Volunteer Abroad in Pokhara

Back to Programs

A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Pokhara

Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest city, after Kathmandu, and a welcome haven for volunteers and adventure travelers from all over the world. Located only a few hours by bus from the capital city, Pokhara is nestled in stunning scenery on the banks of Phewa Lake, in the shadow of three of the Himalaya’s highest peaks (which are also three of the tallest mountains in the world). Volunteering in Pokhara is a once in a lifetime chance to live amid one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes while giving back to communities in need, especially after the recent earthquakes in Nepal in 2015.

Volunteer Work in Pokhara

Nepal has one of the highest poverty rates in Asia, as most of its people live in villages spread out throughout the Himalayas. The country is slowly urbanizing, but the population still remains primarily rural. Out of the 27 million people who live in Nepal, Pokhara is home to less than 300,000. Nevertheless, poverty levies a significant toll on this urban population, as many Nepalese citizens living in Pokhara lack dependable access to basic resources, such as healthcare and education.

Some of the most popular types of volunteer placements in Pokhara are: at orphanages or community centers working with children, in hospitals or health clinics providing basic health care for locals, and at schools teaching pupils of all ages. You can also find opportunities to volunteer in Pokhara in human rights placements, often focused on campaigning for social justice or raising awareness about specific issues, such as women’s rights and democratic transparency. These community focused projects are located throughout Pokhara, and are typically spearheaded by NGOs and other non-profit organizations based in the city.

Most importantly, most opportunities to volunteer in Pokhara are currently centered on disaster relief, recovery, and reconstruction, as Nepal was hit by a series of tragic earthquakes in 2015. Many families are living in tents or sleeping without any shelter, either because of a lack of housing or a fear of further earthquakes and tremors. Volunteers can help provide immediate relief goods to survivors, as well as contribute to long-term recovery efforts.

In a different realm, prior to the recent earthquakes in Nepal, eco-tourism was also gaining popularity as a form of volunteering in Pokhara. Pokhara is a major launch site for trekking in the Himalayas, so there is a great concern for the protection of the environment and indigenous wildlife. Eco-tourism volunteering in Pokhara typically involves a combination of outdoor adventure activities with regular service work, contributing to the well-being of the environment (such as building footpaths, picking up trash, and working with animals).

Life in Pokhara

As transportation becomes easier and the nation’s doors open to tourists from all over the world, Nepal is slowly becoming one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia. A large part of its economy is based on tourism, so while it will certainly be culturally shocking adjusting to life in Pokhara, you do not have to worry much about safety issues or discomforts associated with being a stranger in a strange land. Nepal is a safe country, and locals are very friendly and willing to engage sincerely with foreign volunteers.

There are many outdoor and adventure-sport opportunities in and around Pokhara, ranging from trekking various peaks of the Himalayas to paragliding over the city to renting a boat and soaking up the sun on Lake Phewa. The weather is actually mild year-round, because of the elevation, so any time is a great time to volunteer in Pokhara. Watch out though, monsoon season, usually spanning from July to September, can get pretty wet.

You do not have to worry about speaking Nepali to live and volunteer in Pokhara. While it would be nice to make an effort to learn as much of the local language as possible, enough English is spoken around the city that you can get by fine as an anglophile. During your volunteer work in Pokhara it is likely that you will be assisted in communicating with locals by local staff members too.

Costs & Affordability

Nepal is one of the most affordable travel destinations in the world. Airfare and program fees will prove to be your largest expense by far when it comes to volunteering in Pokhara. Once on the ground, most foreign volunteers will not have to worry too much about additional costs of living. Food and transportation, for example, will only be a few dollars at a time (if even that). The local currency in Pokhara is the Nepalese Rupee, which runs at about 100 NPR to $1.

Accommodations & Visa

The most common housing options for foreign volunteers in Pokhara are homestays and group living. Typically, volunteer programs in Pokhara will help you to organize housing, either with a host family or in their own local accommodations, where you will often live with other volunteers. Volunteers should expect housing to be very simple, especially since many buildings and homes were destroyed or greatly damaged in the recent earthquakes.

Nepal’s visa policy is fairly lax, and volunteers can usually obtain the visa needed to volunteer in Pokhara upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport or border crossing. However, be sure to carry enough cash on you to pay any fees at customs.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Relax. Volunteering in Pokhara will be a great escape from the highly competitive industrial environment of other cities across the world. High up in the Himalayas, there is a sense of disconnect from the rest of the world, and it is a very peaceful place to spend some time. You may lack consistent internet access in certain places, but that makes it all the better.

Live in the Himalayas. The scenery of Pokhara is indescribable, you have to go there and see it to believe it. Nearly a mile above sea level, you will be living in a valley surrounded by lush forests, intricate waterways, and some of the tallest snowcapped peaks in the world. Everyday you wake up as a volunteer in Pokhara will be like living in a dream.

Make a Positive Impact. Nepal is a great place to travel, but let’s not forget why you are traveling to Pokhara. Volunteering in Pokhara is a way to experience another culture and way of life, while giving back your time to help the local community in whatever way you can. After the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, your volunteer work in Pokhara will undoubtedly go a long way.

Read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in Nepal.

Read More

A Guide To
Volunteering Abroad in Pokhara

READ ARTICLE

 Find Volunteer Programs in Pokhara Now

Save

This listing has been saved 717 times

Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the world's leading volunteer travel organization, providing affordable, safe and responsible volunteer programs in over 30 different destinations around the world. With program fees starting from just USD 10 per day, IVHQ is the volunteer organization of choice for thousands of volunteers every year. Established in 2007, IVHQ has supported over 55,0...

Save

This listing has been saved 255 times

Volunteer Abroad & Make a REAL Difference - From US$175!

Find our Why More and More People are Choosing to Become a Love Volunteer! Love Volunteers is the most affordable way to volunteer and help local communities in developing countries! Why are we cheaper than other organisations? Firstly, we are just a handful of passionate people working hard to help volunteers and local communities around the world. We don't have huge overheads - no company ...

Save

This listing has been saved 6 times

Volunteer Teaching in Nepal

Nepal is a developing country where more than 40% of the total population lives below the most basic poverty line. Thousands of small children are deprived of educational opportunities in Nepal because of the many social issues and the lack of schooling opportunities. Volunteers will assist at understaffed and under resourced schools by teaching English or work on community education projects i...

Save

This listing has been saved 9 times

Himalayan Mountain Conservation in Nepal - Projects Abroad

The Himalayan Mountain Conservation in Nepal program of Projects Abroad is a spectacular opportunity to preserve and enhance the biodiversity in the area. The Himalayas are home to snow leopards, black bears, musk deer, and several bird species, including vultures. Volunteers get involved in activities such as wildlife research, natural resource management, alternative energy projects, communit...

Save

This listing has been saved 97 times

Intern & Volunteer Abroad: from USD180

CrossContinental offers affordable intern abroad, volunteer abroad, culture/language immersion programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Gain hands-on experience, improve your resume, enhance cultural understanding, and build global network. Stay with a host family for culture and language immersion. Affordable program fees start from only USD180 (accommodation & meals included). These vo...

Save

This listing has been saved 8 times

Plan My Gap Year - Childcare Volunteer Projects from $300

Become part of a needs-driven initiative in an Asian or African country through PMGY. Sign up for a childcare volunteer project in any of these countries: Cambodia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam. Enjoy the simple rewards, such as a child’s big smile and heartfelt gratitude, after helping and bringing joy to kids. Experience...

Save

This listing has been saved 4 times

Teaching & Community Development in Nepal

Become part of our volunteer program in Nepal, which involves assisting with projects focused on medicine and health care, building, education, and community development. You will be placed in an area that matches your skills, interests, and/or background education. We work with a special program helping kids rescued from the carpet industry; hence, you could be assigned in the home where t...

Save

Volunteer with Children in Nepal

Volunteer with Pod Volunteer and help to improve the quality of life and opportunities for disadvantaged children in the beautiful Himalayan mountain city of Pokhara. Pod staff and volunteers support several locally run schools and organisations. Volunteers can contribute by volunteering in a range of placements, including local primary, middle, and village schools, a children's home, a stre...

Save

This listing has been saved 9 times

Community Development Volunteer Projects in Nepal

Volunteers For Peace, a Vermont-based nonprofit, has organized volunteer opportunities in over 100 countries around the world for over 30 years! In Nepal, VFP offers about 45 volunteer projects each year. These include two to three-week short-term projects with a group of international volunteers from four or more countries as well as long-term independent projects for one month up to one y...

Save

This listing has been saved 29 times

Volunteer World: Best Volunteer Abroad Programs Worldwide

Looking to apply your talent and expertise to a good cause? Find a program that matches your interests and skills through Volunteer World! We are the largest volunteer abroad comparison platform around the globe, enabling you to seek and compare offers from major travel agencies as well as smaller grassroots NGOs and local specialists in more than 80 countries. All these with just one click! ...

Save

This listing has been saved 1 time

Volunteer in Nepal with UN funded NGO

Scholars Abroad is seeking enthusiastic volunteers and interns with skills in project development, fundraising, grant writing, marketing/promotion or project monitoring and evaluation. We hope to work with people who have the ability to think critically and analytically in order to come up with results oriented solutions to social problems . Scholars Abroad makes the placement for NGO manag...

Save

This listing has been saved 2 times

Midwifery Internships in Nepal - Pokhara

NOTE: We do not offer paid internships or cater for volunteering experiences. To be eligible for a Work the World midwifery internship, you need to be in midwifery school, or have equivalent clinical experience (MD or equivalent). We can also not accept premeds. Delivering around 30 babies per day, our partner department in Pokhara is fast-paced despite being low-resource. There’s plenty of ...