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

Through reading or by travelling far and wide, you may have learnt that not all societies treat women equally. You may have learnt that women in some societies are disadvantaged, they are poor, uneducated and rarely do they participate in decision-making. Most rural areas in Asia, India included, have these characteristics, societies are impoverished, and women being the most dis-empowered people in the society have borne the heaviest brunt.

Women’s empowerment initiatives have been going on in the country with an aim to address the problem affecting the women and the whole society. Working as a volunteer in India especially in women’s empowerment program gives you an opportunity to see firsthand the problems they go through in their day-to-day lives. You will also have an opportunity to participate in offering skills and knowledge which will provide a solution to this problem.

Through offering education and training activities to women and girls in the villages of Dharamsala, you will be equipping them with tools that they can use to uplift their standards of living.

Women do not have the same opportunities in rural India as they might in the Western world. For that reason, iSpiice has set up Women’s Empowerment groups in local communities where volunteers teach basic computer skills and similar things that will help women to find employment and improve their circumstances.

Some of the skills that are imparted in these training sessions include English language, computer skills, internet, email writing, writing skills, basic accountancy and book keeping, CV writing, job application, and interviewing skills among others.

The programs offered also include basic skills which can help women and girls to start and run their own businesses and get jobs.

As a volunteer in India in a women’s empowerment program, you will not only have a chance to impart skills and knowledge but also an opportunity to interact with rural women. You will learn their culture including their language and customs; it is an eye-opening encounter that will change your worldview. However, no matter what kind of works are you doing in those projects, you will enjoy the whole time.

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
  • Highlights

    - Landing in a new country is exhilarating but it can also be a little unnerving; with this in mind, volunteers are collected from Delhi International airport at their time of arrival in India, transfer to Hotel in Delhi and then to Dharamsala (Project Location) with iSpiice staff member.

    - iSpiice Dharamsala program is available year-round, starting on every Sunday.

    - iSpiice also offers meaningful travel opportunities in India, including optional week end add-on tours while volunteering to world's famous sites such as Taj Mahal tour, Himalayan Trekking tour, Adventure Tour in Manali, Jaipur and a 2-day tour visiting Golden Temple in Amritsar.

    - Partake in volunteer opportunities in India for Individuals, Groups, Couples & Students.

    - We’re close to Dharamsala town and McLeod Ganj town which is a home of Dalai Lama – he gives public teachings at his temple in McLeod Ganj throughout the year.

    - Explore a piece of the vibrant, historic Himachali culture by getting to know the people, the food, and the language of a hill station in the Himalayas.

    - Three times meals per day and free wi-fi at iSpiice volunteer house.

    - Visit to the local tourist sights including tickets– India’s oldest fort, Norbulinga Buddhist Monastery and Kangra Tea Gardens.

    - Certificate of service as a reference for your future volunteer programs.

    - Morning or Evening yoga classes (in English) 2 times per week and much more.

  • 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 Delhi International airport at their time of arrival in India. The program coordinators are always ready to help and give helpful safety tips. During the first day of the orientation, you will be given safety guidelines and will be informed about do's and dont's. 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

    - Meet & Greet at New Delhi Airport, transfer to, and one night stay at the Hotel in Delhi.

    - 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.

    - Transfer by bus or train from Delhi to Dharamsala, with an iSpiice staff member.

    - Program briefing and Hindi lessons on arrival at the iSpiice house.

    - 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.

    - Accommodation at the iSpiice volunteer house, with separate male and female bedrooms and bathrooms (with hot water and western toilets).

    - Daily private car transfers (to and from work placements) by iSpiice’s drivers.

    - Morning or Evening yoga classes (in English) by a local yoga instructor, 2 times per week.

    - Visit to the local tourist sights including tickets– India’s oldest fort, Norbulinga Buddhist Monastery and Kangra Tea Gardens.

    - Use of iSpiice computer and internet for work preparation and leisure. (Wi-Fi)

    - 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.

    - 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.

    - Certificate of service as a reference for your future volunteer programs.

    - Friendship from the wonderful iSpiice team, fellow volunteers and the local community.

    - 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 duration's 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 every Sunday, 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! Proficiency in English is required and volunteers should be patient, committed and willing to learn. In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.

  • 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.

    During the week your days at iSpiice will for the most parts, follow this schedule: 7:30 am – Wake up and enjoy a chai.

    7:30am – Wake up and enjoy a chai.

    7:45am – Yoga class (60 minutes) two times in a week.

    9:00am – Breakfast and preparation for your class.

    10:30pm – Program 1 (2 hours)

    12:45pm – Break for lunch and preparation for class.

    2:30pm – Afternoon chai and preparation for class.

    3:00pm – Program 2 ( 2 hours)

    7:00pm – Dinner

    7:30pm – Relax, go shopping, prepare for tomorrow’s classes

    * iSpiice volunteers will have weekends free and time available to participate in Add On Tours.

  • 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.

  • 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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