Select the image to view or download a PDF of the packing list
→ Local sporting good stores
→ Amazon, Ebay
→ Target, Cost-Co, etc..
Consider asking your community for support. Many people have used tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags that they aren't using anymore. Find a buy/trade board on Facebook or Craigslist or send your wish list out via email or social media. You might be surprised! Remember to include your fundraising campaign link and share the story of what you are doing!
Conscious Impact and the Nepalese government do not require any vaccinations upon entry. However the US Center for Disease Control does have a few recommendations for travellers (which you can read at full length here). Based on our location and level of exposure, we'd suggest making sure your current vaccines are up to date and considering vaccination against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. However, it's ultimately a personal choice your making for your health.
We ask all of our volunteers to purchase travel health insurance with emergency medical evacuation that will cover them during their time with us in Nepal. Our international team prefers Seven Corners, which is inexpensive and provides good coverage. Their plans range from $1-$3/day depending on the level of coverage. For more information and plan options go here.
There is a lot of bacteria in Nepal that western guts simply aren't used to. We highly recommend preparing for your trip by strengthening your body with with probiotics and a healthy lifestyle. Visit your local health food store to pick up vitamin capsules, kefir, or Bio-K+. Read more about caring for your gut while traveling.
A lot of the work we do is very physical and is hard on the body. However, their is always lighter work available for those days when you may have pushed you body a bit too far. We welcome people of all physical abilities to join us in Nepal. However, if you are recovering from a recent illness or major injury consider your health first.
Flights from the US typically range from $500-$1,000.
You will fly into Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu (airport code: KTM). We ask each volunteer to try and schedule their arrival with one of our 10 day programs. Remember that the first day of the program is the day a group will be traveling to Takure (approx. 5 hours from Kathmandu) in the early morning. Please try to arrive the day before. Departure dates can be more flexible but it's best to talk to us about them one-on-one.
Depending on where you fly from, you will most likely have a layover. If you have a long layover (8-24 hours) you can go explore a new city - sometimes even on the airlines dime! They love tourism in their base cities and typically encourage it through free hotel rooms, transportation, meals, and sometimes even museum passes. Explore these options before booking your flight and have two vacation in one!
Based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The "Best Airline in the World" as of 2016, Emirates hooks up coach passengers with an 8-24-hour layover or first/business class passengers with a 6-24-hour layover with “accommodation, meals, ground transportation and visa costs,” for tickets valued over $1000. Visa is on arrival. Read the conditions on their website.
Based in Istanbul, Turkey.
One of the "Best European Airlines", Turkish offers great on-board services. When in Istanbul you can enjoy a complimentary hotel room or tour. The airlines offers up to two free nights at a hotel for economy flyers with a layover of more than 10 hours (7+ hours for business travelers). They also offer free sightseeing tours from the airports and respective hotels. Visa is on arrival. Read the conditions on their website.
Based in Doha, Qatar,
Voted "Airline of the Year" in 2015, this airline covers “accommodation, entry visas, airport transfers and meals” for flyers laying over Doha between 8-24 hours. Those on flights to or from Abu Dhabi (AUH), Bahrain (BAH), Dubai (DWC), Dubai (DXB), Kuwait (KWI), Muscat (MCT), and Sharjah (SHJ) are not eligible. Read the conditions on their website.
Based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Passengers flying in class F or J are eligible for free hotel accomidation during their stay in Abu Dhabi. However, other passengers may book accomidation at a discounted rate through their website.
Based in Guangzhou, China.
International flyers with a layover between 8-48 hours are covered with a hotel, as well as those traveling domestically with an overnight layover. They also offer traveling transportation to the hotel, meal vouchers, museum passes, and unlimited metro passes. Visa is on arrival. Read the conditions on their website.
Here's a blog post written about a layover in Guangzhou.
Based in Shanghai, China.
The airlines covers transit and one night’s worth of lodging for passengers who purchase their tickets on the official website and have a forced next-day domestic or international connection from Shanghai, Kunming or Xi’an. Visa is on arrival. Read the conditions on their website.
Our project is primarily funded through the grassroots campaigning of incoming volunteers. At Conscious Impact we are all volunteers. There is no millionaire CEO, huge donors, or grants. It's just us. People from all over the world who came together because we believe in sustainable development through the service of helping others. Since 2015, 400+ volunteers have joined together from 23+ countries to support sustainably in rural Nepal.
All 400 of those volunteers have asked an average of 20 of their friends to join them in this work.
Together we have become an international community of 8,000 people working towards one common good
and we have raised $300,000!
We fundraise because we are stronger together.
🡒 Follow the link above to create your personalized fundraising page
🡒 Determine your fundraising goal
Are you volunteering for less than one month? We ask that you set your goal at $750.
Are you volunteering for longer than 4 weeks? Let us know and we can help you set your goal! We ask everyone to aim for a minimum of $750 but also value that people come from diverse backgrounds and situations so we are willing to work with you on a plan and goal that is best.
Regardless of how long your joining us as a volunteer, please set your goal for what feels most comfortable to you. We can support you to raise your goal over time. You can change it at any time!
🡒 Set your end date
Many volunteers choose the day they leave for Nepal.
6 weeks is also a very successful length of time for a campaign.
You can continue to raise money after your end date or extend it at anytime.
🡒 Personalize your page
Upload a profile picture
Write an update about why you are coming to Nepal in the "manage" section - include photos and videos
🡒 Begin an email campaign
Find the email template in the "manage" section
Personalize and share it out to your friends, family, co-workers...everyone! (Don't be afraid of asking. Consider all the ads for silly things people see everyday. You are asking them to participate in something good in a small way. Most people are happy to).
Follow up after a week or so. A lot of people look over emails or intend to give but get caught up in their days. Remind them.
Thank everyone! This is a big one! We'll send people a thank you from our end but a quick thank you from you means a lot as well.
In Nepal or post-Nepal: send a update to all of your donors with photos! This is an extra special step which really shows people what they've become a part of through their donation. You can also use a similar email to follow up with those who may not have donated yet.
🡒 Running a creative gift campaign: do you have a special skill or talent?
Many volunteers have given gifts in exchange to donations as a part of their fundraising efforts. Gifts such as: photographs, paintings, baked goods, bicycle tune-ups. concerts, crafts, a yoga class, a massage, clothes, or a poetry book.
Write about your gift campaign on your page, in emails, and on social media.
Decide what level of donation will equal what type of gift (example: $20 donation = 15 min massage. $40 donation = 30 min massage)
Reach out to donors to coordinate
These donations allow us to employ locals from the village, purchase building materials, and allow our education and agriculture programs to grow
Donations also allow us to feed each volunteer three meals per day, pay for the land we lease, and to make long-term investments in our volunteer camp through the installation of a clean water system, electricity, and wifi.
Select to view or download
Volunteer to work in exchange for donations
Host event at a Nepali or other restaurant, sell tickets, and give a presentation or ask them if they'd be willing to support you in another way
Teach yoga or fitness classes for donations
Sell art, crafts, photos, paintings, poems, baked goods, or grown goods for donations
Sell tickets for a raffle prizes (donated goods)
Lead a small, intimate gathering at your home to discuss the work and ask for support
Get sponsored for a 5k run
Put on a music event with a local band and sell tickets that will be considered donations
Give a lunch presentation at your job to ask coworkers for support and to spread the word
Speak to different community groups to gain support (Seniors Activity Center, College groups, high schools students, church groups, etc)
Write to outdoors, camping, environmentally conscious companies to ask for donations
Represent Conscious Impact at a community event (farmer's market, art fair, etc). Spread the word about our work and ask for donations
Post flyers at local businesses around town and ask them for support
Invite all of your friends to like Conscious Impact on Facebook: takes 10-30 minutes, do it while watching a show and it'll fly by. This creates awareness of our affiliation with the organization with people who may not have seen your post announcing your fundraiser and may start exciting conversations with people you haven't heard from in awhile.
Living in Takure
Living in Takure
We live in a diverse community in the rural Sindhupalchowk district, one of the district's worst hit by the earthquakes in 2015. Our volunteer camp is in Takure, where families practice Hinduism, but we also work in the surrounding village and market town of Bimire and Nawalpur, where more families are Buddhist.
Giving the Nepali greeting, namaste (“I salute the god within you”), your palms held together as if praying, is one of the most attractive and addictive of Nepalese customs. It isn’t used freely or casually: think of it as “how do you do?” rather than “hello!” If you want to show great respect,namaskar is a more formal or subservient variant.
Another delightful aspect of Nepali culture is the familiar ways Nepalis address each other: it’s well worth learning didi (“older sister”), bahini (“younger sister”), daai (“older brother”), bhaai ( “younger brother”), buwa (“father”) and aamaa (“mother”) for the warm reaction they’ll usually provoke.
The word dhanyabaad means “thank you".
The caste system is deeply ingrained in the national psyche. Nepal “abolished” the caste system in 1963, but millennia-old habits take time to change. Though professions are changing and “love marriage” is more popular, caste and status still determine whom most Nepalis may (or must) marry, where they can live and who they can associate with.
Status (ijat) is equally important. Meeting for the first time, Nepalis observe a ritual of asking each other’s name, hometown and profession, which helps determine relative status and therefore the correct level of deference.
Probably the greatest number of Nepali taboos are to do with food. One underlying principle is that once you’ve touched something to your lips, it’s polluted for everyone else. If you take a sip from someone else’s water bottle, try not to let it touch your lips.. Don’t eat off someone else’s plate or offer anyone food you’ve taken a bite of, and don’t touch cooked food until you’ve bought it.
If eating with your hands, use the right one only. The left hand is reserved for washing after defecating; you can use it to hold a glass or utensil while you eat, but don’t wipe your mouth, or pass food with it. It’s considered good manners to give and receive everything with the right hand. In order to convey respect, offer money, food or gifts with both hands, or with the right hand while the left touches the wrist. In Takure, a majority of the community is Hindu which means they don't consume meat unless (especially beef) or alcohol, which we assimilate with out of respect.
Nepalis are innately conservative in their attitudes to clothing, and it’s worth knowing how you may come across. Men and women should always cover their shoulders, and wear long trousers when possible. When we are working in Takure, a lot of volunteers wear leggings are pants which is okay as long as you are wearing a shirt which covers your butt.
Only women with babies or small children bare their breasts. When Nepali men bathe in public, they do it in their underwear, and women bathe underneath a lungi (sarong). Foreigners are expected to do likewise. In Nepal, the forehead is regarded as the most sacred part of the body and it’s impolite to touch an adult Nepali’s head. The feet are the most unclean part, so don’t put yours on chairs or tables, and when sitting, try not to point the soles of your feet at anyone. It’s also bad manners to step over the legs of someone seated.
Male friends will often hold hands in public, but not lovers of the opposite sex. Couples who cuddle or kiss in public will at best draw unwelcome attention. Handshaking has increased, but not all women will feel comfortable to shake a man’s hand.
🡒 3 Vegetarian meals/day
🡒 Coffee in the morning
🡒 Clean drinking water
🡒 No drugs/alcohol
🡒 Community yoga + meditation
🡒 Communal living
🡒 Electricity + limited wifi
🡒 Dry composting latrines
We aim to live simply and sustainably on the beautiful terraced land on which we camp in the village of Takure. Our intention is minimize our impact on this land by responsibly utilizing resources, harvesting materials, managing our trash, and respecting cultural customs. We have dry compost latrines, which eliminate the need for excessive amounts of clean water and handle our waste responsibly. We believe in learning how to live off this land from the local community while demonstrating the benefits of the sustainable living technologies our volunteers have brought to Takure.
Out of respect for the local community's beliefs, we have chosen to join them in abstaining from meat and alcohol. Breakfast (with coffee) and dinner are cooked together as a community and two local women cook us traditional dal bhat (rice and lentils) for lunch each day. We support the local farming community through our shopping practices.
We sleep in our own or borrowed tents on beautiful rices terraces right in the middle of the village. We've lived on this land for two years now and we have made it our own - complete with a little office and library. Come join our little tent village in the jungle. There plenty of beautiful birds to be seen from the terraces, a few of our playful pets, and the occasional monkey. If you are coming during a rainy season and have extra space, consider bringing a tarp - however they are also available here in Nepal.
We source water from a few local springs, however it is still a limited resource here in Takure. After a hot day in the sun we are able to enjoy refreshing cold showers at camp or hand wash our sweaty work clothes. Thanks to our Sawyer Filter Drip Systems, we have clean drinking water to keep us hydrated.
The fall is a beautiful time in Nepal, ideal for trekking with sunny days, evening showers, and hillsides overflowing with lush vegetation reminiscent of the monsoon rains. As we progress into wintertime, it cools down quite a bit. During the day we stay warm making bricks for the community in sunny weather and get cozy as temperatures drop at night. The spring and summer bring warmer weather and with it intermittent evening rainfall .
What brings many of us here to Takure is a passion for service work and sustainable international development. We believe in fostering an environment that supports creativity and compassion through working towards a common good greater than ourselves. Together, with our chore teams, we take turns cooking each other breakfast and dinner and helping with dishes. The size of our international team varies throughout the year. On average we have about 25 incredible people from all over the globe.