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VOLUNTEER IN INDIA

 

VOLUNTEER

IS VOLUNTEERING FOR YOU? WHY VOLUNTEER? WHO CAN VOLUNTEER FACILITIES FOR THE VOLUNTEER
CONDITIONS OF VOLUNTEERING VOLUNTEER CAN LEARN VOLUNTEER’S SCHEDULE MESSAGE TO PARENTS
 

 

IS VOLUNTEERING FOR YOU?

 

Volunteering, most importantly needs the right kind of attitude to make it worthwhile. It calls for a great degree of flexibility, genuineness and patience. People having a genuine intent to serve, share and learn are the right candidates to become volunteers. One cannot expect to transform someone else’s life by a mere few days or even weeks of work and interaction. The idea is to do your part and enrich another’s life in whatever little way you can and in turn, enrich yourself as well, if not you may just end up in an emotional burn out.

 

Openness to new experiences is another cornerstone of the ideal volunteer. You will be placed in a completely novel and different atmosphere. From the very basics like the landscape, climate, language, food right up to the lifestyle, habits and cultural practices – everything will be a world of difference. It is only your ability to respect and welcome difference and novelty that will glide you smoothly through your experience as a volunteer. Willing to understand and appreciate your host family, trying to see things from their point of view can open up a treasure house of knowledge for you. You may find a whole new meaning in looking at things from an angle you have probably never tried before. It is crucial to understand and accept that no culture is superior to another. Everything is contextual, and develops on the basis of need, convenience and availability of resources.

 

Another important aspect of working as a volunteer is your reason to be here. You may feel things are not so great at home, or a failing relationship or a lack of social life is pulling you down, or perhaps you are simply bored – these cannot serve as healthy reasons for a need to do volunteer work. You will need to understand that volunteering is not something flippant and needs to be taken very seriously. Many lives are involved. And more importantly, the volunteer’s trust is at stake. You, as a volunteer, will symbolize hope, learning and encouragement. The foundation of such trust has to be laid on something solid, like genuine motivation to make a difference by serving the needy.

 

On many occasions, you will have to find meaning by yourself in the situation that you find yourself in. Practices, beliefs and customs here may seem to be diametrically opposite to where you come from. But the volunteer cannot afford to let that deter her/his resolve to work. You may often have to work under conditions which may not be ideal. For instance, many of the NGOs and international non-profit and volunteer organizations often run on limited resources, funds and manpower. Your itinerary may not be as smooth as you expected it to be. For instance, adherence to time is a very flexible concept in India. Programs often run behind schedule, on account of various limitations within which we are forced to work most of the times. The volunteer must understand that there is nothing personal about it, and try and compromise where it is reasonable to do so.

 

Volunteer projects touch upon a lot of areas. The arenas of work are wide ranging and deeply enriching –

  • Community Development - placements might be building a school, setting up a water treatment facility, cleaning the streets or planting trees.

  • Education - teacher placement or acting as a teaching assistant in a local school or an adult education program.

  •  Eco-Environmental work - placements might be in wildlife reserves or national parks, monitoring endangered species, or working at a reforestation project.

  • Social Welfare - working with under-privileged children, working with a women's co-op, or working in a hospital or orphanage.

 

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WHY VOLUNTEER?

 

You get as much as you give. Perhaps this is the best way to summarize in one line, why one should opt to do volunteer work. It is good to sometimes take the focus of the limelight away from yourself, and try placing it on others who have never enjoyed it. If you are tired of the consumerist, capitalist society that you live in, and want to do something which transcends those narrow confines, then this is the place for you to start! Countless lives  are touched, enriched and even transformed by the continued efforts of the dedicated volunteers that we have had in the past, and continue to have.

Apart from this, volunteering also allows us to experience a totally new culture and learn things about it first hand – something which no book or teacher could ever do for us. It gives us access to a new land, people, language, beliefs, customs and what not! The learning potential is immense. One also learns how to open up to something alien and very new. It makes people broaden their horizons and look for something beyond the ordinary.

 

In short, you will –

1.      Improve upon your self-confidence

2.      Explore and discover latent talents in yourself

3.      Develop a sense of self-reliance and independent thinking

4.      Cultivate empathy and compassion for others

5.      Elevate your social awareness

6.      Hone your people skills

7.      Make new friends that will last you a lifetime

8.      Create challenging and fulfilling experiences that will turn into long-lasting memories

 

Over and above these advantages, working as a volunteer also gives you the benefit of adding to your professional life. You will –

1.      Pick up social and technical skills which you can use at your workplace

2.      Also learn new ways of enhancing your interpersonal, team-building and problem-solving skills

3.      Have the edge of gaining hands on experience

4.      Explore new career options

5.      Get more clarity on your professional goals

 

By means of volunteering, you will not only inspire yourself and others. There is as much receipt as you give out. Your life is touched because you touch others’.

 

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WHO CAN VOLUNTEER?

  • Participants must be above 18 years - However, we are flexible with the age limit -depending on the participant. The participant should be independent, open-minded, flexible, and adaptable and should have a Non Judgmental attitude to situations. Basic knowledge of English will be an advantage.

  • Senior citizens are also allowed to participate in special cases

  • Gender is not a criterion

  • Educational qualification is not a condition

  • A minimum commitment of 1 month is a must from the volunteers for all of the above mentioned projects. However, to work on projects related to Women's Development or the Special Population, a minimum obligation of 3 to 6 months is mandatory.

  • The volunteer should be open minded, flexible, adaptable and have a non-judgmental attitude to novel situations.

  • Ability for self-motivation, discipline and punctuality are traits which will be highly appreciated in the participants.

  • The volunteer/participant should display sensible, sensitive and responsible behavior when working on a project. Being loving, affectionate and having the willingness to contribute at least 80 to 90% of their time (8-10 hrs work a day, depending on the project) are also essential pre-requisites.

  • Basic knowledge of English will be a definite advantage.

 

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FACILITIES FOR THE VOLUNTEER

Facilities We Offer

  • All participants will be provided with food & accommodation based on their project preference and the availability of the same is subject to that the project / host accepts your application; limited only to the official duration of the project.

  • Local conveyance will be borne by IVT-India in the event the participant does not reside in the project or has to travel by bus to reach the project or when invited for a seminar / conference / camp being organized by IVT-India or its network organizations.

  • If a travel plan is officially announced by IVT-India, then the organization will bear all travel expenses incurred.

  • IVT-India will provide regular mentoring support through contact persons / guardians as well as the office staff - these people are trained and have been long term volunteers abroad themselves.

  • All volunteers will be awarded a certificate of participation at the end of their term.

  • You will also have access to pursue varied activities and interests like Yoga, Music, Dance, arts, English - language enhancement, computers etc. The fees vary depending on the course and the participant has to bear the expenses for the same.

 

Facilities We Do Not Offer

  • The participation fees mentioned above does not include your international travel costs to India, insurance, medical expenses and expenses during your travel around India or other personal expenses.

  • The facility to earn while you are working on a project – under no circumstances can you engage in activities whereby you can make financial gains; if found engaging in any such activity, you might be arrested and deported back to your country.

  • We do not offer you the services of a travel agency. You will have to make your own travel arrangements.

 

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CONDITIONS OF VOLUNTEERING

 

Specific conditions

Working with children - Projects in the field of working with children are normally closed during April and May and re-opened in June, on account of the summer vacations. There is also a 15day holiday period in October for the Dassara festival; and another short break of 10 to 15 days in December for Christmas. Apart from these, we would also be observing other official holidays, as and when declared by the Govt. of India.

 

Working with the HIV+ population – The volunteer should have a medical background or some specialization related to HIV/AIDS

·         A minimum commitment of 1 to 3 months is required for the internship program

·         A minimum commitment of 2 to 3 months is required for the environmental projects

·         A minimum commitment of 3 months is required for working on projects for special populations

·         A minimum commitment of 3 months is required for working on projects based on women’s development

 

General conditions

The Volunteers should know basic English to communicate and would be an added benefit if you have knowledge/skills in the area of handicrafts, painting, knitting, tailoring, nursing, music, sports, etc.,

 

Volunteers should be willing to contribute at least 80-90% of their time (8-10 hours of work a day). As it is a rehabilitation centre for adults/youth/children, alcohol and smoking are is strictly not allowed in the project area.

 

 

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VOLUNTEER CAN LEARN

 

Working with us gives you added opportunities of learning different things -

·            Learning local Indian languages

As part of the orientation of incoming volunteers to India, we train them in local languages to make day to day functioning during their stay here easier. This becomes an added asset that the volunteer carries back with him/her.

 

·            Awareness of local lifestyles

The orientation also covers introducing participants to the Indian lifestyle, cultural practices, habits and beliefs. Volunteers find this an extremely interesting insight giving feature, packed with valuable learning.

 

·            Yoga and meditation

As part of the Indian tradition, volunteers are given an introduction to yoga and meditation, which augments the richness of their exposure to the Indian way of life and living. *(course fee / charges to be incurred by the volunteer)

 

·            Dance, music and native arts

We also give you a unique experience to learn local forms of Indian dance, music and art on payment. This serves both purposes of learning and recreation for the participants. *(course fee / charges to be incurred by the volunteer)

 

·            Alternative healing practices – Ayurveda and herbal medicine

Yet another priceless means to discover the Indian tradition of alternative healing. A rich storehouse of knowledge of ayurvedic and herbal secrets to health, the rural India allows the volunteer access to a whole new world of information. *(course fee / charges to be incurred by the volunteer)

 

 

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VOLUNTEER’S SCHEDULE

 

All Participants on arrival: (All Participants have to arrive in Bengaluru / Bangalore)

1.      Will be picked-up from The Airport, Train or Bus station (at no extra charges - the registration fee includes pick-up and drop back to the Bengaluru International Airport)

2.      Orientation (Activities of the Camp)*

3.      One day Bangalore Sight Seeing

4.      One Night Stay in Bangalore

5.      On the 2nd Day participants will be sent/taken to the camp site host family / host project

6.      On arrival at the camp site / project, introduction to the place and briefing with do's and don'ts

 

*Orientation :

For the International Work Camp - 1 day

For the Short Term Programme 1-2 days

For the Long Term Programme 2 days – 1 week depending on the number of Volunteers/Participants in the group

 

Orientation Contents:

1.      Introduction to Indian Culture and Habits

2.      Dos & Don’ts in the Indian Family, Project and in general

3.      Basic Language depending on the camp site area, project inmates and location of the project

4.      Introduction to IVT India and its aims and objectives

5.      Introduction to Indian philosophy, history, culture and lifestyle

6.      Introduction to co-workers / mentors and contact persons at IVT-India, in case of emergencies

7.      Answers to practical questions

 

 

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MESSAGE TO PARENTS

 

Dear Parents:  

 

Allow me to congratulate you on your wonderful decision to send you children abroad for volunteer work! It is indeed commendable. We realize that it is a major decision on your part. Venturing out to a completely unknown zone, leaving behind all comfort zones is a brave decision. But it is just as much rewarding for your child in terms of the amount and quality of experience that he/she brings back to you at the end of it. The experience at times, is often even life changing!

 

For your reassurance, we try to put together some of the measures we take for the safety and welfare of your child during their stay with us –

 

Safety

We make sure your child is safe by constantly monitoring and supervising the environment he/she works in. We ensure safety at various levels, round the clock.

 

First: Placement Projects

We place our volunteers only in well established and trusted organizations. Most placements are in orphanages, schools, and Non-Governmental Organizations with which we have been working together since 1994 for various social activities.

 

Second: Host Family

We also ensure further security by checking the credentials of the host families. They are trustworthy and take good care of the volunteer.  They are well respected, economically stable and hospitable families. They speak little English, however they have experience of housing foreign volunteers. We also maintain constant communication with the host family. It is our primary concern that your child is safe and secure, at all events.

 

Third: Field Support

Our programs are managed by professional coordinators, whose main job is to ensure that things run smoothly for the volunteers. The coordinator helps in numerous ways: pick ups and drops offs at the airport, orientation of the volunteer to the country, facilitating possible language situations, managing local room and board services, introducing volunteers to local projects, and personally carrying out visits or phone calls on a regular basis or in case of an emergency.  

 

Right from the time when they set foot in India, till they fly out of the country, your children have the comfort and care of our expert local staff.

 

Fourth: Placement with Other Volunteers

In the event that your child feels more comfortable working along with other English speaking volunteers, we will be more than happy to arrange for him/her to work with similar candidates based on availability, provided you inform us in advance.

 

Fifth: Emergency contact numbers

We provide phone numbers of the various contact people in charge of the project, so your child has access to immediate communication in case of any need. They are also given the local coordinators’ numbers for immediate assistance. Please feel free to call us if you need these telephone numbers.

 

Please Call us or Email us if you need more information / clarification.

 

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VOLUNTEER IN INDIA

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