What it’s like to be a SCI volunteer in Bhaktapur, Nepal…

The project took place in:



Written by Jan Van Eimern from Sweden

June 2016

First of all lets me say that I had a wonderful time working as a volunteer in Nepal. The local SCI members, and the Nepalese people for that matter, are some of the friendliest people you’ll have the pleasure to meet. Kind, helpful and happy even in thought times. I’m happy I chose to go to Nepal for my workcamp it will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. Sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true! What is it that makes it so memorable? First and foremost helping people when they need it the most is probably one of the most kind and rewarding things we can do as humans. Second the Nepalese culture is so very different in so many ways from mine (Sweden) and it was amazing to be let into it in a genuine way by locals. And have it all explained to me. It certainly puts some of my everyday life things into perspective.

The workcamps are timed so that you will be able to see one of the major festivals of Bhaktapur. With Bhaktapur being somewhat of a cultural capital of Nepal being able to see and participate in one of these huge festivals in the company of locals is a great opportunity.

For the coming workcamps the focus will be helping out in the recovery from the big earthquake in 2015. During the earthquake the immediate destruction and damage was great, and the way back is long and hard for the people who lost their homes and family members. SCI has helped to ease this by organizing and erecting a shelter area. Supplying it with the necessities  and facilities for living. Now the camp is emptying as people find more permanent homes. The time has come to restore the campsite and turn it back into the school playground it used to be. SCI Nepal is now looking for volunteers to help them with this.

The Shree Balmiki Lower Secondary School is located 15min outside of Bhaktapur, in the rural countryside among the wheat fields. During the earthquake one of the two school buildings was so badly damaged it is no longer safe to use it for teaching. A new school building has been erected but the founds have run out and it stands unfinished. This is where SCI is looking for volunteers to help with the final touches to making the new school building operational. As it stands the structure (floors, walls and roof) are finished but that’s about it. The work will consist of plastering the brick walls and dividing the house area into separate classrooms and painting the walls. There will also be plenty of opportunity to hang out and with the children which you are helping.

Finally a workcamp is also a cultural exchanges. You will be thought about the Nepalese ways and be able to tell about yours. You will learn to eat with you hand. Experience one of Bhaktapur’s famous festivals and feast on the delicious Nepalese food! See Traditional dancing and music.   Admire the ancient temples and see the holy cows moving untouched through traffic!