How to volunteer at an NGO in India
The Indian subcontinent is a combination of different traditions, cultures, languages and people. India is a developing nation. So, on one hand there is high growth rate in the economy of India but poverty still prevails in its villages and slums. The living conditions of people living in such places are quite bad. So, volunteering with an NGO in India gives you an opportunity to experience and connect with the culture and tradition of people living in the villages.
Volunteering with an NGO in India is quite easy. Find an NGO with which you want to associate. You just need to pay the fees for the enriching experience, accommodation and food. Following is a list of organizations which can give you an enriching volunteering experience.
HelpX is the short form of Help Exchange. Through this organization you can do anything like working on farms, teaching English or help running a guest house. Accommodation and at least one meal is free for the volunteers.
This is a very useful website for those who don't know exactly what they want to volunteer for as it has a large list of people they work for and will send you several offers via their newsletter so you can find the perfect place to volunteer.
WWOOfing in India
WWOOFing is the short form of Willing Workers on Organic Farms. This concept is spread worldwide and is gaining popularity in India. This organization includes working in vegan agricultural communities, tea estates and coffee estates. The food and accommodation is taken care of by the organization. It is a great way to have a hand on experience of Indian countryside.
This organization has been in volunteering work since 1995. Sadhna Village is a residential care center for underprivileged and intellectually disabled adults located in Kolwan near Pune City, . This organization accepts donations from people. For the volunteers meal and accommodation is provided.
Salaam Baalak Trust
Salaam baalak trust is located in the Delhi’s Backpaper Paharganj area. It provides food, support and shelter for the homeless street children of the city. This organization offers internship to volunteers. Volunteers can help in education, computer marketing, creative expression and health care. At a minimal cost, the volunteers can live in the flat.
Rural Organization for Social Elevation
This organization is located in Kanda which is a village near Bageshwar in Uttarakhand. This organization works in the field of community development. It is best for people who along with the volunteering work, want to have hands on experience of rural India and foothills of the Himalayas. You can volunteer here for teaching at a local school, construction and farming. One more attractive feature that this organization provides is that the volunteers can live with a local family.
Trafficking in Kolkata
Kolkata has a red light district which is suffering with the problem of trafficking and prostitution. A number of NGOs such as New Light have come forward in this area to help rehabilitate the women and children affected by the trafficking and prostitution. NGOs also work toward preventing the spreading of STDs by teaching the women of this place about it. The NGOs active in this area don’t charge any fees. Also they don’t provide food or lodging.
General steps and considerations
Though every NGO has its own selection method and rules, here are some useful tips if you are planning to join an NGO in India:
- Choose an NGO which you feel for, may it be because you feel identified with what they are doing or is in your field of expertise.
- Make sure you visit the NGO's web site to make sure you fit in the description of volunteer the NGO is looking for. Many of them ask for specific skills in order to provide the needed with the best service.
- Talk to the organizers by email or skype to make sure you know exactly what you are up for, what conditions are included in this experience and the fees you need to pay.
- Make a to-do list so you have everything ready for your departure.
- It is common to bring small presents for families, children and other people. Buy small things that are easy to carry around so that you can give them out whenever you find it convenient.
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