India is home to the world’s largest population of children for whom the street, in the widest sense of the word, is both their home and source of livelihood .
Street children in Dharamsala live in a community of around 1000 tent dwellers located at the edge of town where families have relocated from Rajasthan state in the west of India looking for work opportunities. The children rely on fragile strategies for survival with inadequate adult supervision and limited opportunities for education and play. The ‘rag children’ as they are locally known are at risk of exploitation and live hand to mouth each day collecting plastics and metals to sell on for a meagre income.
Volunteers make daily visits to the community and assist in providing nutritious meals to a few households at a time and provide basic English language classes to a group of children. You will help the children reclaim their childhood by spending some time playing educational and recreational games; engage in basic English conversation; develop basic learning activities using picture books and storytelling; but most of all show the children you care and bring a smile back to their faces. Currently this work is not offered as a stand-alone project and volunteers will also assist in other areas.
"Having never really travelled outside of Europe, I was a little apprehensive before I arrived in India; however, I was quickly put at ease when I was met at Delhi airport by a member of the iSpiice team. I travelled with other volunteers up to Dharamsala, which is the beautiful location where iSpiice base is situated.
I recommend this programme to anyone who would like to accomplish trekking the Himalayas, feel a sense a spiritual enlightenment from the Golden Temple and finally gain a great sense of satisfaction from teaching English and IT to the children of Himachal Pradesh. For me, three weeks wasn’t enough time. For anyone who would like to embark on this epic journey, it will prove to be one that is unforgettable, rewarding not to mention challenging but it will be the best time of your life.”
Clare Nellist, UK