Volunteering Opportunities in India

As a short-term or long-term volunteer in India, you would responsibly assist and gain experience in healthcare, caregiving, animal care, or community development programs while immersing yourself in local cultures.

Why Volunteer In India?

 

India has a rich and vibrant culture that can be identified with its music, dance, food, history, clothing, festivals, and artifacts. India is also endowed with a variety of striking physical features. The home of diverse wildlife in their protected habitats faces the challenges of poverty, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare, low-quality education, gender inequality among many others, especially in the rural areas where the majority of the population lives.

Volunteering in India through AIAV will give you the real opportunity to responsibly connect well with the local folks, work side by side with them on worthwhile projects, experience their authentic cultures, and also have adequate free time to explore all the irresistible attractions.

Volunteer Projects In India

 

Caregiving – Special Child Care

Duties

Volunteers will be able to help with showing lots of love to them; watching out for their well-being (falls, etc.); teaching them general subjects, like English or Math, etc.; helping with in-class work and homework (writing, reading, painting, exercising); assisting local staff with preparing food for the children; counseling the parents of these children about their condition and how to take care of them; providing extracurricular activities, such as arts and crafts, music and dance, games, etc.; helping local staff organize field trips, sports competitions, etc.

Why?

Our special child care projects in India support teachers and caregivers at special needs schools and centers, providing various services for assisting children with varying degrees of special needs, such as mental and physical handicaps, autism, down syndrome, etc. Even though being a trained special needs caregiver would be a plus on this project, it also ideal for those who are compassionate, caring, having interest in making a valuable contribution in the lives of children with special needs through assisting teachers and other staff in their day to day activities. Perhaps you are studying or intending to study in the field of special education, nursing, psychology; this project will give the opportunity to put your skills to good use, gaining international experience in the field shadowing professionals and assisting in basic activities.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

Special needs schools and/or centres.

Season

All year round.

Caregiving – Orphanage/Day Care Center

Duties

Volunteers’ duties could include teaching proper hygiene; giving them a bath, cutting their nails, hair, etc.; teaching them basic things through play, like the alphabet, numbers, animals, etc.; helping with homework; providing extracurricular activities, such as sports, arts and crafts, dancing, etc.; cultural exchange; being motivating about their future; helping staff with preparing meals and feeding the children; helping staff with record maintenance; counselling parents on the importance of getting an education for the children.

Why?

There are orphanages and day care centres in India providing incredible services for underprivileged children. These projects offer shelter for children, who have no parents, have been abandoned, or have parent/s that are unable to take care of them due to financial or other reasons. One example of an orphanage we work with has 35 children with their ages between 1-18 years. There are five permanent staff members that take care of them. It is very challenging for the staff to handle all the day to day activities at this home, especially caring for the little ones. This is why extra hands are always needed and appreciated in providing various services. The food, accommodation, and education of these disadvantaged people have been sponsored by the local community administration. The Day Care Centers (DCCs), however, are government managed. These DCCs are for families, who work, but cannot afford daycare. The children there are babies through pre-schoolers. The children receive meals and educational/fun activities throughout the day.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

Orphanages and/or day care centres.

Season

All year round.

Education – Teaching

Duties

Volunteers’ duties may include teaching English or other subjects they’re comfortable with; assisting local teachers with curriculum development; helping students with homework; having one-on-one sessions with slower learners; having group discussions on a variety of topics; teaching children proper hygiene, harmful effects of smoking, drinking alcohol, etc.

Why?

The aim of this program is to bring out the best in students through teaching, cultural exchange, and extracurricular activities. You may teach either in a community school or a government public school. One example of the community schools that we support has about 54 students in grades 1-5 between the ages of 5 to 18 years. The children attending this school are from families that could not afford to pay regular school fees and for school supplies. This school is in operation thanks to very generous donations from the community.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

Community schools or government public schools.

Season

All year round.

Medicine – Healthcare

Duties

Volunteers’ duties will include such as assisting patients with their daily needs; organizing or being part of medical camps; public health education on maternal health, proper hygiene, etc.; supporting staff with record maintenance; physiotherapy, occupational therapy, aqua therapy, speech therapy; assisting local doctors/nurses with patient treatment, surgeries, patient visits in the wards, etc.

Why?

You could be placed at community health center, hospital, or pharmacy. This program was established to provide health services to the public for free or at a very low cost. These places are very active in the communities raising public awareness with regards to polio, AIDS/HIV, proper hygiene for women, etc. They also conduct public surveys on a variety of subjects. They also set up medical camps in slums for head-to-toe examinations, blood donations, health education, etc.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors. Provide an original or certified copy of required qualifications (medical degree or transcript), if applicable.

Possible Workplaces

Community health centre, hospital, or pharmacy.

Season

All year round.

Community Development – Women Empowerment

Duties

Volunteers will be able to teach English; educate women about their rights, domestic violence, etc.; teach them proper hygiene; assist with record maintenance; assist local instructors with special activities organized for women like sewing; give tips on how to become generally and financially independent, how to promote their hand-made items, etc.

Why?

These projects provide sustainable development opportunities to the girls/women through motivation and education. Women learn and can receive counselling about their rights and justice, domestic violence, harassment, etc. They also get to learn about how to be independent, as most women in India are dependent on their husband and their family.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

Community centres.

Season

All year round.

Community Development – Sports

Duties

The possible activities volunteers may get involved in are identifying the needs of the learners and the coaches; teaching rules and regulations of particular games; daily sports practice/playing at a sports club or community field; organizing mock-tournaments; providing guidance on a balanced diet and work-out plan; teaching proper game techniques; organizing sports competitions.

Why?

There are community schools and sporting clubs lacking in knowledgeable personnel to provide guidance and inspiration, and share experience in sports and physical education. The staff is also unable to handle the number of raw talent that is at their disposal, so they need extra hands always. Students are also keener to learn from international sports people, having lots of interest in their techniques, manners, rules, strategies, etc. This is a great opportunity to immerse in local cultures while helping the youth to put their energies to good use, encouraging good sportsmanship, and promoting healthy communities. A lot of these projects are run on community fields, where the locals also play games like cricket, soccer, badminton, tennis, basketball, etc.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

Sports clubs or community fields.

Season

All year round.

Community Development – Construct & Beautify

Duties

Volunteers could help with assessing the needs of community buildings for beautification and renovation, identify educational/motivational designs, white wash selected premises, paint selected areas with an educational/motivational slogan/picture, aid with maintenance of the buildings, construction work (like making tables for children), putting in/renovating community toilets and bathrooms in rural areas, drainage building and maintenance in rural areas and slums.

Why?

Through your participation in the construction & beautification project, you will have the opportunity to assist community members with your skills or manpower in building, renovating or beautifying schools, clinics, hospitals, public gardens, or other public facilities. The aim of the renovation and beautification project is to maintain the buildings, and also make them shiny and more attractive to the beneficiaries to patronize. In the case of beautifying a community school, you could paint fairy tales, numbers, and other colourful graphic illustrations that are catchy to children to come and explore them on daily basis and thereby encourage them to attend school. Project sites are unattractive and not motivating, so your helping hands are needed to turn things around, so that communities can benefit more from these places.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

Schools, clinics, hospitals, public gardens, or other public facilities.

Season

All year round.

Animals – Elephant Care

Duties

Duties of the volunteer could include cultural exchange with the mahouts and their families; motivate children to learn through games, songs, etc., give baths to elephants, feed the elephants; clean the animals’ living area; assist with painting the elephants for their work.

Why?

The elephant village at our project location has 50 female and 2 male elephants. Each elephant has an owner, but it is the so-called mahouts (employees) that take care of the animals. The mahouts live on-site with their families. This village was given to the mahouts by the Government of Rajasthan, including the land, their shelter, and the barn for the elephants. The animals are used to give rides to tourists. The mahouts get up at dawn, give the elephants their bath, and paint the animals’ body with folklore pictures. After giving rides to tourists, they then return to the village, the animals have their meals for the day, then rest.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

The elephant village.

Season

All year round.

Animals – Animal Care & Rescue

Duties

Possible duties of the volunteers could be cultural exchange with local staff, showing love to the animals, cleaning the animals’ cages, feeding the animals and giving them water, assisting the staff with treatments, helping with bringing in an animal after a phone request, dropping healed animals back in their habitat, educate animal owners about proper care for their animals, assisting staff with a variety of campaigns.

Why?

The project site is huge, about 4-6 hectares, and the centre is a self-sustaining non-profit organization. There are hundreds of injured/rescued animals residing there. The types of animals you may find there are cats, dogs, cats, cows, donkeys, monkeys, rabbits, camels, buffaloes, parrots, eagles, vultures, etc. This place also runs a helpline that people can call regarding animals that need help, and a team will go and bring them in to the centre. The team treats them, and returns them back to nature or their owners once fully recovered.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you will be dealing with minors. Rabies vaccine.

Possible workplaces

Animal shelters.

Season

All year round.

India FAQ

Start Dates

Our start dates are flexible. You are at liberty to chose a date that works for you. We’ll then crosscheck if we have a spot for you at that date.





Duration

We have both short-term and long-term volunteering opportunities in India, ranging anywhere from 1 week up to 1 year.





Program Locations

Our programs are located in Jaipur, India.





When To Apply

We don’t have a set deadline for applications. However, we do recommend that you apply at least 2 months before your intended departure date to ensure that you have adequate time to prepare for your trip. If you have a spontaneous desire to volunteer in India, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.





Visa

• Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from date of entry with two blank pages for your visa.

• You will either need an E-Tourist Visa or a regular tourist visa to volunteer in India, depending on your country of origin and length of stay.

• Click here for the appropriate foreign embassy or consulate in your country. (select your country, and then select host country)





Vaccinations

Make sure your routine vaccines are up to date. Please note, you will need to get a Rabies vaccine if you are going to work with animals; however, not for the elephant project. Please visit your local travel health clinic to discuss this with a professional and which vaccinations are suitable for you. It is recommended you visit the clinic at least 6 weeks before your departure date. Click here to read more regarding travel health.





Orientation

You will be greeted by the AIAV in-country team at the airport and taken to a volunteer house or host family, where you experience a traditional Indian welcoming. You will also have the chance to freshen up, contact home (internet), and possibly meet other volunteers. That same day or the next day (depending on time of arrival), you will attend a comprehensive orientation, where you will learn everything you need to know to have a safe, educational, and exciting experience in India. You will also learn how to get around and be introduced to your project site.

The next day, you will be transported to your project site in the company of local team members, where you’ll be introduced to your project staff.





Meals And Housing

You will be provided 3 meals per day (homemade local food). Typically, you will have breakfast and dinner with your host family/other volunteers and lunch on the project. The following are examples of food you might be provided:

Breakfast: Vegetable sandwich, omelet with bread, fruit salad, toast, noodles, fried rice, poha (puffed rice)
Lunch: Indian chapaties, seasonal fruits and vegetables, egg curry (on Fridays), dal fry pulses (thick stew), mixed pickles, salad
Dinner: Same as lunch

As for housing, you will stay either in a volunteer house or with a local host family. You will either have your own room or share a room with other volunteers. You will receive specifics on living arrangements before your departure.





A Typical Day's Schedule

AIAV aims to make your volunteering day in India a combination of valuable voluntary work, sharing of cultural experiences, and free time to loosen up and reflect. The schedules do vary from program to program. The following is a general schedule:

8:00 am Time to wake up
8:30-9:00 am Breakfast time
9:00 am – 10:00 am Freshen up, get ready for the day
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Morning work
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch time
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm Afternoon work (beginning and end times depends on project)
8:45 pm Dinner time (free time before and after)

*Volunteers typically work 4-8 hours per day, depending on the project and what the volunteers are comfortable with.





Free Time

You will have plenty of free time to immerse yourself in local culture. During the week, you can enjoy mingling with the locals and observing their ways of living. For example, with your host family, you could participate in preparing meals, learning how to prepare the local foods, as well as you could show them how to prepare meals from your country. You could also explore a local market, attend an exhibition, or go for a massage, etc. On the weekends, you are free to go wherever your heart desires and explore the wonders of your host country or neighbouring countries, if possible. You could visit one of Jaipur’s 20 heritage sites, go on a tiger and/or camel safari, visit Taj Mahal mausoleum or a temple, learn some fold dancing, get a Henna tattoo, etc.

Remember, your in-country coordinator is always available to help you plan safe, educational and cost saving travels.

Click India Travel to learn more.





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