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Dharamshala volunteer project

Dharamshala, Himachal - India

We are situated in rural areas of Dharamshala with aims at serving the underprivileged and marginalized rural community by creating educational programs with international volunteers, local NGO's and local people working together. All programs are in rural locations within range of 40 kms from outskirts of Dharamsala town.

It has been very rewarding! I have so enjoyed the time with the children, getting to know them and sharing in their excitement of learning new things. I have had the most fortunate luck in meeting and spending time with the warmest family. It has been a great 2 weeks! I wish I would stay for longer and would definitely consider coming back again. I even got to go a wedding! What a great experience that was!!! The people around the area are so helpful and friendly. The children are so warm and loving. It is such a lovely feeling to be surrounded by such a genuine people. The accommodation is very comfortable. The food is out of this world "Mum" is a great cook and even "dad" cooked us "kithroo" and it was delicious!! There was ample food to eat at all three meal times. The whole family was helpful, caring and accommodating to our needs. I'm going to miss them very much. The overall experience was excellent.
- Melissa Yeo, Australia

In Dharamshala, you will see the lives of Himalayan people and will get the opportunity to develop greater cultural, community and educational awareness of them. Dharamsala overlooks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes this area very attractive. 


Age Limit: 16 Years +
Length of stay:   02 - 16 weeks 
Program start: Every 1st & 3rd Thursday [arrival in Jaipur/Delhi]
Working days: Monday to Friday
Working hours: 4-5 hours/day
Program fees: Start from $499 for 2 week
Accommodation type: Local Host Family
Average number of volunteers: 4-8/month

You will probably spend about 4 to 5 hours at your volunteer placement. The rest of the day will be filled with opportunities to learn about the local culture and customs, field trips to places of local interest, discussions on local issues and others.

On working days, volunteers usually get up and have breakfast before leaving for their Volunteer Placements.

Evening meal-times provide another exciting chance to enjoy authentic food provided by the host family. The food is delicious and healthy and takes full advantage of local cooking traditions. The evenings and weekends are free time, to relax or explore the local area.

Do I need experiences, special skills to be a volunteer at Sankalp?
No, you don't need particular skills. We are happy to welcome everyone that is enthusiastic and driven to help other people. It's necessary to speak English if coming here, but it's perfectly fine if English is your second language. You'll also be able to improve your level of English here, as you'll be speaking it here constantly.

What volunteering projects can I participate in Jaipur?
You can choose to work in the English Teaching, Women Empowerment or Child Care programs.

Do I need a Visa to come to India?
You do, 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. Your trips fall under the category of volunteer tourism. Therefore, you will need to obtain tourist visa to India as it's way easier than other visa's and part of most of the programs consist under travelling activities.

Is it safe?
We are very much concerned about our volunteer's security and safety.

Our commitment to safety and well-being of every participant takes a top priority in the planning and operation of each program. Because hundreds of young adults from around the world participate in our volunteering programs and travel combined volunteer programs each year, we have extensive experience in our response to handle incidents and emergencies. Please assure that "volunteer overseas" will not conduct a program that we believe will jeopardize the safety of any person.

Our team members having proper identity will pick you up from Delhi airport on landing. We place volunteers at very comfortable accommodation located in a secure and peaceful environment. While staying and during the currency of the project we take care of the volunteers with utmost vigilance and proper security.

The team is perfect in giving suitable guidance and follow up instructions about the local and national transportation and about the outing for the project location surroundings.

All the team members have mobile phones, so getting in contact in an emergency is not difficult. You are always welcome to get in contact with the staff at any time on our cell phones during your entire stay.

Mobile phones are also common on the all project location SIM cards and pre-paid cards are pretty affordable. So, bring your phone, staff will help you to get a SIM card.

The volunteer's home/host families are chosen near health care facilities.  

How many volunteers do you have at same time in Dharamshala?
We place 3-4 volunteer at the same time.

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 an ATM if needed. It's advisably to bring your debit card and a credit card as well, so in case one of them dysfunctions. You will need $80 to $100 per week for evening activities, weekend travel and picking up gifts/souvenirs.

How will I get to/from the project every day?
All projects are on walking distance for the Host Family.

When should I apply for the program?
You should apply as soon as to secure your place on the program but you must be 100% sure that you wish to join us. If you are signing up within 4 weeks of your program start date, please email us to confirm the places availability.

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.

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.

We offer comfortable accommodation with easy approach to project sites for the volunteers.
On placement, you ought to live with a middle class local Indian family in a remote area. A separate living-room on dual or triple sharing basis with other volunteers will be provided but you should not expect luxury on your stay and it is different from what you are used to at home. 

Host family will serve three local area meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). You may help the host(s) in preparing the meals so that you may learn cooking of various India dishes, which would be liked by your mates when you go back home. You may also cook food of your own choice. Living with Indian families will prove for you the best track of learning the Indian tradition, culture and behaviour without much cost and effort. 

In Dharamsala it's a rural placement and more likely that you will have a traditional squat toilet and a cold/hot bucket shower.

Dharamshala is a twin town city; divided into a lower and a upper town with a difference of 457m height (1500ft.) between them. The mountains enfold 3 sides of the town and the valley stretches to the south. Dharamshala is known for its scenic beauty, calmness and tranquillity. It has high pine trees, tea gardens and timber yielding trees. Dharamshala is now the seat of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. After the Chinese conquest of his country, Dharamsala is evocative of the imperial days in places like McLeodganj and Forsytheganj. Dharamshala is the headquarters of the Kangra district.

Dharamshala enjoys a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. Dharamsala has all the four seasons' winter, autumn, summer, & Monsoon. The winter will start in the month of December till March; summer will be from April till June. And Monsoon will be from July to September. The weather is pleasant throughout the year.

Local Transportation
Dharamshala is well connected to almost every corner of India via different means of public transport including air & rail. Nearest Airport is Gagal Airport (40 kms) and nearest train station is Pathankot (110 kms).

USD $245

2 week $ 499
3 week $ 699
Additional Week(s) $150 / week

PROGRAM START DATES: Every First & Third Thursday of the month (arrival in New Delhi).


  • Pickup from Delhi airport
  • Transport from Jaipur to project site
  • Accommodation & meals
  • Extensive information prior to arrival
  • Placement and assistance in work area
  • Assistance for local sightseeing
  • All program relevant materials


  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fee
  • Internet access
  • Insurance
  • Excursions
  • Local sightseeing
  • Drop-off
  • Bank transaction charges as applicable


The programs are not available during during the rainy season, from July to September!
For detailed questions and answers on the programs, visit our FAQ Section
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