As a volunteer with HORAC you are placed in one of the placement areas as per the field you are interested in. As a house volunteer or “animator” your role in the house is to act as a big brother/ big sister. You are an addition to the house rather than a substitute for the current house staff.
Volunteers arrive in the houses early in the morning and can help the children finish their homework, get ready for school and then the volunteer can have Dal Bhat (rice, a lentil sauce and curried vegetables). You can then walk the kids to school.
The children are in school from roughly 9:30 am to 4 pm Sunday to Friday. This time is a great to organize activities for the evening and especially Saturday’s activities. It is also your free time so you can manage it as you like but optimizing it for the good of the overall programme is preferred. An organized activity will be more enjoyable for you and the children.
After the children finish school you can go pick them up from school and bring them back to their homes. Once you are at home you can help the children with their homework, then eat Dal Bhat with them, and then have some evening activity planned. It is worth noting that there is a strong emphasis on study and education here in HORAC and therefore activities in the evening time are restricted time wise, a lot of volunteers have found that joining the children’s activities such as sport, dancing or small games can be more rewarding than trying to organize a new activity in a short time.
Saturday is the children’s holiday. We try to make this into a special day for the children. Volunteers will work towards a Saturday activity during the week that will aim to encompass as many houses and age ranges as possible, for example in the past dance competitions, sports days, carnivals and art workshops have been held.
Many volunteers come with specific skill sets and look to use their experience and skills towards projects or ideas they have in mind. It is great that people have this motivation and energy for the programme, however sometimes it is impractical to give volunteers responsibility for projects that will not be completed during their time here. If volunteers have a certain mission or project in mind they are encouraged to contact the office in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
MANAGING YOUR TIME
The children obviously live here 24/7 and therefore many volunteers find it difficult to find time to themselves so we really must insist that volunteers take at least one day off a week other than Saturday. It is up to you to manage your timetable and decide on a day but volunteers are no good to us, or to the children, if they are tired or sick. The volunteer’s health and well-being is very important to us!
If volunteers have any ideas, suggestions, problems, advices, volunteers are requested to contact to the office administration directly.
WORKING IN THE NEPALI CULTURE
One of the most exciting aspects of this volunteer programme is the opportunity it affords the volunteer to work in a new culture. Many Nepali people and systems will work very differently to the way volunteers are used to them working in their home country but it is important volunteers adopt the role of learner and guest rather than assuming that their way of doing things is correct or better.
Having a foreknowledge of the culture you are working in will help you understand why they do things the way they do and therefore, make the exchange of ideas and experiences much more rewarding.
On arrival, volunteers are given an induction where they will receive training on working within the Nepali culture and what behavior is expected of our volunteers.
CODE OF CONDUCT
HORAC Code of Conduct sets out eight principles that aim to encourage responsible, responsive volunteers. The eight principles outlined in code of conduct include, money, dress, professionalism, consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, photography, personal information, relationships amongst staff and boundaries with the children.
Child safety is paramount to this organization and we endeavor to protect the children in every aspect of their time here. For this reason it is important that volunteers who will be coming in contact with the children are familiar with our policies.