By Volunteering Journeys   Reviews (11)   91% Rating
Our Volunteer Programs are immersive, educational and allow you to grow as a person. There are few places in the world quite as enigmatic, colourful and diverse as India and you’ll get the chance to be inspired by the sights, sounds and flavours of this

Volunteer in India with Volunteering Journeys

By Volunteering Journeys   Reviews (11)   91% Rating

India is one of the most diverse and culturally enriching countries you will visit. Our programs are in the gorgeous Kerala, South India & historical Kolkata, East India.

As a volunteer in India you will be helping with community development on a range of projects. You can work with children's education and assist teachers in local schools. You can spend time helping with child care, run youth empowerment classes or health care projects or even sports or arts. There is so much to do that you will be busy! We also run some fantastic medical programs helping local doctors & nurses.

We ensure quality in service, give you safe, structured and projects supported by experienced local teams.
As a volunteer living in India, you will get to interact with local communities, live in local areas and get an authentic experience of India. You will get cultural immersion activities such as cooking & language classes. On weekends or evenings you can enjoy local sightseeing to explore India!

Yoga and Volunteering in Kerala
This is an extra special program where you can combine some amazing volunteering with Yoga! You will be working at a local orphanage or a local school helping with English classes either with individuals students or in a group sessions.You can make the classes as fun as you want them to be but have to bear in mind that the children know little English. That is why we need volunteers to help them learn English. Yoga is arranged in the morning and ont he weekend you will also get cooking classes and Ayuerveda massages. Kerala is the yoga capital of India and you will enjoy learning and practicing yoga in the most perfect setting with a local yoga master.

Sports Volunteering in Kerala
If you have a passion for sports and lots of energy, this program's for you! You'll be working in a local school or orphanage where you'll be coaching children in sports such as cricket or football and encourage general fitness and well-being through workshops.Through the medium of sport you will help to develop English and teamwork skills. Enjoy weekend excursions cycling or trekking in the beautiful region of Kerala.

Volunteer Working with Slum Children
Spend weekdays volunteering at a local NGO, helping to educate Slum children numeracy, English language and other subjects. As the program has some flexibility, you will be able to get involved in organizing extracurricular activities such as sports, arts or drama for children. You will also tour historic sites in Kolkata and take a Jungle Tour in Sunderban Mangrove Jungle - a UNESCO Heritage Site and home to one of the largest concentration of tigers in the world.

Adventure Tour & Community Development
You will be focusing on community development, and either working with children at an orphanage or a local school. Your activities could include drama, sports, arts, reading or 1-to-1 sessions. This will give you a well-rounded experience, as you assist the children in many different roles. Volunteer support makes a significant impact on this project, as you will be supporting kids who come from disadvantaged families. You will also take an adventure tour in the tropical paradise of Kerala, go trekking in the breathtaking hills of Munnar and go cycling around the backwaters and beaches or kayaking.

Volunteer on an Art Project in India
This unique and extremely rewarding program is for those who are really passionate about art. Working in local schools and orphanages, you will spend some time teaching in groups and some time taking one-on-one sessions. Depending on what your interests are, you will be able to work on a variety of activities with the children, from drawing or painting to singing, drama, music or dance, or even creative writing.

Construction Project in Southern India
If you like to get your hands dirty then this project is for you! Help renovate classrooms, build a toilet or even a rainwater harvest tank. Interact with locals and get an authentic experience of India. You can opt from the following projects all of which can be completed between 1- 2 weeks: school renovations (help with basic construction work to improve the health and safety standards and general appearance of classrooms); water sanitation project (get involved in building rainwater harvesting tanks, which provide palatable and sustainable drinking and cooking water); sanitation project (assist in building a toilet with the help of a local mason).

Locations
Asia › India › Kochi
Cost
Price Includes

1.Airport Pickup and drop off

2.Accommodation (twin sharing)

3.Breakfast &Dinner

4. Pre Departure Information pack

5.Training and Area Orientation on arrival

6. 24/7 Local staff support and dedicated Program Manager in country.

7. Project Travel

8. Volunteer Activities

Price Excludes

Police Report or DBS Check
Flight to India
Tourist Visas
Travel Insurance
Lunch
Weekend Excursions
Local Shopping
Starting Price
0.00

Questions & Answers

Rating Values

  • Impact
    83%
  • Support
    91%
  • Fun
    77%
  • Value
    91%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (11)

Bob
Male
50 years old
Charlotte, Vermont
University of Vermont

A wonderful experience

Overall 10

We had an absolutely remarkable time with Rainbow Voluntours. We were looking for a family volunteering opportunity and came across them in a web search. The director, Ridhi, was invariably thoughtful and responsive in our correspondence, listening to what we were looking for and matching us with a perfect situation. Our family of 6 (four kids, ages 5-13) would be teaching in a school and an after-school program, and I was worried that it would either be too much (i.e., "Here's your class for the week, best of luck!") or too little (i.e., "Sit over in the corner and watch.").

It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Rainbow Voluntours staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn't feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff's perspective's was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.

The whole staff in Kerala -- Ridhi, Geeta, Midhu -- were wonderful, and it was a transformative experience for our family.

Anne-Marie
Female
41 years old
Dublin, Ireland
Dublin City University

Good for first timers to India

Overall 7

This is a great option for short term volunteers. Fort Kochi city is gorgeous, safe and really welcoming. There are loads of lovely restaurants, shops and markets so it is a nice place to explore when you are not with the school. Rainbow will organise great tours for you on your weekends off.

My homestay was really great, the family made me really welcome and they added to the fun and authenticity of the whole experience.

My volunteering experience was mostly with children in the school, and also with teacher some of the mum's English. They were wonderful people, I really enjoyed it. I had no previous experience of volunteering or teaching, I think if you have experience it is better for the children of course - but the most important think is to be enthusiastic, flexible and caring towards your young charges!

I would recommend Rainbow Volunteers to people who want to add on some volunteer experience to their trip to India. Or if you haven't been to India, it is a very good place to start.

How can this program be improved?
The programme is a great - the children, the accommodation, Fort Kochi is a great town for those new to India. It's really safe, interesting, a great place for culture and people - full of great restaurants and shops. Rainbow Volunteers will also organise lifts to and from the airport and great day trips from Fort Kochi. The programme could be improved by having more of a set curriculum for the volunteers to follow rather than having each volunteer create their own as it would improve consistency for the children. Maybe, Rainbow could also give the volunteers some pre-work to prepare before they reach India. I am sure that most volunteers would be happy to do this and it would be easier than trying to prepare in India when Internet, printing etc are not as easily found. Overall, a great programme.
Liz
Female
41 years old
Australia

Great experience

Overall 7

The volunteer teaching program was a great experience. Having never taught children before the first couple of days were a bit daunting but by day three I was very comfortable. The kids were adorable and loved interacting with us. Just seeing their faces light up each day when we arrived was amazing. I will never forget them.

How can this program be improved?
It would be great if we could have more time with the teachers before class to help plan for lessons.
Alison
Female
41 years old
Scotland
Other

Wonderful volunteering experience in Calcutta

Overall 10

I was a bit scared to begin with, it was my first time traveling on my own and the furthest East I had been. When I arrived in Calcutta, I saw no other Westerner, but..........I felt India. I felt part of the scene, part of the culture and part of the community. The charity I volunteered for added another dimension to my experience.
The experience I had with Rainbow Voluntours has enthused my desire to travel and hopefully have other wonderful experiences. Thank you!

How can this program be improved?
The program was fine for me.
Voluntour2014
Male
41 years old
Canada
Other

A program with potential

Overall 7

I had an enriching experience in Kochi. I'd say plan for a minimum of two weeks to have some sort of impact on the children's lives. The program could have benefited from some more structure and concrete objectives, but it was flexible to accommodate each volunteer's interest.

How can this program be improved?
I'd say define the objectives of the program right from the start. I'd also suggest a program to improve the language ability of the teachers.
Telma
Female
41 years old
Switzerland
Other

Great Experience

Overall 10

Working as a Rainbow Volunteer was amazing. It was hard work but such a great experience for me to be in India. I was teaching lower kindergarden children between the age of 3 and 5. They were just ready to absorb anything taught and it was great to be with the local teachers and staff. The project is wonderful and really helps the children who are living in the slums.The children are always smiling despite living in difficult backgrounds and many are so poor. I learnt a lot about the culture of India, learnt Yoga and got to explore Kerala. I also visited Rishikesh in between my program. The staff are so helpful and always ready to give ideas and get materials needed for the project. My experience has been amazing and I will always remember my time in Kochi. I cant wait to come back.

How can this program be improved?
When in India you have to flexible and make sure that you experience everything. Walk around, talk to locals and try all the delicious food. For the projects bring some activity books for basic learning, reading books and old toys if you have these. I would buy art supplies locally but it is always good to bring what you want from home. Also it is conservative and at the projects you have to wear clothes that are formal so make sure you pack appropriately!
Patrizia
Female
23 years old
Bern, Switzerland
Other

Very well organized, far too expensive Volunteering

Overall 9

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.

Provider Response

Dear Patrizia, Thanks for your feedback. Its great you had a lovely experience and your efforts are appreciated.
Your feedback seems to be missing a lot of the correct information and lacks constructive feedback.

The training being loveless- Im not really sure what that means? It would be good to get your recommendation to make it more loving.

The school being tough- it is hard as its a challenge and not easy to volunteer for everyone in a new country but we had a staff who was with you constantly for this reason. On the first day also we had the program manager, project coordinator and the local teacher helping in class- and you were simply teaching alphabets and rhymes from the text book with 3 helpers. We also worked in 3 classes after discussing this with you and so you get a full experience of different age groups. The timetable was also easy and you worked only had 4 classes a day (with the help of a Rainbow staff!!) Not sure how to make it better than that! Children also dont speak English- which is why we have you as a volunteer helping the project- to help with English.

Regarding the accomodation and homestay we have used this for our previous volunteers who have loved this and we hope to continue to place volunteers in our selected accomodation. We feel it is a personal preference and your personal decision to change which we honour.

Regarding the expenses- you have firstly miscalculated the accomodation and training day costs and food, this especially as you are calculating what you have seen but there are costs that we incur to actually run the company that we incorporate in the fee. This is used for our marketing and administration including staff costs and expenses. When you eat in a restaurant you dont calculate the cost of each ingredient but the entire meal. The cost of this meal includes expenses that go beyond the cost of the ingredients. In the same way we are charging a fair amount to help us run this organisation, cover our marketing budgets and bring more volunteers to help a good cause.

If you would like to volunteer for free you can always come to India and do that but you will not get an experience with the kind of support offered and the trips we have included. If you are a budget volunteer then certainly do not volunteer with us as we offer a certain standard of service that comes with a price. Our projects are also very carefully selected and we do a lot of preparations before and during the project. Our accomodation is also great and unlike budget volunteering organisations where you normally have bunk beds and basic food, we give private rooms and really nice food and families who look after our volunteers after hours. Its often easy to forget the positives that the program offers and the actual costs are overlooked by participants.

By actually deterring future participants by claiming it is too expensive without a fair understanding of true costs, and not talking to the program manager first about this, and caring to give credit the hard work of staff and array of activities undertaken, is reflective that you have not thought much before writing this review.

We can only wish you well for the future and thank you for whatever you did.

Glyn
Male
41 years old
United Kingdom
Aston University

Volunteering in Kerala with Rainbow Voluntours

Overall 10

I volunteered for 2 weeks at a primary school in Fort Kochi, Kerala. Rainbow Voluntours were fantastic from start to finish. The communication and preperation before I left was first class, as I have a very busy and stressful job in London, it was a huge help; my host family were amazing and I am still in contact with them every week, Fort Kochi is such a cool place and I have friends there now for life.

I did a backwaters tour by bike, cycling 34km to a remote village. I went with some other volunteers and we stayed on an island hut and ate fresh fish that was caught in the water in front of us. Going to the toddy shop (local pub) and having lots of toddy was a good experience. I highly recommned Rainbow Voluntours, they'll give you a very personalised and authentic experience of India.

Mathew
Male
23 years old
Oxford, UK
University College London

Kerala Backwaters Program

Overall 10

I was volunteering on the project for 2 weeks in October. I worked in a local school where I was teaching children and helping teachers with English. We would start at 9 am and finish at 3 pm with breaks inbetween. The best part of the program was interacting with the teachers and getting to teach children freely. We used school text books but also made up lessons that we felt would be useful. A lot of children know english but are not confident to speak the language and so I tried to interact with them a lot and got them to read out aloud and speak to each other in English. The teachers are a delight to work with and I was invited to one of the teachers home as well.
On the weekend I did a backwaters houseboat which was simply one of the best things I have done in a while. This was so relaxing and I even did some fishing and canoeing. The trip and the whole volunteer experience was so rewarding. I will be back next year to try the elephant rescue program.

How can this program be improved?
The program being new does not have many teaching resources. It would be great if they could source some more teaching equipment like a projector and laptop for volunteers to use.
sophie
Female
31 years old
Kochi

fantastic experience

Overall 10

I had a great time volunteering for Rainbow Voluntours. I spent 2 weeks in a primary school in Kochi where I taught english and arts/ crafts to the children. The teachers are very very nice and talkative and the kids are just so sweet, they want to know so much.
It was very nice to experience India from inside and to realise how different it is from Europe.
I will come back to visit again and I would highly recommend Rainbow Voluntours for anyone looking for a reliable and unforgettable experience as a volunteer.

Ashrat
Male
31 years old
london, uk
University of London

Wonderful project

Overall 10

I volunteered with Rainbow for 2 weeks in Kerala and it was an absolute delight. We worked in a school and I was helping to teach English and played games and activities with the children. I was teaching Year 4 and they are able to speak in English so it was great.
I never really encountered any difficulty as I always got staff support and someone was with us. The side trips were organised really well also and I got a fishing trip and canoe trip included in my backwaters stay. Overall one of the best things I have done this year!

How can this program be improved?
I think they definately need more volunteers but being a new program there is a wealth of information but not many volunteers. They however work with locals and for the locals so its great.

About The Provider

Volunteering Journeys is a social enterprise that provides quality, affordable and tailored volunteer programs in Asia and Africa. Whether you are looking for educational growth, personal fulfillment, or skill building, our programs will give you a immersive and rewarding experience with real locals. Our projects are all community led. You can come and teach english, help women's empowerment, engage with medical and healthcare work, or be a part of animal conservation efforts. You could be from any walk of life - a student, a family, a career breaker or even over 50.

Our volunteering opportunities are supported by a team of passionate, knowledgable and experienced local teams. Our focus is to connect people to enable learning. We give quality programs at affordable rates and customise your experience to your needs, skills and interests ensuring that you get the most our of your time abroad. So check us out and start a journey of a lifetime!

Volunteer in India with Volunteering Journeys

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