Home Page FAQ

Applying for one of our programs

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

That would be on our website www.volunteersindia.org. If you still have questions after reading the websites, we'll be happy to answer everything you are curious about, just write us an email at: info@volunteersindia.org .

Where can I apply for one of the programs?

On this page: http://www.volunteersindia.org/application.asp   you can fill in the application.  We are asking for personal information, which program you are applying for and the duration. After finishing the form you can deposit the application fee. You can also choose to do this later (in case you will be arriving in less than 20 days we prefer that you pay the fee straight away). When the fee is deposited, your place on the program is secured.

How can I pay the application/program fee?

Via a bank transfer or pay pal, we will provide you with all the details after receiving your application form.

Why do I have to pay for volunteering?

It's because you'll need accommodation, food and transportation. The money will also be used to pay our staff (driver, cook, security guard) to provide services for you. For the promotion, administration and continuing of our projects a small part of the money is reserved.

 

Volunteering Options

What volunteering projects can I participate in?

You can choose to work in the Project for Street Kids, English Teaching program, Orphanage Work program (female volunteers only), Women Empowerment program (female volunteers only) or the Health Camp programs.

What's the minimum duration of a program?

Sankalp offers volunteering options from one week up to 12 months. If you have the time it's advisable to stay a few weeks, to get to know the children, you will find it more rewarding.

What kind of travel combined volunteer programs does Sankalp offer?

Combining meaningful volunteering work with travelling to explore this incredible country will be a rewarding and unique experience. Sankalp offers three different programs that can bring you the experience of a lifetime. In the summer we offer the Summer Program, this program is a 3 week special including 2 week of volunteering one weekend away and concludes with a whole week of travelling. From October till March Sankalp offers the Work and Travel program, this is a 4 week special including a weekend trip every week, a whole travel week and it also includes a 3 day trekking in the Himalaya's.

Sankalp also offers a Gap Year India Expedition program, this is a 6 week special including many weekend trips, a whole week of travelling and the trekking to the Himalaya as well.

What are the starting dates/costs of the programs?

Most programs start every Saturday, the work and travel projects has set starting dates. The starting dates and program fees can be found on our website: http://www.volunteersindia.org/costs.htm.

Can I combine one of the travel programs with additional weeks of volunteering work?

Of course! Just let us know how many extra weeks you'd like to stay while booking your project. You can choose to do the extra weeks before or after your volunteer/travel program.
 

Daily Life

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

You will spend around 4 hours daily at your project. At most projects you'll work in morning. After work will have a lunch cooked by our cook/your host family. After lunch you are free to visit local places of interest, relax, go to the movies, read. Etc.

Joining our programs as a group or single

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

Yes! You can come with friends, small or larger groups and make a great contribution together

Can I also come as a couple?

Of course!

How about coming alone?

That's also perfectly fine, you'll find that you'll make friends very quickly at the volunteering house.

What kind of people usually participate in the programs?

Mostly we welcome enthusiastic persons between the ages 16 and 30, but we also had a lot of older participants. In summer (during the summer programs) we'll have our busiest time and then the house is full of likeminded people to meet and exchange experiences with.

Visa/ Tickets/ Insurance

Do I need a Visa to come to India?

You do, please inform at the Indian embassy in your country as the rules per country differ. It's the responsibility of the volunteers to obtain the visa. Note: the visa is valid from date of issue, NOT from date of travel. We advise volunteers to apply for a tourist visa, as it's way easier than other visa's and part of most of the programs consist of travelling activities.

Who will book my international flights?

That will be you!

Do I need (additional) health and travel insurances?

It's advisable, you should be covered well in case of sickness or incidents. Also think of things like lost/stolen luggage/things or emergency's at home.

Preparation, before coming to India

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

Yes, you need basic English communication and teaching skills and all volunteers should have passed high school. Skills that are specific to programs are mentioned on program pages under qualification.

Is there a minimum/maximum age for the programs?

The minimum age is 16 years and the maximum 65 years old. Upon request we can provide volunteers 40 to 65 years old with a little more luxurious accommodation on some extra cost.

Can I do anything to prepare for the volunteering work at home?

You don't need to prepare, everything will be explained at your program orientation.

Can I bring materials for the projects?

You could bring some writing materials etc for your use. Other program material will be provided by us.

Can I bring gifts for the children at the projects?

We prefer you don't bring presents. Because if you bring presents and the next person is not bringing anything the children will be disappointed. Just spending your time with them, is a precious gift to their lives and society.

Things to bring?

What kind of items are recommend to bring?

You have to think of items such as mosquito repellent, mosquito net, sunblock, medicines (prescription and some basic medicines that belong in a medical kit) don't bring too much clothes, and you can buy them here as well. You have to bring your own towels.

Money matters

What currency is used in India?

The Indian rupee. You can check the exchange rates online, as they constantly change.

How much money shall I bring?

That's all up to you. Prices in India are definitely low compared to the prices in your home country. But never take too much money with you, you can always get more money from a ATM if needed. It's advisably to bring your debit card and a credit card as well, so in case one of them dysfunctions.

Will I also be able to exchange my currency in India?

Yes, in most cities this possibility is provided. All major currencies can be exchanged for rupees.

Can I bring traveller's checks?

You can, they will be accepted in most hotels and restaurants, but not at local shops, markets etc.

Safety

How is the safety at the program locations/volunteer house?

All the volunteer placements sites are perfectly safe. The volunteer house in situated in a safe neighbourhood and comes with a security guard.

Is it safe to travel in the city/India?

India is a safe country in general. Of course you always have to be careful and never take risks. As in lots of other countries we don't recommend going out alone after dark.

If case of emergency or for a simple question, will there be staff available?

At every location we have coordinators/staff, their mobiles are 24/7 on. In Jaipur staff will be at the office in the volunteer house during the day, their door is always open for questions, help and advice.

Health/Hygiene

Do I need vaccinations to come to India?

Most likely you'll need them! As we do not have a medical background, we cannot provide you with an answer. We advise you to talk with your doctor/ travel clinic, they can advise you! Be sure to go there sometime before you plan to come here, as some vaccinations need to be given multiple times.

What vaccinations should I consider having prior to arrival?

This depends on which country you are travelling from. You should always consult your doctor before purchasing any medication, as some may not be necessary. In addition, depending on where you are from, you may have already had some of the required vaccinations as a child.

We suggest that you consult a travel doctor at your country before you leave. However, you should consider the following vaccinations:
Hepatitis A & B
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Yellow fever
Rabies
Tuberculosis
Malaria

Will I be able to buy medicines in India?

Yes, you will. Most common medicines are available here. Though we advise you to bring enough of your prescription medicines, as they might not be available here.

Do I need to bring a mosquito net/repellent?

Yes, we advise you to bring it, especially in the monsoon season.

Are the project locations close to medicals services/hospitals?

Yes they are! And in case of emergency we will help you all the way.

Can I drink the tap water in India?

No, you can't. In the home filtered water is provided.

What about the food, is it safe to eat?

Definitely! Our cooks take great care in preparing your (vegetarian!!) meals. Be careful with street foods though.

Clothes/shoes

What I have to wear as a woman in India?

It is always important to cover up your shoulders and knees, as it's the norm and tradition in India. Do not go out in singlet's or hot pants etc.

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

For men: long sleeves and a long pants.

For woman: Kurta with Salwar or legging. You can buy them here when you arrive as well. Wearing the salwar on the street is also advisable as it shows a sign of respect to the Indian population.

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.

Can I wear sandals, flip-flops?

Yes! Most people wear them. It's good also to bring some shoes, for hiking, trekking or longer walks in general.

Accommodation / Neighbourhood

Where will a stay while volunteering?

In Dharamsala, Bangalore and Delhi it will be at a host family. In Jaipur the organization has an own volunteer house. In this house there is room for up to 30 volunteers. Volunteers have to share their room with other volunteers but not male-female together.

Is the accommodation provided with a western style toilet?

Yes.

Will I have space to relax in the accommodation?

For sure! In our volunteer house in Jaipur we have a whole lounge area, as well as a large rooftop terrace. Books, dvd's and a TV are also available.

Do I have to bring my own bedding?

No, but you should bring your own towels.

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.

Is there a post office or ATM near the accommodation?

Yes, within easy reach you will find an ATM and post office.

After the project

Can I support the project from my country?

Yes you can! We are always looking for sponsors for the orphanage children to enable them to go to a good school and have a good chance on a better future.

Also, we have finished constructing the school for the street kids project, also thanks to donations. We are still welcoming donations to buy furniture, toys, uniforms, textbooks etc.

For more information contact to us.

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?

It's recommendable to read something about the Indian culture and traditions before you arrive, as it might help you understand the life in this county more.

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