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Volunteer in an Orphanage or School in India

Get involved in education and childcare projects whilst exploring the vibrant culture of Kerala

Program Details

Program Type

Volunteering

Location

Asia - India - Kerala

2 weeks from

$1,700.00

Code: INKR0267P
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Program Information

Discover the colorful culture of India when you volunteer alongside local teachers supporting orphans and disadvantaged children in the Southern state of Kerala. Your work will support a local orphanage as well as low income families by assisting with their educational needs and providing care. Explore the stunning local landscapes, try kayaking or cruise along the breath-taking backwaters in your free time.
Overview
Project Life
Project Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

Volunteer alongside local teachers supporting orphans and disadvantaged children in the Southern state of Kerala, famed for its tropical greenery and beautiful backwaters. On arrival volunteers will be given an orientation around the beautiful city of Kochi. Your living arrangements will be in a share-house in the heart of the local community of Fort Kochi, where you can experience the rich culture of India.

You will work in a school which supports low income families and a local orphanage. Due to the high level of demand classes can be very crowded making it difficult for teachers to provide the necessary level of support to students. Your support will ensure that their needs are met helping to improve attendance and grades, making a valuable contribution in the school.

Highlights Include

Learning new skills in caring for and teaching underprivileged children, experiencing a new culture through its local people, local cooking lessons, and a traditional Kathakali dance performance, and exploring the amazing local environment. Nearby highlights that some volunteers choose to experience include staying overnight on a houseboat and cruising along the enchanting backwaters, kayaking along the river and cycling through villages, relaxing on the gorgeous beaches, language classes, or indulging in a traditional Ayurvedic massage.

Testimonials

"The free time so far has given us little snapshots into life in Fort Cochin. From the small colorful cafes where I tried musumbi juice (delicious) to drinking coconut water out of a coconut next to the Chinese fishing nets, everything I’ve done has just made me want to explore as much as I can as soon as I can! Last night we had big plans to watch a Bollywood movie so John and Rodhi surprised us with a projector up on the roof with candles, fairy lights, rugs and cushions. It was so relaxing and the film was brilliant…until the power cut. Welcome to India!"

- Alexandra Jolly, (United Kingdom)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

GVI India

Amazing flashmobs about to happen to fund our construction projects! Thanks! https://t.co/ULliCDNQrL
October 10, 2014

GVI India

Some amazing art at Thambu school! We can't wait to show the children their new playground. http://t.co/u4nCurfZX2
October 9, 2014

Kerala Video

GVI Blogs

2 MONTHS AGO
Volunteer with Children
  By gvi_admin

Students

 

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Parents

 

Why Study Abroad

 

GVI Difference

 

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Course Life

Monday to Friday

You will work Monday to Friday assisting local teachers, planning and delivering educational activities. Focusing on English language skills you can add your unique touch incorporating art, sports and games into your lessons. In the evening you will need to prepare activities and plans for the following day.

Field Conditions

You will live in comfortable shared accommodation in the center of town with electricity, running water and flush toilets and shared rooms. Lunch and dinner with fresh vegetables will be prepared for you in the local style.

Accommodation Upgrades

If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.

Free Time

On the weekends you will be free to explore the stunning surrounding area. Sample the local cuisine, shop in exotic spice markets, take part in traditional Kathakali dance or just relax in your base town of Kochi.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Course Details

You will work with students from kindergarten to grade six coming from poor families or taken in from the streets. Lessons are taught in English although not being their first language the children will not be fluent. You will find that they are incredibly enthusiastic and keen to learn.

Through education and support we aim to build on the children’s confidence, English abilities and attendance. Outside of normal classes you will also teach small focus groups with children who have fallen behind or struggle with their English ability, computer skills or other areas. Increased support will encourage these children to stay in school.

How this project makes a difference:

Many students feel pressure from their families to drop out of school and start earning money but by developing English skills, the children will have a better chance of getting well-paying jobs, which require the ability to speak English. We aim to keep kids in school by providing teacher support and funding, so that the students can have the chance at a better future.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Life on the Internship

Monday to Friday

You will work Monday to Friday assisting local teachers, planning and delivering educational activities. Focusing on English language skills you can add your unique touch incorporating art, sports and games into your lessons. In the evening you will need to prepare activities and plans for the following day.

Field Conditions

You will live in comfortable shared accommodation in the center of town with electricity, running water and flush toilets and shared rooms. Lunch and dinner with fresh vegetables will be prepared for you in the local style.

Accommodation Upgrades

If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.

Free Time

On the weekends you will be free to explore the stunning surrounding area. Sample the local cuisine, shop in exotic spice markets, take part in traditional Kathakali dance or just relax in your base town of Kochi.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Program Details

You will work with students from kindergarten to grade six coming from poor families or taken in from the streets. Lessons are taught in English although not being their first language the children will not be fluent. You will find that they are incredibly enthusiastic and keen to learn.

Through education and support we aim to build on the children’s confidence, English abilities and attendance. Outside of normal classes you will also teach small focus groups with children who have fallen behind or struggle with their English ability, computer skills or other areas. Increased support will encourage these children to stay in school.

How this project makes a difference:

Many students feel pressure from their families to drop out of school and start earning money but by developing English skills, the children will have a better chance of getting well-paying jobs, which require the ability to speak English. We aim to keep kids in school by providing teacher support and funding, so that the students can have the chance at a better future.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Project Life

Monday to Friday

You will work Monday to Friday assisting local teachers, planning and delivering educational activities. Focusing on English language skills you can add your unique touch incorporating art, sports and games into your lessons. In the evening you will need to prepare activities and plans for the following day.

Field Conditions

You will live in comfortable shared accommodation in the center of town with electricity, running water and flush toilets and shared rooms. Lunch and dinner with fresh vegetables will be prepared for you in the local style.

Accommodation Upgrades

If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.

Free Time

On the weekends you will be free to explore the stunning surrounding area. Sample the local cuisine, shop in exotic spice markets, take part in traditional Kathakali dance or just relax in your base town of Kochi.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Project Details

You will work with students from kindergarten to grade six coming from poor families or taken in from the streets. Lessons are taught in English although not being their first language the children will not be fluent. You will find that they are incredibly enthusiastic and keen to learn.

Through education and support we aim to build on the children’s confidence, English abilities and attendance. Outside of normal classes you will also teach small focus groups with children who have fallen behind or struggle with their English ability, computer skills or other areas. Increased support will encourage these children to stay in school.

How this project makes a difference:

Many students feel pressure from their families to drop out of school and start earning money but by developing English skills, the children will have a better chance of getting well-paying jobs, which require the ability to speak English. We aim to keep kids in school by providing teacher support and funding, so that the students can have the chance at a better future.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Free Time

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Kerala field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in India!

Included Side Trips

You will embark on an orientation of Fort Kochi during your arrival weekend, seeing the main tourist sites of the local town, as well as the many hidden treasures. You will also be taken to a traditional Keralan Kathakali dance show, which will open your eyes up to the wonders of India and its culture.

Optional Side Trips

Kerala offers a variety of different adventure trips from trekking to rafting, kayaking and even diving in some of the most beautiful locations that India has to offer. Close to base in Fort Kochi, the 14th century Chinese fishing nets, St Francis Church and an amazing array of boutique art galleries, cafes and restaurants make for an amazing cultural experience.

One of Kerala’s finest attractions popular with our volunteers is the backwaters tour, an experience of breathtaking beauty and serenity as you snake through the incredible landscape on a houseboat. You can stay overnight, eat amazing local cuisine, and gaze at the sunset: a perfect weekend getaway.

The Periyar Forest and National Park offers safari outings and a chance to spot elephants, monkeys and tigers if you’re lucky, combined with some spectacular scenery along the way. For the more active, you can get even closer to it all with a number of trekking options.

Kerala can boast some incredible beaches within reasonable distances from your base. Marari is a short 40-minute drive with beautiful sandy beaches lined with coconut trees, while Varkala is a little further with restaurants and cafés perched spectacularly on cliffs offering incredible views of the ocean.

And if tea is your poison then this is the location for you…tea plantations stretching as far as the eye can see and jaw dropping views of mountain ranges and valleys await. There are sightseeing and trekking options available (depending on seasons) for the adventurous, or you can just sit and relax, breathe the fresh mountain air, and soak it all in.

Further Traveling Opportunities

For those with a little more time on their hands, you may want to consider some of the following. The Taj Mahal will be top of most India bucket lists but beyond this famous landmark; the quaint hill stations in Darjeeling; the Ganges at Varanasi; the desert and fort palaces of Jaisalmer and Udaipur; safari at Kanha National Park (home of Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’); the lively nightlife of Mumbai; or the laid back atmosphere of Goa will leave you with an everlasting experience of India.

The Team

Jill Walker
Assistant Director of Programs

Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she’s based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”

When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”

What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”

Anita George
Base Manager

Meet Anita, our Country Director/ Base Manager in Kerala. Before joining GVI, Anita worked as an Environmental Development Manager in Delhi.

Apart from seeing the satisfaction of our community partners, some of Anita’s highlights of working on the project include the success of the Arts Program, in which one of the volunteers had their work featured in a gallery, and two students receiving scholarships to study at an aviation academy.

Her favorite aspect of her job? The people. Anita loves working with the interesting mix of field staff, meeting eager volunteers from across the globe, and spending time working with the children. “The cooperation between all these people and the entire effort of contributing their expertise for the betterment of children & community is amazing.”

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What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Local cooking lessons
  • Training
  • A traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Project equipment
  • Internal transportation - related to project work

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Our Impact

Location

Kerala

The area of Kerala is one of the highlights of India and a must-see destination. Project work takes place around the city of Kochi (Cochin), a port town since the early centuries offering fascinating snippets of history and culture that including the oldest European Church in India, an enchanting spice market and the famous 15th Century Chinese fishing nets, a truly stunning location to volunteer in.

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