Experience the breathtaking beauty of Nepal and help protect its environment with our Environmental Awareness Project. Home to eight of the highest mountains in the world (they’re still growing!), lush forests and abundant wildlife, Nepal is a nature enthusiasts dream.
Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal is world famous for its rich wildlife and jungle safari tours. Located 175 kilometers (110 miles) south-west of Kathmandu, Chitwan is an ideal volunteer location for anyone with a passion for protecting wildlife and the environment.
During your time at Chitwan National Park you may get the opportunity to see rare species such as the sloth bear, bison, leopard and the elusive tiger in their natural habitat. You will also encounter more common species, such as deer, rhinoceros and wild boar, as well as hundreds of species of wild birds.
One of the real highlights of our Environmental Awareness Volunteer Program is the ability to work up close with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and study their behavior. There is an elephant breeding facility at Chitwan National Park where baby elephants and their mothers live. The elephants serve a number of roles, including patrols, research and for tourism purposes in buffer zones of national parks and reserves.
Unfortunately, Nepal’s natural habitats are under threat. Deforestation and soil erosion has destroyed thousands of hectares in the last few years. Friends for Asia has teamed up with a village-based conservation project in Chitwan to help reverse this worrying trend.
The objectives of this project are to:
• Promote environmental awareness and conservation among local children and villages
• Provide foreign volunteers an opportunity to study and gain new insights into sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and resource management in Nepal
• Promote community development activities
This is the most physically demanding of our Nepal volunteer projects and is a perfect fit for anyone who loves the great outdoors. We have to say that there are few things that compare to a good day’s work amid stunning scenery in the fresh mountain air, and this project certainly delivers in that regard. A typical day starts early and most of volunteers’ time is spent outdoors working with plants and with the land. Some time may also be spent educating local children about environmental issues and conservation.
Our tailored programs in Chitwan can vary depending on the skills of volunteers, but often involve teaching and sharing ideas about environmental awareness in local schools and villages, planting trees, garbage management and recycling programs. You may also get the opportunity to work inside the Chitwan National Park buffer zone, assisting in the study of different trees, grass and plants. If you are veterinary student or researcher, you may have the opportunity to carry out research on elephant behavior, or diseases such as Elephant Tuberculosis. Permission from the Nepal Government is required for all research projects. However, if you meet the necessary requirements we can help you make a successful application.
Work at the Dung Paper Factory is open to all volunteers. Here you can assist with the eco-friendly production of paper from elephant dung. Once ready, the paper is then distributed to poorer students and local schools to ease their financial burden. You will also help in the production of souvenir bags, picture frames, photo albums, and arts and crafts whose sale is used to raise funds to help less well-off children and families.
Volunteers will also help in the feeding, bathing and general care of elephants. Here you will work with fully trained with fully trained mahouts to gain an in-depth understanding of the day-to-day care of these wonderful creatures.
Working days: Monday – Saturday
Working times: 3-5 hours per day
Accommodation: At project premises, host family and/or volunteer hostel
Meals: 3 meals per day (local food)
We were particularly excited to form a partnership with this conservation project as we feel it really makes a difference, and our volunteers feel the same. By helping to preserve the natural environment and creating a culture of sustainability among the local villagers, our volunteers make a positive impact in the promotion of environmental conservation. Nepal is without a doubt one of the most beautiful countries in the world. When it comes to protecting its natural environment, every little helps.
The minimum age requirement for volunteers in the Environmental Awareness Project is 18. No experience or qualifications are required for this project, though it can be physically demanding at times. Nothing too strenuous, but a reasonable level of fitness and strength is required. Besides that, the only things you need to succeed in this project are enthusiasm, motivation and an open mind.
Participation in the Environmental Awareness Volunteer Project starts at $799 for two weeks, with each additional week is $99.
Program Fee Includes: Airport pick up and drop off, accommodation during orientation and entire project time, 2 day orientation, 10 hours of basic Nepalese language lessons, all meals during project placement, 24/7 assistance support.
Program Fee Does Not Include: Plane tickets, international medical insurance, cost of transportation to and from work location.
The 1st and 15th of every month are the start / arrival dates for this program. An orientation is provided in the days after arrival, and prior to actual start in one’s service program.
Please visit our Additional Project Info page for more information on this and all of our other Nepal volunteer programs.