India

Volunteering in India through Love Volunteers is a marvellous way to experience this most distinctive of countries. Anyone electing to volunteer here is certain to have a life-changing and memorable time. What makes volunteering so personally satisfying is the degree of interaction with the people of your host country, and the knowledge that one’s contribution is truly needed. Love Volunteers and its partner in India have done everything to ensure volunteers gain real benefit from their stay here, while remaining safe and gaining the respect of the people with whom they come into contact.

Much of the challenge and the pleasure derive from the meeting of cultures takes place when the volunteer embarks on the India experience. Encountering unfamiliar ways of thinking, speaking, and interacting will mean that you are constantly challenged and able to absorb the customs and culture of this enchanting country. Love Volunteers' partner in India hosts placements in two distinct destinations: Jaipur and Dharamsala.

Volunteering in India involves assisting on any one of a large selection of projects available, from working with children to developing sports opportunities. A range of personal skills will come into play, including decision-making, and initiative, as well as creative problem-solving. You’ll need stamina, resourcefulness, respect and a sense of humour.

If you need more info about India take a look at Lonely Planet and Wikitravel.

Program Snapshot

We offer a wide variety of programs in both Jaipur and Dharamsala - from helping kids who live on the street to women's rights programs. Memories of volunteering in this frenetic country will be with you forever.
Location: 
Northern India
Age: 
18 years +
Minimum Stay: 
1 week
When to apply: 
Book early
Airport Pickup: 
Free from local airports and stations in Jaipur and Dharamsala. Transfers from Delhi can be arranged.
Accommodation: 
Homestay or volunteer apartment, depending on location. Meals provided.
Working hours: 
9am - 7pm (shifts)
Language: 
English required

Start & Duration

While volunteers in India can start on any day of the year, Saturday is the recommended day for arrival. Free pick-ups are included from the airports, bus stations and train stations in Jaipur and Dharamsala. Transfers from Delhi can be arranged for USD 100 per person to Jaipur, and USD 150 per person to Dharamshala. This may be reduced for group pick ups.

The Summer Program begins on 28 June, 12 July and 26 July in 2014, while the Volunteer in India and Travel Program starts every Saturday in October, November, December, January, February and March. For more information about start dates, please contact us.

Food and Accommodation

Jaipur: Volunteers are comfortably housed within a short distance of the project destination at the ‘volunteer home’ located in Bank Colony, a safe and well-regarded district in the north of Jaipur 30 minutes from the city centre.The house – air-conditioned in summer – has bunk-bedded rooms for sharing, communal bathroom and kitchen, a recreation room, terrace and garden. There is a phone for incoming calls and for contacting the project organisers, as well as a TV and DVD player. For a small charge, volunteers also have Internet access. Daily transportation to the project is included.Food in Jaipur: Volunteers prepare their own breakfast, with tea, coffee, milk, hot water and bananas provided. Lunch and Dinner are prepared for volunteers by the cook at the volunteers’ home. Evening tea/coffee are provided.As a royal city, Jaipur takes immense pride in its cuisine. With names to conjure with, the chief delicacies specific to Jaipur and to Rajasthan include Dal-bati-churma, a trio consisting of lentil curry, stuffed dumplings and a flaky, sweet pudding. Also popular are meat and vegetarian curries garnished with cashew nuts and coconut. Regional breads include lachhedar paratha and bessan ki missipuri. There are tasty savoury snacks such as bhujia and khatta-meetha sev. The main Jaipur desserts are malpuas, dil jani, ladoos and ghevar (a very popular round cake containing ghee and sugar syrup).Dharamshala: During the volunteer’s stay he or she is housed with a local Indian family. Where two or more volunteers are housed together, they will share a separate living-room. If required, transport by motorised rickshaw or car will be provided to and from the project site.Food in Dharamshala: The volunteer is welcome to cook his or her own food. However, few would wish to miss the opportunity to be served three meals a day by their host family or to help in its preparation.There is a strong Tibetan influence on the food eaten in the Dharamshala area in northern India. The staple items are rice, paddy and maize. Dishes which involve dairy products, such as cream, are more common than in some other parts of the country. The use of nuts and dried fruits is also a feature of the cooking. Maahni (urad dal prepared with dried mangoes) or Madra (lentils made with yoghurt) are typical dishes, as are those made from Salayara and an iron-rich cereal called Kodra.The Momo – a type of steamed dumpling introduced by the Tibetans – is immensely popular and tends to be filled with minced meat, which is fried with chopped onions, ginger, garlic and salt. The meat involved may be chicken, lamb or yak, among other possibilities. For vegetarians, momos can be filled with diced vegetables and cheese.

A typical week

The working week runs from Monday to Friday, with a total of between 20-25 hours worked.

Free time in the evenings and weekends is plentiful, and might be spent visiting the countryside, reading, playing sports, as well as planning and going on excursions to local places of interest. On Friday evenings, volunteers in India often organise a get-together to mark the end of the working week.

Transport for weekend travel is provided by the organisation at the equivalent of the going rate as a way of ensuring volunteers’ safety and of knowing their whereabouts.

About the Country

Occupying the major part of southern Asia, India is a vast country, approximately one-third the size of the US. It embraces every sort of terrain, from the flat lands flanking the Ganges, the upland plains characteristic of the south, the western deserts to the snow-capped Himalayas of the country’s north-eastern boundary with Nepal. Other countries which border India are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China and Pakistan.Extremes of climate are found in Jaipur where, during winter nights temperatures can drop to 5°C (41° F) but where, in summer, day-time highs of 45°C (113° F) should be expected. July is usually the wettest month. Winter days are pleasantly sunny and visitors often choose winter for their trip. Dharamshala in northern India enjoys a slightly more temperate climate, lowest temperatures are rarely below 5° C (41° F) (from December to February) and the highest rarely climb above 30° C (86° F) (in the hottest months, May and June). Rainfall figures are very high between July and September.With a population of one billion, the sheer crowdedness as well as the cultural diversity of India can be confusing for outsiders. Ethnically, India is about 75% Indian and about 25% Dravidian (Tamil). In terms of religion, more than 80% of the population are Hindu, with a minority of Muslims and small smattering of other religions. The major language in India is Hindu or the variant Hindustani.Essential sights include Delhi, the capital, with its Mughal gardens and fort, and Agra, for its river views and the Taj Mahal. Outside Mumbai lies the traffic-free densely-wooded hill-top town of Matheran. Goa, on India’s west coast has a beautiful stretch of coastline.Sometimes volunteers suffer from culture shock when they arrive in India, which can be frustrating and confusing for all concerned. However, if volunteers are well-prepared, have read about India before their arrival and come with an open mind, we find that volunteers quickly overcome any sense of culture shock.Apply now! Or check out the FAQ or contact page for more information.

Volunteer Requirements

Volunteers in India must be at least 18 years old and may sign up individually, as couples or in groups. The primary qualification that is required: to come motivated to help needy people. A reasonable your level of English is also required. Apply to volunteer in India now!

Orientation

On the day after arrival at the project destination, orientation for takes place, to provide an understanding of the entire volunteer program, of Indian history, culture and traditions. There is an introduction to Hindi, an explanation of the rules and regulations, as well as a tour of the work location and of the local surroundings, including the local market.

Kirsten
Kirsten
Kirsten
Kirsten
Kirsten
Kirsten
CANADA
India

What an incredible place India is! I am still wrapping my mind around the whole experience! Volunteering in India with street kids was an incredibly enriching experience. Despite living in the worst poverty I had ever seen, the kids were very enthusiastic, fun, full of energy, willing to participate, and so much fun to work with! The NGO was very helpful and supportive and gave good guidance, as well as nice accommodations for volunteers. My group of students spoke a little English, but sometimes it was a challenging language barrier. But all-in-all the students were quite disciplined, and with help from the permanent teacher, it was structured so that I knew what to teach & what had been taught before. I would definitely go back again!!

Tina Joy
Tina Joy
Tina Joy
Tina Joy
Tina Joy
Tina Joy
Tina Joy
UNITED STATES
India

I loved working with the NGO that Love Volunteers provided in Jaipur, India. I volunteered with the Women's Empowerment program and taught young women English and basic computer skills. The skills we shared will make a difference and provide these amazing women with future opportunities for success! Along with volunteering, I had plenty of time to travel and experience life in India. My experience was fulfilling and life changing. I feel more compassionate and grateful because of my travels abroad! Thank you Love Volunteers for providing me with the opportunity of a lifetime!

Delia
Delia
Delia
Delia
Delia
Delia
NEW ZEALAND
India

India rocks my socks! Had an incredible experience volunteering teaching English in India to the most beautiful kids. I met beautiful people and children, and grasped a better understanding for myself of the common humanity that runs deeper than nationality, religion, status or material possession. The one thing I learnt is that kids are just kids, wherever you go and regardless of these things they still want to play cartwheels down the road with you, laugh, joke, and want your time and affection. So thank you for allowing me this opportunity.

Steph
Steph
Steph
Steph
Steph
NEW ZEALAND
India

I spent a wonderful month in Jaipur volounteering in a school that has been set up for children who live on the street. The children are great, full of energy and happiness and you would never know from their attitudes that they have so little. The school runs from 10am til 1pm, 5 days per week. Volunteers are distributed among the three classrooms and are responsible for planning and conducting lessons to teach english and maths. Volunteer numbers fluctuate from week to week and there are times when I was the only teacher in the classroom. The teaching is very challenging as language is a big barrier, and the learning moves slowly. But the kids are very bright and on the whole well behaved. There is plenty of time to explore the many sights of Jaipur in the afternoons and go further afield in the weekends. The volunteer accommodation is adequate, and considering you are in India it is very nice. It is clean and safe and a fun, social place.

One of my highlights from the street school in India was taking a girl aside and teaching her how to subtract. She was far behind the rest of the class & got so excited about finally understanding that she kept asking for equations all through playtime!

Terry
Terry
Terry
Terry
CHINA
India
I would never expect my experience in India to be this exciting yet meaningful. Check out my blog and photos.

Teaching in Government run Schools

The aim of the primary English teaching program is to help lay the foundations for a better future for each child by improving their English and other fundamental skills. To achieve this, the “Play-Way” method is adopted.>Volunteers working with pupils in Classes 1-5 will assist teachers in delivering the English and mathematics syllabus in addition to expanding pupils’ creativity. Specifically, volunteer activities include: teaching English, and arithmetic, as well as painting, playing games and singing. Volunteers will also help deliver hygiene and environmental education. 

Childcare

In this program the volunteer in India takes part in early childhood education at centres in rural areas. Volunteer activities include: monitoring attendance, teaching the alphabet, numeracy, art and numerous creative activities. They also help with routines such as getting dressed, playing games and developing the children’s physical health through active movement.

Education for Children living on the street - Jaipur

Among the poorest inhabitants of India’s cities are families living in tent communities. Severely lacking basic necessities and resources, their children take to the streets. Volunteer programs aimed at helping them involve the following responsibilities: teaching basic life-skills, social skills and hygiene awareness amongst the children, as well as some English, mathematics and creative subjects. Another duty is regularly visiting families to promote attendance by the children at the centre.

Women's Empowerment Program - Jairpur (Four-week minimum)

The Women's Empowerment Program aims to assist deprived women to improve their self–confidence by helping them improve their literacy and IT skills. Living in a male-dominated society, some women in India are illiterate and lack the opportunities to develop this (and other) fundamental skills.Volunteers are required to assist with teaching girls and women both English and computer skills, in addition to promoting physical fitness through games.

Sports Development - Jaipur (Eight-week minimum)

Volunteers in India on the sports development program work in rural parts of India coaching specific sports at local schools, the most popular being volleyball, football and cricket.Activities include conducting training drills and games and arranging inter-school/community competitions and tournaments.

Orphanage Program - Jaipur (Four-week minimum, female volunteers only)

Volunteers in India assist orphanage staff with daily routines such as:Bathing, dressing and feeding the children;Giving nursing care where required;Organising exercise activities and games;Assisting with personal and environmental hygiene education, and;General cleaning and laundry tasks.

Volunteer and Travel Program - Jaipur

What makes this venture attractive is the combination of volunteering in India and weekend travel at a very affordable cost. This four week volunteer program involves a placement either with the Education Program for Children Living on the Street or Teaching English in a Jaipur primary school and a travel itinerary every weekend to culturally rich destinations. These include: the Taj Mahal in Agra on the first weekend, the famous Tiger Trail through Ranthambhore on the second weekend, and a visit to the Holy City, Pushkar, on the third weekend. The final part – which is four days travel - takes you to Jaisalmer and includes a Camel Safari in the Thar Desert.Start Dates: Every Saturday of October, November, December, January, February and March.

Summer Volunteer Program - Jaipur (2 weeks volunteer work, 1 week travel)

This 3 week summer program combines a cultural experience with the satisfaction of volunteering in India. On the first weekend of the volunteer period, trips to Pushkar (the Holy City)and Jaipur (the Pink City) are arranged. The travel portion includes journeying to the states of Rajasthan (Land of the Kings) and Himachal Pradesh (the Queen of the Hills). Also included are visits to Agra, Dharamshala, McLeodGanj, the Golden Temple at Amritsar and spending three days on a Himalayan Trekking adventure. Following their travels, volunteers can choose to extend their stay and continue with volunteer work in Dharamshala or Jaipur. Contact us for dates.

Indicative costs per program

Volunteer period [weeks]12346
Dharamshala - Teaching in SchoolsUS$310US$415US$515US$620US$825
Dharamshala - ChildcareUS$310US$415US$515US$620US$825
Jaipur - Teaching in SchoolsUS$310US$415US$515US$620US$825
Jaipur - ChildcareUS$310US$415US$515US$620US$825
Jaipur - Education for Children Living on the StreetUS$310US$415US$515US$620US$825
Women's Empowerment---US$620US$825
Sports Development-----
Jaipur - Orphanage Program (females only)---US$620US$825
Volunteer and Travel---US$1135-
Jaipur - Summer Volunteer Program--US$1135--
Volunteer period [weeks]812162024
Dharamshala - Teaching in SchoolsUS$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Dharamshala - ChildcareUS$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Jaipur - Teaching in SchoolsUS$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Jaipur - ChildcareUS$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Jaipur - Education for Children Living on the StreetUS$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Women's EmpowermentUS$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Sports DevelopmentUS$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Jaipur - Orphanage Program (females only)US$1030US$1445US$1855US$2270US$2680
Volunteer and Travel-----
Jaipur - Summer Volunteer Program-----

Other volunteers periods available. Please, contact LoveVolunteers for pricing of other periods.

A Love Volunteers registration fee of US$235 is charged in addition to the program fees and covers any placements you undertake for twelve months from the start of your first placement. The fee is refundable if you cancel more than three months prior to the start of your initial placement. This fee ensures 24/7 pre- and post-placement support from Love Volunteers, checking and vetting of local organisations, a comprehensive information pack, as well as administration and marketing costs. All transaction costs pertaining to online, bank or wire transfers are additional to the program fee and must be covered by the volunteer.