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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 schools which support 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. Support our local henna artist and immerse yourself in the Indian culture. 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

India's environment is under threat! Join @GreenpeaceIndia this #WorldEnvironmentDay to do your bit for our planet http://t.co/cEBXh8ctJ7
May 21, 2015

GVI India

Happy Monday everyone :) http://t.co/T5nWJybzeq
May 10, 2015

Kerala Video

GVI Blogs

6 MONTHS AGO
Volunteer with Children
Jalova  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 at two local slum schools with 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.

On weekends, you will travel to a nearby orphanage for boys and spend time with the children leading fun educational games. During school holidays, you may have the opportunity to visit another local orphanage for girls.

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 two local slum schools in kindergarten all the way up to grade six. Many of the children come from poor low-income families or are 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 up the children’s confidence, English abilities and attendance. Outside of normal classes, you will also teach small focus groups of 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 at two local slum schools with 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.

On weekends, you will travel to a nearby orphanage for boys and spend time with the children leading fun educational games. During school holidays, you may have the opportunity to visit another local orphanage for girls.

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 two local slum schools in kindergarten all the way up to grade six. Many of the children come from poor low-income families or are 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 up the children’s confidence, English abilities and attendance. Outside of normal classes, you will also teach small focus groups of 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 at two local slum schools with 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.

On weekends, you will travel to a nearby orphanage for boys and spend time with the children leading fun educational games. During school holidays, you may have the opportunity to visit another local orphanage for girls.

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 two local slum schools in kindergarten all the way up to grade six. Many of the children come from poor low-income families or are 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 up the children’s confidence, English abilities and attendance. Outside of normal classes, you will also teach small focus groups of 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

Rebecca Kenigsberg
Country Expert

Meet Rebecca, our Country Expert with a dream to visit and volunteer in EVERY African country! Rebecca found out about GVI when she was 19 and decided to volunteer with us to kick start her African adventure.

She started her volunteering journey with us in 2010 at our Cape Town hub, then traveled to Mombasa, Kenya for our childcare projects, where she become staff in 2014. Later that year, after returning briefly to our Cape Town projects, she decided to let her wanderlust lead to her accepting a position as a Country Expert at our America office.

While volunteering in Kenya, Rebecca managed to complete one of her life goals: directing a theatre production of The Lion King with the local children! One of our favorite things about Rebecca, is that she has been doing theatre since she was 5 years and as such, you can always count on random acts of silliness accompanied with a dramatic flair to get you through a long day at the office!

What’s her favorite part of working for GVI? “Being able to travel responsibly, while immersing myself in a new culture, giving back to a community and inspiring children to learn.”

Steve Miskulin
Project Coordinator

Meet Steve, our newest Project Coordinator at our hub in Kerala. Before he started working for GVI he was a private investigator as well as GVI volunteer! Steve spent 5 months at our Mombasa, Kenya hub and by the end of his stay, decided that he wanted the same experience elsewhere on a more permanent basis.

Kenya still ranks as Steve’s favorite travel destination as he completely fell in love with the people, culture and the volunteering work he was doing with GVI. As well as having a very unique, memorable experience climbing Mount Kenya, which involved a drunk guide, no shoes, awful weather and a lion.

What has been Steve’s main highlight since joining the GVI team? ” Most of it! I really enjoy seeing my plans and ideas come to life that will make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

Rebecca Tennant
Programme Manager

Meet Rebecca, our Programme Manager based in Kerala, India. Before joining GVI, Rebecca was already making a difference in the world as a a director of a small international charity called Freedom from Poverty as well as consulting for a few small NGO’s around the world.

Rebecca has a soft spot for masala tea and the kids at the orphanage that the volunteers visit on the weekend. “I love the hyper-exitedness of the orphans when we visit. Their personalities are so varied and bright, it’s like being in giant bowl full of skittles!”

Her favorite aspect of the job is being able to guide others to help those who really need it. “Our volunteers want to help, it’s a wonderful thing to witness when they realize that they have actually made a difference to someone’s life.”

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.”

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Charitable Trust Climate Offset Contribution

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GVI Internship Training Fee - India Kerala

Only available for volunteers who are staying for a minimum of 4 weeks. By doing so, volunteers will receive additional training specifically designed to develop leadership skills and prepare volunteers for a career in the field.
$0.00

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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