Administrative Assistant Volunteer

Dristi Nepal - Kathmandu, Nepal
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-230 Location: Kathmandu, Nepal Sector: Community Development Category: Organizational Support Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

The staff of Dristi Nepal are committed to responding to the needs of female drug users and those living with HIV. They advocate on behalf of woman, for their inclusive rights and endeavor to challenge the stigma, discrimination and gender-based exploitation / violence that Nepali women so often face.

Despite the lack of funding from donor agencies for outreach work, Dristi Nepal has been targeting female (injection) drug users since 2006. Many of these women are "hard to reach" and hidden within their communities. The organization provides a range of harm reduction services: peer mentoring, advice and information about substance misuse and treatment and HIV prevention.

A grant writing volunteer who is assigned to this placement would work with the members of Dristi Nepal to learn what types of funding they are looking to receive. Once the volunteer understands the needs of the organization you would then be responsible for creating proposals or submissions to different donor agencies in Nepal and internationally.

According to the central Bureau of Statistics 46,309 people are taking drugs in Nepal and 3,356 (7.2%) of them are females. Volunteers can encourage them to come to rehab centers and can also conduct awareness programs so that female drug users who are having a hard time withdrawing from drugs can learn about the different avenues of help so that they may hopefully reintegrate back into their families, at a future date.

A volunteer does not need to have had previous experience grant writing but should have good communication skills, be knowledgeable of various social media sites and willing to devote quality time towards funding endeavors.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Proposal Writing

Funds are always needed to conduct any programs at Dristi Nepal. A grant writing volunteer would write proposals addressed to various organizations who have provided donations in the past and/or may be willing to provide donations in the future.

Report writing

Dristi Nepal conducts programs under various donor organizations and each donor needs monthly, quarterly and annual reports. A grant writing volunteer would be asked to draft reports and possibly edit reports of others.

Fundraising Activities

Dristi Nepal accepts grant writing volunteers but would expect the volunteers to also participate in fundraising activities. Some types of events that have been successfully done in the past are: bike tours, rafting expeditions, half-marathons and selling t-shirts.

Awareness Programs

A grant writing volunteer may be asked to develop and implement awareness programs on their own initiative. Dristi Nepal can help to organize such programs however any financial output would have to be absorbed by the volunteer or by his/her own results of obtaining funds.

Host Organization Details

Dristi Nepal

Substance abuse and HIV are two of the major health problems in Nepal. Female drug users are no exception. The alarming upward trend of female drug users has been going unchecked by the government and local communities until recently and this is why Dristi Nepal was founded.

Dristi Nepal was established as the first non-profit organization of its kind in Nepal; where female drug users are helped by recovering females in sobriety.

Dristi Nepal acts as a "gateway" and referral point to enable access to other treatment services in local areas: i.e. OST - (Oral Substitution Therapy), Treatment and Care Home, Needle & Syringe Exchange Programs, VCT - (volunteering counseling and testing), etc. "Each and every female drug user has the right to gender sensitive treatment and existing services."

Dristi Nepal's MISSION is to create a stigma and discrimination free society for female drug users in Nepal and prevent them from contracting HIV/AIDS. Their VISION is to provide care, treatment and support for female drug users and help reintegrate them into society.

OBJECTIVES: To provide an environment for care, to female drug users and their children To provide skills-based programs To advocate for the rights of female ex-drug users To reintegrate female drug users into the community To raise awareness about drugs and HIV/AIDS in the communities

SERVICES: Drop-In Center (DIC) with a friendly environment Education and outreach services Awareness seminars and workshops Individual and family counseling Recreational activities Primary health care for drug users and the community

When They Were Founded

On May 27th 2006, Recovery Beyond Borders members Jake Epperly, Executive Director and Lee FitzGerald, volunteer, traveled to Nepal. Lee Fitzgerald ran a two day workshop for women.

Nepal has little existing support for substance abusing women. Social stigma, a lack of treatment resources and an extremely high unemployment rate contribute to the devastation that drug addicted and alcoholic women face. Through RBB contacts with TRG as well as other services in Nepal, Jake and Lee were able to find about fifteen or sixteen women that had experienced a substantial amount of time abstinent from their drug of choice.

In 2006, a woman in drug abuse recovery, Parina, attended an RBB workshop and later met with Lee FitzGerald, a volunteer member, to explain the need for a "drop in center" (DIC) for substance abusing women in Kathmandu. The purpose of the DIC would be to provide a safe place for women to share their experiences and receive information about recovery. The DIC would be named," Dristi Nepal". Upon presentation and review of the plan presented by Parina, RBB, agreed to provide financial support for this new program.

How Are They Funded

Dristi Nepal is supported by local and international donor agencies for certain projects. It is also supported by Recovery Beyond Borders. It has individual local and international donors. Also the government of Nepal provides nominal funding for certain projects.

Donation Requests

Dristi Nepal would appreciate any of the following donations:

Computers Feminine hygiene products Clothes Books regarding human rights and also novels Training kits DVD player TV Meditation mats

Placement Location Information

Kathmandu, Nepal

Dristi Nepal is one of the first organizations to start rehabilitating female drug users. Drug use among women is highly alarming and has been going unnoticed by the government and local communities for many years. Dristi Nepal is a non-profit, non–governmental organization led by female ex-drug users. Started in Nepal in 2006 it was established to address the issues related to female drug use and drug led HIV.

Dristi Nepal helps female drug users recover and strives to prevent them from HIV/AIDS, and to raise a voice against drug led women violence. Their vision is to help create a stigma and discrimination free society for female drug users (FDUs) in Nepal and prevent them from becoming infected with HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Presently, they are situated in Uttar Dhokha, Kathmandu where they do counselling, conduct life skill training and awareness programs. The Dristi Nepal Clinic and Health Center is well supplied, offering quality health care, drug treatment and information/outreach programs.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Dristi Nepal is within walking distance of the BaseCamp Center in the Naya Bazaar district of Kathmandu. From our center walk towards the Sorakhuttay intersection and cross the road, to the east alley where there will be street vendors selling different goods. Walk straight down that alley and you will see a temple; pass this to the main road and walk straight until you see an overhead bridge and the College on your right hand side. From there turn left and cross the road at Zebra Cross and walk for about one minute. Then turn right and walk straight for two minutes until you reach a road going left. Down this road you will find the Dristi Nepal office.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 1.5km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:20

Weather in the Area

The Kathmandu Valley is located in the central region which has a mild or sub-tropical climate most of the year. Summer temperatures range from 19 to 27 degrees Celsius and winter temperatures between 2 and 20 degrees Celsius.

Usually the hottest time of the year is between April and May when the weather is very hot and humid. In June the humidity lifts as the monsoon season starts. The monsoon season occurs between June and August and is when the most rain fall happens in Nepal. During the monsoon season rain does not usually fall continuously but extremely hard for a short period of time and then it remains cloudy and cool until the next rain fall.

City/Village Description

Kathmandu is located in central Nepal and is the country's capital and largest city. The city is located in the Kathmandu Valley of the Himalayas at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) above sea level, and is home to over one million people. Kathmandu is surrounded by four major mountains which provide a scenic view of the city. Kathmandu serves as the centre of Nepal's economy and is also a cultural hub and a gateway for travellers looking to explore the rest of the country.

In terms of religion, Kathmandu is largely Hindu with a strong Buddhist presence. Nepal recently changed from being a Hindu Kingdom with a ruling monarch to a republic. Kathmandu is full of evidence of the country's history. Kathmandu is considered to be the spiritual and cultural meeting point of Nepal.

There are two other cities located in the Kathmandu Valley: Bhaktapur and Patan which have rich architectural and cultural heritages. Both cities are accessible from Kathmandu and offer good options for day trips.

Kathmandu has the most advanced urban infrastructure in Nepal and its economy is largely dependent on tourism. Because of its rich cultural history and the fairly recent rise in tourism, the city is an interesting mix of old and new with areas of narrow cobblestone streets that feel unchanged since the middle ages mixed in with areas of congested traffic and pollution. Kathmandu is known for its ancient and intricate architecture and has numerous beautiful Hindu temples and Buddhist shrines. The streets are lined with local vendors selling their wares, local open air markets, as well as department stores which offer brand name goods.

Kathmandu became popular for tourists in the 1960's, and today has a mix of backpackers and mountain climbers who travel through the city. The city can be a shock to travellers, with its sensory overload of sights, sounds and smells.

Kathmandu serves as the administrative capital of Nepal with many different aid organizations, government offices and embassies located within its limits. There are also numerous hotels, restaurants and trekking agencies that cater to tourists and offer day trips or longer adventures. Thamel is the world famous backpackers area of the city and offers many different comforts to travellers such as internet access and western food.

Nearest Medical Clinic

CIWEC Travel Medicine Center
TEL 1: 4424111
TEL 2: 4435232

Placement Address

Dristi Nepal
Uttar Dhoka, Lazimpat

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Nepal at our BaseCamp Center in Kathmandu. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Nepal. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Nepal you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Nepal

BaseCamp Nepal
BaseCamp Nepal Address

Uttam Chowk, Ekikaran Road
Ward No 16
Kathmandu, Nepal

BaseCamp Nepal Contact Details

Tel: (977) 1-438-9397
Mobile: (977) 980-314-1173

BaseCamp Nepal is located in the Naya Bazaar district of Kathmandu just a few minutes walk from the popular backpacker district of Thamel. We are situated in a beautiful four story building, with nine rooms and a capacity for almost forty guests. Each level of the house has four balconies, plus the hostel has two roof top patios. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided.

The second and third floor of the hostel each have a spacious common area. The kitchen and large dining room are on the fourth floor. A fire pit and plenty of seating make the roof top patio a favourite gathering spot. Great for viewing the rising or setting sun, planning your next adventure or relaxing with a cup of chiyaa.

Back on the ground, there is an organic community garden in our courtyard in which interested guests are always welcome to help tend. Wireless internet access is available throughout the house, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family back home.

The meal plan at BaseCamp is a 14 day rotation of various dishes from around Nepal. The idea behind our plan is that volunteers will familiarize themselves with local dishes and meal table etiquette before moving on to a host family. For the volunteers who stay in BaseCamp throughout their program, the meal plan offers a diverse and authentic diet.

BaseCamp Nepal is also where language training and orientation workshops take place. We have a classroom area for the more formal parts of our orientation and each day we will visit various parts of Kathmandu as volunteers become familiar with life in Nepal.

Living With a Host Family in Nepal

Living with a host family in Nepal is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Nepal.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Nepal

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks
All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Program Dates

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Feb 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022 Apr 01, 2022
May 06, 2022 Jun 03, 2022 Jul 01, 2022
Aug 05, 2022 Sep 02, 2022 Oct 07, 2022
Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022 Jan 06, 2023
Feb 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023 Apr 07, 2023
May 05, 2023 Jun 02, 2023 Jul 07, 2023
Aug 04, 2023 Sep 01, 2023 Oct 06, 2023
Nov 03, 2023 Dec 01, 2023 Jan 05, 2024


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message