If you need a break from the hustle-bustle of the city and a fresh perspective on the simpler joys of life, the Mission Himalaya Eco Farm in Nepal is the place for you. Situated approximately 35 km from the east of Kathmandu, further east beyond the beautiful old town of Panauti, the farm lies in a picturesque, hilly location, away from the crowded city. By Tara Choudhary

The goal of Mission Himalaya is to provide a home for orphaned Nepali children and work for the benefit of the environment. Unfortunately, there has always been an abundance of children who are neglected or discarded by their homes in Nepal and forced into prostitution and child labour. However, after the deadly earthquake in April 2015, the situation worsened, with nearly two million children left desolate and separated from their homes or orphaned. The eco farm hopes to be a safe haven for these children by providing a loving and nurturing home for them, where they have access to food, shelter and education. They save children from impoverished backgrounds and take them in.

As a visitor, you can volunteer in one of their interactive programmes, like the ‘Saaf aur Swachh Nepal’ cleanliness programme or the ‘Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness’ workshop. You can visit the local school and speak to the children, educate them about these issues and even conduct activities with them that will help them to engage and understand better. Whether it is about the importance of recycling or how to avoid being tricked into the sex trade, there are a lot of important lessons these children have yet to learn and you can be the one to give them the necessary tools. Apart from being an incredible way to help the community, this is also a fabulous and one-of-a-kind experience for visitors, who will get to interact with the children, bond with them and share their culture.

While volunteering, you will be staying at the eco farm and will have a chance to help in building sheds to sustain the farm and learn how to make solar cookers for the farm that they will regularly use. You can also volunteer to help the staff in the greenhouse and garden behind the farm through maintenance, upkeep and planting, which will teach you a thing or two about growing your own food and maintaining an organic garden (whatever the size may be) in your home!

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Panauti, one of Nepal's oldest towns is definitely worth the visit. And if you take the local bus from Bhaktapur, it'll set you back about 110 rupee (80 eurocents) for two hours in the local bus, a great experience by itself (the good kind of chaos). The old Newari houses have seen better days, but it's still beautiful, and the people are somehow even more friendly than elsewhere in Nepal, if that was ever a possibility. . . . . #nepal #nepali #vacation #holiday #citytrip #instatravel #instapassport #plane #travel #traveling #instatravel #travelling #tourism #tourist #instatraveling #travelgram #passionpassport #epictrip #backpacking #kathmandu #bhaktapur #panauti #panautinepal #newari #newar #dhulikhel #newariarchitecture #elderly #architecture

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The children and staff of Mission Himalaya will teach you various life skills that will help you live more sustainably and in harmony with the environment. Whether you choose to visit for a day or two and help out or to stay a while and join one of their volunteering programmes, it is guaranteed that you will get back more than you give to the farm, through the refreshing break from conventional city living that it gives you.

Related: Chill At The World’s Highest Café In Nepal For An Elevating Experience!