Home Page FAQ

Applying for one of our programs

Where can I find all the detailed information on the available programs?

All detailed information is found on our website under the specific program tabs: www.volunteersindia.org . We are happy to help guide you and answer any questions regarding program applications by emailing us at info@volunteersindia.org

Where can I apply for one of the programs?

You can apply on the application link at the top of the website page or www.volunteersindia.org/application.php . The application will ask for personal information, program you are applying for or interested in, and how long you'd like to be volunteering with us. There is also an application fee that needs to be deposited upon application submission. We ask that this be done right away so your spot can be secured.

How can I pay the application/program fee?

You can pay the application fee by a bank transfer or via Pay Pal. Please keep in mind we are internationally based, so sometimes fees take a bit longer and are a bit different to process. We will help you with all fee matters once application is received and approved.

Why do I have to pay for volunteering?

Although volunteering is a great way to give your time and free work, it also does have its costs in order for you to live comfortably while volunteering within our programs. Your fees will help cover the cost of paying our staff (driver & cook) along with accommodating you with a safe, comfortable living environment including daily amenities, meals, and internet access. A partial sum of your fee will also help our programs continue to run and help the children we serve.

 

Volunteering Options

What are the volunteer programs Sankalp offers?

Our main volunteer programs you can apply for are: "Project for Street Kids" (teaching school children), "Orphanage Work" (working within a government run orphanage with younger children), and "Women's Empowerment" (empowering and guiding young women in the society). All detailed information and summaries regarding these programs are found under their tabs on the website. Please keep in mind that the "Orphanage Work" and "Women's Empowerment" programs are only accepting female volunteers.

What are the duration lengths of the programs?

We are proud to offer volunteer durations of the minimum of one week or up to twelve months. The specific duration required are be based upon the program you apply to volunteer. Although durations vary, it is highly encouraged when working with children to stay for a few weeks to build the bonds with them and also adapt to the Indian culture.

What does Group Trip program look like with Sankalp)

Volunteers who apply for the "Group Trip" program are able to get the combined experience of volunteering in a specific program of your choice, while also enjoying organized travel within the country. This experience is unique for several reasons. You will be able to comfortably and safely be guided through several structured travels that Sankalp organizes and runs, instead of having to figure out travel arrangements on your own. Our "Group Trips" Program is offered year-round, but the travel lengths vary upon time of year specifically chosen. For more specific travel details and location you can see the website tab for "Group Trips" .

What are the starting dates for the programs?

We encourage volunteers to arrive on Saturdays in order to have time to prepare for their volunteering work beginning on Monday's as our typical programs are run Monday-Friday. This will allow volunteers time to adjust rest, explore, and meet other volunteers within the house. Orientation will also be included before programs begin. However, we are flexible in arranging our schedule in order to accommodate your specific travel arrival times.

What are the costs of the programs?

Each program has a separate cost. These costs are determined by duration of volunteering. Please see fees/costs under the specific program tabs or contact us for more information.

Can I request additional weeks/time to participate in volunteer programs along with the arranged travel programs?

Yes, we love to have volunteers participate in longer durations volunteering at our programs. Please contact us for the time you'd like to add on for volunteering so we can arrange this before or after your travels.
 

Daily Life

How will a typical working day at a project be like?

Volunteer programs are run Monday-Friday in the mornings (about 4 hours); however, some do occasionally run in the afternoons depending on amount of volunteers. Transportation is provided to each program both from the house and back to the house. You are responsible to provide yourself with a morning breakfast meal (as needed), but upon arrival back from your morning work you will receive a well prepared lunch from the house cook. After lunch time you are free to explore and visit local places of interests, relax at the house, go shopping, or other activities of your choice. There are many sites to see within the city of Jaipur and we can recommend several upon your arrival. In the evening, dinner is served by the house cook.

What does a typical weekend look like?

Weekends may vary dependent on your individual choice. We encourage you to enjoy your weekends by exploring the city or traveling to other parts of Northern India. Weekends are your free time to arrange plans by yourself or with other volunteers in the house. Although, we do not specifically arrange weekends for our volunteers, we can recommend travel ideas and also help organize transportation with an additional fee.

Joining our programs as a group or single

Is it also possible to work together with friends/ a group at a project?

Yes! We take many groups often throughout the year.

Can I also come as a couple?

Of course!

How about coming alone?

Many volunteers do come alone, and the experience is just as rewarding. You will find that friendships will easily form between other volunteers in the house.

What kind of people usually participate in the programs?

Volunteers vary in age and location. You will find that volunteers come from all over the world, filling your experience with knowledge of new languages, cultures, and some commonalities. Volunteer participants range in all age groups and we encourage anyone to join within the age of 16 and up. 

Visa/ Tickets/ Insurance

Do I need a Visa to come to India?

Yes, you will need a tourist Visa to come to India. Each country varies on the specific Visa rules, so please check this thoroughly in advance by reaching out to your country of origin's embassy along with the Indian embassy. Many online websites offer more information on how to apply for Visas, the costs, and other important information. Keep in mind that you usually need several weeks to receive an Indian Visa, so start ahead in your planning. Volunteers should apply for a tourist Visa instead of other types. Also note that Visa's are valid from the issuing date NOT the date of travel. Please contact us with specific Visa questions so we can further guide you in the right direction based on your country of residence..

What airport should I fly into?

You will be in charge of booking your own flights. There are two main airports we arrange transportation from New Delhi Airport and Jaipur Airport. Please reach out to us to arrange transportation from the airports and learn about the travel time between these airports and the volunteer house.

Do I need (additional) health and travel insurances?

It is advisable, but this may vary. We recommend looking into health travel insurance in the case of sickness or incidents while staying with us. Travel insurances can also help cover lost/stolen luggage or items, as well as rare emergencies at home. This is completely up to you.

PREPARATION FOR PROGRAM WORK BEFORE COMING TO INDIA

Do I need experiences, special skills to be a volunteers at Sankalp?

This will vary upon the program you are doing. For the programs that involve teaching, we like all of our volunteers to have the basic communication with the English language along with some teaching skills. For programs involving working with younger children or orphans, we like our volunteers to know some basic child care skills. Please see the qualification listings under each program tab.

Do I need to prepare at home for my specific volunteer program? Should I bring materials for my program?

You don't need to come prepared with any extra knowledge or materials. We will provide orientation for you before starting your volunteer work within your program, and all material supplies will be provided for you.

Can I bring gifts for the children at the projects?

We prefer that you do not bring gifts for the children. This is mainly due to the fact that if you bring gifts and the next volunteer after you do not, the children can become disappointed and confused. Your presence, involvement, and attention will be the greatest gifts to them.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

What kind of items is recommended to bring?

Please think about bringing basic items that may not be available here in India. For example, consider mosquito repellent/net, sunblock cream, specific medications or medical kits, international outlet plugs for this country, feminine hygiene products, etc). Also please bring your own towel, as we don't provide individual towels, but we do however provide bedding/pillows. We can provide you with a more specific list based on the time of year you will traveling and the duration of your stay. Please contact us with specific needs or questions regarding a packing list. You will not need to pack too many clothes, as you will need to purchase specific clothes here in order to adhere to the Indian culture and appropriate attire (this is more directed toward the female volunteers). Clothing prices are quite cheap and we will guide you on places to shop upon your arrival. A local market is also close to the volunteer house for breakfast foods, water bottles, and snack items.

Money matters

What currency is used in India?

The currency in India is the Indian rupee. Exchange rates do vary per country and as time progresses. You may view these exchange rates online. Currency exchanges are available within both aiports and also in the .

How much money shall I bring?

That is up to you. Prices in India are very low compared to your home country. We highly recommend that you do not carry much money with you when traveling outside of the volunteer home. It is advisable to bring both a debit car and a credit card with you, in case one does not work properly. There are ATMS available for money withdrawal in both airports and by the volunteer house. Please inform your bank of your travels before leaving your country, as they are aware of out of country charges.

What will I be expected to pay for?

You will be in charge of paying for your own transporation for anything outside of the daily arranged transportation to your volunteer program. This will include travels to tourist sites, shops, and other places of interest. Any items such as souveneirs, food items, clothing, and others will be paid by you.

Can I bring traveller's checks?

Yes, you may but remember they will typically only be accepted within more modern places such as hotels and restaurants. Local shops and markets will not accept checks.

Safety

What is the safety at the program locations and volunteer house?

All the volunteer program sites are very safe. You will be amongst our staff too. The volunteer house is in a safe location with several locked entrances and a house staff member on site. The volunteer house is very well maintained and structured to protect all travelers.

Is it safe to travel in the city/India?

As with most foreign travel locations, you are advised to be careful and not take risks. Outside of the volunteer house and program sites, you are responsible for your own safety choices. We recommend that you do not go out after dark and also travel/adventure with another person. During orientation, we can prepare you with safety tips for the local city. You will also be provided with a house card with the address to the volunteer house in both English and Hindi, along with the phone contact in case of emergency. It is advised to carry this with you when outside the house.

In case of emergencies, are there local doctors or hospitals available?

Yes, there are several hospitals in the surrounding areas. We also are able to contact doctors are needed for you and guide you the entire way. Do not worry about language barriers or arranging medical care, as we are here to help you in these cases.

Health/Hygiene

Do I need vaccinations to come to India?

We highly encourage you to receive vaccinations before coming to India. As we do not have a medical background, we cannot provide specific medical answers, but can offer guidance. It is important to discuss with your doctor or home travel clinic before traveling so they can advise you on what health preparations to arrange. Again, make sure you communicate with them several weeks before traveling, as some vaccinations will need to be administered more than once.

What vaccinations should I consider having prior to arrival?

Again, we are not medical professionals, but we can advise you in the basic vaccinations recommended before traveling. Please consult your doctor or home travel clinic before traveling. The vaccinations you may need will be specific based on the country you are traveling from and also on any previous vaccinations you may have received as a child. Some basic ones you should consider are:
• Hepatitis A & B
• Diphtheria
• Tetanus
• Yellow Fever
• Tuberculosis
• Malaria (Medication)

Will I be able to buy medicines in India?

Most medicines are available in India under different brand names. Please bring enough and some extra of your prescription medications though, as they may not be available here.

In case of emergencies, are there local doctors or hospitals available?

Yes, there are several hospitals in the surrounding areas. We also are able to contact doctors are needed for you and guide you the entire way. Do not worry about language barriers or arranging medical care, as we are here to help you in these cases..

Can I drink the tap water in India?

No, you cannot. Filtered water is provided within the volunteer house and filtered water is used to prepare the volunteer meals within the house. It is recommended to bring a water bottle and also buy enclosed water bottles when traveling outside the house.

What about the food, is it safe to eat?

All of the food prepared within the volunteer house is safe to eat. We prepare it within mind that our foreign volunteers come with different food styles than our local culture. Our meals served are vegetarian. We highly advise you to be careful with street foods.

Clothes/shoes

What I have to wear as a woman in India?

In order to respect Indian norms and traditions as a female, it is important to be covered up when out and about. This would include covering your shoulders and knees.

What do I have to wear while doing the volunteer work?

To respect Indian norms and traditions along with working in the community, there are specific dress codes for both men and women. Men are to wear long sleeves and long pants. Women are to wear the Indian tops that are in length to the knees and also cover the shoulders/chest/upper arms (these are called Kurta). Leggings/pants are also to be worn in order to cover the knees and legs (these are called Salwar). Women's clothing is available for cheap purchase within close range of the house. You can also find them online too before traveling.

What kind of clothes do I have to bring?

Most of the year it's pretty hot at the project locations. Loose-fitting breathing clothes are a good option. Only in winter you might need some light woollen.

For the majority of the year, India's weather is hot. Loose-fitting clothing is advisable, but keep in mind to adhere to the traditional, respectful dress policies. In winter, you should bring some warmer clothing to wear over or under.

Can I wear sandals, flip-flops?

Yes, it is very common to wear sandals here. If you are traveling to different sites and in the dessert, we recommend bringing a pair of enclosed shoes or walking/hiking shoes for extended comfort.

Accommodation / Neighborhood

Where will a stay while volunteering?

In Jaipur, you will stay at the volunteer house. The volunteer house stays up to 30 people. Volunteers share rooms, although male-females are separated. In Dharamsala, Bangalore, and New Delhi you will stay with a host family.

Is the accommodation provided with a western style toilet?

Yes.

Will I have space to relax in the accommodation?

The Jaipur volunteer house offers free wifi that can connect to your devices. At other locations you will find internet access within the area.

Will I be able to use the internet at or near the accommodation?

In the Jaipur volunteer house we have Wi-Fi which you can use it on you laptop, tablet or mobile. At the other locations you can find internet access close by.

After the project

Can I support the project from my country?

Yes, you can. We are always looking for sponsors for our orphanage children, enabling them to attend school when they are of age giving them the opportunity of education and a better future. Our program ran school has also proudly completely construction with the help of many donations. We still welcome donations to purchase furniture, toys, uniforms, educational materials, etc. Please contact us for specific donation opportunities.

Weather

What is the weather like at the project locations?

In Jaipur and Delhi it can get very hot in summer, Bangalore enjoys a moderate climate and the temperatures in Dharamsala are very enjoyable in summer. In winter it can snow in Dharamsala, winter in Bangalore will be pleasant and in Jaipur and Delhi as well.

Indian Culture

What do I need to know about the Indian Culture?

This is a great question. We recommend researching or reading some material about the Indian culture and traditions before you arrive as it will serve you most helpful with understanding of the different culture norms here. We will also provide you some background information during your orientation upon arrival.

Other FAQ

We are happy to answer any other questions you may have. Please email us at info@volunteersindia.org  to receive quick responses on the specific nature of your questions. Don't worry; our staff will be able to help you before and during your travels here.

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