We offer projects in Patiala, Dharamsala, Ladakh, Kerala and Rishikesh, However if you have a specific city in mind, please feel free to write to us. India was for many years under British colonial rule, after the attainment of independence in 1947, they continued with the most positive elements of colonial rule. India has a well developed infrastructure despite a rapidly growing population.
India is the size of Europe and has more than 1 billion inhabitans. Its one of the world's most densely populated countries. It shares its borders with Pakistan, China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh. India has more than 100 different languages and is a nation of variations and contrasts. The Indian subcontinent in South Asia is a beautiful, spiritual and adventure-filled country. All the way from the sky scraping Himalayan Mountains marking the country's northern border, to the country's vast, flat deserts and tropical rainforests. Its is the land of ancient temples and colourful tribal villages.
India's heritage is more than 5000 years old and it is a haven of different flavours, festivals, art, religion, traditions and cultures. Living in India is to live a lifestyle that is far from everything you can even imagine. Even normal everyday tasks turn into an adventure !Everything is colourful, nothing is predictable. Life - especially in cities - is really chaotic because of the sights, sounds and smells that greet you, each place and will overwhelm your senses .Volunteering is a great way to experience this unique country. Those who choose to volunteer in India are certain to have a memorable time. IWASHERES partner in India have made every effort to ensure the volunteers benefit from their stay in India.
IWASHERE invites individuals, couples, families, students, researchers and groups to volunteer in India. A good command of EnglisH is recommended. Volunteers from all countries, backgrounds and experiences are welcome to participate in various programs in India as we strongly believe that everyone has something to contribute!
A typical week
The programs or tasks of the week may vary from project to project. As a volunteer you work 4-8 hours a day and will be entitled to some weekly days off . Working days are planned with our project co-ordinator and we are very flexible if you require some time off, just remember to notify the project coordinator in good time.
Breakfast with the other volunteers is usually between 7:30 and 8:30. Around 9-9:30 you will depart for your workplace, where you will meet with the local people and plan your day. You will have a lunch break during the day. For the most part, a workday ends between 14:00 and 17:00. After that you will have free time to explore the local area or hang out with the other volunteers. In the evening you can visit a local restaurant with friends.
In your spare time or after project completion, it is easy to travel around India. Almost every village in India is linked to the rest of the country through a huge number of buses and a developed train service. South India offers an un-imaginable scale of travel options, attractions and activities. Tamil Nadu is an enchanting tropical state from which to visit Ghatmountains and numerous religious places. There are colourful temples, beautiful national parks, wildlife reserves, relaxing mountain resorts and deserted pristine beaches. Kerala, India's cleanest state is a peaceful tourist destination with sandy beaches and mountainous terrain ideal for trekking.
When you arrive at the airport, you will be picked up by a project coordinator and be taken to your host family. All volunteers will receive information about the country, culture, projects and given a tour of the city.
Volunteers will be accommodated with an Indian host family, which is thoroughly screened by our partners in the country where you will have ample opportunity to get closer to the culture. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included .
ORPHANAGE FOR GIRLS (VOLUNTEER & INTERNSHIP)
There are more than 11 million abandoned children in India, where an increasing number of abandoned newborns are brought to the orphanages / adoption centers. Unfortunately, many mothers kill their newborns in desperation. About 90% of the abandoned girls are from young mothers who cannot afford to keep them. They face a bleak future as beggars, prostitutes or are thrown into child labor. To prevent this, many non-governmental organizations have opened orphanages all over India. Our partner in India is working hard to make a difference for the underprivileged and neglected children.
As a volunteer in this project you will help the staff at the orphanage with the various everyday tasks. The intense lack of resources means that there are not enough adults to give each child the attention and care they need. You will as a volunteer help to organize activities for the children, teach, prepare food, keep them clean, talk to them about hygiene, safety and the importance of education and strengthen their self-esteem. Unfortunately no one else to do it, the children and staff will real appreciate this. It is important to remember that you will also be a role model for these girls and show them that it is possible for women to be trained and independent. As this is something they do not see often.
EDUCATION (VOLUNTEER & INTERNSHIP)
India is a major economic superpower but continues to face severe challenges in its public education system. The country is still ranked 161 on the World Education index with a literacy rate of only 54.27%. Only 15% of Indian students reach the level of high school, and only 7% achieve a university education. Our volunteers work with schools that have very limited resources. Volunteers bring their experiences, new ideas and energy to help children understand the importance of education. They act as role models by encouraging students to choose education instead of dropping out of school to find jobs. Volunteers on this project work with local teachers, the aim main goal being to inform students about the importance of education, and its benefits.
Volunteers have the opportunity to teach whatever they choose. Teaching English is the most help is needed. However you are welcome to help with Math, Science, Music, Dance, Geography or any other subject that suits you. Remember that the children's English skills are minimal, so this affects their ability to understand other subjects. The children’s ages range between 4 to 13 years. All volunteers will be accompanied by a trained teacher during their training. After having completed the training, volunteers will then begin to teach independently. The Indian education system is very different from what you may be used to. Volunteers are encouraged to create their own lesson plans and implement new methods of teaching, as this is not only useful for the children but also benefits the local teachers. Depending on the topic, volunteers are welcome to bring teaching materials such as picture books, instruments, flash cards and songs.
REFUGEES FROM TIBET (VOLUNTEER & INTERNSHIP)
This project focuses on helping Tibetan refugees. Ever since India gave the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government refuge, Dharamsala has been the center of Tibetan migration. After the Dalai Lama fled to India, there are more than 150,000 refugees that have fled to India in the hope of a new and better life. Tibetan refugees have had very little access to the modern world and thus they have had trouble adjusting to modern life in India.
As a volunteer on this project you will help to teach English, Mathematics, Science, Basic IT, Social Skills, to monks, nuns and adults who have migrated from Tibet. These immigrants are trying to settle down in India but face integration challenges. As a volunteer, you get the opportunity to participate in personal guidance during which you will get a glimpse of the Tibetan culture. You will learn about their problems and help them where you can. The most important thing is to give them hope.
AYURVEDA MEDICINE (VOLUNTEER & INTERNSHIP)
This project is one of the most unique projects one can participate in. You will work with traditional medicine; this will help you maintain your knowledge traditional science. Ayurveda, is traditional medicine that began in India, over 5,000 years ago, and is considered to be one of the oldest organized systems of medicine in the world. Ayurveda restores balance and cleanses the body and spirit through diet, lifestyle and exercise. In India, 80% of the population live in rural areas and rely on traditional medicine.
Ayurveda is made up of plant-based medicines and treatments. Hundreds of plant-based medicines contain cardamom and cinnamon. Some products of animal origin may also be used, for example, milk, bones, and gallstones. Volunteers spend the first few days with an Ayurveda practitioner or Vadhiyar. Here you will learn the art of recognizing medicinal plants, the use of medication, understanding of the treatment process and help the Vadiyar during treatment of patients. When you feel that you can stand on your own feet, you will be responsible for the management of patients but do not worry the Vadhiyar will be there to guide you if you should need help. This is a perfect opportunity to gain an insight into the culture and experience the ancient tradition of natural medicine and healing while practicing it.
In this project no prior training or experience in medicine is required, but as volunteers on this project, it is important that you have an open-minded approach to alternative methods of treatment.
SPECIAL EDUCATION (OPTIONAL & GRADUATE)
India has the second highest population country in the world. It is home to one sixth of the world population. The country is ranked number 119 on the human development index; this is a result of 41.9% of the population living below the poverty line with limited access to education, health care and employment opportunities. Many of the children in these disadvantaged communities are mentally handicapped to some extent, and in need of special education. Unfortunately, these children are often neglected by their families and communities because of poverty, lack of public resources and education. These children greatly lack aid, health care and basic education to develop their skills to become self-reliant as they are often abandoned by their families or isolated.
Our partner in India is dedicated to the development of these children by giving them the necessary basic training. As a volunteer you will work closely with the local staff where you will help teach them basic skills, games, life skills, vocational skills, music, dance. The staff will appreciate it if you come up with new ideas, and take initiative in organizing lessons and planning extracurricular activities. To participate in this project, you must have previous experience with children, as these children may have special needs that require proper care.
WOMEN SUPPORT (OPTIONAL & GRADUATE)
The Women's Support Project is focused on empowering women in India. Women have always maintained secondary status because of the traditional norms in the society. In small towns and rural areas, women are responsible for the household and the workplace. It takes a lot of work to help these women cope with the problems they face daily such as poverty, human rights, lack of education, child marriage, health, sexual harassment and violence.
Volunteers will work with local organizations, these organizations run centers that not only strive to give women moral support, but also help them with vocational skills that will help them in the workplace and lead to their independence. These organizations also help with language skills, health, HIV / AIDS awareness, child rearing and nutrition. As a volunteer you will help women with their social problems, give them care and support and help them achieve their goals of economic independence and social equality.