Women’s Empowerment Location: Dharamsala Project Duration: 2 to 12 weeks

Rural women in Asia are among the most disadvantaged people in the world in terms of decision making power and access to development opportunities.  Education is the most influential tool to raise the status of women in developing countries, and once a woman perceives herself as belonging to a group – of students or workers (outside the family) she starts to see herself as a worthy and valuable contributor in society. This increases self-worth and paves the way for the eradication of gender inequalities.

iSpiice promote educational and training activities for women and adolescent girls in the villages of Dharamsala. English teaching, computer classes and job-skills training open doors and increase employment prospects while classes offer a platform for network building and social interaction.

Whether you are teaching English language, email writing or interview skills your time spent with the women will be some of your most enjoyable moments in India.  Classes are thoroughly enjoyed and not only do the women learn from volunteers but volunteers learn so much about their daily lives and Indian culture, forming mutual understandings,  friendships and fond memories.

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS
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"Volunteering with iSpiice was one of the most uplifting experiences I’ve ever had. Thanks to the charming people in the organization I had the opportunity to work with, my time with iSpiice was an experience I never thought I’d have- and one I will never forget. There are several ways you can help the organization as a volunteer.
My favorite was working with the Women Empowerment group.

I learned more about the culture than I could have ever imagined. I met exceptional, hard-working women with a strong desire to learn.

I have never left a place feeling so inspired during my 1 month involvement with the organization. I cannot wait to go back. Thank you iSpiice!"

Kaitlin Rattigan, USA

VOLUNTEER TASKS
  • Teach independently or with a partner in small groups
  • Teach English, IT or job skills e.g. CV or job searching
  • Be a friend & role modell
  • Share experiences and skills with the ladies
REQUIREMENTS
  • Desire to teach adults and adolescent girls
  • Enthusiastic and friendly
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Why Volunteer in India?

    India is a country built on diversity and in no area is this more evident than that of public access to education, healthcare and social services. While the media is filled with stories on India's development, the reality for the many is a life lived on the edge and a daily fight against poverty. While many urban Indians live in relative comfort, the majority of India’s population, living in rural communities struggle for survival and lack access to decent education and healthcare. Volunteer NGO's such as iSpiice must then step in to create better access to these basic human rights.

  • Safety of Volunteers

    Safety is a priority at iSpiice. We understand that it is often peoples first time visiting India and with this in mind volunteers are collected from the airport at their time of arrival. iSpiice take care of all in country travel arrangements and weekend excursions to Agra (TajMahal), Jaipur, Amritsar (Golden Temple) and Himalayan trekking are escorted by iSpiice staff. As with travel to any new country, safety does require some attention for example volunteers should take care of personal belongings and stay with the group when on day trips and excursions.

  • Our Services to Volunteers

    (1) Meet & Greet at New Delhi Airport, transfer to, and one night stay at the Hotel in Delhi. • (2) Pre Departure Information Kit, which has all information regarding your program, work area information, things to bring, immunizations details and welcome details in Delhi Airport. • (3) Transfer by bus or train from Delhi to Dharamsala, with an iSpiice staff member. • (4) Program briefing and Hindi lessons on arrival at the iSpiice house. • (5) Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared freshly and hygienically by iSpiice’s talented Indian chef. Filtered purified water is also supplied at the volunteer house. • (6) Accommodation at the iSpiice volunteer house, with separate male and female bedrooms and bathrooms (with hot water and western toilets). • (7) Daily private car transfers (to and from work placements) by iSpiice’s drivers. • (8) Morning or Evening yoga classes (in English) by a local yoga instructor, 2 times per week. • (9) Visit to the local tourist sights including tickets– India’s oldest fort, Norbulinga Buddhist Monastery and Kangra Tea Gardens. • (10) Use of iSpiice computer and internet for work preparation and leisure. (Wi-Fi) • (11) Material required for volunteer work such as teacher’s workbooks, pens, paper and children’s stories – you may wish to bring educational supplies from your home country. • (12) Assistance with booking a return trip to Delhi, if you are not doing the Taj Mahal tour or Jaipur tour which includes drop off in Delhi airport. • (13) Certificate of service as a reference for your future volunteer programs. • (14) Friendship from the wonderful iSpiice team, fellow volunteers and the local community. • (15) 24 hour support from the iSpiice team for all kinds of enquiries, questions and onward travel plans. • And most importantly – a donation to the community for educational supplies, basic food supplies, school renovation supplies and help iSpiice sponsor local children to get an education.

  • Duration

    iSpiice volunteer programs are available for 2-12 week durations however we welcome volunteers who wish to extend the volunteer period beyond the pre-determined 2 weeks to 12 weeks options. The program starts on fixed dates, which are joined by participants from many countries.

  • Skills & Education Requirements

    There are no specific educational requirements for our programs (except those in health care) and anyone with a heart to help is welcome! Volunteers should be patient, committed and willing to learn.

  • Location

    Our Indian Program is located in Dharamsala, in the Kangra Valley district of Himachal Pradesh.Dharamsala is a famed tourist destination offering magnificent views of the snow covered dhauladhar peaks, pine forests and tea gardens. Full of life yet also peaceful, Dharamsala offers the perfect destination for volunteer work in India. And not surprisingly, His Holiness the Dalai Lama holds residency in the area.The region, despite its natural beauty is cut off from main stream development and is in much need of developmental assistance in both materials and human form. The rural communities we assist are set in the green valleys at the foothills of the Himalayas and the family background of the children are mixed, with many coming from farming communities in these areas.Arriving in Himachal Pradesh is like stepping into another world. With its remarkable natural beauty, breathtaking scenery, serene natural environment and friendly, beautiful people; many wonderful and rewarding experiences and exciting adventures await and during your placement iSpiice will ensure your involvement is both memorable and enjoyable.

  • Work Commitment

    Work occurs each day in the morning and afternoon with a break in between at iSpiice camp to take lunch and prepare afternoon lessons. Typically iSpiice volunteers work for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. Evenings and weekends are free, however if volunteers wish to take up extra curricular activities optional workshops are arranged for groups of older children with a focus on English, basic IT skills, or other educational/creative subjects of interest as appropriate. Following afternoon work activities volunteers may also take up renovation and decoration of their various work places in schools or daycare centers, this would involve mostly clearing, cleaning, white wash and decorative painting.

  • Flights

    Flights are not included in a program fee and should be arranged to arrive at Delhi airport on the fixed Sunday start date between 12:00 am (midnight) and up to 02:00 pm Sunday afternoon. Depending on the arrival time, you will be picked up by our iSpiice representative and escorted to the hotel in Delhi. Return flights should be booked for the Sunday end date of your program any time after 2:00 am (early morning). Further clarification shall be available upon booking. Once your flights have been booked, please contact: info@iSpiice.com and let us know the following: Delhi arrival date: Delhi arrival time: Flight number: Travel insurance policy number:

  • Insurance

    Insurance is not included in the price of your volunteer program, due to individual preference of cover. Insurance cover should be adequate for the nature and duration of your trip. All insurance cover details should be submitted to iSpiice for our records at least 1 week prior to departure. All travelers should visit either their personal physician or a travel health clinic at least 4 - 6 weeks prior to departure.

  • Arrival in Delhi

    Before Arrival • Read all guideline Information and have it with you for easy reference. • Ensure your visa and passport are in order and that you have received the necessary immunisations. • Change some money (about $100) to Indian rupees and inform your bank that you will be travelling to India to enable ATM cash withdrawals. On Arrival Depending on your flight arrival time, you will be met at the arrivals lounge of Delhi airport, by our iSpiice representative displaying an iSpiice placard. We will be keeping track of your estimated time of arrival so don’t worry if your flight is early or delayed; we will still be there to meet you when you arrive! As extra reassurance here is the number to call in case of an emergency – 09805401998. • Once collection has been made you will be taken to the hotel in Delhi and depending on your arrival time, you will sleep overnight or rest before departure to iSpiice program location on the Sunday start date. Please note that you may be sharing your hotel room with a fellow volunteer. • Further clarification of arrival details is available upon booking.

  • Accommodation

    All accommodations are included the program fee and volunteers occupy shared rooms and bathrooms. While allowing for personal space, iSpiice base camp comprises a large communal and recreational area for volunteers to prepare lesson plans, watch movies and relax. On Friday evenings volunteers often congregate here to enjoy a beer and unwind after the working week.

  • Meals

    Three meals per day are provided at iSpiice base camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner and kitchen facilities may be used for making snacks and tea/coffee.One or two vegetarian dishes along with rice or flat bread would be a typical evening dinner, with the self-service method allowing for individual choice. Whilst using Indian flavors in the cooking, iSpiice will not make dishes too spicy. Additional chilies are available for those who do like it hot! Volunteers should notify iSpiice upon booking if they have any special dietary requirements. Specific dishes and ingredients can be discussed with the manager and chef upon arrival.Dining outside of the iSpiice arrangements is not included in the package, but volunteers are able to visit local restaurants at their own choice and the meal charges are relatively cheap.

  • Customary Do’s and Don’ts

    Alcohol, Cigarettes and Drugs. Alcohol and cigarettes hold a strong stigma in India, and neither should be partaken in public. There is a 'no smoking' policy at the Day Care Centers and Pre-schools. Whilst in base camp and some restaurants, smoking and alcohol is acceptable. Although alcohol is only permitted at camp in the evenings, and volunteers should limit their intake so as not to adversely affect their capability of teaching the next day - Friday night parties are generally the time when volunteers gather for a few beers! With the exception of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and prescribed medication, drugs are not acceptable under any circumstances for iSpiice volunteers. Volunteers should abstain both within and outside of base camp and failure to do so may result in the termination of the program placement.

  • Dress Code

    India is a conservative country and this is largely reflected in clothing traditions. Volunteers should be aware of Indian cultural norms and how this affects dress choices. By following a similar dress code as the locals you will show greater respect and be better accepted into the community. Women should wear full length trousers or skirts and sleeved tops, to avoid showing shoulders or cleavage. Tight clothing, vest tops and shorts are not recommended for men or women and clothes must be tidy and presentable when going to work areas. As these restrictions on clothing exist time will be made for female volunteers to purchase an Indian dress to wear to work areas and male volunteers may also purchase kurta pajama (tunic and wide trousers). When at base camp clothing is more relaxed.

  • Access to Services

    Phones Before departure set up roaming on your mobile phone to enable international calls. Alternatively after arrival you can purchase an Indian SIM card, you will need 2 passport sized photos and a copy of your passport and Indian visa and call rates are much lower than in other countries. Local internet cafes provide international phone call services. Internet Internet facilities (Wi–Fi) are available at iSpiice base camp and internet cafes located nearby. These will also be useful for help with lesson planning. ATM (cash machines) ATM machines are available in all visited locations throughout your project. Food in house, accommodation and general transfers are included in the cost of your program however you will need some additional spending money for personal expenses and the occasional restaurant meal. ATMs are the most convenient way to access funds throughout your stay.

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