Most Affordable & Impactful Volunteer Programs in India from $250

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About

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the world's most popular volunteer programs in India and 50+ destinations around the world.

You can choose from 4 volunteer project options: Childcare, Health, Slum Teaching or Teaching and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in local homestay or volunteer house with like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so even before you even, you’ll receive outstanding service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure training.

If you thrive on fast-paced city life, an abundance of opportunities to grow, exciting experiences at every turn and authentic interactions with local people, volunteering in Delhi is for you.

Highlights
  • IVHQ’s India - Delhi program is available year-round, starting on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month
  • Highly affordable program fees from $250 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 20 and 40 other IVHQ volunteers who start in India - Delhi each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer experts, and joining a network of 110,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

This Month Only: Get A Free Virtual Volunteer Course

Register this month for any IVHQ volunteer program and get free access to the Certificate In International Volunteering online course from the Global Travel Academy. More than 35 IVHQ programs have already reopened with additional health and safety measures in place + with IVHQ's flexible booking, it's free to change your dates, volunteer program or destination if your plans change.

Popular Programs

India Childcare Project

The aim of this project is to provide assistance to childcare centers in India which are often at full capacity due to the high incidences of poverty and illness. These centers are​​ often overcrowded and under resourced with a high demand for volunteer assistance​.

This project is well suited to caring and enthusiastic volunteers, who have an interest in working with children aged 4-8 years old from disadvantaged backgrounds.

India Healthcare Project

Volunteers on the Health project work in either local hospitals or slum clinics, shadowing well-respected physicians who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise, while offering a valuable insight into the healthcare system of one of the world’s fastest growing countries.

Volunteers on the Slum Clinic placement will have the opportunity to perform more hands-on tasks such as treating minor injuries as well as cleaning and bandaging wounds.

India Slum Teaching Project

For many children in India, school is simply not an option. It is estimated that there are more than 11 million marginalized and vulnerable street children in India. Many of these children work in the streets with their parents selling goods, foraging and performing to make a living. Volunteers on this project play an important role in providing the children within these communities access to basic education along with new opportunities that they would otherwise been deprived of.

Questions & Answers

Nope! When I was in India, our orientation group had volunteers of various ages!

It all depends how long you are staying for, while volunteering you do get meals with the families you stay with but some may not like the food and want to eat out, generally India is one of the cheapest places you can visit, if you are purely just going to volunteer and don't intend doing any other activities which is doubtful in India then you won't need much at all, if you are the type to live...

I took a look and you can find the price breakdown for both programs in India below. Hope that helps!

Reviews

9.73 Rating
based on 94 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 92.55%
  • 7-8 rating 7.45%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 17 - 24 of 94
Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I LOVED IT!

The IVHQ program in India was awesome! All the staffs were very helpful and so nice! The orientation was very organized and super fun! I made so many friends from all over the world during my stay in India, along with so many cherishable memories I would never forget. However, the one thing I would never forget during my stay in India would be the time I spent with the children in the slum teaching program. All the children in the B.V.N Slum School were amazing, funny, and eager to learn English! I taught 4th grade through 10th grade and they were all so special that I even went to school on Saturdays to teach them! I regret volunteering for only 4 weeks here, if I could, I would have stayed so much longer! It broke my heart to say goodbye to all the children I taught because we became so close over my short period here. I'm happy I chose IVHQ India for my first volunteering abroad experience because they helped me tremendously to transition smoothly for my stay!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ashley, What an awesome review! Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little about your time on the program in India. It sounds like you had a really special time and we are glad that we were able to help facilitate this for you. Thanks for your kind words and for being an IVHQer!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

India will open your heart in ways you never imagined.

HOMESTAY
Arriving in India was easy. Immediately greeted by a long-time staff member of IVHQ, I could breathe easy and enjoy the chaotic drive to my temporary homestay. Over my first weekend I explored the city with some new friends while other volunteers slowly arrived from the airport. Our house "parents" were so kind to immediately offer a ride to the market for water and toilet paper upon arrival. The orientation was very helpful- covered basics about the culture, the volunteer program, languages, etc. The volunteers were then sent to our permanent homestays for the duration of our programs. The other volunteers seemed wonderful so it was sad that we didn't get to know each other more before being split up. Auntie and Uncle at my homestay were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They were always there to answer questions, make sure we are enjoying ourselves, and keeping well. All accommodations have wifi, not necessarily good wifi- but 3am is usually a good time to sign on. Auntie walked us to our school on the first day of teaching and made us all memorize her house number which saved us on numerous occasions :) The IVHQ staff members checked in every Tuesday and Thursday to make sure we were happy and comfortable.

FOOD
The food was always delicious, but quite heavy with bread, rice and potatoes. Don't worry about gaining weight because you walk, sweat, and drink too much [bottled] water to retain any fat. We would buy fruit a lot for breakfast because we needed to switch it up. Having an upset tummy is pretty much inevitable, but don't hesitate to ask for a doctor visit- it is so cheap and you don't want to ruin the rest of our trip!

TEACHING
The school was extremely disorganized, but I attribute that to Indian culture ;). We had no idea what we were supposed to be teaching, what the students were previously taught, etc. I think the local teachers had a hard time seeing situations from the volunteers perspective because they were unable to offer much guidance. The classrooms were mixed with different age groups and levels so it took a few days to get settled into a routine. Once in a routine, each day proved itself to be a rewarding experience. A note to future volunteers: be prepared to discipline as much as you teach and know that the local teachers will use corporal punishment on the kids. The younger ones can be quite rambunctious, so sometimes pairing with another volunteer helps to keep control of the classroom. On the positive side, the kids were so eager to practice their English and volunteer during activities. They adore games, but resources are quite limited. I recommend planning out some games ahead of time that would work for larger groups of kids without extra resources. They will tell you what they want to play, but their favorite games are not usually educational (which is obviously ok every now and then). I also brought colored paper and pencils from home which brought plenty of afternoon entertainment! Travelling to the city after class and on the weekends is pretty easy, it just takes a lot of energy especially during the hot months.

TRAVEL
We were able to travel to the Taj Mahal through IVHQ, but found out that we probably could've gone for much cheaper on our own. Everything works out- by going with IVHQ we didn't have to work out a single travel detail all day..peace of mind is sometimes worth the price. We used the weekend to travel to Jaipur where we made new friends, painted elephants, fed monkeys, and shopped till we dropped (literally- we were so exhausted!). Mohit, an IVHQ staff member, is super cool and coordinated the taxi that picked me up to take me to the airport on my last day. I couldn't have planned a more smooth trip.

SAFETY
I always felt safe in India- of course that doesn't mean I didn't travel with precaution. The buddy system is a must everywhere you go, especially for women. The metro offers cars and separate security lines just for women. Always stand alert (not staring at your phone) and walk with a purpose to lessen your risk of an uncomfortable situation- this obviously applies everywhere you go, but it is something to keep in the front of your mind when you are in a unfamiliar place. As part of the orientation, IVHQ reminds women to dress modestly- this is also to reduce unwanted attention. Anyone who looks European will still get plenty of attention regardless, but for safety don't feed into it by dressing skimpily which is so tempting in the heat. From my pre-departure research I anticipated being groped on the trains, but luckily never had to deal with that situation.

OVERVIEW
From the beginning Louise, the IVHQ-India coordinator, was always responsive, friendly, and amazingly professional. She checks up on you during your stay and follows up with you when you return home. Everyone already knows that India is chaotic, dirty, and known for scams, but what you don't realize until you get there is that the pros outweigh the cons. The beautiful sites, the strangers that offer help and don't ask for your money, the laidback "India time" concept, the compassion of the different religions represented...all of these things remind you of what is important in life and teaches you to live more simply and enjoy each day.

I originally signed up with IVHQ because it offered short or long term programs which fit my life and what I was looking for. IVHQ was the easiest, best decision for volunteering overseas and I recommend it to everyone. I plan to volunteer again and definitely use IVHQ.

So....I hope my book of a review is helpful, especially to those new to travelling! I also included some pics that I think summarize my experience with IVHQ. Louise at IVHQ has my email in case anyone wants to reach out.
*Namaste*

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Julia, What an awesome review! Thanks so much for taking the time to write an in-depth review from your time on the program in India, we really appreciate it. We are so glad that you found your homestay welcoming, the food delicious, the teaching work rewarding and managed to explore India in your free time. It sounds like you had a really special time and we are glad that we were able to help facilitate this for you. Thanks for your kind words and for being an IVHQer. We can’t wait to have you back!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Tasha, NZ
Tasha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Thing I've Ever Done

I was fortunate enough to spend January 2017 in India with IVHQ, in particular, the most amazing family and compassionate children at one of the slum school volunteering programs in Faridabad.

Mohit and Chandni, as IVHQ staff and a host family, very quickly became trusted friends and in every regard, my family. When I was feeling isolated and unhappy in my first homestay placement, Mohit and Chandni were incredibly helpful, as staff, when they came to check in. They personally provided the best support and concern for my wellbeing. When I asked, they were happy to move me into their house due to being more familiar with the volunteers already living there, already knowing Mohit as my orientation guide, and knowing that as a more social individual, I would be more comfortable there.

Mohit and Chandni both, along with Raj and Aryan, the 2 guys living with them, undoubtedly provided me with some of my most treasured moments, and loudest laughter during that month. I cannot thank all of them enough for the Bollywood dancing, movie nights, late night discussions, laughter, amazing food (I am still dreaming about puri and poha) and endless helpful advice and answers on the ins and outs of everything India. But most of all I value their friendship, and for welcoming me into their home where I felt the happiest I have been in a long time.

The school was a definite challenge at first. It was something I found I was unable to prepare for. The style of teaching and classroom layout definitely induced some fear in the first few days as I observed what appeared to be complete madness. I questioned if I would be able to give any form of beneficial service to the school. But, I began to build relationships with a few of the students through interaction and discussion, allowing their conversational English to be extended, as well as developing a personal connections, genuine friendships, and sharing of cultures. It was an absolute pleasure to meet such compassionate and eager kids who were willing to include you in afternoon cricket sessions in the nearby park; as well as taking you back to their homes after school to be introduced to their families, and experience their way of life. A unique side of India that would be inaccessible by travelling in any other way.

My time in India I can confidently say was the best and most beneficial experience I have had in my life. Travelling during orientation week was effortless and stress free, and the best way I could imagine to meet genuinely good people, and see so much of New Delhi in such limited time. As well as weekends away with the kind souled volunteers I met, whom I know I will remain in contact with for a lifetime; the kids I built firm relationships with; and the most incredible host family I could ask for. It’s clear to me that I will be back to visit as soon as I possibly can.

After the initial culture shock and adjustment to an alien environment (which truly knocks you off your feet!) all wears off, the magnetism of India remains long after you leave. I could not recommend more highly visiting for yourself and soaking up as much of the culture, beauty and chaos as possible.

Thank you Mohit, Chandni, Raj, Aryan and IVHQ head office for making my stay incredible, and something I miss every single day back home!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tasha, Thanks for sharing this beautiful and insightful review from your time in India! It is heartwarming to know that you were so well supported by Mohit, Chandni, and the local team, and found considerable happiness in their company. We are thrilled that you were able to push through the challenges at your placement to have a meaningful volunteer experience. It is apparent that you made the most of your time in India and we’d like to thank you for your recommendation and for being an amazing IVHQ volunteer!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Chuck
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living again

My experience was absolutely incredible. I learned so much and came home with different values for life I never even knew about. It taught me things in life I've only came across in dreams. I came home learning realize there are things in life we cannot change and we need to let them go. I seen how much beauty is in this world from seeing the lights, the colors and smiles from one place. Letting go is when the fun starts.

What would you improve about this program?
Volunteers are sent at different times. There should be one time where groups are sent at once. Better way for people to socialize.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Chuck, We are stoked to hear that you had an incredible experience on the program in India! Learning to let go of the things in life that you cannot change is an incredible lesson to have learnt. Thanks for being an awesome IVHQer!
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Ashlyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Second Home

In just five weeks, not only did I come to think of India as my second home but I came to think of my Indian host family as a second family. By offering homestays, IVHQ offers FULL cultural immersion - the only real way to experience and learn about a different culture - and with a culture as distinct and rich in history as that of India, there is no other way to volunteer in India short-term as a college student than to do it through IVHQ. Easily the highlight of my trip was my homestay, which enabled me to learn about Indian travel tips, food, music, pop culture, customs, religion, and history through the eyes of one amazing family - a family that I am now broken-hearted over saying goodbye to. In addition to the homestays, I fell in love with the students at the school where I taught English. In the time I was blessed to have spent with them, not only was I able to help them practice their English skills, I was also privileged to be invited to visit students' homes and play cricket with many of the students after school. I was stunned by their generosity, curiosity, and pure joie de vivre and formed incredible connections that left me in tears on my final day. Centrally located within India, I was able to tour New Delhi, Jaipur, Rishikesh, and Varanasi with relative ease - something I would not have been able to afford were it not for the EXTREMELY low cost and high value IVHQ offers in the Delhi program. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact me if you are considering doing IVHQ, have any questions or reservations, and I would be overjoyed to help you out.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ashlyn, Thanks for your fantastic review! It is heartwarming to hear that you came to find a second family in India, and a place where you could immerse yourself in Indian food, music, pop culture, customs, religion, and history. We love hearing how you assisted and interacted with the students at your school placement – I am sure your willingness to connect would have been greatly appreciated. Thanks for kindly offering to help potential volunteers with any questions and reservations they may have. It has been a joy to have you volunteers with IVHQ and we would love to have you back one day.
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Career Break :)

Well, I'm at the end of my stay here in India, I've been here for a month now volunteering at a slum school with IVHQ. I decided to do the program over the Christmas break as this would allow me a full month off work...I'm 36 and wanted to experience a different culture whilst also helping a good cause. I can highly recommend this program to all ages...I loved my homestay with Mohit and Chandni and I loved my placement at the school. Go for it xx

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Anna, We are so glad that our program in India allowed you to experience a different culture while helping a good cause. Thanks for your recommendation and for being a wonderful volunteer.
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

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Diana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful experience with IVHQ

My time in India was for sure the most adventurous experience of all my life, I was here for 5 months and I only wish I could stayed longer. Everything about India was great, the volunteers that I met, the children at the school, the weekend trips, the babies at the adoption center and for sure my host family. I swear everyday in India was an adventure, something new was waiting for me to explore and experience. India is so diverse and the fun never ends in this country. India is full of culture, history, religions and of course full of amazing people. I had the best time and I would do this trip again.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Diana, Thanks for your brilliant, short and sweet review! We are stoked to hear that your time in India was full of adventure, fun, culture, history, religion, and amazing people – this is what we like to hear! Thanks for being a great volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

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Kathryn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ INDIA - DHARAMSALA

I volunteered on the IVHQ INDIA - DHARAMSALA in the town of Bir for 2 months in 2014, and I'm going back again for another trip in 2017. The program is a perfect mix of culture, self-realisation and volunteering.

I did the English teaching program, which meant I taught monks in one of the 4 local monasteries in Bir. The monasteries are all within a 5 min walking distance from the homestay. Volunteers are generally the only teachers in the classroom, and classes in English are taught around their schedule of Buddhist classes. Volunteers are expected to teach things like maths, cultural studies and english on weekdays, with a morning and afternoon session and a break in the middle of the day for lunch back at home. The young monks are VERY energetic and sometimes uncontrollable, but they are generally eager to learn and being able to help with that is rewarding. There are plenty of resources already in the homestay to use for lessons, and there is a local printing shop down the road which can be used for photocopying at around 2 rupees per sheet.

The local homestay is a 3 storey Tibetan home, with a rooftop balcony. The home belongs to a Tibetan family who live in and run the house with the help of a local cook/maid. They are some of the most friendly people you will ever meet, and English is well understood. The house has a TV with local channels and wifi. Running water is generally constant, although hot water is solar powered and can be unpredictable. There are washing lines already set up on the balconies, and there is a washing machine, although most volunteers generally did their washing by hand.

Bir is up in the Himalayas, and there are lot of things to do on the weekends. You can go to Macleodganj for the weekend, which is a tourist hub around 2-3 hours away, which has lots of western (and tibetan) restaurants, souvenirs and scenery. The Dalai Lama's residence is in Macleodganj, and you can visit while you're there. I'd also recommend doing the overnight hike to Triud, going to Amritsar, Manali, Chauntra and Barot.

Bir is a very small town, but there are many local shops which sell things like toilet paper, water, biscuits, chocolate and other necessities. For more western items, the best place to go in Macleodganj.

To get to Bir, you can either fly or take the bus. The bus is the cheaper option, departing from Delhi at night and arrives in Macleodganj in the early morning. From there, IVHQ will send a taxi driver to pick you up with a project co ordinator and take you to Bir. Be aware that the bus can be challenging is you are prone to motion sickness, and many people have raised concerns in terms of safety, especially if travelling alone. However, I took the bus with another young women, and we were fine. For my next trip, I will be flying to Dharmsala airport, and then getting a car to Bir.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is particularly interested in Tibetan of Himalayan culture, Buddhism or traditional Indian practices like yoga and meditation - Bir is a fantastic place to experience all these. The lifestyle is very relaxed, and it's a great place to make friends with the locals and learn about their culture whilst also helping the community through your volunteering!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kathryn, We are so excited to have you join us again this year! It will be interesting to hear your perspective on how the program has developed since you were last there in 2014. Thanks for posting such a detailed review of the India Dharamsala program that will be incredibly helpful to future and potential volunteers. We couldn’t agree more that this program is the perfect mix of culture, self-reflection and volunteering!
Louise - IVHQ India Program Manager