I've done a 3 weeks Volunteering in Vidydhanam school in Mattancherry, Kochi.
Rainbow Volontours is very well organized. It started before I've arrived: I always got a quick answer to my e-mails, which gave me the feeling of professionalism and safety. When i arrived, everything was perfectly organized. I got the important numbers and the program of the next days etc.
On the first day, Rainbow Volontours gave me a presentation about India, Kerala and Volunteering. Although interesting, it was given very quickly and loveless. The Rainbow Volontours members showed me around town and introduced me to locals - which was a beautiful arrival for me!
During the whole 3 weeks of my Volunteering, there was always something going on. If I didn't have dinner with Rainbow Volontours or friends, they suggested me sth to do - and gave me only the best suggests!
The volunteering itself was an unforgettable experience! However, it was far more tough than i expected! I was the first Volunteer in that school - so everything was still new and unorganized. I've worked with 3-4 different classes every day, which was lovely and very hard at the same time. Most of the kids hardly knew any english.
I didn't like the first day at school: After many times having said that the first day was only to get an impression of the school they directly sent me into the classroom, without any preparation. As someone who hasn't really taught before i found this very tough.
The girl of Rainbow Volontours with whom i've always worked in class was lovely!!! She did an amazing job by translating the things i've said into the local language Malayalam and helped me wherever possible!
What I didn't like was the Homestay they put me in - as it was very loud, i couldn't sleep for 2 weeks and had to change it. Of course, this may vary from person to person. Rainbow Volontours was always there to help me.
In any event, the organization Rainbow Volontours was always asking about my well-being and needs, although i felt that they actually don't care but have to do their job.
What i definitely didn't like about the organization, was where my money went!!!
I've payed 700GBP for 3 weeks Volunteering. That's where my money went:
2'200 Rs airport transfer (go and back)
3'500 Rs island-trip (two day-trip with cycle, over-night-stay, food, backwater-tour)
3'000 Rs Munnar-trip (two-day-trip with cab, over-night-stay, food)
3'600 Rs 4times yoga a week
17'000 Rs Homestay (incl. food)
500 Rs two cooking classes
That makes in total 29'800 Rs, means 293 GBP. There last 407 GBP (41'500 Rs) for the organization. Pretty much!!! If you think about that a school teacher earns only 2'000 rs a month!! According to Rainbow Volontours, even a doctor in Kerala doesn't earn more than 25'000 Rs a month.
The team members of Rainbow Volontours were always there to help me. Still I think this amount of money is not at all legitimated.
Rainbow Volontours bought little things for the children to play - but nothing more for the school! And I am very sure, that also inside the organization Rainbow Volontours the money isn't equally spread!
All in all: For me, it was an amazing experience with loving children, very well organized, but I am upset about the spreading of the money.
If you really want to help India: don't come here.