"WHEN ONE TEACHES, TWO LEARN"
WHAT WE LEARN DURING OUR VOLUNTEERING IN NEPAL
"Close your eyes and pray for the school" moment at K.V.M. School during our volunteering experience, Kathmandu (Nepal)
After volunteering in the Yukon for a First Nation community, fantastic hiking in the Canadian Rockies and family time in Italy, Nepal came as an unexpected journey and a new adventure in a very different part of the world.
Our month spent volunteering at a local school in Kathmandu definitely enriched us way more than we could have ever imagined!
Here is our amazing teaching experience at K.V.M. School. From day one we realised it would have been challenging but little we knew our students would have left us with such great memories.
Heading soon to Nepal? Check out our favourite spots in Kathmandu HERE
Sport day at K.V.M. School and amazing views of Kathmandu, Nepal
K.V.M. is a private school in the Chabhail neighborhood in Kathmandu district – it has approx. 280 children ranging from 3 to 17 years old, divided into 14 grades. We taught English and Sports from Grade 3 (6 years old) to Grade 10 (17 years old).
All Nepali schools follow a national curriculum that comprises approx. seven subjects and in private schools all subjects are taught in English language (apart from Nepali language of course).
The English level of these children surprised us a lot for this reason so we had to plan our lessons accordingly, trying to teach them English through complex and stimulating ways such as games, videos, cultural and historical facts…
Not sure how to make it happen? Have a look at our article on how to make it happen!
Some of our fun students at K.V.M. School, Kathmandu, Nepal
Teaching Sports, Fabio had different challenges such as establishing discipline and explaining the most basic sport rules. Ironically they are great fans of football, even more than back in Europe.
Even if K.V.M. is a private school, the complex lacks most commodities which we take for granted in many developed countries – classes didn’t have a desk for the teacher, sport equipment is very rare, they do not have western-style bathrooms but pit or squat-toilets and a water fountain to wash their face and hands.
Fabio and some students, very excited to learn Volleyball at K.V.D. School, Kathmandu, Nepal
All children (except Grade 9 and 10 which start school respectively at 8am and 7am) start school just before 9am – they all gather in the main school courtyard, line up from the youngest in front to the oldest in the back, they sing the Nepali hymn (and Happy Birthday to anyone who’s celebrating on that day) and go to their classroom at the rhythm of drums. All students have two uniforms, a sporty one for Tuesdays and Fridays and a formal one for any other day of the week. Saturday is their day off school.
Why, When, How, Where to travel in Nepal - Learn more from our Country Guide HERE
Girls dancing and celebrating the Teej Festival at K.V.D. School, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fabio had all the students playing sports sometimes with their formal uniform which really gave them a hard time moving around and they usually ended up all sweaty and dirty. But the enthusiasm of all these kids for anything new you can teach them really does pay off all the efforts and difficulties.
More than English language and grammar in itself, I taught them about other cultures and countries as geography is not included in their national curriculum – and they definitely loved New Zealand and the Maori Haka!
Prepare yourself for a true cultural immersion in Nepal - Read our cultural tips HERE
Enthusiast students with Silvia at K.V.D. School, Kathmandu, Nepal
Nepali teaching system is very academic – teachers explain the lesson and children have to listen, repeat or copy from the board or write a dictate. Not much interaction is allowed from what we could observe and students are not stimulated to think for themselves or come up with solutions or answers as these are already given to them. Therefore, children at school really loved to learn with games during which they got the chance to use what they just learnt in an interactive way – they are competitive, that’s for sure!
Want to hear the stories of the other awesome volunteers who we met in Nepal? Click HERE
Delicious food served by the school canteen during lunch break at K.V.D. School, Kathmandu, Nepal
Students can eat lunch at school – the canteen prepares mo:mo’s or pasta on alternating days and it is served inside the classroom. Lunch at school was actually a welcomed surprise for us as it didn’t include rice which we already ate every evening.
Are you ready for Nepal? Check out all our health & safety trip HERE
We bought footballs, volleyballs, badgminton rackets and tennis table equipment for the school to allow Fabio to teach these sports and kids were always so grateful for the new toys – they couldn’t wait to play! And every time they were kicking a ball out of the school yard, they were spending hours after school to look for it, though most times they came back with a punctured ball.
Don't miss hiking on the Himalayas along the Annapurna Circuit
Sport equipment bought for the students at K.V.D. School, Kathmandu, Nepal
It was hard to leave the kids after even only one month – we got used to all the children asking when we would have had the next class with them and getting excited when we were spending some extra time with them, talking about our life or taking pictures of them.
READ MORE ABOUT OUR OTHER VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCES IN:
On our last day at school the students surprised us with lots of small presents, from some chocolates to a ring or a paper crown and lots of sweet good-bye messages. It was especially surprising knowing that these kids have much less than more fortunate kids around the world, yet they will give you even the smallest thing they possess (sometimes a candy) or they will share their small lunch with you.
We would highly recommend VIN (Volunteer in Nepal) to everyone who would like to volunteer in Nepal –
it is 100% local and they know what they are doing.
Amazing messages and gifts from our students at K.V.D. School in Kathmandu, Nepal
We always keep our door open for new projects and ideas – we’ve been already volunteering and travelling in Nepal, Philippines, Malaysia, Tanzania, Uganda and are currently travelling in South America - stay tuned for more!
As our motto says: we travel, we learn, we grow.