When Sarah Dufour, from the United States, visited India to take part in the Street Children Program, she was a bit apprehensive of being alone and nervous about executing the project. However, this is what she had to say after she completed her tenure, “Being with the children was wonderful. The experience made a huge impact on my life and I hope I made an impact on them as well. Children were the reason I came and I will never forget them.”
Just like Sarah, several thousand satisfied volunteers have experienced the joy of volunteering in India. While this was a part of a special summer program in the capital city of Delhi, which Sarah went through, there are different featured set of programs that Volunteering India has in its fold to offer. Providing a unique mix-and-match of travelling with volunteering, the programs are collectively classified into four different sections by Volunteering India;
– Volunteer Programs
– Summer Programs
– Mini-Break Programs
– Internship & Elective Programs
While all these featured offerings provide an opportunity to volunteer under several set of projects at different locations in India, some are tailor made offers which provide a sneak-peak into the diversity of cultural nuances of the country by including travel-and-tours with volunteer work.
Since its inception in 2004, Volunteering India has been placing volunteers in different projects in India. Covering more than 5 different destinations in the country, including the capital city Delhi, there are near to 10 different projects that Volunteering India has to offer to its overseas volunteers. These are;
* Street Children Program
* Orphanage Program
* Teaching Program
* Women Empowerment Program
* Disabled Care Program
* Childcare Program
* Teaching Monks Program
* Language and Orientation Week Program
Volunteers can choose to work for as many weeks as they want to, under any of the project of their choice; given the spots are available. The cost for attending a program depends on the number of weeks one want to be a part of the program and the location where they get placed. However, a nominal application deposit sum of $180 has to be submitted in order to book the spot in advance, which is a part of the program fee. The fee paid by the volunteers includes the necessary facilities, like accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, pre-departure booklet, in-country support, and much more. While accommodations are provided either at volunteer houses or with a local host family, the food is provided twice or thrice a day while on a program in India.
Arguably, the most chosen program by volunteers coming to India, the summer special program is a unique combination of some serious volunteering work with some serious travelling. Under the summer special program volunteers get a brilliant opportunity to get the taste of typical Indian culture by exploring different destinations. Starting from a three weeks of travelling extravaganza, one can choose to stay to volunteer under summer program for a period of 12 weeks. During the stay of three weeks, volunteers start with the street children program in the capital city Delhi in the first week. By the time the first week comes to an end, it marks the start of a long term travel expedition that will take the volunteers for a roller-coaster cultural ride of the country. The program ends on an altruistic note as well, with volunteers working under teaching program in Palampur.
The program fee for summer special program starts from $1330 for 3 weeks ($110 per extra week), which includes accommodation, meal, transportation, stay and food arrangements while on excursion, in-country support, pre-departure booklet, airport pickup, and much more. An over and above cost of $180 is supposed to be submitted by the volunteers as an application deposit amount to book a slot in advance. This cost is included in the program fee for the volunteers.
As the name suggests, the mini-break program offered by Volunteering India is a compact module best suited for those who cannot afford to dedicate much of their time to volunteer abroad, but do want to experience the charm of it. It is a two weeks special program, which allows volunteers to indulge in some hardcore volunteer work followed by a short excursion to any of the nearby tourist hot-spot. Volunteers have the leisure of choosing from three different locations, viz., Delhi, Palampur, and South India, where Volunteering India provides the min-break program.
Those who choose to attend the program in Delhi, will be working at the Street Children project and will get the opportunity to visit the magical city of Agra to witness the world famous Taj Mahal. Following the same trend, volunteers work the entire second week at the project centers and, on the weekend take a city tour of the capital to explore the culture and traditions. The city tour would cover all major monuments from the Mughal era which are standing firm till today. This can be a great way to take a glimpse of India from the age of yore.
The fee for the program, including the weekend excursions, starts from $690 for 2 weeks, which they can extend for as long as 24 weeks (extra charges per week would be $110). This program fee paid by the volunteers to attend the mini-break program in Delhi includes facilities such as, Accommodation, meals, in-country support, pre-departure booklet, airport pickup, weekend excursion, and more.
Similarly, volunteers who opt to join the mini-break program in Palampur get the opportunity to work at either the Child Care project or Teaching program amidst a beautiful ambience created by lush green landscapes and snow-capped mountains at its backdrop. The first weekend excursion includes a visit to the vibrant city of Amritsar in the northern state of Punjab, where volunteers visit one of the biggest spiritual abode in the country, The Golden Temple. This is followed by a visit to the Wagah border, which is a border gateway between India and Pakistan that hosts a flag off parade every evening and a delight to watch with patriots cheering their soldiers on both sides. The second weekend excursion takes volunteers into the spiritual abode of tranquility in the valley of Dharamsala; the home Dalai Lama. The fee for attending Palampur mini-break program starts from $775 for two weeks (with $130 per extra week). The fee includes all facilities similar to Delhi program.
And then there is the option for volunteers to attend the mini-break program in South India. Attending a program in southern part of the country is a unique experience in its own ways. One can clearly spot the vast cultural difference between people from south part of the country from those in the northern region. During the two weeks stay in Bengaluru city of Karnataka state, volunteers work under Orphanage program or can also choose to work under Teaching project. The weekend excursion will take the volunteers to a small, yet very famous, town name Chikmaglur. The town is famous for its architectural brilliance, coffee plantations, and serene atmosphere (read waterfalls). The fee to attend the mini-break program in South India starts from $795 (with $130 per extra week).
Internships & Electives
Apart from the general volunteering as well as special volunteer + travel modules, there is a brilliant opportunity offered by Volunteering India that is targeted for volunteers looking to gain some real time hands-on experience to expedite their career objectives. In the mesmerizing valley of Palampur, volunteers from the medical and dental background can intern at local hospitals under Health Care program and Dental Elective Program respectively. This is very rewarding way for volunteers looking for an internship opportunity outside their home country, which will help them dearly to accelerate in their future career endeavors. The weekend excursions during both the programs take volunteers to the spiritual valley of Dharamsala for a tranquil abode. Volunteers assist the senior doctors and other medical staff at both the projects in local hospitals and clinics, and also get a chance to attend the camps to do regular check-ups and treatments. A massive exposure indeed!
The fee for Dental elective program starts from $930 for two weeks, which includes their accommodation, meals, in-country support, airport pickup in Delhi, weekend excursion, and more. And the fee for attending the Healthcare internship program starts from $725 for two weeks.
Volunteering in India is a wonderful experience, no matter which way you choose to do it. Each way brings a different kind of joy and excitement to your sojourn. So, which one of the above you think is the best suited for you? Get in touch with our help desk today to book a slot for your favorite program at [email protected]