WANT TO VOLUNTEER?
How to get started
I’m sure there are many of you out there just bursting with volunteering enthusiasm, but are a bit unsure on how to channel it. The following are simple suggestions on getting a team together which we have gleaned from some of our regular volunteer teams – a number of whom have visited Nepal more than 15 times!
Contact us here at CDRA Nepal and tell us a bit about your skills. It’s a bit like an internet dating service – we try to match you with your perfect program. We’ll also send you Nepal Tourism Board interactive CD about Nepal to help you promote your idea at home. In most cases a short-term of volunteers would be more beneficial to a project than an individual, but how do you go about collecting a team?
Probably the best place to start when trying to get team together is your own backyard – your workmates, your university, your nearby Rotary Club, Lions Club, your church, and the places you socialize. Put up little “Are you interested” notes on notice boards, with a brief description of the needs in Nepal and what you are hoping to achieve on your trip. We are happy to provide you with a brief written outline of needs and photos to aid you your ‘man hunt’. Most teams have come together via word of mouth. The people you know most with are most likely to share your interests, and are much more open to your suggestions and requests. Remember to inform disappointed friends who can’t join your team, that they can always support you with donated equipment or funds.
The number of people needed in a team really depends on a project you are hoping to get involved in. CDRA Nepal’s staff have extensive experience in dealing with volunteer teams from 2 to 20. We will be happy to give suggestions for how many are likely to be needed and with which skills. For example a construction team may need plumbers, electricians, tillers, welders etc. Most teams are made up of people with a variety of skills. Remember, you don’t need a degree to be skilled! One of the most important people you need for your team is an enthusiastic organizer – someone who will keep the team on track and headed in the right direction before and during your visit. If you think you don’t have the right personality for this, seek out a suitable person amongst your team members.
Will they put their money where their mouth is?
One of our regular teams suggested that it is important for team members to contribute funds for the team’s project, above and beyond their travel expenses. This is important as it differentiates between those committed to helping Nepal and those going merely for a holiday.
3, 2, 1, Lift off!!
“So when can we come?” is a probably another question you’re bursting with. The most beautiful times to visit Nepal are in the Spring (March, April and May) and Autumn (September, October and November). Other months will render you sweat-laden, frozen, heat-exhausted, bogged, caught in a landslide or flooded – which might occur anyway! It’s best to visit Nepal when all the tourists do – when you’ll be most comfortable and when the weather has minimal impact on your team’s work. Seasoned team leaders suggest allowing nine to twelve months for planning and preparation before you arrive in Nepal. Planning a budget, raising funds, booking flights and accommodation, getting immunization etc. all takes time. Of course we will help from this end wherever we can.
Some of our regular visitors have given us their comprehensive ‘Check Lists’ which they use in annual team trip planning. You will save a lot of time and heartache if you contact us for a copy.
Everyone Needs Rewards
Apart from the work, teams need to have fun and take advantage of all Nepal has to offer. CDRA’s staff will be happy to organize tourist visits for you and your team after all the hard work is done. We have recently partner with Ready2Travel® which gives an excellent overview of the Nepal Tour. We will provide you voluntarism opportunities in Low Cost Housing for Poor families, Medical Camps, Optometric Camps, Dental Camps in rural areas of Nepal, Teaching in Schools, Skill Training to Woman Groups and so on.
We look forward to seeing you!
Any individual and group like to volunteer their time and resourses, CDRA Nepal welcome them.