• India
    • Kochi
    • Himalaya
    • Kolkata
2 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Host Family Hostel
Travel Type
Older Travelers


Price Details
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
Weekend Excursions
Local Shopping
Jul 06, 2018
Oct 02, 2017
13 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

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!

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here.

Video and Photos

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).

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.50 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • 5 rating 66.67%
  • 4 rating 25%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 8.33%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.1
  • Support 4.5
  • Fun 3.95
  • Value 4.35
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 8 of 12 reviews
Default avatar
Dr Jay
No, I don't recommend this program

A commercial profit-making organisation that is reluctant to criticism or negative reviews

From when I first arrived to the homestay in Kerala my induction programme and medical placement was extremely disorganised. In fact, there was no medical placement to speak of; I found it extremely unprofessional that the coordinator had to take me to three hospital placements to decide which one I wanted to take. The first two hospitals were clearly unsuitable, with the doctors hardly speaking any English. I do not understand why I was even taken to these in the first instance as they were not appropriate and I wasted 3 days of placement in administrative delays. I also have a clear trail of e-mails in which I asked you several times for the location of the hospital and you refused to provide me with this, I had doubts then but these are now confirmed by the experience I have had with volunteering journeys. Nothing at all was prepared, the company lied that the hospital has a 2 week minimum commitment fee. This was not the case, the hospital was paid days after I arrived; this has been independently verified by the HR team at the hospital. Although my supervising doctor at the hospital was great, there was a complete lack of structure to the placement. I had specifically asked for 1 week of Ayurvedic medicine and 1 week of A+E (please see the e-mails); this was not provided as the coordination between the hospital and the coordinator was poor. The hospital placement and departments I was to be posted in should have been done before I even landed in India; there was plenty of time to arrange this and I was shocked that this was not arranged.
Furthermore, I have some serious concerns regarding the health and safety of the placements, with particular regard to homestay accommodation. The homestay was of a very poor standard of cleanliness for an accommodation that is supposed to cater to the needs of international volunteers. Myself and several volunteers fell ill on the trip; although identifying a link between this and the conditions at the homestay is difficult to prove, I have no doubt that the living conditions were certainly contributory. Even worse, there were unsheathed electrical wires in my bathroom which were NOT decommissioned in accordance with basic health and safety standards.
However, what I found most concerning was that myself and the other volunteers were NOT asked to provide CRB/DBS checks. Although it states in the handbook it is to be provided, as an activity provider it is their responsibility to ensure that all volunteers are safe to work with children in a resource poor environment. I was shocked to learn that alongside myself, other volunteers did also not have to submit their DBS.
On a separate issue, it says on their website that they are a social enterprise; the company was very clear that they refuse to provide a breakdown of exactly where the £921 pounds they received has been spent, including how much of this has actually gone into donations to the projects (many projects reported they received no money at all)
Overall, although I enjoyed my experience in India as a place to visit I have been disappointed by the service provided by Volunteering journeys. At a cost in excess of £900, the trip has been poor value for money. Several days of hospital placement were missed due to the coordinator rushing me around to take passport photos and finding my placement, I was not provided with the departments I requested and basic standards of health and safety were not met.

94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful experience

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.

94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Good for first timers to India

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
95 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be great if we could have more time with the teachers before class to help plan for lessons.
93 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful volunteering experience in Calcutta

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!

What would you improve about this program?
The program was fine for me.
91 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A program with potential

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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!
93 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Very well organized, far too expensive Volunteering

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.

95 people found this review helpful.
Response from Volunteering Journeys

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.

Questions & Answers

They mean America soccer :)

No, we need a minimum age of 18!