Asia and Pacific featured program: Nepal
Nepal is located in southern Asia between India and China. The country contains eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga.
Nepal has a great deal of variation in climate, with cool summers and severe winters in the north to subtropical summers and mild winters in the south.
Nepali (official). More than 100 regional and indigenous languages are spoken throughout the country.
Forty-five percent of Nepal’s population lives below the poverty line, with one infant in every ten dying before the age of five.
Nearly 90 percent of Nepal’s 22 million people live in the rural plains and mountain areas, primarily as subsistence farmers. A lack of employment and poverty has forced one in 10 of the rural population to migrate to the capital Kathmandu and other municipalities.
Migration and urban growth have resulted in shortage of adequate housing in towns and cities, crowded living spaces and the growth of substandard housing. According to government data, nearly 430,000 families live in substandard housing.
Substandard housing frequently means structures with thatched roofs and straw walls, sometimes supported by pillars made of bamboo or old timber. Water is often unsanitary and few dwellings have toilets or electricity. These dilapidated houses are also a fire risk; nearly 10,000 families lose their homes to fire every year.
Habitat for Humanity began work in Nepal in 1997, but since mid-2005, activities have been organized as a branch of Habitat for Humanity International.
Habitat works mainly in the eastern and western areas of the country. Habitat for Humanity Nepal has partnerships with various international organizations and non-government agencies, and with microfinance institutions to build houses using the Save & Build and Build in Stages models.
In Nepal, indigenous bamboo is suitable for use in house construction, as it grows fast and is easy to use, environmentally friendly and durable. “Green” bricks are made of clay and, unlike bricks burnt with firewood, do not contribute to air pollution. Members of rural communities can turn to growing and harvesting bamboo and making “green” bricks as income-generating activities that also contribute to the building of habitat homes.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may work on new construction or renovation of homes. Construction materials depend upon locally available materials: bamboo, brick, stone, cement blocks, sun-burnt brick etc. The construction tasks will vary depending on the stage of construction.
Kavre, Chitwan, Pokhara
Team members should expect to stay at a hotel, lodge or guest house, depending on affiliate location. Rooms will be at least double occupancy (two twin beds) and will usually have a private bath.
Food and water
Breakfast is usually provided at the hotel or lodge and lunch is usually provided by the partner organization and taken on the work site or in the restaurant nearby the work site. Dinner is taken at various restaurants or provided by the hotel or lodge.
All teams will fly into Kathmandu and spend the first and last night at a hotel in Kathmandu. The team will take an internal flight to the host program district for all locations except Kavre. Habitat staff will assist team leaders with booking in-country flights.
While at the host program the team will travel by minibus to the work site, except for Kavre, where teams will travel by Jeep.
Hosting structure and services
Teams will likely work on single homes within a community. Habitat Nepal works to facilitate interaction with Habitat home partners during builds and other community integration activities, and a full-time staff person accompanies the team.
Day 1 (Friday): Depart from home.
Day 2 (Saturday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Sunday): Arrival in Kathmandu; welcome and orientation; overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 4 (Monday): Half-day tour in Kathmandu; fly to build location district (except Kavre members, who will travel by minibus); welcome with local host program staff.
Days 5–8 (Tuesday–Friday): Meet partner organization and home partners; construction and safety orientation; work 8 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean-up; dinner and time for team activities.
Days 9–10 (Saturday–Sunday): Free days (cultural activities or day trips); visit church on Sunday.
Days 11–14 (Monday–Thursday): Work 8 a.m.–5p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean-up; dinner and time for team activities
Day 15 (Friday): House dedication; farewell lunch; fly to Kathmandu (except Kavre members, who will travel by minibus); overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 16 (Saturday): Depart for home.
Trip cost (USD)*
Chitwan: Starting at $2,090
Kavre: Starting at $1,935
PokharaStarting at $2,090
View what is included in the standard budget. Please note: The cost for the in-country round-trip flight is included in the trip cost ranges (except for Kavre, as no in-country flight is required). Habitat for Humanity Nepal will assist team leaders with booking the in-country flights.
January-early June, September-December
Volunteer Engagement specialist
If you have read the FAQs and have further questions before you submit a Global Village trip proposal, please contact the Asia and the Pacific volunteer engagement specialist.