Known as the cultural bridge between the east and the west, Goa is home to a wide variety of ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic varieties. What was once a former Portuguese colony is now the smallest geographical Indian state, but one of the most diverse and appealing. Goa is particularly famous among foreign travelers for its great climate and fantastic white sandy beaches. The inland, with its plentiful flora and fauna, is internationally recognized as a biodiversity hotspot and compared to the Amazon and Congo basins for its rich tropical diversity. Finally, authentic Indian food and dance, influenced by its wealth of cultural and religious varieties, offer a distinct and enriching cultural experience for any traveler.
Arrival at Goa airport and transfer to accommodation for an overnight stay. (Please note that no activities will be organized during this day)(B,L,D).
After an early breakfast take part in a welcome meeting that will provide a lot of interesting information about volunteer work and the projects, India, its culture and do’s & don’ts, personal safety and conduct. Hindi tutorial classes will also be given. After lunch you start preparing for your first day at your designated project - learn how to do your work, go through records of your project, and preparation meeting with your project executive. (B,L,D)
The day will start with yoga sessions, followed by breakfast. You will be introduced to the volunteer projects and the rest of the day will be spent working at your chosen project. Afterwards, there will be a local food preparation demonstration and food tasting. (B,L,D)
Start your day with a yoga session and then some breakfast. Participate in Henna (Indian tattoo) and local traditional dressing workshops, and work at your volunteer project for the rest of the day. We have dinner with a local host family for you to experience the local day-to-day life. (B,L,D)
Spend the day at your volunteer project. (B,L,D)
A one-time visit to Palolem Beach in South Goa. This is nature at its best. The picturesque mile-long Palolem Beach, enclosed by a thick forest of coconut palms is arguably one of the state's most beautiful beaches. (B,D)
Monday to Friday:
Volunteer work during the mornings and afternoons for a total of about 5 hours a day. (B,L,D)
Saturday and Sunday:
A one-time trip to North Goa is on the agenda for this weekend. This is a 1-night/2-day trip to see beautiful churches, Portuguese architecture and visit some world-famous beaches. You will be transferred back to Goa airport after dinner on Sunday in good time for your onward flight. (B,L,D Saturday, and B,D Sunday)
After breakfast on your final volunteering day, you will be transferred back to Goa airport after 20:00 until 10:00 the next day. Or, if you are returning from the North Goa trip, return in the afternoon and later transfer to Goa airport for journey back home - departure transfer is from 20:00 hours until 10:00 hours next day.
Your stay will be extended in weekly blocks according to the amount of time you have reserved for your volunteering experience.
You can help wherever you are most needed or you can specify which area you are most interested in by talking to your travel advisor. The areas of specialisation which you can choose from in the Goa Volunteer and Travel program are:
Holistic development of children is one of the millennium goals of the Indian government, and so is the aim of our volunteering programs. We aim at achieving this by contributing to a child’s cognitive, academic, emotional and social growth. By doing this, the organisation and its volunteers bring about some lasting and sustainable changes in the children's lives. Activities include:
- Assist with mid-day meal
- Songs, rhymes, shape concept - coloring of different shapes
- Teaching English (alphabets) & mathematics etc.
- Games and outdoor games
- Maintaining the growth charts of children
- Following the time table put forth by the centre
- Sensory development teaching
Volunteers participate in educational enhancement for students of local communities specifically in the areas of English, math and arts and crafts. In order to encourage more volunteers to participate in this program, we provide detailed workbooks and guidelines for teaching. The volunteers help with the education of the children through creative, interactive teaching methods that make learning enjoyable. Imparting English language skills is extremely beneficial to children’s education and further employment. Volunteers do not need to be professional teachers or have had teaching experience before. Activities include:
- Teaching English, math and social skills
- Games and sports activities
- Teacher motivation and training
- Children attendance tracking
- First aid training and fun/recreation activities
- To create a fun learning atmosphere with the help of games and learning materials
Any particular activities are available depending on the needs of the project at the time.
The volunteer organization was launched in 1999 with the intention to provide tourism and volunteering benefits to international travelers, while supporting various NGOs for social development programs in India.
Over the years, they have become the regional leader in volunteering, travel and cultural exchange, internships and high school exchange programs in India. Your travel program is based on the volunteer and travel combination concept where you are able to volunteer in a needy community while traveling and relaxing at the same time. For almost a century, travelers have always planned their journeys around heritage monuments, beautiful cities, beaches or wildlife. These days, travelers are also keen to interact with the local community and participate in the life of the people thus enriching their travel experience and making it more memorable and rewarding. Since volunteering also brings inner satisfaction and immediate gratification, it enhances the value of your vacation. So, when you come to India, be prepared to volunteer, explore, travel, relax and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Volunteers participate in educational enhancement for students of local communities specifically in the areas of English, math and creativity enhancement.
- Computer training: Volunteers can make use of the well-tested and developed modules of teaching basic computer skills to enthusiastic local girls and women.
- English classes: Volunteers, with their involvement in teaching English to local women, can help the project achieve a multitude of objectives like empowerment and increasing employability.
- Job skills: Volunteers can engage with a group of young girls and teach them certain vocational skills that might be helpful for them to earn their own living.
There is always an element of care and empowerment evident in our volunteering activities. A variety of areas is covered at this volunteer project which provides a wholesome view of the deprived or weaker segment of the society.
By working with the communities, you make a noticeable difference in the lives of the people you have worked with. Your work with the women and children in the community helps motivate them towards the value of education, build their overall confidence and lead a better and healthy life. Witnessing what kind of impact your, your colleagues' and previous volunteers' work has will give you an overall sense of achievement of making difference in the lives of so many people in need.
On services that you use, such as your accommodation, food, transportation, trips, airport pickups, intercity travel, weekend excursions (if included in the program), workshops, some materials that you use, for people who support you.
- Pick-up at Goa airport at the beginning of the program
- All transfers
- 1 culture week including orientation at the Goa camp including talks on various subjects of relevance to volunteers
- Meals as per itinerary
- Periodic on-site assistance of an English speaking translator
- All materials required for various activities during the volunteer work like color pens, paper, sports equipment etc.
- Assistance in setting up local support for the volunteers’ activities in coordination with the local NGOs
- Extensive pre-departure information, post-arrival printed material, regular training and support for preparing the volunteers for their experience
- Trip to Palolem Beach in South Goa.
- Any additional expenses caused by or liability for disturbance in the trip program due to circumstances, weather conditions, sickness, natural disasters, riots etc.
- Personal expenses such as extra food and drinks, room service items, laundry, telephone calls, tips to guides, drivers etc.
- Liability for or insurance against injury, loss of life, accidents or loss of goods
- Visa application fees
You will be provided with a comprehensive pre-departure handbook and 'code of conduct document' to assist in preparing for the adventure. These documents provide detailed information on what to bring, what to wear, how to behave in relevant cultural situations, as well as valuable money and visa advice.
- Project requirements: Police Clearance Certificate
- You must apply for a Tourist Visa and not mention volunteer work as it would complicate/deny visa.
- Volunteer work will be available during weekdays only. During national holidays participants will have the chance to participate in the festivals.
- Our partner organization will need your emergency contact information, allergies and other medical conditions, age, gender and country of origin plus flight details. Your travel advisor can help you submit all the necessary information.
- Volunteers are required to dress with respect, which means no short skirts or vest tops.