they love the kids and the kids love them. With makes the DRC – all be it that the facilities are pretty basic – a warm and happy place to grow up in.

I can recommend doing volunteer work at the DRC Nepal to anyone whole heartedly. Especially if you love kids, like organizing parties and competitions, can do different kinds of handicrafts, playing in general, have a can-do attitude and giving and receiving lots of cuddles….And if you decide to do you volunteer work in Nepal, come to HOPE and HOME. They will support you where ever they can!!!

Tjitske Weersma
The Netherlands


I can honestly say that the experience I had at the DRC was one I will never forget and will be returning there on a regular basis for years to come.
I’m an Occupational Therapist, based in London so had some expectations and ideas of what I wanted to do and achieve, but at the same time realised how important it was to go with an open mind. None the less, wanting to make a small difference, use my skills as an Occupational Therapist and to be immersed in Nepali culture were my expectations. These were met 100%.

Not only is Nepal one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited, I have never in my life met such kind, considerate, caring and genuine people in my life. This applies to everyone at the DRC, Hope and Home, my host family, even the people in the tour operator Holiday Adventure !

The children, aged from 4 – 17 years, with a whole range of disabilities, are the happiest, carefree and un-spoilt children I have ever had the pleasure to work and play with!

My time was spent playing games, helping with homework, walking them to school, physio and exercise to music, drawing competitions, dance competitions, fun with food, hand therapy and massage, stump care…And how could I forget, eating copious amounts of Daal Bbhaat!!!

All in all, go! For the challenges, experiences, the people and how it will make you feel, even for months afterwards. Its unforgettable, hugely rewarding and a smile will stretch across your face every time you reminisce about this time.

An experience of a lifetime, which I will relive again in the not too distant future.

Gemma Langdown
London


Arriving in Nepal Kathmandu, I was very scared, but from the beginning HOPE and HOME’s staff and network of people made me feel at home and welcomed. I met many other volunteers from all over the world. My language training was so enjoyable and my Nepali teacher is so friendly and understanding making the learning more enjoyable and effective!.

My placement was in Chitwan, a small village called Padam Pokhari. My host family straight away took me as a sister and a daughter. We enjoyed many nights talking and laughing, I learnt so much about the Culture as they did about mine. I took part in many village celebrations like Hindu weddings and the woman’s festivals. I danced and felt I was thick in the culture. It is easy to dance, easy to sing and easy to laugh.

My first day in the school (Shree Laxmi Secondary School) was nearly confronting for me. I found the language barrier a real challenge in the classroom. But afterwards the whole experience was more rewarding then I could ever imagined.

I think sticking it out through the difficult times made it all the more worth while. I would strongly recommend Hope N’ Home as an organization as they offer support in all the areas and go out of their way to ensure your happiness. Also KB my host father and family, I feel are some of the most kindest human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and know. This place will stay with me forever.

Emily Nester
44 Green bank Court Haddon
Ballarat, Victoria 3352
Australia


Myself and 4 friends decided to give a week of our lives helping children in Orphanages in Kathmandu, Nepal. We joined the charity organisation, HOPE and HOME, and took the 10 hour flight to Nepal. I was at the Himalayan Foundation in Kathmandu. The Himalayan Foundation is a church, the children pray alongside the pastor and his family. For 5 days I lived and worked with 13 children, helped with homework, enjoyed playtime and took them to school. They were aged between 4 & 14 years old.

We took gifts, clothes donated by friends, toys, colouring books, crayons, pavement chalks, stickers, modelling balloons, various learning books, pencils, rubbers, sharpeners. We made up games, handed out prized stickers if they did their homework. They are very intelligent children that deserve a helping hand in life. They work hard, pray hard and play hard.
They all fight for your attention, but they just need love and cuddles, some attention and help with study. You simply can’t focus on one child, but when you watch, you realise, given a little help, some stand just a little more chance in setting and achieving a goal in life.

The Orphanage is clean, the water is hot and the children are happy, all you can ask for is a smile. If you would like to live with a very hospitable host family and want to help children that are from poor backgrounds, this is the perfect place to give you a challenge whilst giving you an amazing insight into Nepal.
I will cherish this experience and come back to visit in the coming years.

Thank you and Kindest regards
Helen Charnock,
London, England


To have randomly chosen based on an internet search to travel half-way around the world to a country that I had only vaguely heard of to work with an organization I knew nothing about and to live with a family whose last name I did not even know, my trip to Nepal couldn’t have gone better. It’s these sort of shot-in-the-dark situations that always prove to be the most adventurous and rewarding.

If you haven’t ever been to Asia or a developing nation, as I hadn’t, Nepal will scare you. That’s the reason that I went. I wanted to have my eyes opened and to have my brain shocked back into reality. Mission accomplished. Compared to my sanitized existence back in the United States, Nepal is chaotic and, well, less than sanitary. I loved it completely. You will never experience a country filled with so many people who understand the real meaning of kindness and a culture so rich (especially since I was there during the Festival of Dasain). At the end of my month stay, I didn’t want to leave. Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable and at home, I had to return.

The children and workers at the DRC are hospitable and thoughtful. It’s as if the children don’t know the meaning of selfishness. Again, this is in direct contrast to the majority of American children who I have worked with. I also felt that it was hugely beneficial that Amrit, the director, and several other people around the center were able to speak English. This helped so much with learning what the children needed and who they were. Another benefit of the center is that it is located far enough out of the main part of the city to seem peaceful, yet within a 30-minute walk or short microbus ride (which is an experience in itself) to Boudhanath, a Buddhist temple and tourist center with plenty of internet cafes and restaurants with great food (and fantastic chocolate cake, which is indicated by my tighter-than-usual clothing).

Hope and Home, placed me with the DRC and with a host family. I enjoyed the extra benefit of being shown the ropes by the Hope and Home guys and learning a bit of Nepali from Youzeena. I also was able to make friends with four other girls from around the world who were volunteering with Hope and Home. So, in conclusion, just pack up and go to Nepal. You’ll come away having fallen in love with a culture and about 50 beautiful children.

Erin Hardesty
Nashville, Tennessee
United States


  • My Time in Padam Pokhari – Chitwan

From the moment I stepped off the plane till the time I finished I have felt part of one big

happy family. I did my placement at a health Post in Padam Pokhari in Chitwan and was there 3 and 1/2 weeks. I helped take blood pressure and general health tasks during the day. I was even taken to the local labs, eye operations, an appendix being removed, vasectomy and a cataracts operation, which was excellent.

Village life is really good and i was made to feel part of my host family. It was nice to spend my time in green rice fields away from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Everyone in the village is very friendly and you are always asked to come over for Tea. The staff at he health post were always smiling and we were always laughing when I left we had a small party. The health post was a short bike ride away (2 km) and the health workers meet me each morning.

Hope and Home were excellent, nothing was ever any bother, I felt safe and if I had any question they were always there.

Laura Divine
5 Sanyhils Avenue
Patcham,  Brighton
E. Sussex BN1 8UL,
England


9 oct 2007

Arriving in Kathmandu I was shocked, but thanks to the warmth + friendliness of Rabyn, Bijen & Sristy we quickly settled in to our guesthouse. The language lesson were realy helpful & gave is an insight into the cultural. I enjoyed my time at the orphanage , however I left most of the children’s time outside of school was spent doing homework and there was little time to play. It was also quite difficult to motivate the children to play and join to games. We organized a day of games + hand painting which the children really enjoyed and I enjoyed myself and felt was very rewarding.

Our host family was very welcoming and helped us feel at home. I enjoyed seeing how a nepali family lived and playing cards +games with the children.

It has been a great experience and I’m glad that I took the time out to visit Nepal +Live + see another culture. Hopefully I can visit in the future.

This trip would have been much harder if it wasn’t for the Hope+Hope team here supporting us through our experience.

So thankyou.

Ellen Richardson
12 maltings way, great barford ,
Bedfordshire, mk44 3la
England


Hmmm What to say! On arrival on Kathmandu it was quite a culture shock. But we were soon put at ease by all at Hope N Home. Our first week surprised by how well organized all the sightseeing was + everything was paid for. Rabyn, Bijen + Sristy became good friends. The support from hope + home throughout our placement was great + they were always on hand to give advice, sort out activities + provide help, especially when I was ill.

Our placement was at the orphanage + we stayed with Rabyn + Bijens brother. The family made us feel very welcome + it soon became home. We shall miss having dinner with the family watching Indian Idol + playing cards.

I enjoyed the placement and the children were very friendly. However, much of our time was spent helping or watching the children do homework as they have so much. By the time this was finished it was time to leave. This meant we have very little time to organize activities to do with the children.

However we did manage an activities which al 52 children joined in with + really had a great time. It really emphasized to us how much more of these activities the children need. Other than volunteer there is no one in charge to play or organizing fun events. HOPE and HOME were amazing throughout our time in Nepal. Even we had finished volunteering with them. They truly care bout all of their volunteers plus to do everything they can to make their stay enjoyable and fun. I wouldn’t choose anyone else + would recommend them highly.

Namaste and Thanks you all

Jodie Crane
13 Royal Orchard Close
London
SW18 5TB
England


  • Working at Boys Orphanage

I worked as a volunteer in an orphanage in Budanilkantha with my sister. We looked after eleven orphaned/abandoned boys. Our placement was through Hope and Home. Our stay was for three months and we had the most amazing and life changing experiences. As nurses we concentrated a lot on the boys’ health and during our stay we detected that one of the little boys had epilepsy. He was seen by two excellent Nepali doctors and is now on medication to control his seizures. I enjoyed my time with the boys so much that I extended my stay!
We did many cultural activities with ‘our’ boys. We visited the Sleeping Vishnu in their village and we took them on an outing to Swayambhunath stupa. We also had great fun on our trips to the zoo, the botanical gardens and a well deserved pizza!

My sister Aimee & I also saw a lot of Nepal during our stay. We traveled to Chitwan & Pokhara through Holiday Adventure Nepal www.holidaysadventure.com

In Chitwan we did the safari and we stayed in a remote village with Naresh, one of the Hope and Home guys. In Pokhara we completed a trek with Pradash (the guide from Holiday Adventure Nepal); he is a never ending source of information and an excellent guide. Pradash showed us the sights in Pokhara including the World Peace Pagoda and Sarangkot. We then completed the Poon Hill trek together…laughter and tears were shared during that trek!

We were in Nepal during the biggest festivals of the year ‘Dasain’ and ‘Tihar’. It was an amazing time to visit Nepal. I enjoyed my time in Nepal so much that I have returned again! The only way I could leave the boys last December was by saying to myself that I would be back soon. I thought that maybe I would return in September 2008 but I just couldn’t wait that long. It was amazing to see the boys again and to spend time with them. After the initial excitement of our reunion it felt as though I had never left!

I arrived in April and have been volunteering with Hope and Home since May. This time I am in a different orphanage with seventeen children -it’s a busy spot. But I still see ‘my’ boys at least twice a week. This time around I have completed another trek with Holiday Adventure Nepal and their guide Pradash. I will be in Nepal for almost four months and I am already planning my next trip!

Avril Finn
Tower hill, Harbour road
Dalkey co. dublin
avril.a.finn@gmail.com


  • Teaching in Nepal – Jen

During Summer 2007 I spent six weeks in the beautiful country of Nepal, making the decision to go was definitely one of the best decisions of my life. I arrived at the end of July, spent five days in Kathmandu sightseeing and having language lessons, which proved invaluable for my time spent on placement. At the end of our training I set off on a bus to Narangadh, my destination being the rural village of Padam Pokhari, Chitwan. After being met by Naresh I felt immediately welcomed, a feeling which would only continue when I met my family and neighbours. Life in the village was so easy to settle into, and I soon got into the routine of early morning daal bhat, planning lessons, going to school, teaching and walking home with a collection of students, afternoon visiting around the village and more daal bhat to finish the day. From day one I was included in everything, and was never once made to feel like an outsider.

Teaching was an indescribably rewarding, challenging and fun experience. I taught from ages four to seventeen, teaching English for between four and seven lessons a day. One of the biggest challenges was encouraging the children to think for themselves and use their imaginations, and it was disappointing to have to leave after a month when I could see the progress they were making.

After finishing my placement I set off for two weeks travelling, aiming to go to Lumbini, Pokhara, and Bhaktapur. Although I was nervous at the prospect of travelling by myself, I can honestly say I barely got a moment alone, and met dozens of people with whom I shall keep in contact with and remember their kindness forever.
All in all, my time with HOPE and HOME in Nepal was amazing, and I want to say thank you for giving me such a fantastic opportunity. On my flight home I met a group of three elderly women from the Western hills who were leaving their country and their home for the first time; I can only hope that my country shows them at least half as much kindness as their country showed me.

Best wishes

Jennifer Griffiths
“Greenways\”
Claydon
NR Banbury OX17 1EU
England


  • My village life

I arrived in Nepal at the beginning of the monsoon season. I was please to be told that my placement would be in a small rural village in Chitwan district of Nepal. After an unforgettable journey through the mountain south from Kathmandu. We arrived in Narayangadh a large market (Bazzar) then a 30 minute taxi ride into “rural Nepal” When I arrived corn fields where almost finished harvest. As the rain started and the fields began to flood rice planting would begin. when I arrived at my host family I was instantly made welcome. I was very lucky that Mr. K.B. Adhikari the father in my family was good English speaker. I was informed that was first western person to come to their village. I was eager acquaint myself with village life this proved easier than I could have imagined.

The people of Padam Pokhari were so kind kind and friendly was easy to mix and communicate with them I was teaching in government funded school, the headmaster of which lived in the village (school being a couple of Kilometres away) My placement was for 7 weeks and in this time formed good relationship with staff and was seeing progress made by pupils.

Living in rural areas means that all food is fresh. The rice (Bhat) you eat is normally grown by the family you are eating it with, like wise Dal (Lentil). Due to monsoon visiting places was difficult but this was more than compensated with “mucking in” and planting rice, digging ditches and flood irrigation.

I enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere that was created by the stunning scenery and the beautiful people.;

Dhanyabad!

Gareth Walters
18 St Martins Road,
Canterbury,
Kent, CT1 1QW England


July & August 2007

My time at the DRC has been absolutely fantastic, The children are so sweet and such fun to be around.I fell lucky to have been given the chance to meet them. The staff responsible for their care do so wonderfully. What could be a sad lace is actually an extraordinarily happy one. There is really nothing negative that could be said about it. The same is true of Hope and Home. From the airport pickup and throughout my trip i have been so well cared for . It is so reassuming bron there is always someone available and willing to help should there be a problem, through i really haven’t had any. The Language classes were very useful as was the cultural orientation, and the sightseeing has so enjoyable. It really does enhance your experience of a place to have someone there to explain it.

My host family have been exactly that a family, and could not have taken better care of me i have so enjoyed getting know them and really feel that through them i have gained a better understanding of Nepal. It did take me some time to adapt and settle in here, but as soon as I did i started to have a fantastic time. Although I had expected have more definite tables fulfil in my volunteering, Once I had adapted to just playing and being with the children I loved every second of it. i just hope they got as much out of me being here as i did. Overall then, i have had an amazing experience and can only thank Hope and Home for making it happen.

Jacqueline Stevenson
112 Wager Street,
Bow,
London E3 4JF
England


 

  • Experience of Volunteer with my daughter

 

 

From the moment we arrived in Kathmandu, I was impressed with the organisation and the personal touch of Hope & Home. Everyone was so helpful and welcoming. After a week of Nepali Coaching by Yuzeena and sightseeing with the staff, we moved to one host family, just minutes away from the Parizat Nestling Home in Kathmandu. I was volunteering with my daughter Mairi, and we soon fell into a routine of visiting the girls in the morning before school, and again in the afternoon, They were working hard for their examinations, so we were able to help a little with preparation as well as providing some light relief !

Staying with a family was one of the best parts of our visit to Nepal and they made us feel at home for the last days of one stay, we went on safari to Chitwan and then went trekking near Annapurna an excellent way to see a little more of Nepal, even in the monsoon!

I shall miss the girls at the orphanage and hope that other volunteer will find the work just as rewarding, Thank you Rabyn, Bijen and Shristy for making our journey to Nepal so fulfilling.I cannot recommend  Hope & Home highly enough.

Sue Fenton
Editor, SCENES
Scottish Environment News
Wester Lairgs
Farr, Inverness IV2 6XH
Scotland

01808 521368
enquiries@scenes.org.uk
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Week 1

This week of Nepali classes and sightseeing was a really helpful and interesting experience, the Guest House was friendly and a nice place to stay. The Nepali classes were fantastic very informative and Yuzeena was a good teacher! The sightseeing was also good as we had Nepal people showing us around so we got alot of extra insight. All in all the first week was a very positive experience and key to my enjoyment of the trip.

Placement
having worked in a boys home in India, i was very pleasantly surprised at the Parizat Nestling Home. The organization and ability of the girls was outstanding and even if we could only small things with/for them they were very grateful and I feel as though i have made some good friends. A very rewarding time for me.

Host Family
Staying with a family was one of the highlights of this trip for me. The Subedi Family opened their home to us and for that i am always grateful as they were always so friendly and helpful. i really felt at home, and feel as though again i have made some precious connections and friends.

Chitwan + Trekking
I was very impressed in the way this was organised. Everything felt very under control and had a amazing time (even if it did rain every day) The organization and staff were very helpful and the whole trip was fantastic.

Hope and Home
Overall this has been a very positive and rewarding experience i have been with other organization/NGOs in the last few months that pale in comparison to Hope and Home. The staff are very friendly and helpful and from the moment i saw our names at the sign at the airport i felt at ease I really enjoyed myself and will hopefully be back to Nepal again in the near future!

i would recommend Hope and Home to everyone, it has been a fantastic experience and i hope to be back ! Thank you everyone who made this trip a success especially Rabyn, Bijen, Shristi, Yuzeena and Basu !

Pheri Bhetaula !

Mairi Fenton
Wester Lairgs
Farr, Inverness IV2 6XH
Scotland


 

  • 3 months in Nepali Village

 

 

I found Hope and Home during a tiring search and scour of the Internet. I was looking for an organization I could join to be a medical volunteer. I was attracted to Hope and Home because of it’s simplicity, the volunteer’s accolades of the wonderful staff, and the magnitude of variety that Nepal had to offer. I stayed for 3 months, each month a little different from the next, and each bringing new perspectives to the table.

When I arrived in Nepal in February of 2007, I was ecstatic. I was blown away by the cacophony of Kathmandu, and the diversity of the countryside. I was also incredibly eager to begin my volunteer service, ready to put my skills as a nurse to good use and make a difference, damn it! Kathmandu was an exciting welcome for me the first day. Volunteering overseas in developing countries has always been my dream, and as I stared intensively out the taxi window, I felt the reality of my dream coming true. That, for anybody out there that has the same ideals and dreams as I did (and still do), is an amazing feeling that you’ll cherish forever. However, fast forward a day or two (ok, or maybe more like 12 hours), and the realness of your new world and the culture shock that comes with it starts setting in.

As prepared as I was to readily accept and whole heartedly experience a different way of life, there’s something to be said about the tiny nuances of familiar day to day life that make traveling to a different country an unforgettable and once in a lifetime experience–for better or worse.

My placement ended up being in a village called Sarangkot, about 30 minutes away from popular Pokhara (give or take a few dozen minutes depending of what kind of transportation is involved!) and roughly 7 hours from Kathmandu. The differences from one city, town, or village to the next is astounding and was one of my favorite aspects of Nepal. There was always something new and different around the corner. Pokhara and Sarangkot being a perfect example. Kathmandu was unique and special in it’s own way–rich in culture with amazing architecture and the magic of a big city…while Lakeside, Pokhara is calm, warm and welcoming with a nice option for weekend respite with other volunteers and tourists if needed or desired. The village of Sarangkot is open and beautiful, with an indescribable view of the Himalayas that will bring a tear to your eye. It was here that I lived with my Nepali family, and worked in the village Health Post with a Nepali nurse and doctor. The village experience is….well, you’ll just have to come visit yourself! You’ll realize almost everyone in the village wants to share a word, a smile, a snack, or a story or two if you will listen…and the range of feelings and emotions that your host family will evoke in you from your first welcoming day, to the difficult good byes, will undoubtedly be etched in your memory forever.

Nepal: Things are so different, even bizarre at times. But laughter, sorrow, fear, compassion…the common threads that bind humanity are indescribably illuminated when you see and experience it first hand. It is truly inspirational and invigorating. For me, being a part of this sensation was the highlight of my trip, if not my life. While my professional skills were greatly appreciated, it goes beyond what they could bring to the table and my premature desire, though well intentioned, to “make a difference”. I know I read over many of the volunteer statements before I left, looking for tid bits of helpful advice and information. For anyone who may be doing the same thing, my advice would be this: Be prepared to be disappointed if you come with any pre set expectations. And that goes for everything! From the food, to the people, to the weather, to travel, to living quarters to placements…and this isn’t a bad thing! Be flexible, go with the flow…it’s all part of the adventure! Be prepared to be flooded with many new and different, and also conflicting feelings and emotions…but take the time to explore and examine them and allow yourself to grow. Every person’s experience is different, and every person’s journey to get there is also unique. But I believe that in the end, if you ride it out, you will not be disappointed and it just may change your life forever.

Laurel Kalil
8358 Uxbridge Court
Springfield, VA 22151


It is very hard to put the experiences I could make in Nepal into words. Back home a lot of people had said to me..” wow this is going to be so different”… and that was actually my first thought when I stepped out of the plane and got driven through the streets of Kathmandu, it was simply breathtaking. The streets were overcrowded with cars, buses, taxis, people, cows, rickshaws and tuktuks, a constant horn honking filled the air.
I was given a very warm welcome by Rabyn, a director of HOPE and HOME, the next day after I arrived and thinking about the first week in Kathmandu where I also met all the other volunteers is still putting a huge smile on my face.
One week language course with Youxeena, sightseeing in the afternoon with Bijen and Shristy. I learned so much already during these days, surrounded by so much laughter. Bijen I hope you never stop singing.
When my language course finished I got to live with family Subedi. A wonderful family who made my time in Nepal even more memorable. It was incredible enriching and special to get the chance and live with a Nepali family. To see how they live, how they cook, being a part of their everyday life, learning about their culture and spiritual side was an incredible gift for me. I remember that I was very nervous when I left the hostel and got dropped of in front of my new home. But quickly I realized that this wouldn´t have been necessary at all. Great hospitality was waiting for me and they made me feel like a member of their family from the first moment I stepped into their house.
The Parizat, an orphanage with 50 girls, where I was helping was not far away from where I lived. There is especially one little thing that I miss a lot. And that is holding their little hands on their way to school and again when we walked back together to the orphanage. Watching the pictures today, all their beautiful faces and sparkling eyes, pictures of dancing, painting and playing, feels very unreal.
When I left the orphanage and Subedi family at the end of march I travelled to Pokhara and Chitwan with some other volunteers to see the mountains the whole world is talking about and to wash the elephants in the river of the national park. After the time I spent in Kathmandu I was pretty happy to get out of this crowded place for a while and to see another beautiful side of Nepal. But coming back after two weeks I was already starting to miss it and driving back into Kathmandu with the bus felt a bit like coming home. Nepal and all the people I met during my time have enriched my life in many ways and I can only hope that I was able to give something back to them. All the members of Hope & Home are doing a wonderful job.I can only thank them for making my stay in Nepal possible and this whole experience so unforgettable and valuable for me, and for making me feel so safe and welcomed so far away from home. Nepal and it´s people own a place in my heart and I hope that one day again I´ll find myself holding a flight ticket in my hands with the destination Kathmandu.

Lisa Mikosch
Königstr.72
53115 Bonn, Germany

My name is Jenkin. I have stayed in Nepal for a Month and 4 days, I have been doing Orphanage at Jorpati a home called Buddist Childen Home. I stayed there for 3 weeks and those days were a great experience to me. Hope and Home staff have been really helpful to me, when I was in need they were always there for me. They are all very reliable and very nice guys! I will say that without Hope and Home staffs there to show me around Kathmandu my stay would not have been as great! I will highly recommend go on Shristi’s motor cycle he will take you around the places that you want to go, and it’s a great experience on the roads!!!

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