Project story: Teaching in Buddhist Monasteries in Nepal

Our dedicated volunteer, Shahinoor Kanji Hasham, shares her experiences of teaching in Buddhist Monasteries in Nepal.

Project story: Teaching in Buddhist Monasteries in Nepal

06 May 2015

Our dedicated volunteer Shahinoor Kanji Hasham is putting us all to shame by spending weeks in magnificent Nepal, teaching in fascinating Buddhist monasteries in Kathmandu Valley. Even the disastrous earthquake hasn’t fazed Shahinoor, and she has shared her advice and experiences of her time so far in this beautiful country.

NepalNepal volunteer

“There has been a bit of a culture shock since I arrived in Nepal, but coming from Indian descent not so much so. I would advise that you mix with various cultures before you arrive in Nepal, and if you can, hang out with Nepalese people, learn a few words, although some training will be provided on this project. Also videos on YouTube might be a good way to see what's in store.

The Monastery is beautiful; it's big and has a classroom that's fit for purpose, and the children help keep the classroom clean. The children are cute and kind and have a desire to learn, they can be very cheeky too but it's all very good natured. One challenge is that not all of the children are at the same level of English, so this will need to be factored in, however the teaching is fairly freestyle.

The Monastery is supportive of teaching English. Some school supplies could be replenished, so it's good to bare this in mind as you may need or want to purchase them after a few days here.

Nepal is buzzing and a friendly place to be and I would recommend a visit here. I've enjoyed the food- rice and dhal and mo mo, and I think that the kids are amazing.

The Earthquake has been detrimental to some, but the people of Nepal have remained kind and supportive and are resilient. I've decided to stay here to continue to help with volunteering as this is still required. I also hope to help with tourism by residing here and, perhaps if the opportunity arises, join a group to help further.

I've been very lucky as everyone has pulled together during this time to share facilities and, when you have been through something like this, the only thing it makes you realise is that there is a lot to be grateful for. If you can help people, why not!

Tips and advice…

Be prepared for a noisy environment with lots of cars and motor cycles hooting - bring your headphones/ear plugs to block out the noise of dogs barking and general noise at night time too as it might be needed. Bring medicine for stomach aches and be prepared for dusty roads- easily resolved by purchasing a mask at the local shop. Be prepared for cool showers but you get used to that fairly quickly. I would recommend bringing a power bank and maybe some of your favourite snacks, but there are shops that sell international products. Snacks will come in handy if you fancy a light meal or just an energy boost!

The most obvious tip- bring a backpack to carry around on a daily basis. Buy some hand gel and wet wipes or purchase them here- these may become your most prized possessions!

Other must haves: trainers, flip-flops, waterproof jacket, torch, layers of clothing and an open mind.”

- Shahinoor Kanji Hasham