Nepal Project Fall 2010: Frequently Asked Questions

I’m thrilled that I have already received emails from interested volunteers about the fall project in Nepal.  I am receiving great questions so thought that I would address some of those questions in today’s blog. 

What is the program fee?
The program fee for this project is $3,400/person for 2 weeks and $50/week for each additional week.  The program fee has gone up a bit since our last project because November is peak tourist season in this part of the world.  As a result, international flights are more expensive.  The benefit is that it is peak tourist season because of the incredible weather and views in November and early December so it’s the perfect time to visit Nepal.

Program Fee includes:

  • Flights to/from NYC or LAX to Kathmandu (you will need to make your own way to NYC or LAX)
  • Two nights Orientation in Kathmandu
    • Airport pick-up
    • Accommodation, meals, sightseeing, and introduction to language and culture
  • Transportation to/from the project site via plane
  • Room and board at the project site

Program Fee does not include:

  • Travel insurance (REQUIRED)
  • Visa/Passport fees
  • Vaccinations
  • Alcoholic beverages

Why do I need to pay to volunteer?
OK.  Nobody asked this question but I would ask it so I’m going to answer it.  I actually dedicated a blog to the topic a few months back but the gist is that volunteer organizations like Edge of Seven want to ensure that both the local organization and the volunteer benefit from the service experience.  The local organizations that volunteers will be helping have limited resources and cannot afford the staff and administrative costs of coordinating volunteers, let alone the costs of food, transport, and accommodation; all of which are prearranged.  Just like companies spend large amounts of energy and money on training new employees, local organizations need to spend time and money on volunteers.  Program fees offset these costs and frankly, make it possible to have volunteer programs.

In addition, we want to create a quality experience for each volunteer.  It is our number one priority to ensure a safe and productive work environment.  We have first aid staff on site 24 hours a day.  We have an English speaking project manager on site to direct the daily work activities and to facilitate communications between volunteers and Nepali host families.  We want to make sure that the experience is safe and rewarding.

Can I fundraise my program fee?
ABSOLUTELY.  You can fundraise a portion or all of your program fee.  I wrote a blog about funding your service adventure.  Edge of Seven was recently approved as a 501c3 public charity so all contributions to your program fee or our organization are tax deductible. 

What is the minimum time requirement to volunteer?
You would need to be in Nepal for two weeks.  Our orientations begin first thing on Monday morning in Nepal so that means that you need to depart the U.S. the Friday evening before your start date.  If you leave on Friday, you arrive on Sunday and have one night to recover before we start introducing you to Nepali language and culture.  All departures back to the U.S. are on Sunday so you will be in Nepal for 2, 4 or 6 weeks depending on how long you want to volunteer. 

What are the start dates this fall?
The start dates in Nepal are November 8th, November 22nd, and December 6th. 

I can’t volunteer this fall – will the project be going on next spring?
YES!  It is going to take us 6 months to complete this project.  We are going to break up the project into several blocks to avoid the coldest part of winter and the floods of monsoon season.  We will most likely resume the project in January or February 2011.  We will determine exact dates in the coming months.

I’ve used all of my vacation time this year but I want to contribute in some way.  Is there another way that I can help?
There are a few!  We are raising $22,500 to fund the materials for this project.  You can contribute, spread the word to your network about contributing (Facebook, Twitter, a nice old fashioned email), or host a fundraising event in your town.  Please let me know if you’d like to help!


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