Volunteering Opportunities in India
Would you like an affordable and safe way to travel overseas? Do you want to experience a new culture while enhancing your global perspective? Volunteering abroad in India can fulfill those desires while also making the world a better place. Discover many different worlds within one stunning country when you travel to India with IFRE’s life-changing programs.
India is a country rich in history and mystique where people travel from all over the world to explore inner peace and spirituality.
Beautiful scenery is waiting to be discovered, from lakes to mountains to beaches. Warmly welcoming people and vastly diverse food round out the endless reasons to visit this fascinating country.
Unfortunately, India is still a developing country beset by grinding poverty and economic inequality. Rampant corruption in all levels of government, inadequate education, lack of sanitation and basic health care, and pollution all contribute to India's problems. A shocking one-third of the world's poor live in India, with children disproportionately affected.
Today, India desperately needs volunteers more than ever.
There are many meaningful ways to volunteer your time and skills to help improve the lives of the people of India. You can help working with street and other at-risk children, in orphanages, by teaching English, working in health care, raising awareness for HIV/AIDS, volunteer in women's empowerment projects, and more.
Find new life direction and personal enrichment while helping those less fortunate than you. Contact IFRE today to learn more about volunteering in India!
Volunteering Opportunities in India: Available Projects
No matter what your passions or interests may be, IFRE has a project in India you can get excited about. Take a look at our unique offerings, and find meaning helping others!
The number of orphaned children in India is dramatically increasing. These children are being deprived of a home, education, healthcare facilities and supervision. Although India’s economy is doing well, the government does not seem to provide enough support to help the orphans.
Orphanages in India are making a grand effort to help these children, but these institutions often face many problems and are understaffed and underfunded. By volunteering in Indian orphanages, you will be able to help these children have a stable childhood and a bright future.
When participating in this project, you will get the unique opportunity to teach orphan children various skills which can help them escape the clutches of poverty in the future. You will take care of the children on a daily basis, play with them, teach them English or any other subject of your choice, prepare meals for them and organize social activities for their enjoyment.
You don’t have to possess any specific skills or qualifications for this program but will need to be dedicated to offering the orphans care and compassion.
Do you want to help orphans have a brighter future? Go to the project page for more details.
When you participate in IFRE’s volunteer healthcare project in india, you will get to work alongside local doctors and healthcare professionals at various health clinics in poor areas of Delhi or Gurgaon (a city near Delhi).
Depending on your experience, your primary responsibility will be shadowing the local doctors, helping and learning from them or to look after sick patients and assist the local medical staff.
You will spend several hours a day in clinics full of patients of all ages, gaining valuable experience and observing healthcare professionals treating a variety of cases. Interested volunteers must hold a healthcare certification or be enrolled in medical school in order to participate.
Do you want to gain invaluable hands-on medical experience? Visit the program page for the complete information.
Many children in India are unable to access an education. Estimates of marginalized and vulnerable street children in the country are as high as 11 million, and many of these children work full time with their parents selling goods, foraging or performing in order to help make ends meet.
Volunteers can play a vital role in providing these children with access to a basic education, opening up opportunities that they would otherwise never get. If you’re a loving and patient person with a passion for helping children, this is the perfect program for you.
Do you want to help poor children in India lift themselves out of poverty? Visit the program page for more details.
Since India is a popular travel destination for travelers and vacationers all over the world, speaking English has become a major skill which can benefit both children and adults. Children from low-income families and communities do not have proper access to schools and other institutions where they can learn good English, leaving them disadvantaged in the job market.
IFRE’s teaching English in India volunteer program can truly change lives of children. In this project, you will not only teach English, but you will also positively influence children’s lives in many ways. If you want, you can also teach other major subjects like computer, arts, science, music, and math. You do not need previous teaching experience to join this project, but you should be a good role model, be very flexible, have a love and passion for children, and have a good grasp of the English language.
Do you want to help make a better future for Indian children? Go to the program page for the complete information.
The number of street children in India is rising tremendously. There are millions of children living in the slums and on the streets of India, and there is little support from the government to address this issue. Although there are some local organizations and NGO’s that help these children, they lack the necessary manpower and financial support.
Therefore, your participation in the street children volunteer project in India is crucial to give these children a bright future.
By volunteering with street children, you will not only be able to better the lives of these unfortunate kids, but you will also gain an unforgettable life-changing experience. You will be expected to help out in various ways, such as taking care of children, preparing educational materials and classes, and organizing charity events. Help keep these kids off the street and inspire them to move beyond their difficult beginnings.
Do you want to give hope to street children in India? See the program page for more details.
Are you looking for a meaningful summer volunteer program in India that allows for travel and adventure as well as making a difference? India is a magical and enchanting country famous with backpackers and travelers from all over the world. Many come to India to make incredible memories and experiences and seek spiritual enlightenment and peace.
If you are thinking about spending your summer vacation in India while taking part in a rewarding volunteer project, then you should join IFRE’s unique adventure program which is designed to help you make the most out of your summer holiday.
On this 4-week adventure, you will get the chance to explore the beautiful travel destinations of India while doing meaningful volunteer work in an orphanage looking after children who need your help. You can teach them math, English, art, and even music, and you will provide them with the care, love and attention they deserve. You will also have the chance to travel around on a guided adventure tour and visit some of the most exciting tourist attractions in India.
Are you looking for an exciting and rewarding way to spend the summer? Visit the program page for more information.
In addition to the life-changing projects listed above, IFRE also offers group programs for high school and college students, family volunteering, alternative spring breaks, and many other unique programs. Contact us today to learn more!
Volunteering Opportunities in India: Program Dates
IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.
Since 2006, IFRE Volunteers has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.
We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured; we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE Volunteers is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.
Volunteer Program Fee (US$)
Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day »
Language and culture program $250
Aiport Pickup & Transfer (Dharmasla- 9 hours) $100
Delhi to Palamapur transfer by air $100-125, bus $15-20
Summer volunteer and adventure (4 weeks include tour ) $1769
Program Fees Cover:
- Accommodation (host family)
- Food (local food 3 times a day)
- Program Orientation
- In-country support
- Personalized project
- Pre-departure information
- Certificate of completion
- Fundraising ideas and letters
- Discount for returning volunteers
Program Fees Exclude:
- Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
- Daily transportation
- Airport return transfer
This may be your first trip to India, and you might be feeling a bit apprehensive about where you’ll stay, what you’ll eat, and how you will manage overseas on your own. With IFRE, you’ll never feel like you are traveling alone as we are there for you every step of the way. We make sure you have safe and comfortable accommodations, healthy food, and unparalleled in-country support.
While volunteering in India, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture while staying with one of our safe and secure host families. Our local host families are socially respected, and they are experienced in hosting international volunteers. They have a strong interest in the safety and well-being of our volunteers and demonstrate this with caution and care. In most host family situations, you will share a room with another volunteer of the same gender.
Another viable option is an at-orphanage or project hostel stay. Many orphanages in India have set aside special rooms to house international volunteers.
You will receive three nutritious meals per day. You will get a variety of delicious Indian food such as naan, dahl and chapatti bread, curries, rice and pickles/chutneys.
You will be working hard to make a difference at your India service project, and IFRE thinks you deserve ample time off to experience the country you are giving so much back to! You will be volunteering in India an average of 4-6 hours per day Monday- Friday, but your evenings and weekends are totally free to do whatever you’d like!
This is a great chance to travel, sightsee, and have fun with your fellow India volunteers. Check out the top tourist attractions as they have become so popular for a reason but venture off the beaten path and explore some as well. Find out what the real India is like. How do people live? What do they eat? What great hidden gems can you find this way?
IFRE does not arrange excursions during your free time, but the local staff will be happy to offer advice and suggestions on what to do, where to go, and how to get there. India is a world-renowned travel destination, and you can take backpacking treks, explore spiritual sites, take stunning landscape photography, and more. Make sure you budget for extra weekend trips, tours, and food during your free time to make the most of your experience in India!
Learn more about the exciting destinations you can visit while volunteering in India.
Safety and In-country Support
Your safety is IFRE’s number one priority at all times, and you can have peace of mind knowing we will do everything possible to ensure you have a safe and secure experience volunteering in India. We offer pre-trip support, reliable and comprehensive travel insurance, airport pick-up, and availability to guidance and support by an experienced in-country staff that is right there on the ground to help you every step of the way.
As soon as you arrive in India, you will have the support of an experienced team of in-country field staff. The team is comprised of mature, educated, socially respected individuals who are dedicated humanitarians highly experienced in working with international volunteers.
Your main point of contact will be the in-country coordinator. They will select your India volunteering project placement, make all the arrangements for your airport transfer, accommodations, and food, give you an orientation which covers culture, safety, and your service work, introduce you to your host family and project staff, and make periodic visits and calls to check up on your progress. You can reach out to the coordinator at any time with any questions, issues, or to ask for advice and they will be happy to assist you.
If you’d like to learn more about the safety features and field support offered by IFRE, click here.
Volunteering Opportunities in India: Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve picked your destination and found a project that speaks to you, but you still have a lot of questions before you’re ready to dive headfirst into your volunteer experience in India. That’s totally natural, and you’re not alone. Every day IFRE receives tons of questions from prospective volunteers. To make things simple for you, we’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently all in one place so you can easily get up to speed and ready to start volunteering!
To which airport should I arrive?
You need to fly to Indira Gandi International Airport in New Delhi.
Do you organize airport pick-up and drop off?
Yes, IFRE does organize airport pick-up for its volunteers in India. However we don’t offer airport drop off so you’ll have to arrange this yourself.
What happens if I miss my flight or arrive late?
The first thing you should do is contact the country coordinator and let them know that you have missed your flight and will arrive late. You then have to provide him with your new flight details so he can rearrange the airport pick-up for you prior to your arrival. If you are not able to rearrange the pickup; go to the hotel of your choice and contact our ground from Hotel.
Who will come to pick me up? How do I recognize the person at the airport?
Our local representative will come to pick you up at the airport. He/she will be carrying a board with your name on it, so you should be able to easily recognize them.
If my assignment begins on Monday, when should I arrive? If I want to arrive earlier than the day when my assignment begins, where do I stay and who will organize the accommodations? Does it cost me extra?
You should arrive on Sunday and rest for the day before actually beginning your volunteer program in India the next day. If you decide to arrive early, you should inform your country coordinator in advance to help you organize aspects such as accommodation and activities. You will have to pay an additional $30 per night.
What do I need prior to departure from my home country?
Prior to your departure, you need to make sure that you have packed up all the important items for your trip. That includes your passport (with at least six months validity), medicines, clothing, tickets, credit card, and other important documents which you might need such as your medical ID card (if you are taking part in IFRE’s healthcare program). You need to meet with your doctor about your upcoming trip and get up to date on vaccinations. You will need to obtain travel insurance, and research the requirements for your visa. Doing research ahead of time on the history, culture, and customs of India will help enrich your time abroad.
Where are the projects located?
IFRE’s volunteer programs in India are located in Delhi and Jaipur most of our project are within 3-5 KM of your accommodation.
Is there any minimum and maximum stay?
Yes, you can stay for a minimum of one week to a maximum of six months in India. To extend that period to volunteer in India, you have to acquire an additional tourist visa. We also advise you to choose the volunteer project of your liking based on the number of days you plan on staying in India. Doing so will prevent future complications.
Will I have enough time to travel after work and during the weekend?
Yes, all of our volunteer projects have enough free time for you to travel and explore the touristic local sights and destinations after work and during the weekends.
Who will guide or support me in the project?
To help you get through your volunteer work experience in India, our in-country coordinator will guide and support you throughout the entire duration of your project. If you require any assistance, just make sure to let your in-country coordinator know, and they will try their best to help you.
Can I switch projects if I don’t like the one I chose?
Yes, you are allowed to change your project if you ever feel dissatisfied with your first placement. You simply need to contact our in-country coordinator and let them know about your issues with the initial volunteer project. The in-country coordinator will assist you in finding another program to join, so long as one is available.
Can I work in more than one volunteer project at a time?
Yes, our volunteers can work in more than one volunteer project in India at a time. Having said that, you do have to understand that working in two different volunteer projects at once won’t be as easy as it sounds. You have to work for at least four to five hours a day in one single project alone, and when you add another project to that daily routine, it can be really tough.
A more manageable option might be to split your time in half, volunteering at one project for the first part of the trip and another project for the second part. Contact the in-country coordinator to discuss these options.
How old should I be to take part in your projects?
You need to be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for our volunteer programs. If you are younger than 18, then in some cases you may be eligible with a written consent form provided by your parents/guardians. Minors can also volunteer alongside their parents.
Who manages the volunteer projects in India?
Our projects are all managed by an experienced country coordinator. The country coordinator is there to provide you with timely support on a day to day basis. The coordinators will come to visit you frequently during your time in India to check on you. You can ask for advice and suggestions, and they will help you ensure the success of your volunteer work abroad.
Will I receive training before the start of the project?
Yes, after your arrival in India, our in-country coordinator will engage you in an orientation class during which you will learn about safety measures and your daily schedules, along with a briefing on the customs and culture of India.
Is there a dress code for the India volunteer projects?
No, there is no specific dress code unless you are working the medical project, in which case you will need to wear a white apron. However, you do have to understand that you must wear decent and modest clothing while volunteering abroad.
Why pay to volunteer abroad?
This question is frequently asked by people planning to travel abroad and participate in a volunteer program. We are a non-profit volunteer organization and the fees paid by our volunteers are essential for us to cover the salary of our staff, advertisement, and utility and rent bills. In addition, the field supervision, food and accommodation are all covered by the fees of our volunteer programs, as well as money going directly to the humanitarian project you are working so hard to support.
Why are IFRE’s fees so much more affordable than other volunteer organizations?
As mentioned earlier, IFRE serves as a non-profit volunteer organization whose only aim is to provide affordable and meaningful volunteer experiences abroad. Our staff is formed by international humanitarians who simply want to help others in need. Profitability is not IFRE's focus and the fees you pay to participate in our India volunteer programs are just enough to sustain and run the projects.
Can I get a tax deduction?
Yes, you can get a tax deduction for any of our volunteer programs, as we are an American non-profit 501©3 volunteer organization which collaborates with many orphanages, schools, hospitals and NGOs all across the globe.
Can I get help to raise funds?
Yes, contact IFRE to learn more about our assistance to help raise funds for your trip.
For further readings:
Cost /money matter
Why to pay for volunteer abroad
How to reduce the cost of volunteer abroad
Pay fee directly to host family
Is it safe to travel and volunteer in India?
The areas of India in which our projects are located are relatively safe for foreign visitors. We advise you doing your own research ahead of time to become familiar with your destination.
What safety measures should I take?
We make sure that all of our volunteers are transported to their accommodations safely after their arrival in India. We then engage our volunteers in an informative and crucial orientation class so that you can avoid reckless behavior while abroad. Furthermore, our staff members are available to help you in case of emergency.
You should exercise caution and avoid going places alone, particularly at night and particularly if you are a woman. You should not carry large amounts of cash, or dress in a flashy or provocative manner. If you are shopping in a market and someone tries to attract you to their store nearby or a back alley to see their goods, just say no.
What will happen if I get sick?
If you get sick while working as a volunteer in India, you should inform our field staff immediately. Once you inform the staff about your health condition, you will be taken to the nearby hospital or to a medical clinic for a thorough check-up. We will do our best to take care of you while you are sick and to help you recover as soon as possible. Be sure to bring along your passport and a copy of your insurance policy to present to the doctor.
Why must I get travel insurance before beginning my volunteer trip?
As per our policies, it is obligatory for all of our volunteers to purchase travel insurance before beginning their trip. This is done so that our volunteers are kept safe from all types of danger that may occur while volunteering abroad in a foreign nation, and to cover you in the event of illness, injury, or emergency. IFRE can assist you in obtaining your insurance policy if you need help with this.
What vaccinations do I need to volunteer in India?
The CDC and WHO recommend several vaccinations to travel India. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid are some of the most recommended vaccines. Therefore, it is vital to consult your doctor on needed vaccinations and health precautions before leaving for your trip.
What are the principle health risks in India?
The principle health risks in India are mostly the same as those in other South Asian countries. You need to be wary of the rampant air and water pollution. You should avoid eating in places where you are not 100% sure about the quality of the food, and as many people are prone to food poisoning in India you may opt to eat a vegetarian diet while here to reduce your risk. You must never drink tap water, and only drink bottled or boiled water, or sealed drinks. Don’t swallow tap water while taking shower and never use it to rinse.
For further readings:
Volunteer Health and Safety
Safety Tips for Your Volunteer Abroad Trip
Do I need a visa to volunteer and travel in India?
Yes, you will need a tourist visa.
How do I apply for the visa?
You can apply for a tourist visa by visiting the Indian Embassy in your home country. Or you can go online and get a tourist visa. India has very strict guidelines regarding visas, and only certain nationalities will be eligible for being granted a visa upon arrival at the airport. Do your research online well in advance to learn the requirements for your particular home country.
Can I extend my visa? Can you help with this?
Yes, contact your in-country coordinator to get advice on how to extend your stay in India.
How do I contact IFRE’s local coordinator?
You can contact IFRE’s local coordinator through your mobile phone, or you can go online and email them your inquiry. We will provide you with the personal contact details of our local coordinators before the start of your volunteer project in India. If there’s an emergency or you need help, you can get in touch with them immediately.
How can I communicate with my family from India?
There won’t be much trouble communicating with your family from India. You will get access to telephone and internet and will be able to call your family and friends or talk to them online via Facebook or Skype.
Can I use my phone?
Yes, you can use your personal mobile phone during your volunteer experience abroad. However, check with your current provider prior to travel to ensure your phone will function in India. International roaming charges may apply, and these can be quite costly.
Can I buy a SIM card in India?
Yes, you can buy a SIM card for use while doing your volunteer work in India. Again, check with your provider to see if your phone will function with the foreign SIM, or if it is locked. A local SIM card will help you avoid expensive roaming charges.
How can I get/purchase internet services?
You will first need to buy an Airtel SIM card and use it on your mobile phone to activate it. Then you can buy an internet data pack for a price of $6 which remains valid for 28 days.
Is there internet available everywhere?
Yes, there is internet service available where IFRE’s projects are located.
What do I need to bring with me to India?
For your volunteer trip in India, you need to bring modest clothing, a backpack, first aid supplies and medicine, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, passport, flashlight, sunscreen, laptop, camera, cell phone, books, masks, a pair of flip flops, towel and toiletries, along with your visa and proof of your insurance policy. IFRE provides bedding, but you are welcome to bring along a sleeping bag if you feel you will need it.
We hope we have answered all of your questions to your satisfaction, and you now feel armed with the knowledge you need to have a successful volunteer trip abroad. To learn more about volunteering in India, contact IFRE today!
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