Volunteer Vacations in India for Families.

There is certainly no shortage of volunteering opportunities in India: there are various options to choose from. However, if you are planning on volunteering as a family group, not all the opportunities available will be suitable. Then there is the fact that there are certain volunteering projects in India that are incredibly expensive to take part in, which for larger family groups can often put them out of reach.

While some fees are a vital part of running non-profit organizations, and cover essentials costs like administration, criminal checks, accommodation, and food, taking part in a volunteering program does not have to cost you the earth. The best volunteering projects to look for are ones that offer you free accommodation and board, as these are the two most expensive parts of staying anywhere.

As well as taking into account the cost of each volunteering opportunity, it is also important to consider whether they are suitable for your family group. How suitable volunteering opportunities are will depend on what ages your group consists of.

Taking all of that into account, below are some volunteering ideas for families wanting to volunteer in India.

Work on an organic farm.

There are farms all across India, from tea plantations and coffee estates to agricultural farms, which rely on volunteers from abroad to help them run. If you and your family don’t mind getting your hands dirty and are happy to work in a rural environment, living off of the land, then volunteering on a farm could be the answer.

There are various online communities where you can research farms in India that require assistance from volunteers – take the time to have a look online and see what opportunities are available.

If you have children of a young age, this kind of volunteer project could be ideal, just as long as various safety precautions are taken into account, of course. If you want to teach your children more about other cultures and where food and other edible produce comes from, volunteering on a farm could be the perfect option.

Construct buildings.

For families with older children – teenagers ideally – working in construction could be ideal. The fact is that a great way to volunteer and make your mark is to spend a month or two helping to construct buildings for poorer communities. Whether you join a project that builds houses for destitute families, community hospitals or health centers, or schools in rural areas, it doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that you will be joining a project that will help a community in India to grow and develop, giving its children better learning opportunities and a much better chance at leading a successful adult life.

Before signing up to a construction volunteer program with children in tow, regardless of whether they are nearer adult age than childhood, it is vital that you check if there are any restrictions on who can get involved and help safely with the project.

Teach at a local school.

Whether you have a background in teaching or not, teaching at a local school could allow you to really give something back to a local community in rural India, where education is not always valued as highly as it should be, particularly for girls. If your whole family wants to take part in educational volunteering, look for a facility that will cater to everyone’s needs.

Say, for example, one of your teenage children wants to work in childcare as a nursery nurse, look for a school that has a nursery or creche attached to it. Or, say your other child fancies pursuing a career in sports, perhaps you could arrange for them to teach sport to some of the children from the school where you are volunteering at.

Don’t just take any project at face value, take the time to look deeper into what is on offer and find a way to make your ideal opportunity work for the entire family.

Help at an orphanage.

India has a lot of orphanages that house children who have been through all kinds of terrible situations and are traumatised because of them. While an orphanage may not be the ideal place to volunteer if you have young children of your own if you have an older family an orphanage could be the perfect place to volunteer at.

Whether it’s helping out with the children, teaching them to read and write, or fixing up the building and improving living conditions, it doesn’t matter.

Most orphanages in India receive little to no government funding and rely wholly on the generosity of others, which is why choosing to volunteer at one can be such a rewarding thing to do.

Offer adult learning.

In India, there are 287 million illiterate adults, that puts India at the forefront for illiteracy in adults, compared to the rest of the world. It is shocking that in 2018, there are still counties in the world where such a high number of people are illiterate. Bearing that in mind, countries like India require adult learning support as well as teachers and tutors for children.

So if you are a family that is well versed in various areas of education, from basic literacy and reading to mathematics and IT, then perhaps you could volunteer in the adult learning sector.

There are various organizations across India that offer adult learning for illiterate adults, as well as for adults who want to further their educational skills.

Summer camp.

During the summer months, many countries across the globe have summer camps for kids to spend their time at, learning new skills and making new friends, and India is no different.

If you are able to spare a whole summer to help out at a summer camp, then this could be the perfect way to volunteer. The difference between Western summer camps and summer camps in India (and other developing countries) is the fact that they are run for poorer children to attend and are used to teach them a range of transferable skills.

As well as spending time playing games and having fun, of course. Whatever age your children are, volunteering at a summer camp in India could be an ideal way to make use of the time that you have set aside to volunteer.

Work in health.

Do you have a background in health? Does anyone in your family want a career in health? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then volunteering for a health organization could be a great way to make the most of your time.

Whether it is simply teaching the local community how to take better care of their health, reducing the stigma surrounding mental health problems, educating communities about sexual health, or taking care of people who are sick,  providing free or affordable healthcare for them.

The health sector is an ideal area to volunteer in, if you have any medical experience or an interest in medicine or health, that is. If not, there are always administrative roles that you could opt to work in while other members of your family get involved in providing care.

Help at an animal sanctuary.

If you love animals or anyone in your family does, volunteering at an animal sanctuary of some kind, or a veterinary practice could be ideal. There are various animals sanctuaries across India, many offering a haven to hunted animals like elephants and tigers.

If you like the idea of working with animals or in conservation to help protect them, there are sure to be plenty of suitable facilities that you can choose to work at.

Take the time to do your research online and have a look at suitable facilities that may have volunteering opportunities available for you and your family to take advantage of.

Just make sure that any facility that you consider working in with your family takes health and safety seriously and is properly vetted.

When it comes to choosing a volunteering project or a volunteer vacation for you and your family, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of choices out there. From conservation projects and construction programs to teaching English and training adults in computers, there are just so many options to choose from.

However, there is sure to be an option that is an ideal fit for yours’ and your family’s aspirations and passions, it’s just a case of taking the time to find that perfect place. So don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and pick any old project to spend your vacation working for, take the time to carefully think each option through.

The best way to do that is to spend some time online doing your research, looking for what volunteering opportunities are where and why that location (and opportunity) would be a good fit for you and your family.

Then, sit down and discuss each one as a family unit, until you have decided as a group which would be the best option, and the perfect fit, for everyone.

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