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FELLOWSHIP MATANEL

ABOUT

The Exchange for Change program is a unique volunteer program that enables participants to integrate into community activities for a month while familiarizing themselves with Nepalese culture.
During the program, the volunteers get to live with Nepali families, experience Nepalese culture and become part of the local community. The volunteers are integrated into the organization’s work in the village in the fields of agriculture, the youth movement, education in schools and in the women’s groups.
The program is designed for travelers, professionals, and anyone interested in contributing their time to experience a unique cultural experience.
Tevel b’Tzedek is an organization that works and plans with the local communities, and therefore the work in the village is done over several years; the volunteers are part of this ongoing and sustainable process.

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What's included

The program’s duration is about a month, and includes 3-5 days of orientation in Kathmandu, where volunteers participate in language lessons, familiarity with Nepalese culture, and deepening their knowledge of globalization, developing countries, community work, and the Jewish world.
At the end of the orientation, the volunteers will move to the village. At this stage, the volunteers will be divided into families’ homes and will integrate into various volunteer activities together with the local team: empowerment of women, work with youth, agriculture, and education.
Towards the end of the month, the volunteers will return to a seminar in Kathmandu to document their work in order to transfer their knowledge and experience to the next group, thus creating a continuum of work in the village.
The cost of the program is $500, a sum that covers the expenses of the host families in the villages, food, travel and the study seminar. The cost does not cover flights, medical insurance and visas.

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When/Where

When?

The program takes place during the the tourist seasons in Nepal (September-November and February-June).

Upcoming sessions

The program takes place during the tourist seasons in Nepal (September-November and February-June).

WE ARE UNABLE TO RUN THE PROGRAM DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS (JUNE-AUGUST) DUE TO THE WEATHER CONDITIONS DURING THE MONSOON SEASON.

Each program has specific dates and volunteers are to be present throughout the period, without exception.

UPCOMING SESSIONS
November Cohort- October 30, 2019- November 26, 2019

Februray Chort- Februray 10th-March 3ed, 2020

March Cohort- March 15th- April 12th, 2020

April Cohort- April 23ed-May 21st​, 2020

We are unable to run the program during the summer months (June-August) due to the weather conditions during the monsoon season. 

Where?

The program operates in the District of Kavre in an area called Dhunkharka, which is about a five-hour drive from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The work is carried out in two different villages of about 200 families. Most of the families are from the ethnic Tamang group. The group of volunteers will be divided between the two villages, which are a 30-minute walk from each other.

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Applying

In order to register for the program, please fill in the registration form!
After that, a representative from the organization will contact you and set up a personal interview according to the program date you wish to register for.

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conditions and accommodation

The “Big House” in Kathmandu

During orientation and seminars participants live in Tevel’s house in Kathmandu, otherwise known as “the big house” (we’re so creative…). The big house is located in the residential “Swayambu” neighborhood, very close to the famous Swayambu Monkey Temple. It can accommodate 24 volunteers in shared rooms with 3-4 participants in a room. There are western-style bathrooms, hot running water, Wi-Fi and other goodies that you won’t find in the village. The big house is both a comfortable place to adjust to life in Nepal and provides a fun break from village conditions during seminars.

The house is run by the participants and has a library and study area, courtyard, and a big kitchen where participants and staff can cook. Usually the house is full of activities such as an open beit midrash or early morning yoga class, depending on the interests and skills of each group.

In the Villages

In the villages it is extremely important that volunteers live in the same conditions as the villagers themselves, both to gain a deeper understanding of their lives and to prevent resentment. Living in these conditions isn’t always easy but is an important part of the volunteer experience.

Houses are made of mud bricks with earthen floors. Beds are a simple wooden frame with a thin matress, and cooking is done on a small gas burner. Squat toilets are located in small outhouses in the yard and there is no electricity, heating or running water. The shower is either a cold bucket or a dip in the river.

“A member of the women’s empowerment group that I was working with once told me “thank you for what you are doing here.” I really thought that I had to thank her in return, not to be polite, but because I felt I had gained and learned so much with all those women. While teaching empowerment, I got empowered myself. I felt the same way while teaching journalism to children. Those kids are so strong and courageous that one can learn a lot from them. Some of them work before and after school and have hard living conditions, and yet they are always very optimistic and see the future with confidence. I came to Nepal because I wanted to give, but I feel that I received much more than I could dream of.”
Roni, volunteered in Nepal

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Tevel bTzedek application form

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