• India

Overview

The state of Himachal Pradesh is situated in the western Himalayan Mountains, in the north of India. Because of its rural location & mountainous terrain, it is one of the least urbanized of India’s states. The region is known for its handicrafts, particularly its sought-after pashmina scarves.
Volunteers who head to Himachal can focus on a variety of needs within the area communities, including: improvement of public village facilities, bringing attention & awareness to relevant social issues, & providing educational & social resources for local children. Groups can combine any number of specialized projects.  
Please be advised that winters here are extremely cold, so take this under consideration when planning the timing of your visit.
Note: We have grouped available projects into broad headings based on the scope of their work. However, many of these programs overlap in their overall goals & objectives or go beyond the work listed here. So, if you are interested in a particular projects or tasks, please inquire more about specific projects & itineraries. 

Specialized Project: Community Work

The project work is dependent upon the specific needs of the individual village, the condition of its public facilities & its social issues at stake, as well as the interest & skill set of the volunteers. 
The following is a general list of work needed:
  • Repairing & improving work areas, classrooms & centers in area educational facilities;
  • Painting educational materials & art work on walls & in common spaces;
  • Enhancing plantation & playground areas;
  • Spreading awareness on the importance of facility maintenance & beautification.

Specialized Project: Education

Participants work with the local community to improve the quality of education & care in day care centers, special institutions, & regular schools. Additionally, a variety of educational & confidence building activities are organized for the benefit of adolescent girls & women of the local community. These activities are geared towards promoting opportunities for this often neglected section of the community by fostering a sense of self-worth & empowerment. 
The activities done by volunteers primarily relate to three broad areas: education, care, & empowerment. While the needs of each region differ due to varied cultures, climate, & social conditions, there are some common activities offered:
  • Early childhood care & education;
  • Tutoring;
  • Organizing recreational activities;
  • Preparing teaching materials;
  • Teaching basic subjects, like mathematics & literacy, with creative lessons;
  • Maintenance of institutional facilities;
  • Working with mentally & physically-challenged students;
  • Providing additional help to those students who have fallen behind;
  • Women’s empowerment through computer training & English classes.

Optional Pre/Post-Project Tours


										
  • Amritsar – Holiest town of the Sikh religion. Visit the Golden Temple & border closing ceremony between India & Pakistan.
  • McLeod Ganj – Home to the Dalai Lama.
  • Taj Mahal – Built in the 17th century by the fifth Mughal emperor, in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Fatehpur Sikri – City built in Red Sandstone. One of the finest examples of Hindu & Muslim architecture.
  • Ajanta-Ellora Caves – Remarkable reliefs, sculptures, & architecture that represent the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism. Carved between 350 AD - 700 AD.