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FACE Nepal: Frequently Asked Questions

Roxanne Meagher, USA: "Volunteering with Face Nepal is truly an adventure and a life changing experience. This organization really understands the meaning of peace and friendship. If you are having difficulties deciding on a volunteering organization, I believe Face Nepal has so much to offer and you will get back more than you expect." >> Read More
Sure you mention it on your site, but how do I really know that FACE Nepal is honest?

FACE Nepal:

  • 1. Has an independent Board of Directors composed of volunteers scrutinizing the activities of the organization.
  • 2. Has a mixed gender and caste Advisory Board composed of volunteers that develops all Annual Community Development Plans, approves project investments and audits funding recipients.
  • 3. If requested, provides an overview of the cost accounting practices to each volunteer
  • 4. Asks for no upfront payments until the commencement of your volunteer program in Nepal (exclusions only when major administration activities are involved).
  • 5. Encourages sponsors to communicate directly with their funding recipients (children, schools, communities, etc).
  • 6. Has a reputable outsourced accounting practice auditing all cost and reporting practices.
  • 7. Encourages volunteer feedback to all levels of the organization.
  • 8. Is directly accountable to the community (e.g. the Chairman and Advisory Group are selected and dismissed upon the feedback of the community).
  • Learn more about our organisational structure.

Do I need to arrange insurance?

YES All volunteers must ensure they take out adequate travel insurance BEFORE leaving thier home country. We are happy to provide any details needed for your insurance company

Where will I live?

From the time our volunteers arrive in Nepal until they complete their training they will live with a host family. Volunteers will be located in a rural or urban area subject to their program. In the house they will live as part of the family. They will have a private bedroom, but all other facilities will be shared. Also provided are two traditional Nepali meals each day and tea (chiya) twice daily.

How much do your volunteer programs cost?

Our volunteer program costs are very affordable. You can find them in the registration & fees on our volunteering page.

I have a series of items (e.g. books) to donate, can I use these to offset the program fees?

Unfortunately, no. We gratefully welcome any donations of items from volunteers, however these are not expected and cannot be used to offset the volunteer's program fees.

How long can I volunteer for?

You can volunteer for a minimum of 2 weeks and maximum of 5 months. A volunteer's stay can be extended depending on the time of year they arrive - the maximum amount of time a visa for Nepal is given is for 5 months in a year so a volunteer can extend a program if arriving at the end of one year and staying into the next. If you wish to volunteer for less than two weeks you may contact FACE Nepal to see if there are any appropriate locations where you can volunteer without any prior training.

If I decide to extend my volunteer program, can I do so and if so how much will it cost?

While you are in the volunteer placement you may decide to extend your stay. If you do so you must notify FACE Nepal at least one week before departure so that they can ensure your accommodation and your program may be extended. Please also see the note above about visas. You will be advised of the incremental cost you will need to pay for the longer programme before you commit

Can I take a break to go trekking or sightseeing?

Yes. It is advisable to give FACE Nepal 2 weeks notice of any desired travel so that any necessary placement cover can be arranged in your absence. Alternatively we will gladly incorporate anything into a volunteer's program at the application phase.

How will I teach without knowing Nepali?

During the training period, volunteers on our teaching programs will be taught a basic level of Nepali language including classroom directions. In a school volunteers will be accompanied by a teacher until they are fully confident to teach a group of students alone. In a community group or special project someone will be on hand to assist volunteers with translation if they feel it necessary.

Will someone collect me from the airport in Kathmandu?

Yes. Please advise FACE Nepal of your arrival details and they will meet you at the airport with a placard. Feel free to ask for identification. No money is ever given by volunteers to FACE Nepal until your formal registration in the office. Your transportation to the Guest House will be paid for so no cash is required for FACE Nepal other than at the point of registration in Nepal.

What will my living conditions be like and what access to facilities will I have?

The living conditions vary by placement. Our volunteers will always have a private bedroom and an internal power supply. In Nepal, the very rural locations have very fickle power and often weather dependent, so bring a flashlight. In the urban areas or care centers your standard of living will include bathroom facilities with access to toilets and showers but rural host stays have squat toilets and pump washing facilities. Clothes washing will be by hand. If your rural host family does not have a phone one will be in an adjacent village. Internet access will be available at the nearest regional centre.

The standard of your living conditions will be determined based on your specified preference and capability.

As a woman, what issues can I expect?

Most host families will treat you as an equal (as you are granted the same level of respect as the men being a volunteer). In most cases you will have no issues but it is advisable in Nepal in general to dress modestly with no shoulders or legs exposed until you get to know the attitudes of your host family. You will need to dress modestly when visiting religious sites. In some instances you may find you are served your meal after the father has eaten and you may notice that the mother often eats last.

Can I volunteer with my friend/spouse and will we live together?

Yes, but you will need to advise us in advance so that we can arrange for appropriate host facilities. It is quite appropriate for you to stay with your spouse and many host families will feel more comfortable accepting you in this capacity.

How much warning do I need to give FACE Nepal before wanting to start?

At least 2 weeks is desirable for volunteer programs and one month for project work. If you are already in Nepal and wish to spontaneously volunteer, please contact FACE Nepal directly to see what can be arranged. Please note that in the busy trekking season hotels in Kathmandu get booked up so more notice is required to ensure that rooms are available.

How do I get a visa for Nepal?

Volunteers can obtain thier visas when they arrive at the airport in Kathmandu. You will need to bring a passport photo and some cash to pay the fees. You will also need to bring the details of your volunteer organization, including the name and address, to specify on your documentation. If you want to avoid queues at the airport you can apply for your visa in your home country.

PLEASE NOTE: ATM's do not always work at the airport so you must bring enough cash with you for the visa. American dollars, Euros and sterling are accepted.

What is the caste system and how will it affect me?

Nepal operates under a caste structure which in simple terms means that by birth-right each family is assigned a caste, or social category. The societal respect given to a person is generally subject to the status of each caste. In your placement volunteers will be living with a "Brahmin" family, which is the highest caste. This is necessary to ensure you are considered with sufficient respect to carry weight in a classroom. In our volunteer program we endeavor to eliminate caste references but in the rural areas we still must work within the system. If you are placed in a 'Tharu' village, which is a lower caste but also the most native and cultural group to work with, you will find it easy to adapt and live as they do.

What should I wear?

Men can wear almost anything but in traditional areas shorts are not recommended and singlets are not worn. Unless laboring, the men usually wear t-shirts even in the high heat.

Women can wear anything in the cities (but singlets and shorts/mini skirts are not common). In the traditional areas women wear a koota or sari and a lunge for washing, which you can get made upon arrival (costs approx. US$8.00). In traditional areas women cover themselves from neck to ankle. Your host family will advise you what is appropriate in their area.

What medication/vaccinations should I take?

We recommend that volunteers contact their local medical specialist before traveling.

What work will I do during my time as a volunteer with FACE Nepal?

That depends on the volunteer program you have decided to register with. There are educational options (Teaching Eglish,IT,etc), environmental work, orphanages, construction and development, health, as well as our full cooperation if you feel you have something to offer in a custom designed program.

What have been the experiences of past volunteers working with you?

Check out the testimonials page to read about the experiences of our past volunteers.

What are my responsibilities as a volunteer and are any restrictions placed on me?

To ensure that volunteers have a safe, enjoyable time in Nepal, and so FACE Nepal and the volunteers are respected in the community, volunteers are asked to sign a code of conduct on arrival in Nepal. This can be viewed online here.

For more information please view our Brochure.

GOV. REG. NO. 37-2060-61 | PAN. NO. 301868185