Volunteer In India
- Why should I choose India?
- Is India safe?
- What is the program duration?
- What age do I have to be a volunteer?
- Do I have to speak a foreign language?
- Why should I pay a registration fee?
- Are MasterCard, Visa and other credit cards accepted?
- Do I need travel insurance?
- What should I bring for myself?
- Will there be someone to pick me up at the airport?
- What happens if I want to arrive earlier than the program begins?
- Will I have time to explore Delhi and other Indian cities during my language?
- Will I have communications access?
- Should I bring my cellphone?
Humanity breaks the fences of countries and cultures. The education and health facilities in rural areas are insufficient. Schools in rural areas lack trained and sufficient number of teachers. Due to poverty and insufficient educational facilities, hundreds of children in rural areas dropout school and leave for cities in search of work. In cities, they work as trash collector, child laborers in restaurants, hotels, and factories. Your small effort may help to see them brighter future.
New Hope Volunteer always ensures you that you are placed in safe environments while volunteering in India. Often, India is a country termed as having "unity in diversity," since millions of visitors travel to India annually. India is safe, except for a few places like Jammu and Kashmir, which is 1200 kilometers away - far from our placement sites. There are some instances of petty crime in big cities, but crime is rare in rural areas.
Be careful with beggars, frauds, theft, and crowd in India. Theft is quite common in places visited by tourists. More likely, a thief will pick your pocket or break into your room. There is little culture of muggings in India.
Our volunteer opportunities start on the 2nd and 4th of Monday, are available throughout the year and are 1 to 12 weeks long.
You must be at least 18 years old to be a volunteer and you should be in good health; there is no upper limit.
Volunteers on our short-term (2-3 week programs) do not need foreign language skills. Those volunteers interested in participating on one of our long-term programs need to have intermediate language abilities in the spoken language of the program country. Orientation will include an intensive introduction to Hindi language.
The registration fee is required to run the organization (office space, computers, Internet, supplies and Staffs). New Hope has country office in India and international office in USA to run the coordinated program. Part of the fee goes to maintaining these offices. The remaining money of the program directly goes to support the programs.
Nowadays, there are ATM services in most of the cities in India, which will be open during the day. There are also several banks and money exchange services. You can bring Master card, American Express, Visa card, cash $/ Euro or travelers checks, these all are accepted. However, facilities may be limited outside major cities. Traveler's checks may also be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages, and we advise participants to have cash on hand. You may exchange money at the airport or at a bank.
Our program does not cover liability and insurance for our volunteers. Therefore, volunteers must have appropriate insurance before joining the program. Please obtain necessary health and travel insurance before coming to India. Talk to your travel agent about this or search on the internet to see what offers are available, and make sure you look into the details of the policy. Find out if it covers airfare in case of a medical emergency.
This will vary depending on what activities you want to participate in and how much you need to be comfortable during your placement. With the exception of medicine and first-aid-kit, you can buy everything that you would need for your placement in India. Here are a few suggestions:
- Sleeping Bag
- Waterproof jacket (a fold-away windcheater is fine)
- Mosquito repellent
- Sun cream
- Water purification tablets and/or good quality water purifier
- First aid kit
- Flashlight (torch)
- Books about your country
- Photos of your family / friends / home
- A few examples of your local currency
- Colored pencils and pens, drawing books, stickers
You need not be worry about airport pick-up. One of our representatives will be waiting for you at the airport terminal. He will be holding a sign with your name on it. Please do not forget to send your detailed flight itinerary in advance.
You can arrive several days earlier or even up to a week early for your project, however, you will be responsible for these arrangements (including accommodations and food), and must still meet the Coordinator at the airport on the designated date.
You will have plenty of time to explore the New and Old Delhi during orientation. As a part of the language program, we offer full day tour of Delhi.
How much extra money do I need?
We manage food and accommodation for volunteers from the first to last day of program so there will not be need of more money. It depends on how much you want to expend. You may need some extra money if you plan to take part in activities outside the organization or if you just want to buy some souvenirs. You must also remember the VISA fee, which is $60 US dollars for 180 days and 300 Indian currencies for airport tax.
Internet cafés, telephone booths and post offices are available in most localities and around the project where you will be placed.
Please bring your cell phone. You can use most mobile handsets with a local SIM card in India. Moreover, cell phones are available in cheap price in India.
New Hope will consider request of volunteer seriously for the change of placement to meet the expectation of volunteers. We cannot change position frequently without genuine reasons.
What happens if I decide to return home before the placement is over?
Once the volunteer makes a decision and pays for the program fee, upon receipt of invoice, New Hope does not refund any program fee under any circumstances. Nevertheless, if the volunteer have unavoidable circumstances (such as illness, death of in the family etc) may request to leave the program, we will consider to return 30% of the host family cost, if volunteer are registered for more than 30 days program. No refund will be made if program is less than 30 days and if volunteer leave program in their own decision.
Who will drop me off at the airport?
New Hope does not offer airport drop service. You will need to arrange a taxi or bus ride to the airport after your project is finished. This is an easy process and our in-country coordinator in India or your home stay family will be more than happy to assist you with this.
Vaccinations and Medication
This all depends on what vaccinations you already have and what country you are coming from. We suggest that you consult a travel doctor from your country before you arrive. (NOTE: Some vaccinations are needed as much as 2 months before arrival to India). New Hope does not cover liability and insurance of volunteers. Therefore, volunteers must have appropriate insurance before joining the program. However, you should consider the following vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A & B
- Yellow fever
- Malaria tablets
Clothes and Climate in Placement Areas
Volunteers should dress conservatively when at their projects. Jeans and a t-shirt are acceptable. No high shorts and tank tops please. We suggest female volunteers not to wear short skirts in villages. Indian people dress modestly, and girls cover most of their bodies. Lightweight clothing and rainwear is recommended as well as warmer clothing for the evenings (light jacket / sweaters).
The climate of India is most pleasant between the months of October and March, when much of the country enjoys temperate, blue skies as well as fresh air. In the northern part of India, from December to late February, the nights turn chilly, and a sweater or jacket is required. By mid-March, the days start getting warmer, and from late April, the temperature in central India becomes too hot for comfortable travel. In May, the dust and thunderstorms precede the monsoon season from June to August.
You have three parties available to you 24/7 in case of emergency, health-related or otherwise: New Hope staff, your host family, and your program supervisor. You will have contact information for all three before you arrive. If you failed to get our representative at airport or if your flight changed suddenly, please book a prepaid taxi that is available inside the arrival lobby and go to hotel or the hostel. Please call our office from the hotel.
What are the characteristics of good volunteer?
If you have attributes like Independence, Patience, Sense of humor, Tolerance Willingness, Flexibility, Self-motivation and Open-mindedness, you get the most out of