There are many ways to help Shamrock School. If you would like to raise funds in your home country you will be playing a vital role in keeping the school running. Perhaps you would like to visit the school, meet the children and the teachers?
If you would like to come to Nepal to volunteer with us, please make sure to read our guide below. Then use our volunteer form to contact us. Thank you.
There are four main areas of involvement for which we seek volunteers:
1.Qualified teachers who can assist in the academic programme.
2.Medical/dental personnel, health and hygiene, first aid, diet etc.
3.Those who have expertise in extra curriculum activities, sports, arts and crafts, drama, music etc.
4.Those with D.I.Y expertise, plumbing. Electronics, carpentry, building and maintenance.
The population of Nepal was recorded to be about 30 million as of January 2013. Eighty-six per cent of Nepalese follow Hinduism, while eight per cent follow Buddhism and three per cent follow Islam. The population comprises various groups of different races which are further divided into different castes. Nepali is the official language of the state, spoken and understood by 100 per cent of the population. Multiple ethnic groups speak more than a dozen other languages in about 93 different dialects. English is spoken by many in government and business offices. It is the mode of education in most private schools of Kathmandu and some other cities.
Nepal, a sovereign independent democratic republic, is bound on the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China; on the east by Sikkim and West Bengal of the Indian Union; on the south by Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh; and on the west by Uttar Pradesh of Indian Union. The length of the Kingdom is 885 kilometres east-west and its breath varies from 145 to 241 kilometres north-south. Climatically, it lies in the temperate zone with the added advantage of altitude. The country is small but very geographically diverse. Eight of the world’s tallest mountains are in Nepal’s Himalayan range – including Mount Everest – and they continue to grow at a rate of three feet per year. Yet it also has the flat river plain of the Ganges on its southern border with India and, at the other end of the spectrum, is Nepal’s jungle area, tropical and teeming with hippos, elephants, tigers, crocodiles, and all the rest of the flora and fauna you might expect to find.
There is a dry season from October to May and there is the wet season, the monsoon, from June to September. October – November, the start of the dry season, is in many ways the best time of the year in Nepal, with temperatures ranging from 25-30°C. When monsoon just ends, the countryside is green and lush. Nepal is at its most beautiful and during this season there are plenty of colourful festivals to enjoy and it is the ideal time to go trekking. October is one of the best months of the year, with deep blue skies and cooler days and nights. Cooler temperatures, around 20°C in Kathmandu, are found in December and January. The heat picks up as spring begins in February and lasts up until May. Over the spring period temperatures can rise up to 30°C in Kathmandu and even 40°C in Chitwan. There is a monsoon season that runs roughly from June through September. Muddy roads and slippery conditions make trekking difficult during this time.
Pokhara sits about 400m lower than Kathmandu so the autumn and winter temperatures are generally much more comfortable. Even in the height of winter you can get away with a T-shirt during the day time and you’ll only need a sweater or jacket for evenings and early morning starts. From June to September the skies open and the views vanish behind blankets of grey cloud; bring an umbrella and be prepared to wade when the streets are flooded!
As it is with developing countries going through the birthing pains of democracy, there is a prevailing uncertainty in the politics of Nepal, best illustrated by occasional street protests. However, the Hindu culture lives by the deeply ingrained philosophy that “guest is God,” and volunteers will generally be treated with very humbling respect and kindness.
Nepal is home to 30 million people, with children younger than 15 years old making up more than 40% of the population. It includes ethnic and caste groups with distinct cultures and languages, giving this small land-locked country a cultural and linguistic diversity that is remarkably complex. Entrenched poverty and a decade of violent political instability have taken a toll on the Nepalese people, although a lasting peace is gaining momentum, creating real hope for long-term political reconciliation. Much of the population lives in remote rural areas on the plains and others living in scattered settlements in the hills and mountains. More than one in three people in Nepal live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less than $1 per day.
Quality education is not available to most children in Nepal. Shamrock School is a boarding school in the city of Pokhara, Nepal. There are places for approximately 60 children from age 10-16 years old. Some of the students are disabled; many have no parents or family; most are from desperately poor backgrounds. ALL of them want to learn The School is providing high quality education for intelligent and motivated children of promise without the necessary means for a decent education in Nepal. These children aspire to be doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers and other professionals. In addition to the core aim of providing education for the school students, Shamrock is also involved in a range of other development activities. With the general aim of making the world a better place by being positive, proactive, responsible citizens of the community, the School arranges teacher training, runs adult literacy classes, gives micro-finance for small businesses, provides health and hygiene advice, increases environmental awareness and also provides emergency poverty relief funds. There are four main areas of involvement for which we seek volunteers: 1.Qualified teachers who can assist in the academic programme. 2.Medical/dental personnel, health and hygiene, first aid, diet etc. 3.Those who have expertise in extra curriculum activities, sports, arts and crafts, drama, music etc. 4.Those with D.I.Y expertise, plumbing. Electronics, carpentry, building and maintenance.
Arrival airport: Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu (airport code KTM). Transfer to Pokhara, 125-miles west of the capital: about 40-minutes by local ‘plane from Kathmandu airport to Pokhara airport, (approx. $90) followed by a taxi journey of 10-minutes to the accommodation. Or you can travel by local tourist bus which costs between $8 and $25 a trip of between 6 and 7 hours depending on the condition of the bus and the roads.
There is limited accommodation available at Shamrock, but we do have a working relationship with local hotels which are situated very close to Shamrock. They can provide a room for 800Npr (approx. £7) a night which sleeps two. The accommodation has running water and electricity, although supply is erratic.Other accommodation is available in the local area from 300 Npr per person a night. All accommodation is simple but clean. If you let us know your requirements we will book your accommodation. We can also arrange a pick up from the airport or bus depot.
There are plenty of good restaurants in the area which provide a wide variety of foods with prices ranging from 150 Npr (approx. £1:00) to 500 Npr (approx. £3:00). While at Shamrock you are welcome to take lunch and your evening meal with us. Lunch is usually Daal Bhat which is the national dish. It comprises rice, lentils and a mild vegetable curry. The evening meal varies daily between fried rice, pasta, chow mein or Daal Bhat and again usually vegetable based. Telephone, Internet and Postal services: Are all available in the local area however the postal service is unreliable.
Nepal does not require any particular immunisations for your visit. Nevertheless, vaccinations for Cholera, Meningitis, Tetanus & Diphtheria, Typhoid and Gamma Globulin should be considered for your trip. Please consult your GP Practice and get a complete check–up before your departure.
A simple but adequate Medical Kit can be most useful without taking much space in your baggage. The following is recommended as a tried and tested list of useful items.
- Aspirin, paracetomol or panadol – for pain or fever.
- Antihistamine – useful as a decongestant for colds, allergies, to ease the itch from insect bites and stings or to help prevent motion sickness.
- Antibiotics – useful if you are traveling well of the beaten track but they must be prescribed.
- Kaolin, Imodium or Lomotil – for stomach upsets.
- Rehydration mixture – for treatment of severe diarrhoea.
- Antiseptic lotion – for cuts and grazes.
- Calamine lotion – to ease irritation from bites or stings.
- Bandages and plasters – for minor injuries.
- Scissors, tweezers and thermometers.
- Insect repellent, sun block, suntan lotion, chopsticks and water – purification tables.
- Throat lozenges (strepsils).
- Eye, nose and ear drops.
- Antacid tablets or liquid.
Care in what you eat and drink is the most important health rule. The number one rule is do not consume the water, including ice. Reputable brands of bottled water or soft drinks are generally fine. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if water may have been added. Milk should be treated with care, as it is often un-pasteurized. Boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically and yoghurt (milk curd) is usually good. Tea or coffee should also be OK since the water would have been boiled. Salads and fruit should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Ice cream is usually OK if it is a reputable brand name. But beware of ice cream that has melted and been refrozen. Thoroughly cooked food is the safest but not if it has been left to cool. Stomach upsets are the most likely travel health problem but the majority of these upsets will be relatively minor. Wash your hands frequently, as it’s quite easy to contaminate your own food. You should clean your teeth with purified water rather than straight from the tap. Avoid climatic extremes: keep out of the sun when it is hot, dress warmly when it is cold. Avoid potential diseases by dressing sensibly. You can get worm infections through bare feet. Try to avoid insect bites by covering bare skin when insects are around, by screening windows or by using, insect repellents.
If you do fall ill during your period with us we will arrange for local medical attention however all medical care has to be paid for so ensure your insurance covers this.
It is recommended to have both light and warm clothing. From October to February, woollen sweaters, jackets or similar other outfits are essential. Short or long sleeved shirts are comfortable for March to May. From June to September, light and loose garments are advisable
- Accommodation: As above self-calculation depending on length of stay.
- Meals: As above self-calculation depending on length of stay.
- Return flights / transport to Shamrock School – £550-£750.
- Travel Insurance – Varies. Policies that cover theft, loss and medical treatment are recommended. Make sure the insurance also cover the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal such as trekking, river rafting, wildlife safaris, climbing and such other activities.
- Visa Fees – $25.00 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days, $100 for 90 days, the $2 per day thereafter, obtained at the airport in Nepal. Currently tourists are limited to 5-months in a calendar year.
- Spending money – c. £30 per week.
- It is advisable that you bring enough $U.S. with you to cover the cost of your visa, accommodation in Kathmandu and travel to Pokhara; $200 is a rough guide.
We hope that this information is useful to you however if there is any other information you feel would be helpful just drop us a line and we will endeavor to provide it.
Yours Sincerely, Shamrock family.