Volunteering With India

Program Reviews

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Gary
10/10

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sian
10/10

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!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Caroline
10/10

I had the opportunity to teach at a slum school in Jaipur, India. It was an amazing exxperience. I stayed with a host family and ate vegetarian food. We walked to the school every morning, and taught until about 1:00 p.m. We were able to travel to nearby sites during holidays and weekends.
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?
No problem everything went well in the program. May be i can suggest VWI to advertise more of their program so more people can join and make this experiance.
Yes, I recommend this program
prof photo
Melissa
10/10

I participated in the Street Children Program through Volunteering With India. Every minute of the program was incredible. From the moment I arrived in Jaipur I felt at home. Sukret met me at the airport and drove me to my host family's home. Every morning our host family prepared a wonderful breakfast for us, before our driver (Tota Ram- who is amazing!!) would pick us up and take us to the school to teach and play with the children. Teaching the boys English was the highlight of my trip! Everyday they are eager to learn and excited to play new games. The boys greeting us with smiles each morning made for a really rewarding experience. I also learned how to cook chapati, while helping prepare lunch for the boys one day. Govind and Sukret are so kind and helpful with guiding you throughout the entire experience. My host family left an imprint on my heart - my trip would not have been the same without them. Thanks to my host family, I was able to see Jaipur and Indian culture through an authentic perspective. I learned a lot about traditional food, Hinduism, family practices, fun local activities like flying kites. One night I went to the local temple with one of the family members. I will never forget how welcome my host family made me feel - they will forever be extended-family in my heart. I also became close with my fellow volunteers, and have made new friends for life. I will definitely stay in touch with everyone from the program, the entire experience was unforgettable. I will be back. If you are considering this program, don't think twice - just sign up!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Olga
10/10

I found the Women’s Empowerment Jaipur Program run by Volunteering With India through online – I knew it was perfect for me right away. It twigged a nerve within me, and it was exactly what I have been looking for. I feel very strongly that all women – no matter where they are from, deserve respect, dignity and also to have confidence in whatever they are doing. I have a background in Psychology, so I hope to gain further insight as to how women work and manage themselves in turbulent times. I would also like to know how we can help them gain a sense of control of the things that they can control. I’m sure there is a common theme of how women cope with challenges across the globe – and I am excited to learn more about what it is.
My arrival to the Jaipur, airport was seamless and easy. As I walked out of the airport amongst the crowds of people, I saw Ravinder with a sign board of Volunteering With India. During my flight I had a lot of random thoughts and ‘what ifs’ if my driver wasn’t there or there was a miscommunication of when I landed. So it was comforting to know that the program is very well organized! I spoke to Sukret as we were driving to the accommodation. He was checking to see how my flight was and if I needed anything – very thoughtful and nice of him seeing as it was 1230am!!
When we arrived to the accommodation I was pleasantly surprised. The rooms and house in general is so lovely and clean. The family greet me in Namaste and made a very good welcome.
The next day I met the other volunteers who were here from last 8 weeks. There were mix of volunteer as some are Doing with Elephant Project and some are doing childcare program. We were encouraged by Sukret (who has been so lovely and helpful) to get to know each other and settle in. We were provided with our meals by host mother. She is the most amazing chef! She has cooked us some beautiful traditional Indian meals – full of flavor and a real kick of spiciness.
We had a tour of the famous tourist spots of Jaipur on a Tuk-Tuk and enjoyed observing the organized chaos of it all! We also went to Monkey Palace where hundreds of monkey.
On the Monday we had the pleasure in meeting Govind – who is the other facilitator of the Women program. It was lovely to have an introduction to the women we will be working with that afternoon. I could see in their faces the true beauty of them all. I was excited for them to share their stories about who they are and what their ambitions are for the future. Overall – the general vibe was very positive which was shown through their kindness and interest in us and what we will be helping them to do.
The next day we got into the swing of things and started facilitating the program for the women. I ran a session discussing self-confidence and self-compassion. It was really interesting to see how all the women reacted. Some were very shy, and almost embarrassed when they were prompted to think about the core strengths of their personality. I really loved facilitating the discussion and I would be more than happy to know that at least one person learned something new that they could practice at home. My fellow ‘volunteer-er’ ran a workshop on English grammar. This is where their interest is also. They said that in order for them to be confident about themselves and also about getting a job – they need to improve their English. We all agreed to have an English grammar section, but also 30-45 mins of just practicing having conversations in English. Overall, the first session was a huge success with many giggles and smiles. The women were so kind and lovely.
So far so good with Volunteering With India! The main thing I enjoy is not having an absolutely non-negotiable strict schedule. Sukret and Govind are very flexible. Nothing is ever a problem and they give us plenty of time to take things in and do whatever we please (within reason of course!). I will be returning soon to India in near future that's sure.

Yes, I recommend this program
Maira
10/10

Before joining the program all of the questions that i asked were answered. My emails were always returned in very short time.
The program manager was there on my arrival to pick me from Jaipur Airport. I loved the kids that i worked with ! The staff was also helpful. Especially i would say the biggest challenge was the language barrier.
Host family were very nice.Meals were great especially.The family was very kind to me and were generous enough to let myself and other volunteers participate in their families Diwali celebration.
Project Coordinator was very helpful and kind. I felt like i could talk to him.He answered any question that i asked. He also bring me to his home and i have chance to dinner with his family. His mom is a nice cook.
I would definetly recommed this program to everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
Overall it's working good already. I don't think any point to improved may be more people can come front and support VWI.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Petra
10/10

I participated for 14 days for the childcare programm.
Teaching basic english, math, playing. This was one of my most beautiful experiences in my life and something to remember forever. To live the happiness of the children following my teaching was something very deep.
All was very well organised by the organisation and they have done all the possible to make me feel comfortable.
Sometym it was very hard to realize the conditions and the background of the childrens life. But when i saw the smile in the faces of those kids i felt so happy and glad to be there.
Those kids needed a teacher and a person to give them love and attention.
And I was proud to be there for both things.
I recommand this experience to anybody who want to live a great moment in there life and doing something helpful.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Petra
10/10

I participated for 14 days for the childcare programm.
Teaching basic english, math, playing. This was one of my most beautiful experiences in my life and something to remember forever. To live the happiness of the children following my teaching was something very deep.
All was very well organised by the organisation and they have done all the possible to make me feel comfortable.
Sometym it was very hard to realize the conditions and the background of the childrens life. But when i saw the smile in the faces of those kids i felt so happy and glad to be there.
Those kids needed a teacher and a person to give them love and attention.
And I was proud to be there for both things.
I recommand this experience to anybody who want to live a great moment in there life and doing something helpful.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Steven
9/10

I was looking for a program that would enable me to help out either children or women who are disadvantaged and don’t have opportunities to break free from the poverty cycle.
This program was amazing for helping me do that.
I went specifically to help with the women’s empowerment program and ended up also helping in a day care center and also a boys shelter.
My role was to teach English though I think they got as much out of just having someone come and spend time with them.
VWI helped massively with all the logistics from airport pickup, finding accommodation, transport to and from the volunteer location and all sorts of other areas.
On top of that Govind and Sukret took us out at night and made us feel very much a part of the local culture.
VWI have great connections with numerous local charities and
I would highly recommend using them to make your volunteering in India an unforgettable experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
Eric
9/10

Here are some photos we took during our unforgetable experience with Elephant Program.
It wasn't hard to wake up twice a week at 4:30 am to go to Elephant Village. We enjoyed leaving so early because we knew that we will see "our" elephants still sleeping or just awoken. It's a magical experience to look at them wake up gently at dawn. It's also very interesting to learn how to feed them (especially by making chapati ! It's a hard job !)

Yes, I recommend this program