Volunteer to support deaf students in Nepal
The deaf school is based in a lovely village community 8km from Pokhara. Beyond the school playground the massive, snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya glisten dramatically, whereas the immediate surrounds are gentle gardens with flowers spilling over the school wall.
The school serves approximately 200 children aged between 5 and 25. Students living in Pokhara are brought in by bus each morning and those living further afield stay in the boarding hostel. The older ones attend school part time and also study at the vocational training centre. Currently they can learn tailoring, computers, typing, and secretarial skills. The children can all read and write Nepali and English.
The commitment, care, dedication and professionalism of the staff are superb. Some of the staff are deaf but they all communicate in sign language. If volunteers have a knowledge of British sign language it would take approximately two weeks to learn basic Nepali sign language, which the project staff are happy to teach.
Most of the staff also speak good English. They care enormously about their work and would offer the highest possible level of support to volunteers interested in working with deaf children. What the deaf school doesn’t have in money it certainly makes up for in terms of care and attention.
The children all receive speech therapy in English and also study written English. It’s hoped that you would be able to help teach them English by assisting the speech therapist and by taking your own classes in written English.
Your responsibilities would include teaching maths and other academic subjects, as well as a range of extra-curricular activities, including sports; volleyball, basketball, netball, table tennis, and football in particular. You could also teach art and handicrafts, dance or drama. Wherever your strengths lie!
A volunteer interested in working with deaf children and deaf adults would find this incredibly rewarding. It would also suit an experienced or newly qualified speech and language therapist.
There is a prejudice against disabled people in Nepal. Students at the deaf school are aware of this and realise how difficult life/employment might be when they have finished their education. Teaching English skills and helping improve their ability in maths gives them a better chance of securing future employment.
The positive energy that international volunteers bring to a project boosts the self-esteem and self worth of the students.
Hand on heart the best 3 months of my life... what a country, what a village, what a nation. I have never felt so at home somewhere so foreign., Rural teaching in Nepal