About Nalang rural Community in Nepal
We invite you volunteering in Nepal in the village of Nalang. Nalang is a very rural community in the District of Dhading and is only 85km west from the capital Kathmandu. It can take as much as 4 ½ hours travel time and during the monsoon months sometimes the roads are impassable for several days.
The population of Nalang itself, and the immediate vicinity, is approximately 11,000 living in around 2,200 houses. Nalang is at an altitude of 1,500m which means that the climate is sub tropical. Like many such rural areas in Nepal approximately 90% of the adult population are either illiterate or very poorly educated. This makes their efforts to improve educational facilities for their children particularly praiseworthy. It is also one of the reasons that The Yearley Trust is so happy to support and encourage their efforts. Another reason is that the community is keen to encourage education and equal opportunities for girls. Generally, in Nepal girls are considered less important than boys. Their support for equal opportunities is a credit to the Community of Nalang.
The population and surroundings
The majority of the population are subsistence farmers and around 60% live below the poverty line. Generally, the land is hilly which limits the type of crops that can be grown
The people of the district of Dhading are primarily Bhramin and Chetri in the south and Tamang and Gurung in the north, with much of the centre Newari. Unfortunately, the caste system and their differences still exist in Nepal. Although generally it does not cause as many problems as in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The mountain range “Ganesh” is the predominated mountain range located within the district of Dhading. All of the peaks are over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) with some approaching 8,000 metres (26,000 ft). The 8,000-metre (26,000 ft) plus mountain “Manaslu” (the eighth highest mountain in the world) is visible from much of Dhading. The views of the mountain from the hostel are breath-taking!
Building a community
The school was built by the community in 2008 but was destroyed by the massive earthquake of 2015 which destroyed 600,000 buildings in Nepal and killed nearly 10,000 people. The epicentre for the earthquake was near Nalang and very many more people would have been killed except for the fact that most of them were outdoors tending their fields when the earthquake struck. It is estimated that the costs of the earthquake were equivalent to around 50% of Nepal’s GDP. (That is equivalent to £1.2 trillion for the UK)
Most of the buildings in Nalang that survived, and are still lived in, are damaged. The community rebuilt the school with minimum disruption to the children but still needs help in repairing damaged housing.
Life in rural Nepal
Main crops grown are Rice, maize, and millet, all on a large scale but not enough for the year. Also, some vegetables, like Cauliflowers, cabbage, radish, potato, carrot, brinjal, bitter gourds local pears and some citrus fruits. Whilst for three months of the year the land is inundated by the monsoon rains the remaining months have very little rain so most of land is unused because of the lack of proper irrigation in the area. So, rainwater harvesting may play vital roles for making irrigation in this land. If they have water supply for irrigation, they could cultivate any crops easily and, in many cases, get two crops a year from the land.
There are a few shops in the local area, but they have problems of supplies during the rainy season. There are some businesspeople from the city who come to trade at the market. The shops sell foods items, and there is also a local hotel, located in a coffee farm, for the businesspeople and for tourists. There is a clothes shop, small veterinary, shop small electronic shop, and stationery shop.
There is no doctor in Nalang and the nearest is at least 5 hours walk away across hazardous mountain tracks. But now The Trust is employing Shankar Silwal to provide medical and dental cover (Shankar is medically qualified and licenced by the Government to provide most of the services of a GP as well as basic dental treatment) and paying all medical expenses and has recently donated a small medical centre to further improve the medical facilities for the community but there is still much to do.
VOLUNTEER IN NEPAL TODAY
ABOUT VOLUNTEERING IN NEPAL
WHAT TYPE OF VOLUNTEERS WE NEED?
AT THE SCHOOL
We are always welcoming experienced teachers (the school tries to run on English lines and students have to speak English in all classrooms)both, as teachers and also to impart their skills to local teachers. For instance, maybe even your basic IT skills can be helpful in teaching these skills to a community with very limited skills. Older pupil volunteers could assist teaching younger children at the school in their specialist subjects. Maybe just by interacting with the pupils you can help to improve their English.
The school is very keen to promote sport as a way of interesting the pupils, so coaching or just helping to improve sporting skills would be very much appreciated. So any volunteer with sporting interest at any level would be very welcome.
Most important, by just being there you will show that all their efforts are appreciated and maybe you can spread the message of what the community is doing to improve their lives when you are back in the UK.
IN THE COMMUNITY
A considerable percentage of the population are subsistence farmers. There is land available to increase the amount of crops produced but at present the lack of irrigation is holding this back (See “Nalang and the School”). Help with clearing land for planting and in helping with their plans to improve irrigation would have a significant effect on the prosperity and well-being of the community as a whole.
If you are there at the right time of the year you could even, if you wish, help with the rice planting etc
There are paths and dirt roads that need to be maintained, buildings that were damaged but not destroyed in the massive earthquake of 2015 need to be repaired and hundreds of other small jobs to help us to improve life in this rural community.
Since 2020 we have developed The Yearley Trust Centre of Excellence where we will hold a big variety of trainings for free to support the rural communities. From teaching of languages, through special education teachers’ trainings, to specialized agricultural and medical trainings. You can join as a professor there and Give your time to the strong people of Nepal! From 2021 You can even hold online trainings! For more information and participation you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT TO EXPECT VOLUNTEERING IN NEPAL
Firstly, a very warm welcome from a remarkably friendly people. You will feel welcome wherever you are.
Accommodation is provided at the newly built John Yearley Hostel donated by The Yearley Trust (300m from the school and owned and managed by the school). Whilst high quality by local standards don’t expect standards to be the same as in the UK. It is however comfortable and has outstanding views and staying there makes you really feel part of the community
An experience that you will treasure and remember for the rest of your life and also the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped to improve the lives of others
Even if you are not going to Nalang (and even if you do) any fundraising for facilities and equipment would be very much appreciated by the school. For information of any special needs that you could fundraise for please contact the Trust on email@example.com for latest ideas. Due to chronic lack of computers at the school donations of laptops or internet compatible tablets (new or second hand) are always very welcome.
OTHER EXPERIENCES WHILE VOLUNTEERING IN NEPAL
Stay in Kathmandu
Extend your visit by Staying in Kathmandu for sightseeing that we can arrange for you!
Expect to pay at least 1,400NPR (£10.00) per night for good hostel accommodation to around 5,000NPR (£35) per night for a mid-range hotel. and between 250NPR to 500NPR a day for a meal in local restaurants or 600NPR (Combo Meal) in McDonalds
Trekking and Nature Trails
The Trust’s approved travel agents Nepal Trekking at NMA, Nalang can arrange a Trekking extension to your stay in the foothills of the Himalayas. If you are interested the agent would be happy to make suggestions, with costs, for you.
If you are taking a party of pupils to volunteer and also like for them to formally learn more about Nepal the school will be happy make facilities available for you free of charge and where possible provide local teachers to help.
VOLUNTEER IN NEPAL TODAY
Find the full information on How to Become Volunteer in Nalang, Nepal here