Volunteers taking part in the Disabled Children Program will be placed at a special school for mentally challenged and disabled children in Palampur. You'll have to play a significant role by providing the children with the much-needed attention, love, and care.
Your responsibilities will include spending time with the children, working along with the existing staff at the school in teaching the children, assisting in daily chores and also arranging different activities for the children.
Volunteers working in Disabled Care Program must have a special interest in working with affected children. Working with children having special needs will prove to be a very rewarding experience for the volunteers. The minimum age requirement to join the project is 17 years. You need to have patience, compassion, and affection for working with these children. Volunteers' support and service can have a tremendous impact on the lives of children in the school.
Let’s take a quick glance at what the volunteers need to do:
Volunteers are provided accommodation in volunteer house accommodations. You can get a clear view of the Himalayas from the place where you’ll be staying.
Rooms are allotted on ‘same gender sharing’ basis and there are attached toilets with the rooms.
The accommodations are neat and clean and provide a safe living environment. Both our houses provide dongle internet facility, hot water and heaters during winters, modern toilets and comfortable beds to sleep on.
Volunteers are provided with all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the accommodation.
Meals are freshly prepared by the cook in the house. Local market is not far away and in the evening you can also head out for pleasant walk in the vicinity.
We have cooks at the home who prepare meals for the volunteers. A sample of the meals you can expect are below:
Breakfast - Paratha, Bread, Tea (chai), Jam, Butter, Porridge etc.
Lunch/ Dinner - Dal (lentils), vegetable, rice, roti (Indian bread), pickle, yogurt may be provided along with some sort of curry.
An orientation session will be organized for the volunteers on the first day before the program begins. Volunteers will be explained about the program and work schedule, about the place in general and things to do in Palampur etc.
Our in-country coordinator will be glad to clear all your doubts at the orientation session, as well as later, whenever required.
Participants joining the Disabled Care Program with Volunteering India are required to follow a basic routine on a daily basis.
A generic daily schedule for volunteers is as follows:
Sunday : Arrival in Palampur
Monday : Orientation and a tour of the neighbourhood. Orientation session will be conducted by the local coordinator, covering important areas such as safety, culture, language, places to visit, behaviour, food, and other suggestions over things to do in Palampur.
Tuesday to Friday : Volunteer work at the placement site.
Breakfast - 08:30 am onwards.
Working hours at the placement - 10:00 am (leave the accommodation by 09:30 am) to 04:00 pm.
Lunch - Between 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Dinner - 06:00 pm onwards.
The same volunteer work schedule will continue from the second week onwards.
Weekends : Free to explore the city (No meal is provide on Sunday, as volunteers are encouraged to try the local cuisines).
On the weekends, you will have the opportunity to choose to take part in different activities such as do a weekend trekking trip from Dharamsala, or go for paragliding at Bir, or visit the different Tibetan monasteries in the area. You can also take a weekend trip to visit Golden Temple in Amritsar. Our coordinator will help you to plan your weekend trips.
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Note: You will be required to pay USD 225 / GBP 185 / AUD 320 / EUR 220 as an Application Deposit which is part of the program fees mentioned above, at the time of application to confirm your spot.
A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment
The mentally challenged school was great, it is a great setup teaching the older once skills for life. The children are all lovely and I think they crave for adults to play with and get comfort from.Read More
People from which countries can join the volunteer programs offered by Volunteering India?
We welcome people from any part of the world to join our programs irrespective of which part of the world volunteers belong from outside India. Majority of our volunteers are from USA, UK, Europe and Australia.
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Palampur volunteer programs?
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the India volunteer projects :
When do I need to arrive in Palampur for my program? What will happen once I reach Palampur?
All volunteers need to arrive in Palampur on the starting date of the program. Volunteers will be picked up from the Gaggal Airport in Dharamsala by a driver assigned by the local coordinators. Dharamsala is connected to Delhi by daily direct flights. Volunteers who have opted for the Orientation Week in Delhi, will travel to Palampur post the completion via bus or flight, depending on their choice.
After you arrive at Dharamsala airport, you will be picked up by our local coordinator and transported to Palampur. On the way, you can enjoy the scenic view of the Himalayan mountains and lush green landscapes.
On the next day, you will be given a short orientation and told about the program, daily schedule, safety guidelines, market tour and weekend trip options.
Does Volunteering India helps with Visa?
All enrolled participants are provided information on the appropriate Visa requirements for India in the pre-departure manual. You can also contact your pre-departure point of contact to know more about the visa requirements.
What are the recommended modes of transport to arrive in Palampur?
Volunteers first need to arrive in Delhi. The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is connected with all major airports across the globe and flights are easily available. Some of the major flight carriers operating direct flights to Delhi are :
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air India, Jet Airways, Etihad Airways, United Airlines, Swiss Air, KLM Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian, Air France, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Finnair.
From Delhi, you can take a connecting flight to Dharamsala Airport (Airport Code: DHM). Air India and Spicejet have daily flights between the two cities. Pickup by our local project coordinator is provided from Dharamsala Airport. Volunteers can also choose the option to take the direct overnight bus from Delhi to Palampur. Overnight air conditioned bus service operates between the two cities. You will be picked up from Palampur bus station and transferred to the accommodation.
How safe is India and Palampur in general?
India is a country of diverse cultures and practices. Like in any new foreign country, participants are advised to follow the guidelines specified by the project coordinator to enjoy their Indian experience fully. The program coordinators are always ready to help and give helpful safety tips. During the first day of the orientation, you will be given safety guidelines and will be informed about do's and dont's.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need ?
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to India. To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to India, click here.
How do I get to the program location?
Your program coordinator in Palampur will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc. You will be told about the directions to the project from your accommodation and the mode of transport which you can use. Most preferred mode of transport within the town is the public bus, and the coordinator will be more than happy to guide you regarding that.
I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?
Volunteers are provided accommodation in volunteer house accommodations. Participants of same gender share rooms together and there are attached toilets with the rooms. Volunteers are provided with all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the accommodation. Meals are freshly prepared by the cook in the house. Local market is not far away and in the evening you can also head out for pleasant walk in the vicinity.
What if I have my own accommodation. Can i still volunteer for the project?
Unfortunately the entire volunteering experience is as much about volunteering on your project, as it is about cross-cultural exchange and community building. A lot of that happens through the housing that we have set up, by being with like minded people. Additionally, for safety reasons all volunteers must live in the allotted accommodation.
Can vegetarians be accommodated?
Yes, that is not a problem at all. In fact, volunteers are served vegetarian meals at the accommodations in India.
Would I have free time during my program? Can I do sightseeing during my program?
Depending on your project placement, you may get evenings and weekends free to travel and explore the place.
Palampur is a great location for volunteering since you also have ample options for quick weekend getaways. Hill stations like Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala and Manali are nearby which can be visited over the weekend.
Adventure activities like trekking and paragliding can be taken up during weekends. Billing, which is a few kilometers away from Palampur, is a world famous site for paragliding.
Volunteers can also go to Amritsar and visit the famous Golden temple and Jallianwala Bagh.
Are there more expenses once I arrive in Palampur?
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses. You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $40-$50 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you choose to go on weekend trips out of town.
For how many hours will I volunteer every day?
Depending on the project, volunteers will work during the week from Monday- Friday, 4 - 5 hours daily. You will have the weekends to travel and explore. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
What if I do not speak the local language? Would that interfere with my volunteering experience?
Do not worry, all the coordinators can speak and converse in English. Most of our participants are non-Hindi speakers and they’ve never had any problems while communicating. Like we say, love is expressed better through actions than the language.
To add to the project experience while you can also join the Language and Orientation Week in Delhi before beginning the program in Palampur. It's an optional week, besides that we recommend participants to brush up their Hindi skills (learn basic terms and phrases, greetings) before traveling.
Where can I change my money in Palampur? Are there ATMs in the city?
ATMs of major banks like HDFC, ICICI and SBI are available in Palampur and money can be easily withdrawn. Currency Exchange Counters are also available in some of the banks in the city.
To know about the necessary items that you should pack before setting out for India, Click Here.
To know more about the things to do in Palampur while volunteering, Click Here.