Volunteer Travel opportunities in India

NORTH INDIA

1.    SPITI ECOSPHERE

  Location: Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Website: http://www.spitiecosphere.com Overview: Spiti Ecosphere is a social enterprise that aims to create sustainable livelihoods that are linked to nature and culture conservation, by addressing the triple bottom-line of conservation, development and economies. Minimum period of commitment: 4 days to 1 week, depending on the project. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Physical building of greenhouses & solar passive structures. –       Volunteering with daily village activities. –       Volunteering with Ecosphere’s day-to-day office work. Good for –       Environment enthusiasts –       Mountain lovers –       People with a medium fitness level Costs: Boarding & travel not covered Contact: Email [email protected]

2.    R.O.S.E – Rural Organization for Social Elevation

Location: Kanda, Uttarakhand, India Website: http://www.rosekanda.info Overview: R.O.S.E. works at grassroots level, with an aim to improve the health, education and quality of life of the rural poor in this region, while maintaining cultural integrity and ecological balance. This goal is realized through a programme which brings tourist volunteers to Kanda to live with the Verma family, experience local Kumaoni culture and assist financially (opportunity fee, rent, boarding / lodging & optional donation) and manually, in the rural development activities of R.O.S.E. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Physical building of community centres, bathrooms, etc. –       Volunteering in tree plantations. Good for: Environment enthusiasts, Mountain lovers Costs: Boarding & travel not covered Contact: [email protected]

3.    AAROHI

 Location: Peora, Uttarakhand, India Website: http://aarohi.org Overview: Aarohi is a non-profit, grassroots organization committed to need-based and people-planned integrated rural development in the beautiful Central Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       doctors (general physicians and specialists) –       community health managers –       nurses –       physiotherapists –       teachers –       art & craft and theatre persons –       sports people –       musicians –       rural development professionals –       managers –       marketing persons Good for: –       Professionals –       Mountain lovers Costs: Boarding & travel not covered. Contact: [email protected] 

4.    RACHNA

Location: Garhwal region, Uttarakhand, India Website: http://www.rachnaonline.org Overview: Research, Advocacy, and Communication in Himalayan Areas (RACHNA) is an independent entrepreneurial non-profit that works for conservation and sustainable development in the mighty Garhwal Himalayas. RACHNA is developing Home in the Himalayas (HITH) — a professionally-managed rural eco-tourism initiative, diversified and innovative green businesses, community based conservation plans and a green constituency for policy advocacy. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Helping with local tours –       Running workshops on conservation Good for: Mountain lovers Costs: Not available. Contact: Email [email protected]

5.    HAJI PUBLIC SCHOOL

Location: Breswana, Jammu and Kashmir. Website: http://www.hajipublicschool.org OverviewBreswana is a prototype of the average, remote, inaccessible village in the mountains of Doda in Jammu and Kashmir. The very first HAJI PUBLIC SCHOOL (a not-for-profit setup, with subsidised fees) under the Amina Trust umbrella was established here, and offers an immersion into the village life of Kashmir with teaching opportunities at its premises. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Short term & long term primary school volunteers –       Medical / media activities Good for: Teaching enthusiasts, Mountain lovers Costs: Food and lodging provided to volunteers Contact: [email protected]

6.    CHIRAG: Central Himalayan Rural Action Group

Location: Kumaon, Uttarakhand Website: http://chirag.org Overview: Chirag is a rural development organization based in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand They work closely with communities on issues relating to forestry, soil and water conservation, agriculture, animal husbandry, drinking water, health care, education and skill and knowledge development of young people, in 200 villages in Nainital, Bageshwar and Almora districts. Nature of volunteering opportunities Volunteers interested and/or trained in –       health –       hydro-geology –       marketing –       agriculture –       education –       teaching English –       Information technology. Contact: Email [email protected]

7.    LHA

Location: Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh Website: http://www.lhasocialwork.org Overview: Lha is a grassroots, non-governmental and non-profit social work organization based in Dharamsala, India. We aim to provide vital resources for Tibetan refugees, the local Indian population, and people from the Himalayan regions. Lha offers free English, French, Spanish and Chinese classes, cultural exchange programs, IT classes, vocational training, health and environmental awareness education, a wide array of volunteer opportunities, distribution of clothes and medicine, a community kitchen and many other programs and activities. Nature of volunteering opportunities Short term & long term opportunities, ranging from teaching & vocational training, to assistance in community related activities. Contact: Email [email protected]

8.    SECMOL – The Students’ Educational And Cultural Movement Of Ladakh

Location: Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir. Website: http://www.secmol.org Overview: SECMOL was founded in 1988 by a group of young Ladakhis to reform the educational system of Ladakh. Its activities range from solar alternatives to youth camps, educational reforms and ecotourism. Around Ladakh with Students (ALS) is SECMOL’s travel arm, specialising in student groups interested in cultural exchange and environmental & development issues. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       People with teaching or ice skate coaching experience –       Winter volunteers for English conversation or classes –       Experienced science or maths teacher –       Youth camp volunteers Contact: Email [email protected] or just show up.

9.    WWF India – Green Hiker

Location: Himalayas Website:  http://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/critical_regions/high_altitude_wetlands/green_hiker/ Overview: The Green Hiker Campaign is WWF’s initiative to encourage tourists and tour operators in the Himalayan region to opt for sustainable and responsible tourism. Covering almost the entire Himalayan region, WWF aims at reducing the baggage of tourism while inviting tourists to enjoy the Himalayas in its pristine form. Nature of volunteering opportunities – Mountain cleaning expeditions – Online advocates Contact http://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/critical_regions/high_altitude_wetlands/green_hiker/what_you_can_do/

10. Druk White Lotus School

Location: Ladakh Website: http://www.dwls.org Overview: Locally known as the Druk Padma Karpo Institute, this school is Location the last scene of 3 Idiots (the Aamir Khan movie) was shot. The main school is located in Shey (the ancient capital of Ladakh), about 30 minutes’ drive up the Indus Valley from the main town of Leh.  A branch school opened in Khachhey in April 2010. Students study Bothi (the local language), English and Hindi languages, plus sciences, social studies, creative arts and sports. They learn life and livelihood skills, including team work, presentation skills, leadership and problem solving through formal and co-curricular activities. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Teacher Resource Centre, including teacher training –       Sponsor a day pupil or a remote area student from a disadvantaged family –       Completion of the Secondary School and related infrastructure –       Landscaping of the school campus and creation of sports facilities Contact: [email protected]  

11. Ladli

Location:Jaipur, Rajasthan Website: http://ladli.org/ Overview: Vocational training programme for abused, orphaned and destitute children. Minimum period of commitment: Flexible from a week to a year Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       teach the children English and Art or Crafts –       lead them in exercise or dance or simply play –       if you have jewellery or textile experience you can show the children new designs and techniques. Contact: [email protected]

12. Sambhali Trust

Location: Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. Website: http://www.sambhali-trust.org/ Overview: Working with Dalit (lower-caste) women and girls, both in Jodhpur and Setrawa Village using education and vocational training to empower them Minimum period of commitment: Two weeks Nature of volunteering opportunity: The Sambhali Trust seeks volunteers and interns (unpaid), to help with administration, workshops, teaching, and provide new ideas. We seek volunteers and interns to not only help us run the Hindi, English, sewing, arts and craft workshops, but to also help with administrative work, and to expand workshops with new ideas Contact: [email protected]

EAST INDIA

13. Volunteer Opportunities in Trafficking

Location: Kolkatta Website: http://goindia.about.com/od/volunteering/tp/Kolkata-Volunteer-Trafficking.htm Overview: Many non-profit organizations in Kolkatta (Calcutta) are doing inspiring work to rehabilitate women and children victimized by Kolkata’s red light districts, and the problem of prostitution and trafficking, as well as to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Each organization listed on the site has different types of programs, so see which appeals the most to you. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Dance therapy volunteers. –       Education, health care, legal aid volunteers. –       Vocational training volunteers. –       Youth group & support group volunteers. Contact Through the websites of the individual organizations (click link about to see)

14. Dakshinayan

Location: Jharkhand Website: http://www.dakshinayan.org Overview: Dakshinayan works in the picturesque, forest-covered Rajmahal Hills, inhabited by the Paharia who coexist in harmony and are inter-dependent on each other. The Paharias practice shifting cultivation and are partly hunter-gatherers. Dakshinayan’s work in the region is mainly in education, health care, self-reliance and utilization of available resources. It trains young men & women to run schools in the region, provide first aid and fever treatment, impart health education, motivate the villagers to undertake conservation work and set up village committees, women’s groups and youth groups. Nature of volunteering opportunities Volunteers can enrol in Dakshinayan’s Development Education Programme, which aims to promote better understanding of development and inter-cultural issues, and teach basic English or Math to school kids. Contact: [email protected]

15. Sikkim Himalayan Academy (DPC Academy)

 Location: Sikkim Website: http://www.sikkimacademy.com Overview: The Sikkim Himalayan Academy is a non-profit school that offers education and living opportunities to underprivileged children from remote areas of Sikkim. The landscapes here are truly beautiful, and the school is well run. It was set up in 2002 by a group of local Sikkimese teachers and a few Dutch volunteers. The school seeks to provide good quality education, healthy and balanced lifestyle, and a positive learning environment, which emphasizes traditional Sikkim culture and languages. Nature of volunteering opportunities – English teaching volunteers Contact: [email protected]

16. Root Institute

Location: Bodhgaya, Bihar Website: http://www.rootinstitute.com Overview: Root Institute is a socially inclined Buddhist meditation & study centre in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Besides meditation & philosophy courses, the institute runs health programs on-site and in remote rural villages of Bihar, with an emphasis on health promotion, enabling people to care for their own health, health education, and integrated health and development at the village level. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Spiritual volunteers to assist with daily meditations, run short workshops, and offer general help with the spiritual program. –       Health program volunteers to assist with program coordination and nursing. –       Physiotherapy / Occupational therapy volunteers. Contact: Volunteer application: http://www.rootinstitute.com/about/volunteerform.htm

 17. Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS)

Location: Sikkim Website: http://sikkimhomestay.com Overview: Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim, (ECOSS) is a nongovernmental organization working to accomplish a mission of sustainability and conservation in the state of Sikkim. ECOSS has been involved in establishing the Sikkim Himalayan Homestay with support from UNESCO. To develop the homestay destinations, ECOSS has worked closely with the villagers of the different destinations in building their skills and capacities for the sustainable tourism activity. Each village has a tourism management committee, which overlooks the operations and management of the tourism activities. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Volunteering with homestays to develop the skills and capacities of the local communities. Contact: [email protected]

 18. Mother’s Hope

Location: Dimapur, Nagaland Website: http://www.mothershope.in Overview: Mother’s Hope is a residential home for pregnant mothers and babies. Mother’s Hope provides care to pregnant girls undergoing crisis pregnancies, victims of sexual abuse, and infants needing a permanent home. They offer free counseling, a residential home for women to stay during pregnancy and receive new skill training, free health-care and psychological support to girls undergoing crisis pregnancies, and a residential home for newborn babies till they are adopted into loving families. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Awareness & advocacy volunteers. –       Volunteers for counseling & baby care home. Contact: [email protected]

 19. Grassroutes Journeys

Location: Orissa Website: http://www.grassroutesjourneys.com Overview: Grassroutes Journeys is a travel company that provides opportunities for travellers to engage with local communities. It believes that enriching experiences come from a deeper understanding of the place, people and culture, and offers responsible travels deep into rural & tribal Orissa. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Agriculture & organic farming. –       Vocational training for women. –       Teaching English in tribal schools. Contact: [email protected]

20. Fertile Ground

Location: Assam Website: http://www.fertile-ground.org Overview: In northeast India, there is still little support available for farmers and growers following traditional farming methods, or for those interested in incorporating organic agriculture practices such as composting, mulching, and natural pest control. Fertile Ground has provided encouragement, training and resources to farmers, small-scale tea growers, extension staff, teachers, students and families living in the state of Assam. Their projects support people to grow healthy food by bringing together some of India’s traditional practices with low-cost practices that rely on locally available materials. Nature of volunteering opportunities –       Organic farming activities. –       Educations workshops for teachers & kids. Contact: [email protected]

21. Aaranyak 

Location: Guwahati, Assam Website: http://www.aaranyak.org Overview: Aaranyak is a registered society working in the field of biodiversity conservation in North East India since 1989, and is dedicated to using scientific means, law, advocacy, community engagement, education and more, in an endeavor to mitigate the impact of changing climate in North East India. Their projects range from community based conservation to wildlife genetics and legal & advocacy programs. Nature of volunteering opportunities – Volunteers trained in conservation or related fields. Contact: [email protected]

WEST INDIA

22. Manav Sadhna

 Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat Website: www.manavsadhna.org Overview: Manav Sadhna is engaged in constructive humanitarian projects that cut across barriers of class and religion while addressing issues faced by socio-economically neglected segments of society. Minimum period of commitment: One month Nature of volunteering opportunity: Development work for the underprivileged –       education –       community development –       rehabilitation –       creative education Costs: Travel not covered Contact: [email protected]

23. Sadhana Village

Location: Pune, Maharashtra Website: http://sadhana-village.org/  Overview: residential & educational care of disabled children, self help groups, empowerment of rural women Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       teaching –       assistance in care –       working with SHGs Contact: [email protected] [email protected]

24. Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra

Location: Maharashtra Website: http://www.snmcpn.in/ Overview: –       Conservation of Marine Turtle –       Study of Whiterumped Vulture (Gyps bengalenses) –       Conservation of Indian Swiftlet (Collocalia unicolor) –       Study and conservation of Whitebellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) –       Breeding biology of some bird species Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       micro volunteering –       film making –       teaching –       taking workshops –       organizing campaigns

25. Slum Soccer

Location: Nagpur, Maharashtra Website: http://slumsoccer.org/ Overview: The organisation uses football to offer opportunities to slum children Minimum period of commitment: Minimum 2 Weeks Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       Football coaches –       Administrators –       Promoters –       Fund Raisers

SOUTH INDIA

26. Sadhana Forest

 Location: Auroville, Tamil Nadu Website:  http://sadhanaforest.org/  Overview: –       tree planting –       environmental education –       promotion of ecological revival and sustainable living Minimum period of commitment: 4 weeks from December 1st to April 1st – April 2nd to November 31st the minimum stay is 2 weeks Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       Planting trees –       working on water conservation in the forest –       maintaining the community area –       tending to the vegan-organic garden Contact: [email protected]

27. Kabani

Location: Wayanad, Kerela Website: http://www.kabani.org/ Overview: They are concerned about the impacts of tourism and development on people’s livelihood and environment. Their prime objectives are sustainable socio economic development of local communities and conservation of natural resources that provides the basic of community livelihood. Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       research –       campaigns –       community tourism initiatives Contact: [email protected][email protected][email protected]

28. Chennai Trekkers Club

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu Website:  http://www.chennaitrekkers.org/ Overview: –       Eco-tourism –       preservation –       environmental awareness –       community clean ups –       working with underprivileged Nature of volunteering opportunity: Volunteer on treks and beach clean ups in South Contact:https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!forum/sachennaitrekkingclub

29. Agumbe Rainforest Research Centre

Location: Shimoga, Karnataka Website: http://www.agumberainforest.com/ Overview: wildlife studies, nature conservation Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       Photographic inventories of flora and fauna –       Ecology of Draco dussumieri (Flying lizards) –       Amphibian population dynamics –       Canopy studies –       Tree planting and surveys. –       Organic agriculture at the station –       General maintenance –       Creation of educational material –       Socio economic studies Contact: [email protected]

30. Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team (ANET)

Location: Andaman & Nicobar islands Website: www.anetindia.org Overview: environmental conservation & community building work Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       research as well as in day to day activities on the base such as –       tree planting –       office work –       base maintenance and –       data entry Contact: [email protected]

31. Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS)

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka Website: http://www.wcsindia.org/ Overview: –       research –       conservation projects –       capacity building –       education workshops for the locals Contact: [email protected]

32. Madras Crocodile Bank Trust & Centre for Herpetology

Location: Tamil Nadu Website: http://www.madrascrocodilebank.org/  Overview: –       conservation –       research –       education & awareness with reptiles  Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       maintenance –       short term research –       library on herpetological literature –       outreach programs with the locals  Contact: [email protected]

33. Students’ Sea Turtle Conservation Network

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu Website: http://sstcn.org/ Overview: conserve and create awareness about the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle Minimum period of commitment: every friday & saturday night Nature of volunteering opportunity: We walk seven kilometres from Neelangarai to Besant Nagar beach. We gather at Neelangarai beach at around 11pm. There is a discussion about turtles and other environmental issues and the walk starts after that. The walk may go on till 4am or 5am depending on whether we find any nests, and how many we find. Contact: [email protected]

34.  Children Walking Tall

Location: Mapusa, Goa, India. Website: http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/ Overview: –       provides food –       medical assistance and educational support to local children Minimum period of commitment: Minimum 2 Weeks Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       preparing activities –       giving out food –       teaching –       cleaning –       sorting –       taking care of small medical needs for the children. Costs: Travel and boarding not covered Contact: [email protected]

35. Sojahur

Location: Pondicherry, (south) India. Website: http://www.sojahurmngo.com/ Overview: orphan welfare, children development as well as women self help awareness. Nature of volunteering opportunity: –       Taking classes for local poor orphan children. –       Providing care and support for local poor orphan children. –       Sharing your knowledge. Assisting with staffs. –       Awareness for women. –       Conducting sports and cultural activities. –       Benefits to the volunteers: –       Inter cultural learning. –       Learning local language. –       Staying with Indian traditional family. –       Attending Indian marriage ceremony,other local festivals. –       Accommodation and transport arranged according to individual interest. –       Guidance and security will be provided. –       Healthy living with proper sanitation. –       South India tour will be arranged. Contact: [email protected]

36.  Vishakha Society for Protection & Care of Animals

Location: Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh Website: http://www.vspca.org/ Overview: Shelter home for rescued animals Minimum period of commitment: Minimum 2 Weeks Nature of volunteering opportunity: Depending on interest and skill volunteers will assist at –       the animal shelter in general animal care –       assist in the VSPCA office with office work –       planning humane education activities to the public

ALL OVER INDIA

37. Idealist

Website: www.idealist.org  Overview: A directory of volunteer opportunities in India & abroad

38. Wwoof India

Location: All over India Website: http://www.wwoofindia.org Overview: WWOOF provides a way for volunteers (WWOOFers) to learn about organic food, farming, and ways of life. In doing so it brings together people to share common human values and thinking. WWOOF also hopes to provide helping hands to its organic WWOOF hosts and allow WWOOFers to understand what it means to live organically. WWOOF is an exchange programme – volunteers help in exchange for food, accommodation and learning.  Nature of volunteering opportunities – All things related to farming (expect to get your hands dirty). Contact Application Form: http://www.wwoofindia.org/member.htm

39. True Travellers Society

Website:http://www.truetravellers.org/category/volunteer_blog/by_country/asia/india-country/  Overview: Travelling forum; Different local orgs in India posting their volunteer requirements here for travellers

40. Independent Volunteer

Website: http://www.independentvolunteer.org/index.php?n=ProjectsByCountry.India  Overview: Free volunteer placement agency.]]>

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