India Volunteer Care
Based and registered in Pondicherry, South India, ‘India Volunteer Care’ is a small group of likeminded local-people aiming to identify and place international volunteers where they are most needed; India ranks as one of the most over populated nations on the globe.
Working in partnership with local NGO’s covering a wide range of projects and concerns, we aim to identify and place genuine candidates who wish to become volunteers in a safe, structured professional environment backed by full induction, training and feedback.
Where do we work?
All the projects that ‘India Volunteer Care’ supports are small, local NGOs based in South India. Working at grass roots level, the partners of ‘India Volunteer Care’ implement sustainable development programmes in either Union Territory Pondicherry (a former French colonial region) or the surrounding larger state of Tamil Nadu.
Rich in distinctive tradition and culture, the principle language in the region is Tamil. With English being the lingua franca, you will also find French spoken in the former French colonial town of Pondicherry.
The issues we face
Tamil Nadu is home to more than 62 million people (a further 1 million live in the Union Territory Pondicherry). Key issues in the target areas include:
- · Improving educational & health care services
- · Providing shelter for all
- · Eradicating poverty
- · Increasing employment opportunities
- · Providing sources of income generation
- · Improving rural health and sanitation
- · Empowering women
Other areas of immediate concern include increased awareness of the following:
- · Domestic Violence
- · Women’s rights.
- · Child rights
- · HIV/AIDS.
- · Gay rights
There are 10 sectors in which the partners of ‘India Volunteer Care’ operate. Each sector sub-divides into specific project concerns. The 10 main sectors are:
1. Working with Children (incl. Orphans/ mental health)
2. Working with women (incl. Microfinance/ Self Help Groups)
3. Youth Development (incl. sports/ computer literacy)
4. Capacity Building (strengthening NGOs)
5. Health (incl. Nursing)
6. HIV/ Aids (incl. counselling/ awareness raising)
7. Agriculture (incl. Organic farming)
8. Environment (incl. waste management)
9. Tribal Community Development
10. Gay/ gender advocacy (incl.gay rights)
Making your decision
When you find a project that suits your aims/ abilities, fill in the ‘India Volunteer Care’ application form and select your chosen project from the drop down list.
NB. You may choose more than one project; your final choice can be taken when we discuss your application. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.
Induction is provided by the staff of ‘India Volunteer Care’ at our office in Pondicherry. Aiming to prepare you for your life as a volunteer in South India, induction includes the following points (see the volunteer information pack for more details):
- · Reception & Orientation
- · About India Volunteer Care
- · About the project
- · Work schedule
- · Health and safety
- · Reports and feedback
- · Accommodation & Food
- · Emergency procedures
Training is a key part of your programme. Project specific, full in-house training sessions will be given at/by the project you will be supporting. Generally, most training includes:
- · Project overview/ objectives
- · Project orientation
- · About the target group
- · Resources
- · Documentation
- · Skills based training
- · Reporting/ Feedback
- · Measuring impact
- · Work/ Meetings schedule
Providing you with a chance to ask questions and feel secure in the work you are about to begin, most training will continue through the first week of your stay.
We recommend the following accommodation options depending on your own needs/ budget and the location of the project itself:
We can help you find a local guest houses that is both simple and clean (single or double rooms available.) Most will charge between 150 – 500 rupees for a single/ per night and 450 – 700 rupees for a double. The advantage of the local guest house is that you will be with other volunteers/ travellers and have full access to modern conveniences such as restaurants, internet etc. Choosing Accommodation
You won’t have to make your decision until you arrive, however, if you have a particular preference, please let us know beforehand so we can arrange accordingly.
How much is the induction fee?
15,000 rupees (approx. 200 Euros) of which 90% will go to the trust fund. This is a one-time payment whether you stay for 1 month or 6. Your only other spending will be your own living costs (see below).
What is the induction fee?
Beyond covering the costs of employing 2 local staff members & running this website, the induction fee is in place to help raise funds to support our Partner trust fund. By joining India Volunteer Care you will help the trust fund to support:
- · Women empowerment programmes
- · Child/ family sponsorship
- · Microcredit financing in the local communities.
Why is the induction fee so small?
Our primary objective is to attract genuine volunteers into our local communities. By keeping the fee small, it means that we won’t miss out on those who perhaps lack the necessary financial resources asked by many volunteer programmes.
Your Living Costs
For international volunteers, India is a cheap place to live.
Based on living in a town, the following is only a basic guideline and is dependent on your own needs and comforts (NB. If you live out in the community, then the costs may be lower). The cost per day would be around Rs. 300/- for accommodation and Rs.300/- for food. Approximately 10 Euros per day.
Who can volunteer?
Volunteering with ‘India Volunteer Care’ is open to everybody regardless of race, colour, creed, gender or age. For many projects you don’t need to have any specific qualifications or experience. You don’t even need to have buckets of money. What you do need is the following:
1. A genuine desire to work and help.
2. The ability to commit for a period of between 1 and 6 months.
3. The ability to speak and write in English.
4. The ability to pay for your own food and accommodation (India is a very cheap place to live).
5. A valid passport and tourist visa for India (to cover both your period of stay with us and any post programme travelling you may do).
6. The ability to get yourself to India (we can meet you at either Chennai or Bangalore airport) plus the necessary travel vaccinations (see your home doctor specific guidance).
7. Your own travel insurance
8. To be 18 years old or over when you arrive at the project.
Our committment to you: The First Steps
Becoming a volunteer in India is a big step to make for anyone; India may be a long way from home and, for some, it may even be your first time on another continent. There are many factors to consider:
- · Travel arrangements
- · Medical worries / Insurance
- · Dietary needs/ Personal hygiene
- · Accommodation/ Living Costs
You may even be asking questions such as:
- · ‘Will anyone meet me at the airport?’
- · ‘How will people understand me?’
- · ‘Will anyone give me training?’
Whatever your concerns, don’t worry; it is our job to ensure that all these questions (and more) are answered, and that you feel informed and secure before you leave your home.
Recognising that volunteers are working in very poor areas, we don’t promise you palatial accommodation or first class food, (although, ultimately living costs are up to you). However, we will advise you every step of the way to find what is best for your needs/budget.
We guarantee the following:
- · Meeting on arrival (Chennai or Bangalore airports only).
- · Full induction programme before you begin.
- · Full orientation and guidance in the place you are living and working.
- · Job Training and regular feedback sessions.
- · Advice and support to help place you in the right accommodation.
Guidance & Support
We will also provide you with:
- · Advise on the best places to eat and visit – there is no shortage of either great food and eating places, or places to see in your free time. There are also many internet cafes in most towns across the country.
- · Full help and support if you need any medical attention – you can contact our staff 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week in case of emergency (all phone numbers/ physical addresses will be provided). Further, if you need to attend hospital, then one of our staff will be there with you constantly.
I hope this gives you a general outline of how we work and operate. Please feel free to ask any questions you wish.