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Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

London, United...
5 posts
Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

Hi there,

Just wanted to see if anyone has been to Nepal for volunteer work with BUNAC?

Given the numerous contradicting stories re: volunteering and NGO's Nepal, are BUNAC good in terms of actually benefiting the communities? i.e. not just the so-called voluntourism

Many thanks!

Jess.

France
Level Contributor
3,450 posts
79 reviews
1. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

I have not experienced any ideas about the organization you are talking about. There were some queries about volunteering in the past. Most of the organizations charges you some for volunteering in Nepal. Many organization are making lots of money from this work. I am not sure if the one you are talking about is free or charges. About a year back two of my friends were asking for volunteering opportunities in Nepal. I talked with my friend in Kathmandu and he organized some volunteering opportunities for them in a hospital and a school. It was totally free of cost. My friends only paid for foods and accommodation in the village.

What type of volunteering you are planning for? May be I can talk with him to generate some ideas.

Good Luck!

London, United...
5 posts
2. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

Hi Rhythm D,

I am interested in volunteer work with a monastery, perhaps teaching English or assisting in building works. Preferably staying at the monastery for at least a few months.

That would be greatly appreciated if you could talk to your friend in Kathmandu. Would definitely be good speak to someone with local knowledge.

Many Thanks!

France
Level Contributor
3,450 posts
79 reviews
3. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

I also have been to his house once but there are no monasteries. The villagers are mostly Hindus as far as I know. If you want to teach English in the schools then I can probably talk with him. Working in the fields with local people or in the hospitals will be other ideas.

Please let me know if you are find to teach English in the schools!

Settle, United...
Destination Expert
for Nepal, Annapurna Region
Level Contributor
2,386 posts
150 reviews
4. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

'or assisting in building works'- consider though whether becoming a 'Nepalese builder' will deprive an actual Nepalese builder of a job . . .

London, United...
5 posts
5. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

Hi Alan,

Yes, I have read up a lot about these kind of issues relating to 'voluntourism', hence my post. Unfortunately, there are just so many organisations out there its almost impossible to know exactly which one will positively contribute to the community.

I am also very aware of the potential negative implications from providing short-term english lessons in 'orphanages'. This is why I mentioned doing volunteer work in monasteries as one would assume that the monastery would not be taking advantage of the monks.

It just seems these issues are unavoidable for someone who would want to provide volunteer work in some way or another and at the same time be able to experience life and culture in Nepal.

Sheffield, United...
Destination Expert
for Nepal
Level Contributor
15,242 posts
56 reviews
6. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

Hi

There are issues and barriers to finding ethical volunteering opportunities but they might not be insurmountable.

BUNAC at one rime were a not-for-profit organisation at some time but are now ownded by STA travel and sit squarely in the voluntourism bracket. It's big business and more profitable than selling RTW rickets to students. There are many Nepali voluntourism businesses too which makes finding genuine opportunities more difficult (not leat because they get higher google rankings).

BUNAC looks a slick operation up front and the positives include UK police checks and a minimum stint of 6 weeks. The set programmes start dates should mean there are other volunteers to socialise with should you wish. The less positives include the cost (there has to be profit for them), lack of information (but revealing more would mean you could organise it yourself) and violation of Nepali immigration law (all seem to do this and it is very difficult for indivvidual volunteers to get the correct visa). Only those with experience can tell you if the end result matches the promises.

There are many monasteries in Nepal who would apprecite volunteers to teach the child-monks and it's possible to approach them directly and make the arrangements without charges other than food and accommodation. I did meet someone who was volunteering and was given food and accommodation for free - he was qualified, experienced and was able to commit for months. There are hundreds of Nepali NGOs that welcome volunteers without charging but the difficulty is finding them - I can make a suggestion if you wish. It's also possible to find schools directly - again, I have a suggestion. Please PM me if you are interested.

Good luck.

scoodly

London, United...
5 posts
7. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

Thank you for your comments Scoodly - I have just sent you a PM.

Devon, United...
1 post
8. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

Hi Jess, I'm volunteering to teach English in a Nepali school in April . Was Just wondering how your experience in Nepal was and whether you ended up volunteering through Bunac and what you ended up doing? Any insight would be much apprieciated as im finding it hard to find any online feedback on the trip.

Edited: 05 February 2014, 16:09
Hebden Bridge...
1 post
1 review
9. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

Hi

I'm also teaching English in Nepal, but I'm leaving this month. Are you going with Bunac?

Holly

10. Re: Banac Volunteeer in Nepal Program

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