Nepal 07.04.2009 - 21.04.2009


Have you ever wanted to see the Himalayas painted in red through the morning sun? Would you enjoy walking through the colourful markets of Kathmandu while breathing in the mysterious odours of spices and fruits? Would you like to take a break for once, drinking a cup of chai tea in the midst of ancient temples and shrines and let your mind just flow?

If your answer to this question is “hell yes!” then join us on an unforgettable trip to a country that will amaze you by its incredible landscapes, its cultural diversity and its hospital population.

Nepal’s history takes us far back and reminds us that Nepal has already been a melting point of different cultures and religions for thousands of years. Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Mongolian, as well as Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic influences have shaped Nepalese culture over the centuries. This explains why mutual respect and tolerance are virtues that are attached major importance to in Nepalese society.

However, Nepal’s recent history has been less pleasant. The country still wears the scars of a civil war that has lasted for over twelve years, from 1994 to 2006. This internal conflict which has been fought between the royal government and the Maoist rebels hurt those the most who were not directly involved in it, however, most affected by it: the civil population. Moreover, the civil war brought Nepal’s development almost to a standstill. Thousands of direct victims of the conflict and thousands more who fell victim to famines or lacking development. The crisis culminated in 2005 when King Gyanendra dissolved the parliament and replaced it by his own, not democratically elected government.

However, in April of 2006 the Nepalese people finally succeeded in opposing the king’s authoritarian regime and the rebel’s macabre acts of violence. Through demonstrations and general strikes the Nepalese people urged the conflicting parties to sign a peace agreement. The king was removed from power, an interim government was established and since the 2008 constitution assembly election Nepal can call itself proudly the “world’s youngest democracy”.


Nepal is facing a turning point. Have all problems been solved through the removal from power of the king and the integration of the Maoists into the government? How will Nepal’s development be fostered during the next years? And who are the stakeholders responsible for that process? Through exciting discussions with representatives of local and international NGOs, development agencies, youth movements and politicians we seek to answer those questions throughout our trip.

Our group trip, during which you will be accompanied by a Nepalese and two Swiss organizers, will start in Kathmandu. During one week we will meet interesting NGOs, politicians, youth organizations and the Swiss development agency for discussions and workshops. At the same time we will discover the beautiful city of Kathmandu, its history and its culture. After one week we will continue our journey to Pokhara, an idyllic place which has been selected as one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world by TIME magazine. In Pokhara we will spend our weekend and engage in various, freely selectable activities. 

After the weekend we will visit ‘Rivan’, a small Nepalese community not far away from Pokhara, and spend two days there. During those two days we will interact with the local youth in workshops and debates and experience the way of life in a Nepalese community. After our visit to ‘Rivan’ we will head back to Pokhara for one last day where we will meet with a local NGO. Eventually, will head back to Kathmandu where we will spend our last evening together before we will fly back to Switzerland the next day.

Would you like to join us on this trip? If you do so you can sign up for this once in a lifetime IFIL-experience right now on But don’t hesitate too long; the number of participants is limited and we go by the rule “first come, first served”.
We are looking forward meeting you soon and spending an unforgettable time in Nepal together. Namaste!