Child Environment Nepal
cen nepal
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Supported by:

Himalayan Glacier Trekking

Specialist in group treks, tours,
& climbing expeditions in
the Himalayan region.
www.himalayanglacier.com

Hotel Encounter Nepal

Standard hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu.
www.encounternepal.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the program fees paying for?

The program fees directly benefit our projects. A large part of the fees goes to the CEN orphanage in order to pay for the children's´ food, tuition, fees and clothes. Furthermore, our organisation is supporting school constructions and renovation projects in Arshang in the Gorka District (Western Nepal), to offer better education opportunities for the local children.

Is there a minimum age for volunteers?

You should be at least 18 years if you want to volunteer with CEn. There is no upper age limit for volunteers.

Do I need to speak English as a volunteer?

For the Teaching English Program, you should have a good command of the English language. For the other programs, English is required as well, but it does not have to be your native language.

What is the method of payment?

All payments have to be completed before the start of the program. Monthly instalments are not accepted. If you want to prolong your program, we kindly ask you to inform us ahead of time so that you can pay accordingly.

Will somebody pick me up from the airport?

We will arrange airport pick up for you. One of our employees will wait at the exit of the airport terminal holding a sign with your name. We kindly ask you to send us your detailed flight itinerary (date, flight no., etc.) in advance, so that we can provide this service. The driver will bring you to Hotel Encounter Nepal in Kathmandu where you will meet the volunteering program director.

How are the living conditions during a volunteering program?

CEN provides only basic facilities during your program. You will be hosted by a local family where you will have your own room. Most families have electricity and running water. Our host families are well respected in the society and some members even speak English.

Is there anything I could bring with me which is of use for the organisation?

We appreciate educational books (English Grammar or Science) as well as other books in English (novels, children´s books). We are also thankful for donations of clothes, shoes or stationery.

Do I have time to explore Kathmandu before I start my program?

Childcare volunteers are based in Kathmandu, so they will obviously get to know the city quite well. If you volunteer in Arshang, you will have time to explore Kathmandu either before, during or after your placement. We try to arrange everything according to your needs and wishes.

Can I get money back if I decide to return home before the program has ended?

If a volunteer leaves because of unavoidable circumstances (such as the death of a family member, illness etc.) we refund 25 % of the fee for the outstanding period. No refund will be made if a volunteer leaves the program on his or her own decision.

What is the best time to travel in Nepal?

You can travel in Nepal during the whole year. The best times for trekking are from September to November and from March to May. Around the end of May the monsoon season starts, which lasts until the end of July. During this rainy season, trekking is difficult and the beautiful mountain vistas are usually obscured. The winters are surprisingly mild in Kathmandu - temperatures might reach 20 degrees during the day, but during the night it can cool down quickly, so bear in mind that you should bring a warm jacket. Although Nepal is home to the world´s highest mountains, the country lies at a warm latitude. This unique combination usually offers a very pleasant climate.

What clothes should I bring?

In general, you can wear your casual clothing, but please consider that as a volunteer you should respect the local culture and therefore wear appropriate clothes. Medical volunteers are requested to bring medical apron and latex gloves.

What are the food and accomodation like?

Food and accommodation are included in the program fee for the entire program. The first night, which you will spend in the hotel in Kathmandu, is included as well. Extra food expenditures have to be covered by the participant. The host families will mainly serve the standard meal of Nepal: daal bhaat (lentil soup, rice and curried vegetables).

Which vaccinations do I need for Nepal?

We recommend the following vaccinations:

- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B, if you expect to get exposed to blood (health-care workers), to have sexual contact with the local population, to stay longer than 6 months or to have medical treatment.
- Japanese encephalitis, only if you plan to visit rural areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
- Rabies, if you expect to get exposed to wild or domestic animals during work or recreation.
- Typhoid vaccination is particularly important, because of the presence of S. typhi strains resistant to multiple antibiotics in this region.
- Diphtheria and Tetanus
- Polio

See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow the vaccinations to become effective.

Please note that our volunteer programs do not cover liability and do not include insurances. Volunteers must have an appropriate health and travel insurance before they join the program.

Can I change my program if it does not satisfy me?

In general, we do not change positions when there are no serious reasons, but we try to consider the requests of our volunteers sincerely. Change is only possible, however, if other volunteer positions are available.

Does CEN select my program?

You apply for a specific program. CEN will decide on the basis of your skills and program vacancy.

Do I need a visa for Nepal?

You can travel to Nepal only with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your departure. The visa that is required can be obtained either prior to your journey in your home country or upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu or at the following land border points of entry: Kakarvitta, Jhapa District (Eastern Nepal); Birgunj, Parsa District (Central Nepal); Kodari, Sindhupalchowk District (Northern Border); Belahia, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi District, Western Nepal); Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Banke District, Mid-Western Nepal); Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali District, Far Western Nepal); and Gadda Chauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur District, Far Western Nepal).

The price for a visa upon arrival is as follows:

15 days multiple entry visa: $ 25
30 days multiple entry visa: $ 40
90 days multiple entry visa: $ 100

When entering Nepal, visitors are required to complete an immigration form with passport details and the intended duration of their stay.
We advise our volunteers to obtain the regular tourist visa, since non-tourist visa are difficult to obtain and twice as expensive. As a tourist, you are not allowed to stay in Nepal longer than 150 days in one calendar year.

Before departure from Tribhuvan International Airport, all foreigners must pay an airport exit tax (currently NPR 1130 = USD 16), regardless of the length of their stay.

Are there any special items that I should bring with me to Nepal?

This depends primarily on the activities you want to participate in (e.g. trekking, rafting, paragliding etc.). You can buy almost everything you may need in Kathmandu, definitely for a lower price than in your home country! The following items we recommend to take with you:

  • First Aid kit
  • Penknife
  • Flashlight
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking boots
  • Fleece jacket (during winter months)
  • Multi-functional underwear
  • Waterproof jacket (a fold-away windcheater is fine)
  • Mosquito repellent (in summer)
  • Sun cream
  • Water purification tablets and/or water filter
  • Photos of your family / friends / home (essential!)
  • Small presents for the host family from your country
  • Coloured pencils and pens, drawing books, stickers

Down jackets and down sleeping bags can be easily rented in Kathmandu, in case you need them for a trek.

Do I need to bring extra cash?

If you intend to travel before or after your placement, you should bring some extra money. Major currencies can be changed easily in Kathmandu, while you can pay with Visa or MasterCard at all bigger hotels and trekking agencies. In general, Nepal is a cheap place for both travelling and shopping. In Kathmandu you can buy souvenirs and gifts for your friends.

Is Nepal safe?

In general, Nepal is a safe travel destination. The major tourist areas of Nepal are policed and patrolled. It is nevertheless advisable to take the following precautions:

  • Return to your hotel in the early evening
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash with you
  • Do not wear expensive jewellery and luxurious clothes
  • Avoid talking in public about politics (king, Maoists etc.)
  • Avoid demonstrations

During the last decade, Nepal has faced many fights between the government and the Maoists due to political disagreement, and a lot of people got killed during these conflicts. There were no tourists or travellers involved, though. In 2007, a cease-fire has been signed, which has ended the conflict. Except for some minor incidents and occasional strikes, this cease-fire has brought lasting peace.

In contrast to other countries such as Egypt, Bali or India, tourists in Nepal have never been targeted by Maoists or Nepalese.

The Nepalese belong to one of the most welcoming and hospitable nations of the world.

Do I need travel and health insurances?

You should obtain comprehensive travel and health insurances before you travel to Nepal. Make sure that the policy you obtain, covers all the activities you plan to undertake in Nepal (e.g. trekking, climbing, rafting etc). Some insurance policies do not provide coverage for extreme sport activities. We advise you to choose an insurance which allows full medical treatment and covers any accidents and evacuations.

It is your responsibility to obtain a travel and health insurance. CEN cannot take responsibility for financial compensation in case medical assistance is required during your placement.

How can I communicate with my family back home?

Internet access is available in Kathmandu and in all other larger cities in Nepal. In general, you have to pay between NPR 50 and 100 per hour. In smaller towns access is more limited and if it works, it works very slowly. You can make international calls at all local shops with a STD/ISDN sign.
Important packages from family or friends can be sent to the postal address of CEN in Kathmandu.

There is no Internet access in Arshang yet, but it is expected soon.

What are the school hours in Nepal?

Schools usually run from Sunday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm, but times may differ depending on the location and season. On Saturday and on local festivals and holidays, you are free. Your exact schedule will be discussed with the director of the school at the start of your program.