Are you a humanitarian activist? A closet humanitarian? Or maybe you do not even know what a humanitarian is, but you do know that you want to help people. Do you love to travel, consider yourself a wanderlust, or are just ready to begin your traveling adventures? There are several reasons why you should travel to Nepal in the near future but first, one of the best kept secrets of the seasoned traveler is this. Travel to the countries that are going through a hardship. Why? Because their rates for everything are going to be the most affordable. Hotels, restaurants, guide companies, etc are all going to be desperate for business. Meaning, you can haggle your way to a price that will suite you, or they may have already lowered their standard price significantly to attract customers and compete against their competition. Imagine being able to stay in a five star resort at two star prices, all because they need business. Seize this opportunity to witness the Himalayan Mountain’s glory face to face!
Humanitarianism is a moral of kindness, benevolence, and sympathy extended universally and impartially to all human beings. Humanitarianism can also be described as the acceptance of every human being for plainly just being another human, ignoring and abolishing biased social views, prejudice, and racism in the process, if utilized individually as a practiced viewpoint, or mindset. source: Wiki
However you classify yourself, the country of Nepal could really use our help. There are many organizations out there looking for volunteers that are willing to help in fields like environmental, education, health, and community development. Before you get scared and recoil at the thought of helping in “disaster relief”, most organizations are waiting to go until after the actual disaster relief is done because they are not relief organizations like Red Cross or UNICEF are. If helping rebuild Nepal is something that interest you, look into non-relief organizations to volunteer with. Here is what the Global Volunteering Network (GVN) has to say about why they are not sending volunteers yet.
The safety of our volunteers is paramount. At present, we do not feel comfortable sending volunteers into such an uncertain situation. We would also hate to stress already stretched resources in Nepal at present, when it’s clear there is great need for those who have suffered and lost so much this past weekend.
GVN is very aware that we are not the organization to be placing volunteers for immediate relief. NGOs like the Red Cross International are doing incredible work, and have the specific skills and training to best support Nepali communities in this difficult time. GVN will not be placing volunteers as part of an immediate relief effort, but we are providing funding and support to our partner communities at this difficult time.
We are, however, seeking interest from those who are able to volunteer at some stage down the line. The recovery and rebuild will be an ongoing process over the coming months and years. When our partner organizations and their communities are stable and ready to accept volunteers to work alongside them in this, we will take our lead from them. source: The GVN Blog
You may be wondering how this is done and why you would want to spend your hard earned money to go volunteer. First off, I would like to state that we, Americans, are extremely fortunate in more ways than I care to write about, and I do not think it would kill any of us to step outside our cushy little bubble and view the world as it is really is. If you are capable of helping others, you should – always. Take whatever money you were going to spend on your shoe collection this year, and put it towards helping the children of Nepal have a better education. Did you know that one American Dollar is equivalent to just over 100 Nepalese Rupees. Nepal is one of the cheapest places in the entire world to travel to right now, for obvious reasons, so why seize the moment to see Nepal while volunteering at the same time.
Ok – here is how you could do it. First, fundraise the portion of the trip that is paid to the organization you choose to travel through. Majority of the time, they will help you fundraise, but be prepared to do it on your own. Organizations like the Global Volunteering Network (GVN), charge $1,500 for a two week trip excluding airfare. But that does includes all food, transportation, fees, and whatever else is needed in the process. GVN believes in the importance of the long term work of recovery and rebuilding. Meaning, they understand how crucial the immediate assistance of disaster relief teams are but they are more focused on what the communities will need after the disaster reliefs leaves. Visit their website for more information on Nepal and apply for a volunteering position. After you decide how to fundraise the program fees, next take out a Military travel loan through United Military Travel for your airfare.
United Military Travel can find you the most affordable airfare, while offering you security by providing you with a travel consultant that will be there for you 24/7 to help with any of your questions or concerns. They specialize in in planning and booking trips for Active Duty US Military Members, Retired US Military Members, Government Personnel, or Federal Employees. We finance 100% of our travel loans with no down payment required!
And you will receive the full commitment from your travel consultant whether you are Stateside or international. United Military Travel’s hours of operation are set so they can reach their clients all over the world in their time zones for their convenience. So, it does not matter how far you go, you will always be able to reach your travel consultant. Apply here for your travel credit here or call 866-582-9579.
Whether you decide to visit Nepal to volunteer or not, always remember to check the travel warnings through the Department of State website. Also, keep in mind that the earthquake happened in Katmandu, which was one of the major international airports in the country. So when booking your airfare you will have to determine which airport is suitable for you needs. View a complete list of Nepalese airports here.
If traveling to Nepal is of no interest to you but helping the Nepalese people is, check out these website for ways you can contribute to the Earthquake relief.