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's Guide.
Start and 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. This may be reduced for group pick ups.
The Summer Program begins on 29 June, 13 July and 27 July in 2013, 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.
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!
Project Descriptions for India
The program fees that Love Volunteers charges are on behalf of our local partners. These fees are used in the developing country to accommodate, feed and support volunteers, while running projects that directly benefit local communities.
Fees for volunteer programs in India start at US$395 (€305) per week, which includes accommodation, three meals a day, an airport pick-up (if required), orientation and 24/7 in-country support.
|Volunteer period [weeks]||1||2||3||4||6|
|Dharamshala - Teaching in Schools||US$410||US$515||US$625||US$730||US$950|
|Dharamshala - Childcare||US$410||US$515||US$625||US$730||US$950|
|Jaipur - Teaching in Schools||US$300||US$410||US$515||US$625||US$840|
|Jaipur - Childcare||US$300||US$410||US$515||US$625||US$840|
|Jaipur - Education for Children Living on the Street||US$300||US$410||US$515||US$625||US$840|
|Dharamshala - Women's Empowerment||-||-||-||US$730||US$950|
|Jaipur - Women's Empowerment||-||-||-||US$625||US$840|
|Dharamshala - Sports Education||-||-||-||-||-|
|Jaipur - Sports Education||-||-||-||-||-|
|Jaipur - Orphanage Program (females only)||-||-||-||US$625||US$840|
|Jaipur - Health Internship||-||-||-||-||-|
|Jaipur - Volunteer & Travel Program||-||-||-||US$1190||-|
|Jaipur - Summer Volunteer Program||-||-||US$1080||-||-|
|Volunteer period [weeks]||8||12||16||20||24|
|Dharamshala - Teaching in Schools||US$1165||US$1595||US$2030||US$2460||US$2895|
|Dharamshala - Childcare||US$1165||US$1595||US$2030||US$2460||US$2895|
|Jaipur - Teaching in Schools||US$1055||US$1490||US$1920||US$2355||US$2785|
|Jaipur - Childcare||US$1055||US$1490||US$1920||US$2355||US$2785|
|Jaipur - Education for Children Living on the Street||US$1055||US$1490||US$1920||US$2355||US$2785|
|Dharamshala - Women's Empowerment||US$1165||US$1595||US$2030||US$2460||US$2895|
|Jaipur - Women's Empowerment||US$1055||US$1490||US$1920||US$2355||US$2785|
|Dharamshala - Sports Education||US$1165||US$1595||US$2030||US$2460||US$2895|
|Jaipur - Sports Education||US$1055||US$1490||US$1920||US$2355||US$2785|
|Jaipur - Orphanage Program (females only)||US$1055||US$1490||US$1920||US$2355||US$2785|
|Jaipur - Health Internship||-||-||US$2030||US$2460||US$2895|
|Jaipur - Volunteer & Travel Program||-||-||-||-||-|
|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 choose not to volunteer 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.
Food and Accomodation
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.
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.
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.
US: +1 415 800 4993
UK: +44 1865 522 688
NZ: +64 21 443243
Name: Cal & Kristin
Age: 30 & 28
Nationality: NZ & Oz
Visiting an occupied territory was a life-changing experience. Our month there was the most amazing experience. Please, please, please, go and help the kids there.