Animal Care and Wildlife
Arts, Crafts and Theatre
Childcare and Education
Construction and Renovation
Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation
EcoAgriculture and MicroFarming
Environment and Conservation
Medical and Healthcare
Sea coast and Beach Conservation
Special Needs Care
VolunteerShare your time, knowledge and resources with grassroots level non-profits and community benefit oganisations
Projects Brief Overview
Childcare and Education
As a volunteer on the Childcare and Education Project, you will have the unique opportunity to work with children, between the ages of 1-14 years old, in early childcare centers, migrant camps, and special needs care centers in the beautiful mountainous Dharamsala region.
The childcare centers and make shift teaching facilities in the migrant camps that provide a place for poor families to leave their children for the day, enabling parents and other family members to work. Families in the migrant camps are living in extreme poverty and an education is not viewed as important as making money which causes migrant children to progress slowly through school and drop out at high rates. Volunteers will have the option of teaching basic school lessons in a makeshift classroom in the migrant camps, introducing the children to activities that otherwise they would never have the chance to do.
Your tasks will include assisting local volunteers and other caregivers by organizing daily activities and games, and providing one-on-one attention and basic English language education to the children. Volunteers can also assist with preparing and serving meals, giving lessons on personal hygiene, and ensuring children attend classes. You are not required to have previous experience in childcare or teaching but you will need to be enthusiastic and creative to get the most out of your volunteer project. Volunteers can work together with local teachers to design lessons using existing resources, as well as their own expertise if they have prior teaching experience.
On some occasions, volunteers will also support teachers in large government-run schools, as well as smaller private schools that serve local communities in the region. Volunteers work alongside local teachers and project coordinators and may also be required to assist with math, computers and science lessons, as well as English lessons. Classes are typically small, with one volunteer working with no more than 10 students and volunteers are guided by competent local teachers and teaching guides.
Volunteers also work with disabled children aged between 2 and 16 years of age in schools and care facilities. Disabilities range from severe to mild and many of the individuals supported by the project have both mental and physical disabilities. In addition to their disabilities, they only have a very basic understanding of English, therefore volunteers are supported and guided by passionate and expert carers at all times. While volunteering in a Special Needs Care facility for children, you can expect to get involved with basic sensory activities, life skills learning basic English education, physical movement, or with vocational activities.
You are not required to have any previous experience to join this project, however any volunteers with skills or experience in special needs education and learning is welcomed.
The presence of volunteers helps to build the students’ confidence in English from a young age, giving them a valuable head start in life, and enables local teachers to focus on students who might be struggling in other areas of study.
The influence that international teaching volunteers have goes beyond the classroom. Crossing boundaries to work side-by-side with students and teachers from different cultures fosters a two-way exchange, building cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.
No prior teaching experience is necessary, however we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.
Coordinator: Mrs Laurence, Ms Sneha
Construction and Outdoor Work
Volunteers on the Construction and Outdoor Work project contribute towards community-led initiatives to help improve the landscape and infrastructure within small rural and poor urban communities.
The Construction and Outdoor Work project activities are organised at a grass-roots level to build an understanding of natural resources management and eco-agriculture practices. The project aims to create models of best practice and to embed them throughout rural communities that benefits both people and the environment. .
This project is well suited to volunteers who have an interest in eco-agriculture, working outdoors and basic construction and infrastructural renovations and working outdoors. Volunteers must enjoy physical labor and not be afraid to get stuck in and get their hands dirty. A background in construction, farming or agriculture is not necessary and volunteers need to be prepared to follow the lead of project coordinators while also using their initiative to develop new methods for creating and maintaining the communities farm plots.
The project supports construction and outdoor activities by using unwanted resources or re-utilizing reusable materials to reduce costs and provide solutions. Previous volunteers on this project have completed a variety of jobs, including:
- Demonstrative organic vegetable garden/eco-farm to promote eco-agriculture practices to grow clean organic vegetables for local families for their consumption.
- Vertical Kitchen Gardening to educate families on how to develop vertical gardens in their households. Vertical gardens are a way to boost growing space, reduce insect and disease problems, and beautify decks and patios.
- Herbal and fruit tree nursery, growing saplings and trees to be planted in nearby social and community areas to support food, fodder, and foliage for the community.
- Building and designing greenhouses, community centers and small-scale eco-buildings made out of bamboo, waste wood, and second-hand materials.
- Repairing the roads and pathways using recycled construction waste.
- Extending water-pipe systems and creating a sanitation and waste management system to protect and promote environmental health.
Some work is scheduled and is expected to be carried out on a regular basis, while other jobs will be assigned to volunteers as they arise. It is important to note that this project may be impacted by monsoon season, so we request that volunteers are flexible with the scope of tasks available and willing to respond to any emergencies that might arise due to the nature of the weather.
The care of the elderly has always been left to younger generations of the family. Due to poverty and illness, many families are faced with crowded multi-generational households with limited or no ability to care for the needs of their elderly family members. Unfortunately, sometimes this leads to abandonment among the elderly, many of whom are left to fend for themselves with sickness and ailing health. Volunteers on the Elderly Care project work in elderly care center. In these centers, volunteers work in support of the local staff to provide companionship, conversation, love, food, shelter, medication and other care-giving support to the women while occasionally helping with cleaning and operational tasks.
When volunteering on this project you will keep the elders company during their scheduled activities and develop a range of basic assignments to facilitate their well-being. When the need arises, you may also be sent to a local nursing home where you will work alongside staff and help take care of elders who may be ill and will need special care.
As you will be volunteering alongside local staff members, you do not need to have any experience working with the elderly to take part in this project.
Coordinators: Ms Poonam, Dr Katoch
As a Medical volunteer, you will be working alongside local medical and healthcare outreach professionals, gaining an understanding of the local healthcare system and helping to provide medical care in low-income and marginalised communities where healthcare is neither easily accessible or affordable.
If you are someone who is studying or qualified in the Medical or Healthcare field, and have plenty of initiative, enthusiasm and readiness to work in basic facilities with limited resources, this project is for you.
When volunteering on the Medical project, you will be placed in a medical clinic according to project needs at that time taking into consideration of your previous experience and training. It is important to have realistic expectations in regards to the activities that you will be involved in – you will generally shadow medical personnel and provide basic patient care under supervision, as all procedures must comply with the local medico-legal requirements and most volunteers cannot communicate directly with patients due to language barriers. A key role on this project is simple observation and you will not be involved in independent tasks without supervision. Some clinics include areas of Laboratory Testing, Pharmacy, Maternity, Gynecology and Family Planning, Ortho, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition and Pediatrics. If you have an interest in any of these areas, please let us know when applying for the program.
This project is open to fully qualified doctors and nurses, as well as students in nursing or medical school.
Please note that as a Medical volunteer, you must bring proof of relevant qualifications, training or certification with you, as well as scrubs of any color to wear on the project. The Medical project has a one-off surcharge of U$100 for supplies and additional supervision and this will be included in the program fee quoted to you after applying. Most clinics are located within 1 to 20 kms away from the volunteer house and volunteers use local buses to commute, which costs under approximately US$1 to $2 for a round trip. A round trip in a taxi will cost about $10 to $20.
Coordinator: Dr Chitra, Atul
Special Needs Care
As a volunteer on this project you will work in homes, care centres and schools for mentally and physically disabled children and babies.
This project is well suited to compassionate individuals looking to make a real difference while volunteering abroad.
Your tasks may include assisting with the personal care of the children, providing specialized attention and helping with physical therapy, feeding, clothing, bathing, and organizing crafts and games for playtime. The range of disabilities found amongst the children is wide, so volunteers must come prepared to help with both basic life functions and engaging the children in imaginative games.
You are not required to have experience working in Special Needs Care to participate, as you will be working alongside our local team and placement staff.
Coordinator: Ms Poonam, Ms Ankita
As a volunteer on the Women’s Education project in Dharamsala, you will work closely with women and girls from small communities to develop their independence, build their confidence, foster entrepreneurship skills, and grow their leadership capacity.
Women in India face a wide range of social inequalities and this is particularly prevalent in small and rural communities. Building gender equality for is a key development focus for India as a nation and developing leadership capacity and self-management in women and young girls is an important component of this equality.
This project is well suited to volunteers who have a passion for supporting girls and women through education. Working alongside community stakeholders and local interns, your tasks will include supporting locally-led self-help groups, promoting health and hygiene, improving public speaking and spoken English and building computer literacy.
This project also has a significant focus on micro-enterprise, where volunteers support local women to design and develop innovative and sustainable enterprises centered around upcycling waste products and natural fibers into handicrafts or creating organic beauty products such as soaps from natural products grown locally. These small businesses provide an income to the women and help to foster the development of vocational skills that can lead to broader employment opportunities.
You are not required to have previous experience to join this project however, teaching or business experience is beneficial and will ensure you can make an impact in upskilling the girls and women you work with::Construction and Outdoor Work::Elderly Care::Healthcare Outreach::Women’s Education