Volunteering With India

Volunteering With India

About

Volunteering With India gives you opportunity to work in India for various development volunteering program including work with children, Orphanage work, Work with elephants,Women empowerment & Theater Volunteer program.

Founded
2009
Headquarters

54, Govind Nagar East
Jaipur 302002
Rajasthan
India

Reviews

Default avatar
Coline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered with Elephants Program for a week because I wanted to discover those magnificent animals and to be in immersion into indian daily life, and I am fully satisfied. It's an unforgettable experience. The guesthouse family is lovely and always available to help you or happy to have conversations with you. The team members I met, Sukret, Rohid and Shekhear, were perfect. Everything was properly organized and booked. They take good care of me and, as a lonely traveler, I never felt alone. My experience with elephants was precious and mahouts' life is so interesting to discover. Elephants are so sensitive and intelligent animal and it is a great opportunity to discover it by myself.
Big thanks to the Prity Guesthouse family and to VWI team !
I definitely recommend this program.

Tajinder
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

India is such a special place, revealing the best and worst aspects of humanity and human life. Certainly for me, India constantly provokes a personal question about ones values and strength of conviction. Can you put your money where your mouth is? Can you walk the walk?

Volunteering in India is one of the most moving and rewarding experiences I have had in my life. The volunteering programmes offered by Volunteering with India (VWI) are safe and robust. There are many diverse opportunities here to make a difference, however big or small.

The organisation was created with the pure and sincere intention of making a difference to those in need. VWI has offered countless opportunities for those in need to receive from those who are fortunate enough to be able to give.

Volunteering experiences are made much more special by a generous and earnest welcome into the heart of the culture and the city of Jaipur, the community; the people and their families. Volunteers are looked after well, but most importantly included into a family and community for a true and real experience of India. An unforgettable experience - one I hope to repeat many times again.

my pass port pic
Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The arrival pick up service was wonderful; one of the program coordinator was waiting right at the exit gate of Jaipur Airport with a huge “ Volunteering With India “ sign and a smile . Accomodation has been lovely. The host family is so sweet and welcoming. Truly felt a part of the family. They were always there to help with anything. Very Kind + warm family. The transportation service was very reliable and always on time. Shekhar and Totoram the taxi men have a smile always and so kind. I love all the staff members. They instantly made me feel comfortable and go above and beyond to help. I was a bit nervous to teach but Rohit ( program coordinator ) was great in translating English to Hindi; Sukret was always a message away if I had any questions ! I decided to volunteer with VWI because I have founded this program in good prices, locations and values. Wanted to go with a local operated organization also. I would rate this program 10 out of 10. Can’t recommend this program enough. This experience will impact my life in the best way for many years to come. I wanted to give back to the women + children but I feel I have received so much from this program. Everyday I was treated with respect, kindness, compassion and generosity. Everyone I had the pleasure of working will stay in my heart forever. I am going to miss seeing their smiley faces everyday, but I will return next year and every year 100%.. Jaipur was the best city to explore with so much culture and various activities. It’s been an experience of a lifetime. Thank you VWI !!

What would you improve about this program?
Don't have any. I enjoyed the program a lot and will be coming back next year.
Default avatar
Gary
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent three weeks with my friends volunteering with VWI in Jaipur, India. We spent our time teaching english classes in a school, we work for 2 weeks with the street children program and 1 week with women program. Overall, it was an amazing experience and offered a truly unique insight into Indian culture. VWI links up with grass-roots projects in India and the staff involved in our project were very supportive. From the beginning, we felt safe and at home with our Indian host family, and the staff were in regular contact with us and dealt with any issues we had straight away.
One of my favourite aspects of the program was living with an Indian family. Every day my host mother make nice chai (team for me ) which was so great to charge up my body.Being totally immersed into family life and getting to know the students in our classes proved to be the best introduction to Indian culture. We learnt so much more in those three weeks about India than in the other 5 weeks we spent backpacking around Rajasthan.
The school experience was very enlightening, and although we would have appreciated some more information about what learning materials to bring with us, we really enjoyed it. The volunteer experience will only improve as the school program and curriculum better develops. For most of the children, we were involved in the only 'formal' education they would receive in their life, and that was quite confronting at times.
If nothing else, my time in India reminded me of the important things in life. As actions speak louder than words, the best review I can give VWI would be to say that we enjoyed our time in India so much that we are looking at going back to India and helping the school further!

What would you improve about this program?
At the time when we volunteer the project was full. May be the program provider set a limit of participants to come in a month not more than 20 people.
Default avatar
Sian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Being on the program in India was absolutely amazing. It was a truly cathartic experience, and working with the other volunteers was so much fun! The children at the orphanage were so wonderful and I really loved spending time with them.
Everything was great. We were treated to three meals a day and a room to ourselves.
Spending time with the boys was the best part! But I also go to see the sights, travel India style (busses and autos), and I got to experience this wonderful colored powder that dyes your skin for 4 days. Lol. I had tons of fun every day.___
Volunteering With India does a great job of taking care of their volunteers and answering questions. Thank you so much for all of your help and communication. This is a great program.

What would you improve about this program?
We go everyday in tuk-tuk which is noisy i prefer to go in the car as it not much bumpy like tuk-tuk. Sorry!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Melissa Ponce

Melissa is a marketer from San Francisco. Her current role at Ebates is to provide Account Management support to large advertiser partners. She enjoys helping others, traveling with purpose, living a healthy lifestyle, hiking, fashion, and beauty.

teacher in classroom

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to participate in a program that empowers women; this program is helping women to learn and develop new skills so they can have a professional career and a way to earn income on their own, it was a great fit.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program provider assisted me with my 7-day stay at a local's family home, all meals were included, pick-up and drop-off transportation from the house to the volunteer space. Due to timing, I organized a few things on my own, but the program provider can also help arrange at an additional cost to cover transportation, food, entrance tickets, etc.

I arrived in New Delhi on a Friday and arranged for a private driver picked me up. I hired a private driver because I was traveling solo and I thought I'd feel safer and also I could move faster from place to place. My flight arrived around 2:30 am and by the time I passed through customs it was past 3:30 am. We jumped on the road to Agra and it took us about 5 hours to get there, so I rested for a few hours once arriving and freshened up.

I did some sightseeing and visited Agra Fort. The next morning, Saturday at 5:30 am, I visited the Taj Mahal at sunrise, this was a priceless experience. On that same afternoon, we drove to Jaipur, which took us over 4 hours, I arrived at a hotel that my driver recommended and rested. Finally, on Sunday I went sightseeing in Jaipur, my driver took me to places that he knew it'd be worth visiting, but also we went to the ones on my list. I visited Amber Fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, a well in Amer City.

After sightseeing, my program organizer welcomed me at the local's family home and provided more information to start volunteering for the week.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make sure that you do research on the season you go, so you can prepare and minimize any discomforts. It's important you feel well to give the best of yourself when you are there. Also, do research in general about the food, the dos and don'ts, and what vaccines you need. Carry medicine, especially for mosquito bites, anti-mosquito repellant, traveler mosquito net (this helped to not get bitten at night time).

For the program, it would be good to contact the program provider to find out what your assignment will be and what you can bring. I wished I knew that I needed to prepare English lessons and exercises. There's a small whiteboard and I had to teach two groups of around 25 women each on separate class times.

All of the women sit on the floor and many of them don't have a notebook or textbook for exercises. Since they need to practice a lot of vocabulary and grammar, a poster with a list of the most used verbs would be incredibly helpful.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Breakfast is available from 8 am - 9:30 am at the house you'll be staying, then you have free time until 11:30 am. You must eat lunch before 12:00 pm because the tuk-tuk will pick you up right at noon.

You'll volunteer from 12:30 - 4:00 pm. The driver will pick up and drop you back home. Once you're back home, it is up to you to decide what you'd like to do with your free time. Since it got dark early, I stayed home most of the week, but some afternoons you can walk to the center to see the markets or shops, and on my last day I went to see the elephants.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was traveling solo and being the easiest target for bad people. Also, I was afraid of getting sick or getting malaria. I overcame these fears by doing a lot of research and hired a driver who I knew I could trust. A user from Lonely Planet referred him and then I did research on my own. His name is Balveer from Rural India Vacations.

I was very careful with the food I was eating, I ate no meat at all and I avoided eating outside unless it was recommended. Avoid eating salads and anything raw. To prevent malaria, I took pills before entering the risk area and for 7 days after, I avoided getting bitten by mosquitos during the day and at night time, by spraying Jungle Juice (contains high DEET), wore long sleeve shirts the whole week and used my mosquito net at night.

Did you travel independently before or after volunteering?

I chose to go to Nepal because I love nature and also because an acquaintance met me there. I only had a week left to spend in Nepal, so I did the Poon Hill trail, which is considered a short hike between 3-4 days. Then I did the most of it sightseeing in Pokhara and Kathmandu.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Sukret Sharma

Job Title
Marketing Manager

Tell us a little about Volunteering With India and your role at the company.

Man with an elephant

Sukret: Volunteering With India is an Indian based non-profit that wants to unify people around the world to help those in need.

Volunteering With India's founders were originally just a group of friends. In the beginning we used to help local NGO’s with their work with the community. We would teach children in rural areas how to use the computers, help homeless children, help kids placed in orphanages, and took part in the women empowerment movement. Next, we got involved in a program that offered theater education to school children and we were amazed at how well the kids performed. After this, we started working with animal care centers in Jaipur and started running an awareness program about animals. All this work led to our desire to build an organization that could handle all these problems.

Currently the organization is running successful programs in the city of Jaipur and in the rural areas that surround it. Our work is about helping children stay in school and give them a better education. In addition, we want to develop their talents, help women become independent and aware of their rights, and raise awareness about animal rights. We hope our work will help develop a more powerful, educated and aware society.

I overlook the marketing and promotion part of the projects and provide online support to the volunteers before they join the project. I am also Relationship manager for the volunteering organizations and with local NGO's.

How did you get involved in the volunteer industry?

Sukret: I graduated with a degree in Commerce and IT. I found a job in one of the India's IT leading firms where my role was to provide computer education in rural areas and send computers to government schools. I went to local schools fixing computers, teaching classes to both children and teachers to give them basic knowledge about computers. After a while, I started doing this for free. This was the initial start that inspired me to get a group of my friends together and start a volunteer organization to help people in need.

What makes Volunteer with India unique?

Sukret: Our foreign volunteers often say they don't feel like tourists when they are with us because they get totally immersed in the Indian culture. This is something makes Volunteering With India unique. In addition, volunteers have said repeatedly that they trust the organization because it is local based organization, has lower fees compared and presents everything in a clear manner through the website.

In your experience, what characteristics make a good international volunteer?

Sukret: First, try to not to feel and act like a tourist. Get immersed in the culture, be open and be friendly with everyone in the community. It's important to respect the culture and tradition of the country. Also, be sure to do the tasks that are assigned to you.

What does the future hold for Volunteering With India?

Sukret: The future looks good for Volunteering With India. The organization is achieving its goals and mission day by day with the help of the team members, partners and local NGO's.