Volunteer - Nepal

Delivering care in Banepa, Nepal

The town of Banepa is located in the Kathmandu Valley about 26 kilometers east of Kathmandu in Nepal. With the only highway connecting Nepal to Banepa running through the town, Banepa is considered to be a significant trade-route town. Additionally, the newly constructed B.P. Koirala Highway, which is named after Nepalese leader Bishweswor Prasad Koirala, passes through Banepa, enhancing the town's strategic importance.

Banepa is home to Scheer Memorial Hospital, established by Seventh-day Adventists in 1957 and later developed into a medical college. Founded as a small clinic in 1956, the hospital has grown into an 150-bed hospital that provides as full range of outpatient and inpatient services. Students attend the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) and the B.Sc. Nursing programs, both run at the medical college. With a number of high schools, colleges and private boarding schools, Banepa is one of the best towns in Nepal when it comes to getting an education.

The projects planned for Nepal include the following:

  • Provide medical consultations and day clinics for people living in the villages surrounding Scheer Memorial Hospital, especially for children and women
  • Provide uterine prolapse surgeries at Scheer Memorial Hospital 
  • Who Can Participate

    While geared for health professionals employed or practicing at one of the Adventist and Catholic Health Initiatives hospitals within Centura Health, the Nepal project will include opportunities for skilled professionals to participate no matter their background or current employment. Anesthesiologists, family medicine doctors, internal medicine doctors, OB/GYN doctors, pediatric doctors, and ED, ICU, OR, PACU, and general RNs are needed.

    To apply, select an option below:

  • Time & Cost Requirements

    The project will last 13 days, including travel. Here is a tentative outline of the trip schedule:

    • Depart Denver for Singapore
    • Arrive in Singapore in the early morning
    • Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to Scheer Memorial Hospital and Dhulikhel Lodge Resort
    • Rest and recoup, visit to Bhaktapur
    • Surgeries at Scheer Memorial Hospital
    • Transfer to Kathmandu in the afternoon, Friday and Saturday nights in Kathmandu
    • Sightseeing in Kathmandu
    • Depart Kathmandu, and return to Denver (arrival on Monday, November 17) or extend your stay in Nepal for additional sightseeing or trekking 

    This trip will be covered by a non-refundable, fully tax-deductible, all-inclusive trip donation of $3,200.

  • What's not included in the trip fees?

    Spending money should be brought for any souvenirs, personal items, or additional snacks that are desired. Tips for local porters or other service providers are greatly appreciated and can provide important financial assistance to needy individuals. An easy recommendation is to bring several one-dollar bills that can be used for tips. Additional sightseeing activities organized at the end of the mission project are not included in the project cost.A passport photo is also required. 

  • Financial Assistance

    Currently, there is no financial assistance available for the community health team. 

  • IRS Regulations

    The IRS allows you to claim a charitable contribution deduction for your personal travel expenses (including airfare, lodging, meals, and local transportation) for these international medical mission projects. Any additional expenses for optional sightseeing cannot be deducted.

  • Passport & Visa Requirements

    A valid passport is required for entry into Nepal. Be sure your passport does not expire within three months of returning to the US. A visa is also required for entry into Nepal and will be obtained at the airport in Kathmandu. A 15-day visa will cost $25.

    In case of emergency, a copy of each participant's passport is kept at the Centura Health administrative office during the length of the trip. It is also highly recommended that each participant carry a photocopy of his or her passport on the trip.

  • Tourist Excursions

    For those interested, there are several optional tourist excursions available in Nepal. Some of the more popular are:

    • Chitwan National Park (3 days / 2 nights) 
      This jungle park features the one-horned rhino and Bengal tigers among other lowland mammals and birds. Safaris are commonly made on elephant back.
    • Pokhara/Ghorepani/Ghandruk Trek (7 days / 6 nights) 
      This trek is located in the famed Annapurna Conservation Area and begins with a flight to Pokhara (1700 meters). The five-day trek is a circuit that provides fabulous views of the Himalayas from Poon Hill and the popular gurung village, Ghandruk.
    • Everest Base Camp Trek (10 day / 9 nights) 
      This trek to Everest Base Camp entails a flight to Lukla and 6 days of mainly uphill trekking followed by 3 days for returning on the same trail. Several variations of the schedule are possible.


    Nepal offers many other options for cultural and outdoor tourism, including trekking, mountaineering, rafting, and jungle safaris. For more information visit the Nepal Tourism Board website.

  • Lodging & Meals

    Lodging and meals for the entire mission project are included in the trip costs. The hotel we use, Dhulikhel Lodge Resort is a modern 3-star facility that is clean and has private bathrooms.

    Meals are also provided and will be eaten at the hospital, the hotel, or in local restaurants. In honor of our sponsors' health principles, no alcohol will be served during meals that are provided.

  • Insurance Waiver & Release Form

    Emergency medical insurance is provided for each participant of the trip. Participation in medical mission projects can expose participants to illness, accidents, or other dangerous situations. It is the responsibility of each participant to have adequate life, health, or other insurance that is necessary for the trip.

    Participants in the mission projects are volunteers and as such are required to sign a waiver and release form which verifies that Centura, its hospitals, Health at Home, and/or the Rocky Mountain Healthcare Foundation are not responsible for any injuries, loss, and/or damage to personal property that may occur during this mission project or tourist excursions.

    Trip cancellation insurance is not provided. Participants who wish to have this type of insurance are responsible to purchase their own trip cancellation insurance.

    Download the Mission Trip Waiver Release Form.

  • Vaccinations & Malaria

    The following vaccinations are recommended (if you don't already have them):

    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis B
    • Typhoid
    • Routine Immunizations: tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella


    If you choose an optional tourist excursion to Chitwan National Park (or other areas in the south) you may also need to take medication for malaria. For this length of trip, Malarone may be a good recommendation.

    Travel health references:

  • Travel Safety

    Nepal has recently been in the news due to the abdication of the King, general elections, and a new government. The Maoists have joined into political dialogue and have renounced the violence that  has disrupted life in Nepal for over 10 years.

    Currently the Kathmandu Valley is relatively normal and probably safer than some large cities within the US. Sporadic violence has taken place, though, in the more remote areas of eastern and western Nepal. The US State Department has issued a travel warning encouraging US citizens to acknowledge concern about the potential of lingering security problems, especially in the areas formerly held by the Maoists. Warnings have also been issued for nearly 30 other countries in response to various conditions.

    Travel to Kathmandu and Scheer Memorial Hospital is currently safe. The situation, though, will be carefully monitored.

  • Travel Dress & Decorum

    The climate in Banepa is relatively mild. The elevation is around 1500 meters (4500 feet). Buildings, however, are not well heated. Warm clothing, especially at night, is highly recommended. It is best to layer clothing.

    As health care professionals and as representatives of Centura Health, dress and decorum should be appropriate. Further details about dress and decorum can be obtained from the Project Director.

  • Luggage

    International airlines allow for two 50 pound bags of checked luggage. A small carry-on is also allowed. Normally, you can check two bags. We recommend one bag be filled with medical supplies; the second will be for your clothing and personal items.

  • Additional Reading & Information

    Dr. Thomas Hale, an American surgeon worked at a small hospital in rural Nepal (is some ways very similar to Scheer Memorial Hospital) and wrote an entertaining and informative book about his experience called, "Don't Let the Goats eat the Loquat Trees." He also wrote two other books about his Nepal experiences, "On the Far Side of Liglig Mountain" and "Living Stones of the Himalayas."

    Lonely Planet has published some good books about Nepal. The country guide is a good general travel guide for the country. The second, " Nepal: Kathmandu Valley, Chitwan, Annapurna, Mustang, Everest,"is an amazing collection of photos from the main tourist areas.

    The BBC and Michael Palin pair-up to provide a good introduction to the entire Himalayan area in this travelogue which is also available on DVD.

    To learn more about Nepal, visit the following websites:


    For stories about individuals who have made an impact in the world, the following books are also good reads:

    • "Mountains Beyond Mountains", the story of Dr. Paul Farmer's work in Haiti, Peru, Russia, and the WHO
    • "Three Cups of Tea", the story of Greg Mortenson and his work to establish schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan
    • "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World", the story of John Wood, founder of "Room to Read."