India continues to struggle to provide care and education to the increasing number of children born into poverty. This lack of resources leaves children vulnerable to malnutrition, illiteracy and a bleak future. By joining Kaya and becoming a volunteer in the beautiful mountains of India you can make a difference to these children's lives. Kaya works with children and women empowerment projects which are all desperately in need of volunteer assistance. By choosing to work with children and young adults in the spectacular state of Himachal Pradesh you will join children's projects desperately in need of volunteer assistance and provide welfare and education for the new generations.
With our cultural introduction tour, you will have the option of becoming culturally-immersed in the ethos of what it means to be an Indian youth today, helping to put your later volunteering work into full context within this incredibly diverse and colourful country. Arriving into Delhi, your project begins with a week-long cultural orientation staying with a local family in Jaipur and starts in style with a visit to the beautiful Amber Fort including an elephant ride to the entrance of the palace. As part of your cultural immersion into Indian life, you will be treated to a Bollywood film and get to try your hand at Henna making, Bollywood dancing, and learn all about exquisite Indian sarees. There will also be the option of visiting the Taj Mahal as an extra trip (fees will apply). Additional excursions in Himachal include a trekking excursion and a visit to Amritsar. When you arrive to your project you will have a week of yoga classes and for those staying 8 weeks the option of cooking classes as well.
The most common problem for institutions working with children in India is chronic underfunding. The result of this is that staff that are stretched to their limits and only able to provide basic care and attention to the children they work with. Volunteers are gladly welcomed by local staff to help ease their burden and provide children and young women with the attention they need. Disability is also a huge stigma in Himachal Pradesh and children and marginalized to both day and live in centres where there is child upon child waiting to receive care, stimulation and tutoring but with not enough staff to go round.
Projects are based in the stunning Himachal Pradesh province near the pretty town of Palampur, which is in the heart of the Kangra Valley. Himachal Pradesh is India’s northern most state covered by the spectacular Himalayan Mountains. The literal translation of the state’s name is The Land of Snowy Mountains. The main feature of Himachal is its stunning geography, with wide variations in altitudes ranging from low hills to high mountains, lakes and flowing rivers. Like many other Indian states, Himachal Pradesh is a multiregional, multicultural, and multilingual state, guaranteeing a balanced immersion into India’s way of life. Dharamsala, the capital of the exiled Tibetan government and centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture, is only a 30 minute drive away and adds another cultural dimension to the already culturally packed region.
• Duration: 4 – 12 weeks
• Cost: £1215 ($2126) for 4 weeks and £155 ($271) for every extra week (with £60 supplement for bespoke departures in weeks 5,6,7, 9,10,11)
• Requirements: age 16+
• Location: Palampur, Himachal, India (arrival/departure Delhi)
• Project activities: Volunteers will be allocated to specific duties upon arrival to the project and will be fully briefed before carrying out their volunteer placement
• Working hours: Monday – Friday 9:00-5:00
• Project Availability: Monthly Monday start dates. In June, July and August, we have 2 start dates a month. For more details contact an advisor.
• Accommodation: Shared room in volunteer accommodation
• Food: 3 meals a day
• Airport pick up and drop off
• Training: Pre-departure information pack and onsite orientation provided
• Support: 24 hour support
• Transport to and from project
• Weekend trekking excursion to the Himalayas
• Weekend excursion to Amritsar for 8 week volunteers
• Yoga workshops for one week (5 workshops in total)
• Cooking workshops for one week (8 week participants)
• Police background check: US and UK citizens processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
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