Ethical Volunteering

Volunteering in Nepal

Be a part of the solution not the problem

Volunteering in a developing country such as Nepal can be an exciting and rewarding experience and can be a powerful tool for helping bring about positive change. However, if not undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner and with careful research, you may end up doing those you volunteer with more harm than good.

Volunteer tourism, or Voluntourism, is a growing form of tourism in developing countries such as Nepal, where people use their time and energy to help others while exploring the country and culture. The most popular places to volunteer these days are in orphanages (or similar institutions that go by different names such as children’s homes and child-care homes), in schools and building homes or classrooms for local villagers.

Orphanages have become particularly popular amongst school and university graduates during holidays or gap years. Nepal is one of the most popular destinations for orphanage volunteering. There are various reasons why this is, and they are not all good!

The founders of SCAI started out as volunteers in an orphanage back in 2004 and our CEO has been based in Nepal for over 10 years and has a wealth of experience and knowledge about this very sensitive issue. Orphanage visiting and volunteering has become a hot topic amongst many organisations working to protect children worldwide and rightfully so.

SCAI does not recommend volunteering (or visiting) orphanages due to the damage it can cause the children that organisations like SCAI, and no doubt you, are wanting to help. We do however think that with the right research and planning, volunteering at the right places can be very worthwhile and rewarding for both you and the people you volunteer with.

Read more about the various types of volunteering, SCAI’s first-hand experience, a checklist of what to consider when planning a volunteer experience and some useful resources:

Volunteering in orphanages

Teaching in schools

Building homes or schools

Volunteering Checklist

Volunteer testimonials