Volunteer in India

Organic farming and work with children in Pondicherry
Pondicherry       November 5 - November 18, 2018

Volunteer project: Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry, is one of the former French Colonies and is located on the East Coast of India. It is one of the most tourist places in the region and has a lot to offer to the visitor. Its laidback atmosphere and amazing beaches give it a very distinctive touch. It is a prime location for learning yoga and meditation in one of its many ashrams. It is also the home of Auroville, the famous international community created by the Guru Sri Auro Bindo.

Increasing importance has been given recently to the organic farming in India. Organic means farming activities without the use of chemicals either pesticides or fertilizers of any kind. Fertilization is achieved with compost, vermicompost and numerous other techniques for maintaining soil fertility and balance. There has been a strong Organic farming movement spearheaded by NGOs across India. During the project, the volunteers will participate in the organic farming activities (fertilizer and vermi-compost production, composting, weeding, watering) and will learn different techniques and methods of organic cultivation.

In addition to organic farming, the volunteers will be involved in creative and entertainment activities in schools and kindergartens and spreading awareness on issues related to organic farming.

Language: English

Accommodation: In a guesthouse, in shared rooms.

Location: Pondicherry is located approximately 200 km south of Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu State (East Coast). Pondicherry is accessible by bus from Chennai and Bangalore. There are domestic and international airports in Bangalore and Chennai.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 15,000 Indian Rupees (about $235 US)
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Sustainable agriculture and creative teaching in Kundapur
Kundapur, Karnataka       3 projects of 2 wks from November to February

Volunteer project: Kundapur is a town situated near the beach on the west coast of Karnataka state, and is very close to the Western Ghats (a mountain ridge). The Western Ghats is India's prime zone for bio-diversity, known for the number of animal and plant species in this region. We have been involved in developing projects in the region for many years and have formed a very strong network of local partners and local volunteers.

The focus of the project is providing field-based knowledge on sustainable agriculture and its impact and introducing creative learning methods in schools. The group will work with farmers, women groups and schools in different villages in the region.

The volunteers will be engaged in the following activities:
• Baseline survey and mapping;
• Conservation of natural resources: soil and water conservation, live hedge fencing, fruit and forest tree planting;
• Implementation of sustainable agriculture practices: crop cultivation, composting, kitchen garden, medicinal plants cultivation, nursery management;
• Maintenance and management: after care, basin making, watering, pruning, protection, etc.;
• Post-harvest practices: threshing, cleaning;
• Documentation of traditional cultivation practices;
• Learning the basics of Yoga and practicing Yoga every day;
• Teaching basic English in schools, introducing creative learning through art, music, games, etc.;
• Promoting Health and Hygiene Awareness;
• Promoting Eco friendly practices.

Leisure activities: Visits to cultural and religious sites, family visits as part of the inter-cultural learning and participation in cultural programs with the local community.

Language: English

Accommodation: In the local training center, in shared rooms.

Location: Kundapur is a coastal town in Udupi district, Karnataka state in South India. Kundapur is located at the Arabian sea coast, 440 km north west of Bangalore, 91 km north of Mangalore and 35 km from Udupi. The nearest international airports are Bangalore and Mangalore. Kundapur can also be reached from Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Mangalore and Kerala by train/bus.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 15,000 Indian Rupees (about $235 US)
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

All available dates for this project:
November 19 - December 2, 2018
December 3 - December 16, 2018
January 21 - February 3, 2019

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Explore coffee farming, help a school and learn about Tibetan culture in Coorg
Coorg, Karnataka       January 7 - January 20, 2019

Volunteer project: Coorg, also called Kodagu, means “dense forest on a steep hill” and is a very popular hill station. It is a district located near the city of Mysore (Karnataka State) amidst a scenery of misty hills, lush forests, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantations, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views. This is one of the most beautiful places in India, completely surrounded by nature!
The Coorg District accounts for a heavy concentration of tribal population. 90% of the tribes in Coorg subsist on their traditional economic system of hunting and gathering minor forest produce besides attempting subsistence farming.

The project will focus on the process of coffee growing and marketing in an environmentally friendly way through natural resource management systems. This is an opportunity for learning about the complete journey of coffee - right from the bean to the mug. Also the village school will be renovated.

The international volunteers joined by locals will learn about the environmental issues in the region, will work in the field and help with pruning, harvesting and drying, will visit check dams and small ponds to study the water harvesting systems. The volunteers will visit coffee estates, will learn about other popular plantations of the region such as pepper, cardamom, wild fruits.
The volunteers will also support a local school with some renovation and work with the kids. The tasks include wall painting, drawing educational murals, teaching basic English, spreading health and hygiene awareness among children and the tribal community.

Leisure activities: The volunteers will get a chance to explore Tibetan culture and the different issues related to the exile of its people and the re-settlement in the region. There will be cultural activities and exchange with Tibetan youth with the support of the Tibetan Welfare Office. You will also have the opportunity to interact with the coffee estate workers and tribal people, and to learn about their lifestyle and livelihood.

Language: English

Accommodation: In a guest house, in shared rooms.

Location: The project takes place in a village located in the district of Coorg, 120 km west of Mysore. The nearest airport is Bangalore international airport. The nearest railway station is Mysore.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 15,000 Indian Rupees (about $235 US)
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Supporting schools, local culture and sustainable farming
Goa & Kundapur, Karnataka       February 4 - February 17, 2019

Volunteer project: The volunteer project will take place in Goa in the first week and in Kundapur in the second week.

1st week: Situated on the west coast of India, on the shore of the Arabian Sea, Goa was the former Portuguese colony in India. It has been and still remains one of India’s most popular travel destinations, noted for its remarkable palm-fringed beaches and laid-back lifestyle.

The aim of this project is to assist in schools and orphanages and to try to create a safer, cleaner, more creative and environmentally friendly atmosphere for the children. The volunteers will also support local festivals with their active participation and creativity.

The international volunteers will teach Health and Hygiene awareness to children employing creative teaching methods through play, art and music. In addition, the volunteers will help improve the infrastructure of a local school or an orphanage by taking up simple renovation work like wall painting.
The volunteers will take part in a carnival celebration, helping the local people in installing and managing their food stalls, which is a good opportunity for the volunteers to interact with the locals.

2nd week: Kundapur is a town situated near the beach on the west coast of Karnataka state, and is very close to the Western Ghats (a mountain range). The Western Ghats is India’s prime zone for bio-diversity, known for its animal and plant species. We have been involved in developing projects in the region for many years and have formed a very strong network of local partners and local volunteers.

The focus of the project is providing field-based knowledge on sustainable agriculture and its impact, and introducing creative learning methods in schools. The group will work with farmers, women groups and schools in different villages in the region.

The project activities include teaching basic English to children; introducing creative learning methods through play, art and music; wall painting, tree plantation, making a kitchen garden, minor repair work in a school; raising awareness on health, education and hygiene; interaction with orphan children; exposure visits, city walks and cultural exchange programs with the local community.

Leisure activities: Visits to cultural and religious sites, Indian family visits, intercultural exchange with the local community.

Language: English

Accommodation: In a guest house, in shared rooms.

Location: Canacona, a seaside village in Goa, 650 km south of Mumbai. The nearest international airports are Mumbai, Bangalore and Panjim. The nearest railway station is Madgaon. Buses operate on a daily basis from Mumbai, Bangalore, Panjim and Madgaon.
Kundapur is located at the Arabian sea coast, 440 km north-west of Bangalore, 91 km north of Mangalore and 35 km from Udupi. The nearest international airports are Bangalore and Mangalore. Kundapur can also be reached from Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Mangalore and Kerala by train/bus.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 16,000 Indian Rupees (about $230 US)
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Learn about Tibetan culture, support a school and promote eco-friendly practices
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh       2 projects of 3 wks in March

Volunteer project: Valleys of the Himalayas - This small paradise on earth is home to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and to a significant Tibetan settlement in India. Dharamshala is set in the backdrop of the snow-clad peaks of Dhaulathar Mountains. It is the capital of the Tibetan Government-in-exile and the residence of the Dalai Lama.

The project aims to provide sanitation and safety wall facilities for a local school and a cleaner environment for the community which is being affected by tourist influx and lack of waste management and watershed management systems. The project also wants to create awareness on the Tibetan migrants and their culture.
We have been conducting international volunteer projects in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala for the last 11 years with the purpose of bringing a sustainable model for development of the region in partnership with school management committees, the Tibetan Welfare Office and the local municipality.

In the first two weeks of the project, the volunteers will work on the renovation of school buildings and walls, wall painting, educational murals, teaching basic English to children. There will be also cleanup activities in the area of the waterfalls, creating awareness among the community and tourists to support responsible tourism, Health and Hygiene awareness and tree planting to avoid landslides. Through their work in the community, the volunteers will promote eco-friendly practices.

Leisure activities: During the project, the volunteers will get the opportunity to learn about the Tibetan culture and the different issues related to the exile of its people and their re-settlement in India. There will be cultural activities, visits to important cultural sites and various Tibetan institutes, meetings with Tibetan monks and the local community.

During the first week of the project, the volunteers will participate in Yoga classes with a professional instructor.
On the third week, the volunteers can take part in a four-day trekking activity around the mountains of Dharamsala and Triund. The cost of the trekking is 3,000 Indian Rupees (about $47 US) per person.

Language: English

Accommodation: In a guest house, in shared rooms.

Location: McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra district. Dharamshala is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, North India, 500 kilometers from Delhi. Dharamshala is accessible by bus on a daily basis from New Delhi and other smaller cities of North India. The nearest railway stations are Pathankot and Kangra Mandir. Delhi is the nearest international airport.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 20,000 Indian Rupees (about $315 US)
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

All available dates for this project:
March 4 - March 17, 2019
March 18 - March 31, 2019

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Sustainable agriculture program
Kundapur, Karnataka       1 - 4 weeks

Volunteer project: The Sustainable agriculture program takes place in Kundapur, in the lush green, rural area of coastal Karnataka, which is home to breathtaking fauna and flora. The project base is surrounded by coconut and mango trees, creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. The program was initiated with a vision to evolve a model of sustainable agriculture and livelihood by involving and integrating different farming systems for efficient use of conservation and management of natural resources. The program is implemented across a 6.5 acres of farm land.

Depending on the season, volunteers will be engaged in any of the following activities:
• Maintenance of the natural landscape - soil and water conservation, live hedge fencing, fruit and forestry plantation
• Activities in the natural surroundings, planning a local food festival, forest-crop cultivation, composting, kitchen garden, medicinal plant cultivation, nursery management
• Sharing volunteers' interests and experience with farmers, so they can plan how to implement those skills and experience into the daily farm life
• Documentation of local traditional practices

Depending on the duration of the program, you will also be involved in activities with children in the local schools, i.e. teaching environmental protection through creative learning methods like art, games, etc. House visits and meetings with local people will be organized as part of the intercultural learning and you will witness and participate in cultural programs with the local community.

Leisure activities: Visits to cultural and religious sites, family visits as part of the inter-cultural learning and participation in cultural programs with the local community.

Language: English

Accommodation: In the local training center, in shared rooms.

Location: Kundapur is a coastal town in Udupi district, Karnataka state in South India. Kundapur is located at the Arabian sea coast, 440 km north west of Bangalore, 91 km north of Mangalore and 35 km from Udupi. The nearest international airports are Bangalore and Mangalore. Kundapur can also be reached from Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Mangalore and Kerala by train/bus.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 6,750 Indian Rupees for 1 week; 12,650 Indian Rupees for 2 weeks; 15,200 Indian Rupees for 3 weeks; 18,600 Indian Rupees for 4 weeks;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Long-term projects in India