Winter: "not running"
Summer: August/September (4 weeks)
Size of the Team: 4 Volunteers
Location of the School
Mahendra Mandir Secondary School, Parewadada, District of Lamjung
Type of School and level of English
Public Primary and Secondary School
Number of students: about 400
Grades: 3-10 and kindergarden
Age pupils: 5-17
Age of pupils taught: 12-17
Grades taught: 6-10
English knowledge of pupils: the entire public school program is taught in English but level is comparatively poor; most students have an average level of conversation however and some speak excellent english; the younger ones need to learn the basics for expressing themselves in english; with the older classes we work on language but can discuss more complex themes such as social and political issues, history, geography, environmental and cultural issues, etc. Students are extremely motivated and eager to learn from the volunteer teachers and engage with them on a personal level and include them in local cultural events.
The school is located on the side of the hill in the forest so that it is accessible for children from up the hill and other communities down the hill by the river- it is therefore about in the middle, a walking distance for all pupils and staff. From the volunteer accommodation it take about 15-20 minutes walking through the forest on a small path to get to the school.
Teaching schedule is from about 10am to 3pm from Sunday to Friday- the day off is Saturday. The volunteers take over classes in the following subjects: English language, social studies, computer sciences, and optionally sciences and mathematics. The whole school day is covered and teaching divided between the different grades from grade 6 to grade 10.
Volunteers are free to assist to music and dancing classes at school in the afternoon or finish for the day. Extra curricular activities are possible insofar as the students are not working in the fields (they work daily- morning and evening- but they can have free time for sports, playing, etc).
Information about the location
The projects takes place in the rural district of Lamjung that is to the North-West of Kathmandu, in direction of the Annapurna range and close to the city of Pokhara (a few hours drive away, developed city and tourist center, point of departure for most Himalaya treks). Other small cities in the area include Dumre, Besisahar. The project is in Parewadada, a community area close to the village of Khatri Thanti. Parewadada is similar to a village but is basically just residential and agricultural: people all have their houses, their cattle and their fields. There are no shops, restaurants etc- these are available in Khatri Thanti the closest village (about 30min walk). In Parewadada the community is spread out across lush green fields on the top of a quiet hill- there are no cars or roads going up the hill, occasionally a tractor but otherwise everything is done on foot. From there you have view over some of the Annapurna range. If you continue up the hill there are several more little communities and magnificent views, temples and forests. The population of Parewadada is rather young, with many children and young parents and of course also some grand-parents. Children are active in the area and all people work daily with their cattle, in the fields or in housework.
It is a very quiet area with limited electricity, no running water (water is provided in containers and people have self-made showers, taps etc). It is green, very natural and quite picturesque with a relaxed community atmosphere: there is no rush in life and people take pleasure in their work and social life is happening with regular events such as dances, religious ceremonies, musical gathering and other such festivities. Volunteers are lodged at a local house with a young mother of two in a separate area of the house with their own rooms, food is provided by the host. Volunteers can engage in the activities they desire after teaching hours, hiking around the hill, bathing in the river, going to the village to drink tea or shop, playing football or just relaxing at the house or in the surrounding nature. It is a very laid-back life with complete immersion into the local culture, rural life and beautiful nature. It is recommended to explore the area, go for trekking and before or after the project to take a trip to Pokhara, eventually trek the Himalayas, and of course one can enjoy and discover the magnificent capital Kathmandu before or after the project.
That area of Lamjung is in the nepalese “hill region” but at a low altitude- the climate is warm with occasional rain.
Costs for volunteers
The volunteers must bear flights and transportation costs to the project location themselves. Accommodation is provided for free but volunteers pay to cover the food and water costs. P.I.E.C.E.S financially supports volunteers with a symbolic sponsorship that covers all daily expenses (food, transportation and other living costs).