Join an animal welfare programme in Kathmundu, Nepal this Spring

Do you have plans yet for March 2018? Want to go somewhere new and try something different? How about two weeks volunteering in Kathmandu, Nepal with the Community Dog Welfare Kopan? Whether you are a seasoned traveller or looking for your first overseas volunteering opportunity, this programme – a partnership between UNA Exchange and Volunteer Initiative Nepal – offers a fabulous opportunity to meet new people, immerse yourself in another culture, support the work of a not-for-profit organisation, develop yourself and CV and, perhaps best of all, care for a canine community.

Community Dog Welfare Centre

Located in Kopan VDC (Village Development Committee area), Kathmandu, Nepal, the Community Dog Welfare Kopan is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to developing community awareness and responsibility for dog welfare with local and international support. The Community Dog Welfare Kopan is managed by Kate and Doug Clendon, a New Zealand couple who have been living in Nepal for over 25 years. The centre began a few years ago when Kate and Doug took in a dog with a broken limb, provided veterinary care and then returned it to the community. More dogs followed as word spread and the need for accommodation for rescued dogs grew until July 2010, when a shelter was constructed beside their home in Kopan VDC, Kathmandu.

“A sustainable future for the planet can only be achieved if both animals and people are part of the eco-system”

Community dog shelter
The shelter today has the capacity for 20 dogs in two secure enclosures, situated in a rural area with access to open fields. A separate, secure enclosure was added in 2013 as a reception area to hold incoming dogs until they have had a health check by the vets and for holding spayed dogs during recovery. Volunteers are invited to help with the care of the dogs, who are always delighted with company and enjoy extra outings. Sometimes bathing is required or treatment and bandaging of wounds, and extra brushing is also welcome. The volunteers will work with local staff who come for four hours morning and afternoon: in the morning they clean out the kennels, take the dogs for walks in groups and feed them their breakfast; in the afternoon, they take them all for walks again and cook for and feed dogs.

“Conservation and management of animals has a significant bearing on the survival of every species by helping in promotion of rational use of environment to provide a high quality of living for mankind”

WHSParticipants will have opportunity to meet members of the local community through their work at the dog shelter and in their free time. Accommodation is with a host family or hostel, with simple, shared living facilities and three meals per day, comprising typical Nepalese food. Support is provided by Volunteer Initiative Nepal, who meet volunteers at the airport and lead a sightseeing tour of the magnificent World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. The programme is open to up to 10 volunteers per two-week period, comprising 5 males and 5 females. Applications are welcome from individuals and groups.
Community Dog Welfare Centre

Programme dates

5th – 17th March 2018 (VINWC18-05): book here

18th – 30th March 2018 (VINWC18-06): book here


c. £1,000 (£299 + 230 Euros + flights* [c. £450])

    *To search for flights we recommend use of the Rome2rio app.


The monsoon season normally runs from June to September, so Spring is a great time to visit Nepal. Full country-specific and up-to-date travel advice, including guidance on insurance and healthcare abroad, is available on the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel website. Do also contact your GP to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures before travelling.


UNA Exchange is a member of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), which is affiliated to UNESCO. Through membership of CCIVS we work with 100s of not-for-profit organisations around the world that work to develop and empower local communities.

We would be delighted to answer any questions and help you book your international volunteering opportunity. Please get in touch by emailing: UNA Exchange supports all volunteers with pre-departure training so that you get the most from your experience.