NGO Support Placement - Kathmandu

Volunteer with the team in our NGO office in Kathmandu, Nepal. We work to empower displaced, trafficked and vulnerable children and their families in Nepal through projects which promote the preservation of the family unit, education and community development.

As a volunteer, you will provide assistance to our small but dedicated Nepali and International team. We’re looking for volunteers willing to share their own skills and background to help local staff, youth and children. There is a strong emphasis on education both academic and holistic therefore volunteers help with studies, workshops and extra-curricular activities including arts, music, sports and other creative outlets!  A huge support to the running of Umbrella, you are welcome to get as involved as you can!

Why not take this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Nepali culture, learn about the challenges and goals of development, make a genuine difference in the lives of vulnerable children, and have a personally enriching and life-changing experience?

Role and Routine

Join one of our three month volunteering programmes where you will be based in the Umbrella community in Kathmandu, Nepal. As a volunteer, your role will be to provide assistance to our small but dedicated Nepali and International team while also organising extra-curricular activities and outings for the children and youth. Be prepared to muck in! There are plenty of things to get involved in but your duties may include some of the following:

Volunteer Coordinator: 

Liaising between volunteers and staff, chairing weekly meetings, providing induction support and organising activities.

Sponsorship Coordinator: 

Collecting data, compiling information packs, updating profiles and supporting email correspondence.

Media Coordinator: 

Taking photos for marketing and profiling purposes, writing articles for the newsletter and updating social media and the blog.

‘First Steps’ Assistant:

Designing and coordinating independence-building activities for older children, administering and analysing life skills assessments.

‘Girls Education and Empowerment’ Coordinator: 

Organising regular awareness workshops on girls’ rights, health, social and personal education, developing the related curriculum, arranging guest speakers and outings.

We’re aware that applicants come from a variety of backgrounds and, knowingly or not, have much to offer staff, youth and children. Therefore, we welcome people with specific skill-sets to conduct training workshops and ongoing mentoring in their field of expertise whether its english language, computer skills, budgeting, child protection, report-writing, health, social work, HR etc. By transferring your knowledge, it helps long-term capacity-building on a local level and is a great way to make a long-lasting contribution!

Learning Opportunities

It is very important to us that volunteers gain an understanding of Umbrella’s background and projects, the context of development in Nepal and become aware of the need for responsible volunteering practices. This will not only enrich your experience but will ensure your contribution is ethical and worthwhile. Therefore, learning opportunities are facilitated before, during and after a volunteer’s placement. In preparation for their stay, detailed information packs are sent to volunteers and, on arrival, they receive a comprehensive induction on the work of The Umbrella Foundation as well as the culture, customs and language of Nepal.

Throughout their placements, volunteers are encouraged to visit Umbrella’s rural projects where they can see our great reintegration work with our children’s communities of origin and gain an understanding of their diverse backgrounds and cultures. You will also be invited to visit other organisations, attend presentations and take part in trainings to get a broader perspective of development in Nepal.

Daily routine

Volunteers take dal bhat (rice, a lentil sauce and curried vegetables) at 8 am in the morning with the children in their affiliated house and help with supervision of children on the way to school. Between 10am and 4pm, volunteers attend to their role and responsibilities in the NGO, participating in weekly meetings, regular organisational visits, conducting workshops, planning structured activities and preparing materials for classes. In the evenings, volunteers take dal bhat and spend time helping with homework and activities, leaving by 8 pm. Saturdays are a school holiday – a good opportunity to conduct skills classes, extra-curricular activities and outings with the children and youth.

To ensure the well-being of volunteers, you must take one day off a week on Sundays. Your health is very important to us and you are no good to anyone if you are tired or sick!

Practical Information


Where: Kimdol, Swayambhu, Kathmandu

Situated in a safe and (relatively!) quiet area at Swayambhu, we are next to the Monkey Temple, a famous world heritage site. This western suburb of Kathmandu is abundant with shops, restaurants, cyber cafes and street vendors. It also borders the Ring Road which circles the city, making it easily accessible by local bus and only 10 minutes by taxi to the bustling inner-city tourist hub of Thamel.

When: 1st of the month

Induction of new volunteers takes place on the 1st of every month. This allows volunteers from around the world to come at the same time and join as a team. You are asked to arrive a day or so in advance.

Duration: 3 months (minimum)

There is no fixed end-date, rather just a three-month minimum stay (12 weeks) which we feel offers our children a stable, consistent environment and allows you to get a good understanding of our charity, the local culture and ideas of development in Nepal. We are very happy to have you stay beyond your initial commitment should you wish.

Accommodation: Shared volunteer house

The shared volunteer house, a few minutes’ walk from each of the children’s homes and central office, has three rooms which sleep two people, one which sleeps three and a larger room that can sleep four with a separate area for two more. There are two bathrooms (one with a hot shower), a storage room of books and equipment for activities, a common area with a TV and a kitchen (with a gas stove, drinking water and microwave oven). While the house is basic in keeping with Nepali standards, there is a nice social dimension to it, allowing for interaction with fellow volunteers. Kathmandu has regular power cuts and our house has limited back-up supply (usually just for lights in the evening). If privacy is an issue, you can stay at your own expense in a private room at Benchen Monastery, a few minutes’ walk from the Umbrella community.

Cost: $2,200

Umbrella is financed entirely by donations, child sponsors and fundraisers hosted all over the world. We ask volunteers to fundraise a minimum of $2,200 before coming to Umbrella. This covers your expenses while living with us – accommodation in the volunteers’ house for three months, two meals a day and programme-running costs – and also finances the cost of caring for one child for an entire year! We appreciate that as a volunteer you will be giving of your valuable time, but we also ask that you fundraise so as to raise awareness of our work internationally and provide much-needed funds to sustain our projects.

What’s included:

  • Induction
  • In-country support
  • Learning about development

Upon arrival, you will receive an induction which includes a detailed introduction to Umbrella, local culture and customs, basic Nepali language and a tour around the area.
The volunteer coordinator is the link between the office, the house staff and the volunteers, and is available regarding problems in the children’s homes or the volunteer house, or to address any basic questions you might have. Umbrella has an open-door policy, so you are also more than welcome to come to the international staff with serious issues or concerns.
In addition to your time in Kathmandu, you will be encouraged to visit our rural projects to
see the reintegration work we are doing with our children’s communities of origin and gain an understanding of their diverse backgrounds and cultures. You will also be invited to visit related organisations to get a broader perspective of development in Nepal.


Age minimum of 18 years at time of programme
Show evidence of good character – provision of clean police background check
Health / Travel Insurance
Agree to Umbrella’s Code of Conduct
Agree to fundraise $2,200

For further information:

Contact: Communications manager: